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Animal Rights: Analysis About Peta Activist Essay

Thesis: Members of PETA are too extreme with their fight for what they believe because they fail to recognize that many animals are needed for food, resources, economic success and necessary labor. I. Society needs food and some of that food should come from animals. A. The number 10 billion may be shocking but the killing of animals for food is necessary. The alternative of being a vegetarian is always an option, but humans have the free will to make their own decisions, especially when it comes to eating. Therefor, the killing of animals should not be deemed cruel or illegal. B. Society has a dependance on the slaughtering of animals.

The profits that come from processing animals are a huge part of economic success and the resources gathered from the animals are used wherever they are able to be used. For example, the fat from a cow can be used for plastic, soaps, cough syrup and cosmetics. II. Along with pointing out to PETA that processing animals is vital for food and economic success, a clear line needs to be drawn between the value of humans and the value of animals. A. A protest was given by PETA for the billions of fish abused and killed by humans for food and sport.

1. PETA went as far as to make an empathy quilt for the fish that shows humans impaled on fishing hooks and slogans like, “Don’t Be a Fool…Fishing Is Cruel”. 2. PETA is too extreme with their protests and by these protests, humanity is devalued. Fish and humans are very different and if PETA thinks fishing is wrong than the killing of bovines, chickens and goats for food and other resources would also be seen as cruel. D. PETA follows the definition of an animal rightist by claiming that animals are of equal importance as humans.

1. PETA is too extreme with their approach to attaining rights for animals and fits the definition of an animal rightist.
2. Being a vegetarian can be seen as wrong in PETA’s view.
3. Through PETA’s actions, animals and humans are seen to have equal value, which is wrong.
4. What PETA needs to understand is that the slaughtering of animals is necessary for food, resources and economic success.

III. Along with pointing out to PETA that processing animals is vital for food and economic success, a clear line needs to be drawn between the value of humans and the value of animals. A. Farms are not a prison for animals. Animals do not know any better about where they are being kept.

1. Abusive situations, for example; filthy crates, stalls or water, are cruel and should not be tolerated.
2. Farm animals are necessary but the standards on how to treat them, physiologically and behaviorally, need to be discovered and determined.
3. Even now, society has many machines that can now plow a field in day compared to the long process of having a Clydesdale work at full potential for a week. PETA should realize that animals are more safe now than before.

Miranda Nicholson
Miss Light
English 101-035
16 November 2012
Rights (Of the Animal Variety)

In America, the history and debate of rights has been a reoccurring theme. By having rights, a border is drawn as to what is appropriate and what is not. Even though it is a right to be able to protest or boycott, there are still lines that are drawn. These lines are both legal lines and moral lines; a legal line is something that is required by law as a moral line is an overall feeling of right and wrong. Though, these two lines can be confused and some may feel that following what they believe is right is more important than following any law. When it comes to animals’ rights, members of PETA are too extreme with their fight for what they believe is morally right because they fail to recognize that many animals are needed for food, resources, economic success and necessary labor.

Society needs food and some of that food should come from animals. To share this food, animals are needed to be killed in order to have enough for all of society to share. Authors Cass R. Sunstein and Martha Craven Nussbaum wrote in the book Animal Rights : Current Debates and New Directions that “[i]n the United States, more than 10 billion nonhuman animals are annually slaughtered just for food” (19). The number 10 billion may be shocking but the killing of animals for food is necessary. The argument may be raised that there is always the alternative of being a vegetarian. However, humans have the freedom to make their own decisions, especially when the decision is deciding what to eat. Therefore, the killing of animals for food in slaughterhouses should not be deemed cruel or illegal.

Not only are slaughterhouses needed for the distributing of food, but as far as the economy goes society has also become dependent on the processing and production of animals. From their book, Sunstein and Nussbaum agree and make the point of the dependence that society has on the slaughtering of animals. The profits that come from processing animals are a huge part of economic success. The resources gathered from the animals are used wherever they are able to be used. For example, the fat from a cow can be used for plastic, soap, cosmetics and even cough syrup (20).

This book brings to light the fact that animals are slaughtered and used for more than families wanting to have a nice meal. The animals are used for resources that make circumstances, like having a cough, more bearable. PETA fails to see that the slaughtering of animals is for many more reasons than just enjoying food. At any point in someones life, they have most likely used a byproduct of an animal in some form or another which is why the slaughtering of animals for food, resources, and economic success is essential.

