Animals should have rights; they are thinking, feeling beings, just like us. What reason do we have to think that animals are dumb, disposable, or dirty? Animals are not dumb. Their minds just work differently from ours, and they think differently than we do. And no living being is disposable. After all, they ARE another life, just as important as a human.One of the main arguments against animal rights is that we have to kill them to eat, and that it's natural. Normally, yes, I would say that eating animals is natural. But not the way humans do it right now, keeping the animals in factory farms, torturing them for the whole of their short lives. They are treated like food- producing machines. They are pumped full of hormones and artificial substances to make them grow unnaturally large and lay eggs/produce milk far too often.Dairy cows see their calves torn away from them. They are only allowed to have babies so that they will produce milk. If you need evidence that animals need emotions, factory farm cows have been videotaped bellowing for their lost young, and breaking out of their enclosures to travel miles, looking for them.Another reason animals need rights is that the things humans are doing to them are cruel and despicable. Even if raising animals for food didn't exist, there would still be plenty of cruelty. Take animal testing, for example. It's so messed up. Hurting one being to "benefit" another. Animals in labs are forced to endure excruciating pain as scientists screw things into their heads and perform very invasive surgery (all without painkiller). Can you imagine if scientists did that to human beings!? Well, they wouldn't anyway. Because it would be IMMORAL and WRONG. Well, what makes them think that performing these experiments on animals isn't?Some people say that because God gives people dominion over animals in the Bible, we have the power to do anything we want to them. Not true! God gives kings dominion over their subjects, but still objects when the kings are cruel to their people. Why shouldn't it be any different with animals? STILL not convinced that animals are like us!?They have culture and language, too. Studies proved it. A scientific experiment also proved that animals could feel empathy: http://www.sciencemag.org... is the link.Animals can feel gratitude, love, hate, vengeance. Yet another study showed that when a scientist in a mask did something bad to crows, the birds would spread the word, and even five years afterward, in an entirely different location, entirely different crows would start attacking the person in the mask. There have been many instances of animals showing emotions such as love and sorrow. For example, ravens holding a funeral and burial for their dead loved ones. "The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel." Proverbs 12:10
I'm not sure exactly which rights this question is addressing, but we know there are certain animals with larger brains e.g. dolphins, orcas, primates. These types of animals demonstrate behavior which shows they are capable of complex thought and emotions. I think that all animals should have rights to be free from cruelty and that their existence shouldn't be threatened for human material gain whether they are capable of complex thought or not.
Some animals should have rights on the basis of complex thought. Primates have demonstrated that they exhibit patterns of complex thought. The theory of evolution provides a hypothesis for this as well. Animals habitat this planet just as humans do. Humans have the moral responsibility to protect the rights of animals, not only those with the ability to reason on a higher level.
At first blush it sounds ridiculous to grant "human" rights to animals. But there are some species, such as dolphins and gorillas, that are capable of incredible things. We know these animals are highly intelligent and we know that they are capable of language, problem solving, and complex thought. Any definition of inteligent life we can come up with would include these animals and ignoring that fact is morally wrong.
No, some animals should not have rights on the basis of complex thought, because they are still not on the level of humans in terms of sophistication. Humans also do not have a way to communicate in a complex manner with animals in the same way that we can communicate with other humans.
Animals do not have rights on the basis of complex thoughts because it is impossible to determine what they are thinking. Animal rights stem from our humanity, and the recognition that we should not cause the unnecessary suffering of another living thing. Humans are by definition humane, and we should treat animals with a due amount of respect.
I do not believe some animals should receive rights, assigned by humans, based on complex thought. Firstly, we have no way of measuring the complex thoughts animals may or may not have, so there's no way to even measure this. Secondly, animals are assigned natural rights via the food chain. Animals don't have rights, they just have their place in the world. Friend to some, enemy to others, and dinner to some.
The status of animals varies broadly around the world and is not necessarily even consistent within each culture. In the United States, we have billion-dollar industries surrounding our pets, but we use rats, mice and other animals for testing. How is it possible rationally to accord rights to one animal and not grant it to another? Where is the line that defines which animal has complex thought and which does not? The complexity of the animal kingdom does not really change noticeably in our lifetimes. Our understanding does. We do not understand the rest of the animal kingdom well enough to make these judgments. In the meantime, either grant rights to all or none. Anything else is rather arbitrary.