Example Of Essay On Singer Peter “All Animals Are Equal” 1989

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Animals, Human, Life, Singer, Song, Desire, Investment, People

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2020/12/14

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The type of relationship that human beings have with animals has been the subject of many debates. More importantly, there have been intense discussions on how we as people treat animals, in general. Some members of society feel that that it is unacceptable to abuse animals in a manner that does not cater to the interest of their species. Even though it is tolerable to use animals under certain circumstances, such as for domestic and industrial purposes, people should strive to be humane in the process. The interests of human beings and animals should not conflict with each other during various day-to-day interactions. Peter Singer’s “All Animals are Equal” seeks to show that animals deserve to have similar treatment, with the same dignity and reverence as human beings. The purpose of this study is to provide an objection to Singer’s root argument that interests and desires are the same in relation to our moral responsibility to animals.

Singer’s view

“All Animals are Equal” seeks to give the idea that humanity has an obligation to treat the lives of animals with the same reverence as we would human life. In essence, Singer argues that all forms of animal life whether human or non-human are equivalent. Accordingly, because animals can experience pain and suffering just as people do, they deserve equal treatment and consideration. Singer reckons that “Speciesism”, or the idea of favoring one’s species over another one, governs animal treatment. At the same time, there is a supposed similarity between the fight for animal equality and the struggle for race equality and other social movements for egalitarianism. He argues that all forms of inequality, whether based on animal or genders, are because of biases and prejudice. Hence, just as people reformed thoughts of racism and sexism, humans ought to rethink their opinions and approaches where animals are concerned unless they wish to have the label of persecutors. However, the article does not assert that equality means that animals should enjoy all rights conferred upon man. Otherwise termed as “equal consideration”, Singer encourages humanity to use logic when handling animals; the same way a man cannot abort a dog cannot vote.
Thus, “If a being suffers, there can be no moral justification for refusing to take that suffering into consideration” (Singer 6). Accordingly, countless research has shown that protein derived from plants is nutritionally superior to animal protein. Therefore, humanity prefers the animal meat because of its taste, not its nutritional value and is willing to ignore the right to life for the animals for the sake of their desire. As Singer points out, such instances are a perfect illustration of speciesism, taking advantage of a being just because they belong to another species. Animal testing, particularly vivisections, are another blatant disregard for the right of animals to life.

Objection to Singer’s view

Singer’s arguments in “All Animals are Equal” face a number of shortcomings. However, the principal objection to it lies in his thought process as a whole. I fault his idea of what constitutes interest. According to him, interest relies on preference that is satisfaction based. In this case, a preference is anything that a human being desires. The setback in Singer’s argument is the fact that it holds that desires and interests are interchangeable. For instance, a theoretical woman, Anne, wants to go shopping. This activity is a choice and a desire that Anne wishes to fulfill. What Anne is not aware of is the fact that if she shops, the bank will repossess her house because her husband has been accruing many debts. Evidently, it is not in Anne’s interest to be homeless because of shopping, but she does not realize that the homelessness will be because of her desire to shop. Resultantly, her preferences and desires clash with her interests. This scenario offers the problem of equating desire to interest. In most cases, people are unaware of what is best for them. Often, they want items that may be detrimental. A misunderstanding about an individual’s interest can stem from a lack of appropriate knowledge on the outcomes of actions; therefore, preferences and desires are opinions about an individual’s interests. These ideas are not necessarily correct; they have flaws due to either misinformation or ignorance.
Singer provides an argument that animals are similar to human beings. They do not have a desire for pain; hence, they have an interest to be alive. This concept has flaws since it seeks to create a false link between interests and desires, between what has factual evidence and what is an opinion. At this instance, one aims to define the real meaning of having an interest. Both desirable and unpleasant things can happen to a person who has interests. To every living thing, death undermines their interests. This viewpoint is regardless of whether the demise comes with pain or absence of it or if the existing thing is aware of the concept of death. Consequently, it is beneficial for a living thing to live while it is disadvantageous for it to die. Every living organism has an interest in staying alive; however, most non-human animals lack self-awareness hence do not have an interest in either life or death. Animals do not have the mental ability to have existential dilemmas; therefore, one cannot equate a human being’s life to an animal’s life.
Finally, based on speciesism, Singer concentrates on people but fails to consider animals as well. In other words, just as humans have an inclination to look after each other, animals possess the same natural instinct. Consequently, one will not witness a lion attempting to prevent lions from attacking a human hunter; instead, a whole pride of lions will go for the jugular unless other humans interfere. Therefore, if Singer insists on including the concept of speciesism, it would only be right to consider the term in relation to the species involved, and not just the humans.
Evidently, my objection is a good one because Singer’s argument that suffering is a gauge for the importance of an animal’s life offers evident misplacement. For people to consider animals with the same veneration as humans, animals need to contribute substantially to societal function. People are important to society because they have a meaningful input towards it, whether direct or indirect. Nobody pays attention to animals unless the animals have a sentimental meaning and value to someone else. This stance does not stem from a characteristic moral standing that animals possess but rather it comes about because of individual desires to avoid animal suffering for their personal satisfaction since they find such animals to be endearing. Therefore, an animal’s moral standing goes as far as its owner’s moral standing.

