The Instigator
Ezpresso
Pro (for)
The Contender
TheUnexaminedLife
Con (against)

Animal equality, and the application of rights to animals in acknowledgement of their sentience

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/12/2018 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 6 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 340 times Debate No: 106642
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (9)
Votes (0)

 

Ezpresso

Pro

Ok, so, no ethics category, so I put this as Philosophy "\_(|84;)_/"

This will be a debate for the sentience of animals, their status as sentient beings and why this should be acknowledged in contemporary society and law. This will primarily be ethics based, but will also take into consideration certain scientific facts and the ethical book 'Animal liberation', by Peter Singer. For those who disagree, I feel no contempt towards, thus the existence of this debate.
TheUnexaminedLife

Con

I am familiar with the work of Singer and with this in mind, look forward to your justifications of two points-- 1) that animals are sentient (you need to define both terms) and 2) that government & society ought to recognise this.
Debate Round No. 1
Ezpresso

Pro

First and foremost, thank you for accepting my debate, I hope that we are able to have an intelligent, rational discussion. I didn"t fit all of my arguments in this one post, thus I will include them in future rounds. I gathered most of my arguments from the websites provided, and thus aren"t explicitly mentioned within the post.

We as humans; both as a race and as a society, pride ourselves on our democratic laws, our thorough harness on morality, and our relatively peaceful and humane existence. Our laws take into consideration our status as sentient beings and attempt to make life as humane and peaceful as possible. However, while this is all instrumentally beneficial to our existence... but what about animals? Animals do in fact possess a sentience on the level of humans and should be treated in accordance with this fact.

Sentience: Sentience is considered to be an objective factor in whether or not a being deserves a right to life, for if that being can experience pain and pleasure, then it's life has meaning, as a Hedonist (myself) would argue, thus, if It is a significant factor in attributing a quality to a certain life, why is it a quality that we lack in our acknowledgment of animals? Animals are sentient beings. Cows scream when in the slaughterhouse, whereas cats purr in a joyous fashion whenever they are stroked. Animals display clear physical reactions to certain event, emotions of varying extents are displayed when the animal is experiencing pleasure of pain, this is recognizable through basic observation and experience.

Studies conducted on over 2,500 animals proves that they can experiences a variety of emotions, and actively encourage the consumption of good food (Hens with their young), and recognizing the faces of over 50 different animals, this is a social characteristic that has developed with time, evolved alongside the requirements of animals, they are, by nature, social animals and require socialisation for their survival, something which isn"t permitted to any degree in the animal industry, being the pinnacle of all socially accepted evils. The theory of evolution also supports this statement, in the form of Darwin's theory of evolutionary continuity; that differences existing between species anatomically, physiologically and psychologically, are of varying degrees, rather than whether or not they actually exist. For example, areas of our brain that are used for important conscious processing also exist within animals; our ability to experiences pleasure and pain must also be prevalent to some degree in animals through the logic of this theory, for if we as sentient beings share certain characteristics with animals then it signifies that they are comparable to us.

Furthermore, animals display an emotional intelligence in addition to physical and sensual sentience. Cats care for their kittens, mother hens nurture their chicks caringly and diligently for great periods of time, they are capable of emotions such as love, not only for their own young but also for humans, as any of you with pets are aware of. Dogs and cats, but also any other domesticated animal falls well within the realms of feeling love and adoration for a certain being, not purely for that being"s provision of food and shelter, but also for its company. Thus, if regular domesticated animals actively display emotion and affection, then other, non-domesticated animals are also able to do so. The key distinction here is that all animals are sentient, regardless of whether or not it is the tamed home cat that you so love, or the un-named, un-acknowledge cow that will perish in vain, for the fulfilment of our primitive desires. There exists a double-standard of sorts, where we are more than happy to take care of a cat and treat it with kindness and respect. That willingness to do good is equal in potency to that to do evil, to embark upon a morally bankrupt pilgrimage to McDonald"s and order a double-hamburger and scoff that down in quick succession to the nuggets that you also bought.

