Archive for the ‘Animal Rights’ Category

Thought-provoking column reviews history of society’s views on animals

I found a thought-provoking column concerning animal welfare on The Vancouver Sun website, written by Peter McKnight. In the piece, McKnight goes back in time for a history tour of mankind’s treatment of animals – or how society viewed animals in terms of how we treat them and show concern for their welfare.

He reports French philosopher Rene Descartes argued “animals could neither reason nor feel pain, and any behaviours they exhibited were simple automatic responses”

How wrong could Descartes possibly be?

McKnight ends with the following thoughts – and I could not agree more –

“” Certainly, we still have a long way to go. But for the first time in history, there is widespread recognition of animal interests. Indeed, now, as never before, we have come to recognize that animals’ lives matter, not just for our sake, but for theirs. “”

Defining ‘animal welfare’ versus ‘animal rights’

On the site out of Longview, Texas, writer Kelly Heitkamp seeks to define the difference between two phrases – animal welfare and animal rights.

Her basic assertion is summed up in this paragraph –

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The difference between these two positions can be seen as applied to an issue like farmed animals. The animal rights position holds that humans do not have the right to slaughter and eat animals, but the animal welfare position insists the animals should be treated humanely before and during slaughter. The animal welfare position does not object to the consumption of animals, but seeks the elimination of cruel factory farming practices such as confining calves in veal crates, confining pregnant sows in gestational stalls, and debeaking chickens.

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