Response to my objection

An advocate of Singer’s view could provide a response to my objection. The best claim would be that just because animals are not self-aware of their existence, does not mean that their lives do not matter. Their moral standing does not end with that of their owners or caretakers. Similarly, people should not marginalize and mistreat mentally unstable people who lack the ability to comprehend on essential life matters. Therefore, since animals feel pain and pleasure, their desires and interests to be alive are interchangeable. Even without their knowledge, non-human animals have an interest and desire to be alive for the sake of replication and continuity of the species. This evolutionary journey is vital to the human race and its survival. Without it, the ecosystem would not exist in harmony.
Animals are in place to continue the cycle of natural selection and are integral in the existence of other non-human organisms such as plants. Therefore, it is inaccurate to state that animals do not contribute to societal function. Just like human beings, they have a significant role to play in the continuity of life since none of the species can exist exclusively without the other. Additionally, animals who partake in industrial, agricultural and research activities contribute immensely to the development of man in these fields. The animals do not receive any form of compensation; therefore, it would only be fair that, as a form wage, people should take great consideration in how they treat them. Since most of these animals have to endure intense labor or have to undergo procedures that expose them to harmful consequences or pathogens, there should be some level of ethical and moral consideration to minimize their suffering.
It is incorrect and inconsiderate to state that an animal’s life does not matter since they lack the mental capacity to defend themselves and make their choices. Even though they cannot distinguish between success and failure, right or wrong and true or false, they have an interest in survival. Non-human animals are not comparable to other living organisms because they have the capacity to differentiate between a painful experience and a pleasurable one. It is solely because of this reason that their lives are equitable to human lives; thus, humanity should consider this factor before deciding on the fate of animals. It would be cruel and oppressive for humankind to ignore the fact that animals are just as emotional and expressive as humans are. Evidently, it stands as logic that all animals, whether human or non-human, are equal.

Work Cited

Singer, Peter. "All Animals are Equal." Regan, Tom and Peter Singer. Animals Rights and Human Obligations. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1989. 1-14. Print.

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"Example Of Essay On Singer Peter “All Animals Are Equal” 1989." WePapers, Dec 14, 2020. Accessed May 14, 2021. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-essay-on-singer-peter-all-animals-are-equal-1989/
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"Example Of Essay On Singer Peter “All Animals Are Equal” 1989," Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com, 14-Dec-2020. [Online]. Available: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-essay-on-singer-peter-all-animals-are-equal-1989/. [Accessed: 14-May-2021].
Example Of Essay On Singer Peter “All Animals Are Equal” 1989. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-essay-on-singer-peter-all-animals-are-equal-1989/. Published Dec 14, 2020. Accessed May 14, 2021.

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