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A Change of Heart about Animals Essay

In “A Change of Heart about Animals” Jeremy Rifkin says that animals have the same human qualities that humans have. And with that they deserve more if not the same amount of respect as human beings. He gives many examples on how some animals are human like emotion and skilled wise. I disagree with Rifkin. I think that most animals should not get more respect than human beings reason being that most of the animals he listed are going to be killed and be used for reasonable human use. To begin with, Rifkin gives many examples that are self contradicting to what he is trying to argue. First Rifkin says “Studies on pigs’ social behavior funded by McDonalds at Purdue University… they crave affection and are easily depressed if isolated… lack of mental and physical stimuli can result in deterioration of health.” Here Rifkin is saying that pigs need attention in order to stay healthy.

I disagree with this because in the end the pigs are going to be killed and be used for human consumption so why would it care if they are depressed or not. Also, it contradicts itself because the people funding it are one of the major corporations killing thousands of pigs day in and out so it makes it seem like they are trying to save the pigs. Later he states “Philosophers long argued that other animals are not capable of self awareness because they lack individualism… At the Washington National Zoo, orangutans given mirrors explore parts of their bodies they can’t otherwise see, showing a sense of self.”

Here he is stating how animals do in fact have a sense of self awareness and that orangutans are a prime example. I disagree with this reason being that Rifkin didn’t give the name of the philosophers who said this, making it not credible because anyone could have said that. Also they are not really giving the orangutans to freely observe themselves because they have them locked up in enclosure at the Washington national zoo. All in all I think Rifkin does not give a strong enough argument. He gives examples that easily contradict him making his argument not credible enough for the reader. With this I think Rifkin is in no position to say that animals deserve more rights than human beings.

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