Double-standards and the animal industry: While we love our pets at home, we don"t give this same level of affection or care to other animals, this I view to be a contradiction. We have already established that all animals, whether domesticated pets or not, are sentient beings, and thus should be treated with a level of respect that Is in acknowledgement of their sentience, except very few actually adopt this principle. We all say that we love animals, but we are only referring to a particular species or socially acceptable pets, that one would expect to have in their home. We are indoctrinated into a society that views the consumption of rotting flesh and failed embryos as a norm, where eating meat Is normal and "healthy". It is an immense contradiction to say that we love animals, yet continuing to live our damaging ways of eating meat and wearing leather, this is an inconsistent triad (to borrow from Philosophy of religion briefly), the immense, large-scale existence of suffering and death within the animal industry exists, yet we fully support this and yet at the same time consume its products. If we truly do love animals, for the caring, affectionate and loyal beings that they can be, we should reject the animal industry and live a vegan lifestyle, reducing suffering and death as much as possible.

To discuss the animal industry is to mention the greatest crime of the rejection of the status of "sentient beings" that animals have, it isn"t an industry, but a mass genocide, the likes of which is only comparable to the days of Hitler and Stalin. Chickens, one of the most social animals, confined to a cage barely able to contain their body, Cows, raped and mutilated within the dairy industry. Cows are slaughtered for their meat, and lambs, murdered in their infancy. The end of the line of all animals within this morally bankrupt industry is death. While some may argue that the dairy industry doesn"t require animals to die, in eventuality, they will have their throats slit like the rest of them. While emotional pandering and guilt-tripping isn"t a desired argument of mine, it is merely admittance of the truth, of what actually goes on behind those KFC logos and pretentious, lying adverts that are played claiming the fair treatment of all animals" their "fair treatment" is only fair in that is guarantees their eventual painful death. This is what occurs with the absence of the recognition of animal"s rightful sovereignty and sentience, and why we should accept this obvious fact and change our damaging ways as a species, to cease our speciesism, as Peter Singer coined it.

Why we need to accept the sentience of animals: Simply put, it is a contradiction. To pride ourselves off our laws and regulations that protect humans and pursue peace, while not handing these out to various species which are thrice our number, while possessing an equal level of sentience is to forfeit our right to call ourselves a morally aware democracy. I"m not calling for animals to be allowed to vote, for that is absurd, as Bentham once said: "The question is not can they reason, nor can they talk" but can they suffer", but merely the right to life, a life of liberty and freedom, protection against infringement on their lives. I understand that this change will be difficult, for it cannot be achieved in a small space of time, but nonetheless, it should be a goal that we as an intelligent and morally aware species should be working towards.

Websites used:
https://www.ciwf.org.uk...
https://www.livescience.com...
https://www.peta.org...
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Debate Round No. 5
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Ezpresso 6 months ago
Ezpresso
Well, ok then
Posted by Ezpresso 6 months ago
Ezpresso
Note that my use of Animal liberation will be fairly conservative, I haven't read it in it's entirely and am forced out of obligation to spend my time doing other things

Also, MRRAAJ.evil, I didn't realise that your account was a satirical alter-ego, sorry for mistreating you
Posted by Ezpresso 6 months ago
Ezpresso
Note that my use of Animal liberation will be fairly conservative, I haven't read it in it's entirely and am forced out of obligation to spend my time doing other things
Posted by Ezpresso 6 months ago
Ezpresso
MRRAAJ.evil, that comment is meaningless and un-funny. I'm inclined to believe humour requires a little more wit than your pitiful attempt
Posted by Ezpresso 6 months ago
Ezpresso
Ok, since I fucked up and didn't include this in the first round, here are the outlines of the debate:

Sentience: The capacity for a living being to experience pain and pleasure, or sensual experiences

I intend this debate to remain respectful, no insults, no condescending comments etc. Just to make things clear I will be arguing the animals do possess a level of sentience, and that this should be acknowledged in contemporary society and law, in that they are given certain rights that acknowledge their status as a sentient being.

Furthermore, I would rather comments in this section also follow the above rules and remain an intelligent contribution to the debate.
Posted by MRAAJ.evil 6 months ago
MRAAJ.evil
Ezpresso

Yo bro, do you want to change your avatar?, people might think its me.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, lol Dogs on court, imagine that
Posted by Ezpresso 6 months ago
Ezpresso
I'll respond to all of your comments once the debate is concluded
Posted by canis 6 months ago
canis
If ethics was something else than ideas..We would only have ideas..
Posted by Masterful 6 months ago
Masterful
So f a dog commits murder will we trial that dog in a court of law, or just shoot it in its face?
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