Along with pointing out to PETA that processing animals is vital for food and economic success, a clear line needs to be drawn between the value of humans and the value of animals. PETA is an extreme animal rights group and according to an article from Outdoor Life, written by Bob Butz, a protest was given by PETA for the abused and killed fish that are killed for both food and sport (n. pag.). PETA even went as far as to make an empathy quilt for the fish that “shows humans impaled on fishing hooks on its patches, and such slogans as, “Don’t Be a Fool…Fishing Is Cruel” (Butz n. pag.). PETA is too extreme with their protests and by these protests, humanity is devalued. Fish and humans are two very different creatures and if PETA thinks fishing is wrong than the killing of bovines, chickens, and goats for food and other resources would also be seen as cruel in PETA’s view.

Fishing is seen as a sport but to some it is also a way to bring home food to many families. Another author that speaks out on animals rights is John M. Kistler, who wrote and collected different pieces to put in the book, People Promoting And People Opposing Animal Rights : In Their Own Words. Kistler provides an accurate definition of an animal rightist that can be applied to PETA by saying, “[a]nimal rightists believe that animals are of equal or similar importance to humans, and thus, animals must receive equal or similar treatment to that of humans” (2). PETA follows the definition of an animal rightist by claiming that animals are of equal importance as humans. If the animal rightists’ view is correct then being a vegetarian is wrong because “many vegetarians continue to use other animal products (eggs, milk, honey, wool) and keep pets (also called “animals companions”)” (Kistler 2). A debate can be made that animals should not be used to the exploitation of humans and that keeping animals as pets can be seen as enslavement.

Throughout his book, Kistler shows the difference between an animal rightist and an animal welfarist and which of these two very different parties are correct. Animal rightists must take into consideration that humans are of greater value than animals and that people should pursue to improve animals’ lives even though humans are able to make moral use of animals (2). Making moral use of an animal means that humans need to be able to draw a legal line between how they treat an animal but also know that morally the animals can and should be used for food and other resources. PETA is too extreme with their approach to attaining rights for animals and fits the definition of an animal rightist. PETA needs to understand that the slaughtering of animals is necessary for food, resources, and economic success.

As well as food and resources and deciding what the exact value of animals are, animals can be used to help alleviate humans from hard labor on farms. Farms are not a prison for animals. Abusive situations, for example; filthy crates, stalls or water, are cruel and should not be tolerated. However, Joyce D’Silva and Jacky Turner point out in their book Animals, Ethics, And Trade : The Challenge of Animal Sentience that, “[a] proper understanding of the needs of farm animals can help to provide the evidence necessary to establish the moral, scientific, and practical principles that should underpin good husbandry” (149). A common theme of moral obligation is drawn through out this book. Humans have to be trusted to establish what they believe is rightful behavior to treat farm animals or any kind of animal.

After this line is securely drawn then it will be obvious when the line is crossed. If the line is crossed, necessary consequences will be delivered. PETA, in the attempt to protect animals, has gone too far and has forgotten the need humans have for animals. Even now, society has many machines that can now plow a field in a day compared to the long process of having a Clydesdale work at full potential for a week. PETA should realize that animals are safer now than before. This chapter brings to reason that farm animals are necessary but the standards on how to treat them physiologically and behaviorally needs to be discovered and determined (D’Silva and Turner 149). When the physiological and behavioral standards are clearly determined, PETA should see that the animals are not in danger and are helping with hard labor that some people are not able to do on their own.

The debate on rights for animals will never be black and white. The debate will continue for years to come with strong points from both sides of opposition. PETA is a very influential, well known, and outspoken movement that is extreme with every protest or boycott they begin or partake in. PETA needs to examine their definition of animals’ rights and make a decision if they are fighting for the equality of humans and animals or if they are fighting for the ethical treatment of animals. Both ideas are largely different and are not to be taken lightly. As of now, it seems that PETA is fighting for the equality of humans and animals. PETA is wrong for fighting for equality because animals are needed for the food and resources they provide, the economic stability that comes from processing the animals, and the work that they are able to accomplish that many people have difficulty completing on their own.

Works Cited

Butz, Bob. “Peta Files.” Outdoor Life 2007: 20. ProQuest Central. Web. 30 Oct. 2012.

D’Silva, Joyce, and Jacky Turner. Animals, Ethics, And Trade : The Challenge Of Animal Sentience. n.p.: Earthscan, 2006. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 30 Oct. 2012.

Kistler, John M. People Promoting And People Opposing Animal Rights : In Their Own Words. n.p.: Greenwood Press, 2002. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 30 Oct. 2012.

Sunstein, Cass R., and Martha Craven Nussbaum. Animal Rights : Current Debates And New Directions. n.p.: Oxford University Press, 2004. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 30 Oct. 2012.


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