Cyndi's Two Cents

Animals should not have the same rights as humans


Animal rights or animal welfare? That is often the question being asked.

One group makes no bones about it. It’s about animal rights for The Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP). Founded in 1996 by attorney Steven M. Wise, NhRP works to “secure legally recognized fundamental rights for nonhuman animals through litigation, advocacy, and education.”

According to the group’s website, it works to change the legal status “of at least some nonhuman animals from mere ‘things’, which lack the capacity to possess any legal right, to ‘persons’, who possess such fundamental rights as bodily integrity and bodily liberty and those other legal rights to which evolving standards of morality, scientific discovery, and human experience entitle them.”

In a nutshell, this group considers that their clients (referred to by NhRP as plaintiffs) have many of the same rights as humans. NhRP says their current plaintiffs, which include great apes, elephants, dolphins and whales have been scientifically proven to be autonomous.

I guess that all depends upon your definition of autonomous. In my worldview, an autonomous being is either a human being or an entity (like a country) comprised of human beings. I do not believe that any animal should have the same rights as human beings. Most humans have the capability to contemplate their actions and character. Animals do not.

I am a proponent of animal welfare. We practice it on our farm. My husband and I have a deep-rooted passion for raising livestock that began when we were children. We share a commitment to raising cattle and poultry while maintaining the solid ethical standards with which we were raised. Practicing animal welfare was from the very beginning an integral part of our philosophy. It was and is an inherent part of who we are.

We have a cat that is a very important part of our lives. I will cry alligator tears when my cat dies. He’s been a daily presence in our lives for more than 15 years. But I have known since we adopted him from a pet shelter exactly how much we would spend on vet bills if he got sick or hurt. That number has gone higher over the years as our fondness for him has grown, but we still have a number. He’s not a person.

The Nonhuman Rights Project recently filed a petition for a common law writ of habeas corpus in Connecticut Superior Court on behalf of three elephants at a zoo in Conneticut. The aforementioned “writ” is a court order to a person or agency holding someone in custody to deliver the imprisoned individual to the court issuing the order and to show a valid reason for that person’s detention

The suit demands that the court, in accordance with state common law and scientific evidence of elephants’ autonomy, recognize the elephants as legal persons with the fundamental right to bodily liberty. NhRP wants the court to move the elephants to a natural habitat sanctuary.

If these elephants have the same rights as human beings, should it be up to someone other than the elephants to determine where to place them?

It’s a slippery slope, friends. I certainly don’t wish to see any animal mistreated, but I don’t believe that any animal has the same rights as any human being.

  • honestly I think that you are seriously wrong. I believe that animals should be protected in every way.
    Besides, how cares about your cat? (if it’s dead I’m so sorry for your loss) when you look up animal rights you expect to see informative stuff, just saying

    • I agree animals should be protected but the people should have rights and not animals. people should know how to respect animals

  • I agree, animals should not be mistreated in any way but they should not have animal rights either. Animals don’t understand fully what’s right and wrong they only use instincts. Of course, animals have done good deeds but they have also attacked humans . If they had rights then it’d be extremely dangerous for humans to roam around without being attacked. I love animals but they should not be treated as humans because they aren’t. Since they’re not human, they should also be protected and treated kindly because we should appreciate the fact we have them.

  • Animals don’t attack unless provoked to do otherwise. Also, if people are in their “hunting” area, they are the ones completely at fault for being injured. Animals are not malicious and don’t attack for no reason. People mainly get injured by animals because people get too close to their territory, don’t respect their personal space, ignore the warning signs of an attack or egg it on in some kind of way. Also, if they get rights its not like theyll magically start walking around the cities with us, they will be returned to natural habitats or have natural habitats made for them. Therefore if someone is attacked it’s solely their fault.

    • You obviously live in a city if you think animals do not attack unprovoked. Also humans are not meant to live just in cities. We have every right to live in wild or country areas. I carry a gun and any animal that attacks me is getting shot, but if they leave me alone I will leave them alone. Have a nice day.

  • OMG PERIOD like I truly agree with this statement and people are really saying that a living creature should not have right like no stop being ignorant because at the end of the day you are a guest in there home that WE destroyed and WE also kicked them out of THERE OWN HOME so if you are going to type behind a screen and come at me sideways dm me (@JOEGARCIA)and we can exchange words because you have NO right to say who deserves rights and who dose not AND THAT IS ON NOT BEING AN IGNORANT PERSON!!

  • its funny how you said you will ‘cry alligator tears’ for your cat when s/he dies. Although it seems like a mistake since you don’t know its meaning, I think it is really apt- given your contention on animal rights.

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