Answering Arguments Against Animal Rights
Part X -- Argument Seven: Animals are immoral; they don't deserve humane treatment
Argument 7: Animals are immoral; they don't deserve humane treatment .

Argument seven: animals are immoral; they don't deserve humane treatment.
Argument seven: Animals are immoral; they don't deserve humane treatment.

This argument states that because non-human animals tear each other from limb to limb, they don't deserve to be treated humanely.

The word "humane," according to this argument, means to treat someone like a human being. And since these animals are not human beings, it would be wrong to treat them as such.
A zebra

The truth is: non-human animals are neither moral nor immoral: they are amoral. Morality simply does not apply to them.

It is nonsense to make a statement such as: "It is wrong for lions to kill zebras." It is their nature, and acting according to their nature is not immoral.
Steve

It is we humans who claim to be morally superior to all other animals. But then we turn around and say that we can act however we want to the other animals because they are not moral like we are! So we commit the most atrocious acts of cruelty against them while smugly claiming moral superiority.

What a convenient, ironic farce!
A hunter proudly posing by his victim

Humans are the only animals who regularly kill just for the fun of it.
A family of hunters posing by an elephant they killed

All other animals kill because they need the flesh of other animals to survive.
Another hunter posing with the animal he killed

Humans, as members of the primate family, are not carnivores.
A hunter posing with the animal he killed

Our bodies aren't even equipped to properly digest meat: it clogs our arteries and leads to heart attacks and cancer.
Hunters carrying a dead deer to their vehicle

In no sense is it necessary for humans to kill for food and clothing. So why do we do it?
A woman eating meat

Because we like the taste of meat, ...
Modelling fur coats

and the feel of fur and leather.

These are luxury rights.
Natural rights vs. luxury rights

The animals we kill to provide these luxuries have a natural right to their lives.

So who should yield here? The answer is obvious, and it also makes it painfully obvious that we are the immoral ones.
Humans in jail

But even if animals were immoral, it still would not be okay to abuse them as we do. Human criminals are immoral, and yet we still feel that they have a right not to be tortured. So just being immoral does not disqualify one from having their natural rights respected.
What is humane?

To answer the second part of this argument: humane treatment does not mean treating another as a human (as a quick look in the dictionary will prove.) It means that you yourself act as a human being. That is: a moral agent in your dealings with others.

Animals deserve humane treatment from humans because as human beings, we empathize with their suffering.
Contents   Prev   Next: Part XI -- Argument Eight: We own the animals we raise
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