Is Killing Nonhuman Animals Wrong? Killing of nonhuman animals is one of the issues frequently discussed by contemporary philosophers and defenders of animals’ rights. Tom Regan, in his book The Case for Animal Rights, defense animals’ rights and proves validity of his philosophical position…
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Regan’s book and article on issue was written some time ago and since then there have been several critics disagreeing with the philosopher. First of all, Regan claims that the whole system of exploitation and killing animals is fundamentally wrong (in any area by any means). To change such fundamental wrongness and exploitation of animals requires drastic changes in people’s beliefs and habits. Furthermore, killing animals is causing pain and harm to them. Even though animals are not human beings, they feel pain and they suffer. Causing pain and suffering is wrong, so the very idea of killing animals is wrong too. Morality is a certain set of rules. A person agreeing to abide to those rules is as if signing a contract. Children are taught to abide to the rules almost from their birth. Keeping this idea in mind we have to remember that we have certain duties to animals as we have some duties to each other. Such thinking reflects contractarian position. From utilitarian perspective one has to look for equality of rights. Animals which live together with us in neighboring environment have to be counted. Humans and animals are very different. And yet, they have a lot in common. Animals like humans have inherent values and, thus, should not be killed: “All who have inherent value have it equally, whether they be human animals or not” (p.
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