Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Essay concerning the rights and welfare of animals
Rights shouldn't be about making two things equal nor should it be about ignoring the particularity of groups or individuals treating them with the broad stroke of equality and thus treating them unjustly. Animals rights should not be about treating animals like human beings -are we to put them on our counsels or have them vote in elections? We should also refrain from putting their pain on the same pedestal as ours, so that dog fights eliminates the accomplishments of a man -No. The exaggeration of sameness and equality overlooks the real issue of animal rights. Though dog fights aren't really a good example for a man should pay for the cruelty of his actions. But the real issue is the disrespect of the nature of animals when we equate to our selves. Animalare free as God's creatures to roam about the earth -naked, following their every whims and desires. Defecating where they please -in public. Having intercourse -in public, brutally fighting and killing eachother -in public.
Are we to say that these creatures are equal to us? Even in our pluralistic society I hope my reader is able to realize the absurdity of this logic. If we put animals as our equals, are we to civilize their beastly nature? Are we to jail them for there crimes?
Animals are differnt from us. At the rate at which they kill eachotherfor food or brutalize eachother in mate selectionor consume one another after consumation or abandon eachother after child birth -by Allah I hope they do not feel pain equal to ours.
The way we give animals their rights is by respecting their nature. Taking a free song bird and confing it to a cage is wrong, adopting a cat who has beendomesticated by humans for thousands of years is not.
But is it ok to eat animals? Well animal eat eachothers all the time. Though that may seem that I have contradicted myself I have at once sid that humans and animals are incomparable, then compared the eating of an animals by an animal to the eating of an animal by a human. The point of the later is that you cannot simply use the brainless statement "meat is murder" to challege the omnivore's diet, that is obvious. And it does not enlighten the discussion. If you follow the rational of some vegetarians that aniamls rights are equal to huma rights -as many do blatanly or not, in fact I recall a Peta ad that shoved the hanging of Africans (Juring slavery or Jim Crow -they offered no tie line) that you would have to hold animals to the same morals standards as humans. Therefore we must say it is ok to eat like our equals, the animals, or to say it is not ok to eat meat and from now on all animals engaging in this behavior should face the penalty for murder -equal? Yes, but it doesn't make sense.
Animals are not our equals they have there have their livlihoods and we have ours.
They are governed by different rules which should be respected. It is in this argument where we find the foundation of animal rights. It is here that we gain an argument for animals conservation, against factory farms against animal abuse hunting for sport against even zoos or other confinements which take and animal outside of its natural realm of freedom.
There are many reasons to become vegan/ vegetarian; the environment being the most pertinent, and abuse being equally important -though not simply the violence necessary to hunt, kill and eat an animal but the kind of violence that takes place on a factory farm where animals suffer cruelty in silence, health reason being another -heart disease being closely associated with red meat, and simply the over killing of animals in post industrialized civilizations simply for the purpose of gluttony and not sustenance.These are reasons enough to not eat meat or rather to lower our consumption of meat and boycott factory farms. It is in the beauty of the distinct nature that Allah has given animals that we find the rights which should be justly bestowed upon them.
And Allah (God) knows best.
"There is not an animal (that lives) on the earth, nor a being that flies on its wings, but (forms part of) communities like you. Nothing have we omitted from the Book, and they (all) shall be gathered to their Lord in the end." 6, 38
"Do you not see how Allah is praised by those in heaven and earth? The very birds praise Him as they wing their flight" 24, 36
"Whoever is kind to the creatures of God is kind to himself.
"For [charity shown to] each creature which has a wet heart (i.e. is alive), there is a reward."
"whoever shoots at a living creature for sport is cursed."
"condemned those who mutilate any part of an animal's body while he is alive".
"May Allah condemn the one who branded it." (upon seeing a donkey's face branded)
"Yes, there is a meritorious reward for kindness shown to every living creature".
"He who takes pity on a sparrow and spares his life, Allah (God) will be merciful to him on the day of judgement"
Islam and Animals
more on Islam and Animals
Islam and animal (Peta TV)