For breakfast we eat eggs and for dinner we eat meat. Sometimes we eat both in the same meal. We wear our leather jackets and woollen scarves and buy tickets to attend the circus or visit the zoo. We keep our animals in cages and as children we ran into the local pet shops to beg our parents to buy us a puppy. These are all normal traits of the average human… but are our actions playing a part in restricting basic rights for animals?
Author Peter Singer explains in his book Animal Liberation that an important distinction to make when talking about animal rights is that the basic principle of equality does not require identical treatment, it requires equal consideration.
Jeremy Bentham, founder of the reforming utilitarian school of moral philosophy explains that when deciding on a being’s rights,
“The question is not ‘Can they reason?’ nor ‘Can they talk?’ but ‘Can they suffer?’”