The word paradigm originates from the Greek word paradeigma, which simply means an example serving as a pattern or model. Paradigm reflects some concepts, values, or some ways of doing something commonly or habitually. It is also a way of viewing (Webster’s 1998) reality for the community. Human species is endowed with emotions that make it easier for him to express bonding with some non-human kind. This binding seems to be spontaneous or natural. Children display this act more deeply than many intellectually and emotionally mature people do. These people are called animal lovers.
In the absence of human affection, animal lovers show more love for their animals or pets. Their love for animals intensifies due to some ethical paradigm they uphold or embrace in connection with their respect for natural creations like nature and environment. Alternatively, one’s love for animal obligates him to become a vegetarian. This attitude is more than rewarding as many pets or animals return a great deal of affection to them. Due to this love for animals, either domestic or wild, some political, social, or scientific movements have sprung up.
Animal lovers, breaking new grounds as advocates, want to protect the natural resources of both plants and animals including their habitats. The task seems to be gigantic as it covers a wider expanse of the earth, namely, water, soil, forestry, fisheries, wilderness, to name just a few spots. The aim of nature conservation movement, however, is expressly for continued sustainability for human use. Child-like fetish This love for animal exists because of the existence of a child-like faith among animal lovers. “Animals never commit sins,” and “All animals are bound to heaven” are just a few child-like beliefs that exist among adults.
Such beliefs and the likes, though seemingly simple move people towards living compassionately. Therefore, just as my 10-year old daughter puts it, “Animals are never sinners, so they are freed from sins already. ” As an animal lover or human being, we only “see” the attributes of animals through the interpretation of our mind, our understanding. Animal lovers say that their companion animals have intelligence, better skills, and even have better moral than most humans have. This is so because animals express strongly the attributes of love and loyalty.
There is an organization (PAL 2008) that really brings people and animals together with the hope of brightening the lives of the sick, the lonely, and some at-risk youths. Other animal attributes like unselfishness, friendship, foresight, emotions, body language are likewise exhibited by animals especially the domesticated ones. Animal lovers even believe that animals have spirit since physical matter is immobile without the benefit of the unseen spirit. Human-animal interaction Undeniably, a special pattern of mutual interaction exists between human and animals, which is treated as special symbiosis.
This human-animal interaction happens where animals are there: pet stores, circus, stables, and the likes. The assumption that creation is purely good has a contradiction that sometimes surfaces regarding animal roles in society. As society creates the images of having “good” and “bad” animals, it polarizes animals accordingly into bad or good ranking. Bad animals have been associated with demons, freaks, worms, and the likes. The good ones, on the other hand, are sided with pets and instruments and sometimes patronized like children.
With the role of animals in society as subordinate, one author of human-animal relationship has inferred some conclusions that license society to dehumanize some minor members including children, women, blacks, and the elderly among others. Not all animal lovers are vegetarians, which becomes an issue when it comes to the ethics of meat eating. An invisible, sometimes inviolable “rules” exist on which animal are ideal to eat and which are forbidden by society. In fact, eating animal flesh is surrounded by confusing inconsistencies affecting people individually or globally.
Hypocrisy and flesh eating In reality, people have to eat meat while they keep saying that they are not willing to face the fact that their meats come from four-legged creatures that had to be killed to satisfy their appetite. This shows hypocrisy and expresses disregard to animals. In fact, nobody wants to see the slaughtered animals reduced in sizes before finally wrapped in food-grade plastic bound for grocery chains. As more and more consumer meats are produced, more and more animals suffer unduly, even dying before reaching the slaughterhouses.
This is so because meat or egg animals are similarly treated as objects or commercial commodities that do not suffer. When someone is strongly attached to their pets like cats or dogs, it is disgusting to think that other people with different cultural backgrounds eat these sorts of animals they adore. Let alone touring cats-dogs-rats eateries in foreign countries. One’s reaction would be violent repulsion, even considering them as cannibals. Because dogs and cats are considered attractive or cute, people in general do not kill or eat them.
Not only cats and dogs, people also want to spare other similarly cute or attractive animals such as rabbits, deer, and horses among others. Although rabbits are considered as pet, others raise them on farms as food. Horses in the stable, on the table And how about eating horses? Americans as well as people from various backgrounds become completely emotional if not confused or nervously excited when it comes to this subject. The fact that thousands of unwanted horses are channeled to slaughterhouses yearly as export meat alerts concerned Americans to stop the practice and make it illicit.
Animal lovers have long noticed the inhumane treatment that horses undergo on way to or at the slaughterhouse. Moreover, this bothers Americans so much since horses have molded significantly the history as well as the paradigmatic culture of the United States. Besides, horses in the US are regarded as non-food and sports entity and therefore need some sorts of protection. One sensible reaction of people who love animal to the above-mentioned plight is for them to become vegetarians. On the other hand, they may seek alternative means by their own design without resorting to having vegan diet.
