Prioritization of struggles: Human rights vs. animal rights

Hanaa Ayyad
Social Media Team Member

While not everyone owns a pet, most rational human beings would be revolted at the sight of a dog being mistreated. In fact, millions of dollars are being donated yearly by people to NGOs that protect animals and help get them off the streets.

However, many argue that animals nowadays have become somewhat claimant of human rights and are being prioritized over the millions of humans that are also victims of abuse and mistreatment.

Gandhi once said: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” This, of course, holds true for multiple reasons with the most obvious proof lying within the propaganda of electoral campaigns. More often than not, political candidates will be seen cradling an animal or some sort of helpless organism in their hands in hopes of igniting support within the community. This is mainly due to the fact that helping those in need is a great sign of morality.

In fact, we see evidence of this impulse within the animal kingdom itself. Multiple pictures and videos are posted online on a daily basis. They show a certain species of animal who has “adopted” another species’ orphaned babies. This in itself is enough reason for activists to claim that animals are just as deserving of all the rights that humans possess as well as of identical treatment.

On the other hand, many human rights activists refute this idea. The most fundamental negation is that which includes the importance of the human mind.

The complex human mind is superior to that of the animal’s as it is capable of comprehending what a “right” is in the first place. Ipso facto, allowing animals who are unaware of politics and legal contracts the same rights that many humans are deprived of seems nothing but absurd and illogical to the opposing party.

None of this is to deny that animals and humans are of different orders or that animals are just resources for human benefit. Man is more shaken by the death of a man rather than the death of a mouse simply because men are part of the same community and relate to one another. This does not by any means make the life of a mouse of less importance than that of the man’s.

However, this does not mean that imprisoned pigs’ rights are more valuable than a war prisoner’s. Each situation is unique and cannot be simply compared to a black and white model, but it deserves a more detailed study that meets both parties’ opinions in the middle.

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