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What is the place of reason in relationship to understanding animal life Coetzee - Essay Example

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To do this, I will refer to lectures delivered on October 15 and 16, 1997 at Princeton University. J. M. COETZEE recorded the lectures on The Lives of Animals. The main argument is on the poor and horrendous…
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What is the place of reason in relationship to understanding animal life Coetzee
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What is the place of reason in relationship to understanding animal life Coetzee? Introduction The paper will look at what the core of understanding the animal life. To do this, I will refer to lectures delivered on October 15 and 16, 1997 at Princeton University. J. M. COETZEE recorded the lectures on The Lives of Animals. The main argument is on the poor and horrendous relationship that exists between human beings and animals. Elizabeth Costell speaks about the horrors being done to animals in “production facilities” all over the world. “There are all forms of horrors of lives and death, a lot of horrors coming from production facilities (farms) all over the world. I will take the chance to talk about these horrors.” (Coetzee, 117)
Understanding animal life establishes what form of relation should exist between human beings and animals. Animals learn from experience and future behavior will be formed through earlier experiences. From birth, they pick knowledge from various sources on deaths, heights, fire; water among others. “The old are thus more experienced than the young, due to years of experience. The old are more cunning and astute because of years of experience acquired through observation. The old are thus less likely to avoid harm” (Coetzee, 123)
Therefore, understanding animal life helps to explain why they behave in a particular way. This is because of what they have observed. Animals that have faced danger before will most likely be very conscious of any incoming danger. With this form of information, human beings are made aware of the form of treatment that each animal deserves. “The observation formed against one animal, is by reasoning extended to other animals” (David, 76).
Besides that, understanding animal life is vital in the making of crucial decisions on which animals are fit for consumptions and which are not fit for consumption. A debate ranges where some individuals feel that some animals can be eaten while others cannot and in the meantime there are those that are totally against the consumption of any form of animal viewing it as a horrendous act (Coetzee, 138). To make credible decisions on which animals should be eaten and which should not be eaten, we need a deep understanding of animal life.
Understanding animal life also establishes if there is any form of relation ship that exists between human being and animals. Coetzee, asks whether human beings have anything common with animals. Do they reason like animals? Do animals have self-consciousness found in human beings, or a soul? According to this lecture (Coetzee, 119) if animals are like human beings then they deserve to be treated like human beings whose life are protected due to its sanctity. According to the lecturer’s arguments, animals deserve to be treated in the same way human beings are treated, thus their lives should be protected.
Human beings have for years been consuming animal meat. By nature, human beings are supposed to consume vegetables and fruits than meat. However, human beings are now consuming more meat and subjecting themselves to dire consequences. To really understand, the effects of meat, human beings should understand animal life. If human beings do not understand animal life, then they cannot understand the effects of the consumption of animal meat. Coetzee, (134) points to the consequences man bears as a result of killing animals for meat. “There is no way that human beings are going to escape being punished for eating what they do not understand,” (Coetzee, 134).
Works Cited
David, Hume. An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. London: Forgotten Books. 1952. Print.
Coetzee J. M. J.M. Coetzee and Ethics: Philosophical Perspectives on Literature. New Jersey: Columbia University Press, 2010.Print. Read More
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