The fact is that, just what I mentioned before, the multitude keep silent in every suffering of meat animals reared in compact farms since they are tasty and good for the appetite. The point that I am driving here is that we should not make mentally an artificial boundary regarding our choices on which animals should be spared and which ones should be eaten based only on shallow emotional confidence. Nevertheless, out of respect, we recognize that every one of us has varying food eating beliefs that one is powerless to change. Equal rights for animals?
Many Americans think that animals should be protected; even some think that they should be given equal rights as humans. Two animal moral theorists, namely Peter Singer and Tom Regan defend the rights of animal with their formed concepts. Singer sets his defense basing on the concept of utilitarian moral model and on equality. Singer, however, is more concerned with the proper treatment of animals than assigning rights to them. As an advocate of animal rights, Singer forwarded some ethical rights recommendations that mark or fix the limits of legal protection of both man and animal.
Basing animal rights on the so-called marginal factors cannot serve as the only basis for having rights. Given that the normal paradigmatic men possess the capabilities of, or have human-like reasoning and emotional features, humans falling out of this paradigm dubbed as marginal men lack these attributes. Such marginality includes babies, young children, and the senile among others. If the normal paradigmatic men are endowed with certain rights due to their being rational, it follows then that the marginal men mentioned above cannot have rights basing on the rationality factor.
Since the marginal theory fails to establish rights for all humans including the marginal cases, Singer and Regan have introduced further new moral theories that include rights and protection for some animals. Changing old concepts With such limitation and incompleteness of Singer’s traditional theories as bases for animal rights, Regan, on the other hand, introduced a complementary concept called “inherent” or natural value as a basis of rights. This natural value is not of rationality or of some other forms of quality since it is not earned and therefore, it cannot be lost or gained.
This value is equal to all says Regan, whether one is considered as holy or criminal. Inherent value would give the best position to give reasons for one’s belief like human slavery is despised and eating new born is not right. Consequently, Regan’s moral theory gives both the normal paradigmatic men and the marginal men the same natural or inherent value. This value extends to animals, which gives them rights. Regan’s inherent theory has been confronted when asked on how to determine who has this value. He says that organisms with inherent value are those that posses the condition of being a subject of life.
This means one has the ability to act, has a memory, has foresight, has goals, etc. Even those that are not a subject of life could also have inherent value like the comatose. It is surprising, however, on the point that irrational thing as plants could have inherent value though not a subject of life. Regan’s concept is an incomplete one and I feel likely that it is invalid since it cannot blend with reality, which makes the theory inconsistent vis-a-vis the true meaning of value. In a society, rights are vital and necessary for orderly survival.
Based on social meaning, an animal having rights and protection is not justified as some people think. In the legal context, however, a legal sanction could be given to individuals who maltreat their own animals. In the proper perspective, moral co-existence with animal and legal relationship must be properly defined and established, since the two concepts could give some confusing variances. In an assessment of public opinion, some 71% of sampled representatives believe that animals need some form of legal protection, About 25 % of them, on the other hand, expressed that animals should be given the same rights enjoyed by humans.
The remaining 3% think otherwise (Klein 2004). The theory of rights that concerns animals, however, is with confusion torn between animal welfare and the ideal basis of rights. Paradigm shift and spirituality What needed perhaps is a paradigm shift towards spirituality. We should not only show mercy to our kind but also kindness to al living creature. Both man and animal exhibit physical sensibilities and instinct. Nevertheless, man forgets this and he becomes cruel to animals. Sensibility in animals is the same as sensibility in men. Personally, I have the opinion that cruelty to animals inflicts more pain than cruelty to man.
Animals cannot speak, nor show their suffering, not even representing themselves to government authorities. Animals harmed many times cannot seek justice or retaliate. It is my pleasure that the Office of the National Institute of Health (NIH 2008) is against the use of nonhumans for biomedical research regardless of the resulting benefits to man. With this view, I feel that we should demonstrate a high degree of consideration and kindness towards these creatures, perhaps more than that of man. Thousands of them need good home and giving just one pet a chance is a kind act (Animal Lovers Assistance League 2008).
Teaching our children from infancy to be exceedingly kind to animals is a good sign of having spiritual value. As man commits more sins, animals remain innocent, which reminds us that one must give more kindness to the innocent. An exception, however, exists. One should not show mercy or kindness to ferocious animals since giving a mad animal an opportunity is tantamount to the destruction of thousand humans and animals. Simply said, sympathy to the beast renders cruelty or injustice to peaceful, blessed animals. Works Cited Animal Lovers Assistance League. 2008. <http://www. currituckanimallovers. org.
/ Fisher, Barbara. June 2006. Why Do People Only Love Cute Animals? 1 December 2008. <http://www. tigersand strawberries. com/2006/06/14> Klein, Shawn E. The Problem of Animal Rights. The Atlas Society. June 2003. Viewed 1 December 2008. http://www. objectivistcenter. org People, Animals, Love (PAL). 2008. Viewed 1 December 2008. <http://www. peoplesanimalslover. com Silverman, Jerad. Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare. Playing by the Rules. 04 August 2004. Viewed 1 December 2008. <http://grants. nih. gov/grants. oer. htm Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary. 1998. <http://dictionary. reference. com>a