Animal rights

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  • Animal rights
    • General opinions:
    • Differences between animals and humans
      • Humans have intelligence and can reason, and animals have instinct. Religions teach that although animals have a lower status, they should still be cared for and respected.
    • Welfare Organisations:
      • There are hundreds of organizations protecting animal rights. They believe that animals should be free from cruelty and exploitation, and many oppose factory farming, experimentation and using animals for entertainment.
        • Charities like the WWF, Greenpeace and the RSPCA raise awareness of animal rights and monitor the treatment of animals.
    • Zoos, safaris parks and aquariums:
      • Positive: Lets you see animals up close, educational, gives people more respect for animals, prevents extinction, helps research
      • Negatives:  Animals can be in bad conditions and suffer stress, the environment is different from their natural one and it can be difficult to adjust
      • Both religions: accept them if the animals are in good conditions that try to match life in the wild
    • Pets:
      • Positive: they give companionship, help the owner socialise, and guide dogs can be very helpful for owners with sight problems
      • Negative: they could be unhappy in a home environment
      • Both: They are not forbidden to have pets, but humane treatment is expected
    • Transport and work:
      • Positive: sniffer dogs can find drugs, military animals can locate mines, dogs carried messages across the trenches in WW1
      • Negative: they could be mistreated and killed when they are no longer able to work
      • Both: using animals is fine as long as they are cared for. They can be therapeutic, and this use would be supported by religious people
    • Food:
      • Free range farming:
        • Positive: better conditions
        • Negative: more expensive
      • Factory farming:
        • Positive:  cheaper, more efficient
        • Negative:  unnatural, poor conditions, the chemicals and drugs could affect human health
      • Slaughter:
        • Negative: animals are transported in cramped conditions and many die on the journey, the process can be painful and stressful
        • Positive: the method of halal is the most humane
      • Hindu: often vegetarian, killing an animal means killing a body that holds an ancestor's soul. They follow ahimsa, which is non-violence
      • Christian:  animals were created to provide humans with food. After the flood, God told Noah that people can eat animals
      • Vegetarianism/ veganism:
        • Reasons: don’t wish to harm the animals, they object to the methods, they think vegetables are safer and healthier to eat, they don’t like the taste. If less people ate meat, there would be enough food to stop hunger in developing countries
    • Sport:
      • Hunting:
        • Positive: removes pests, entertainment
        • Negative: cruel
      • Bullfighting:
        • Positive: traditional
        • Negative: dangerous and degrading
      • Christian: animals are under the control of humans, but humans have a duty as stewards to protect them
      • Hindu:  it is cruel and unnecessary, it is a Hindu’s duty to protect animals and practice non-violence
    • Trade:
      • Fur:
        • Positive: helps the economy, is a natural resource, no endangered species are used
        • Negative: animals are kept in small cages, methods of slaughter like electrocution can leave animals conscious as they are being skinned
      • Ivory:
        • Positive: makes use of animals killed to deal with overpopulation
        • Negative:  encourages poachers, ivory profits fund military operations and war
    • Experiments:
      • GM:
        • Negative: long-term effects are unknown
        • Positive: help find cures
      • Cloning:
        • Positive: cloned animals could produce things that treat illnesses
        • Negative:  the main motive could be money, so health and safety could be ignored
      • Christian: animals are valuable to God, but they accept limited testing to find cures for diseases
      • Hindu: deities appear as animals. They shouldn’t be harmed, as they are in the wheel of Samsara and are helpful to humans
  • Positive:  cheaper, more efficient
  • Positive: help find cures


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