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

Basic universal human rights leads to the same rights for farm animals

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darkwolf has forfeited round #2.
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/14/2018 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 853 times Debate No: 113902
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (14)
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These 3 articles of universal human rights will lead you to deploying the same 3 rights for animals.

That link displays all 30 articles of universal human rights, but I will only focus on these basic 3:
  • Right to Life, Liberty, Personal Security (Article 3)
  • Freedom from Slavery (Article 4)
  • Freedom from Torture and Degrading Treatment (Article 5)
I don't believe all animals deserve every right a human has, such as Article 17, which is the right to own property. But I do believe all animals deserve these basic 3 rights, which have been granted to humans. I would also like to point out; many different states within the US have already granted these rights for domestic and wild animals. More rights have been granted to animals like dogs and cats, but any violation of these rights can become a felony or misdemeanor.

The challenger in this debate would need to explain why humans [and some animals like dogs] are deserving of these 3 basic rights, but not all animals. And the animals I am specifically referring to are chickens, cows and pigs. These are the most poorly treated animals within our society, in which none of these rights have been granted to.

You [as the challenger] would need to pinpoint a key difference between these factory farmed animals, and explain why you are justified in not granting them the same rights as you [or dogs]. And if that difference in the animal would justify a denying of these 3 basic rights, would the same be true if that difference was active in you [or humans]?


The reason why we and the other animals deserve these rights is intelligence. The majority of animals that aren't considered food, are either intelligent, or are more useful as companions or co-workers than food.

I will now address your points 1 by 1. The right are human rights that are used to fend off human concepts an animal doesn't know what slavery is and frankly it doesn't care, an animal's only goal is survive so as long as it if feed and watered it thinks it needs nothing else. And on the topic of degrading treatment, what defines this? An animal being in a pen, the or the treatment for getting them into the pen. The animal doesn't care, we keep trying to apply human principles on beings that lack them. Most of what you'd say animals endure in a factory farm aren't nearly as bad as in the wild. They are safe, they don't need to worry about food or water, and they are sickness free. The right for dogs and cats, where given to them to stop beatings and other forms of abuse, you wouldn't and don't abuse a large animal in the same way. For a number of reasons, first it is dangerous an animal can take care of itself and it will resist anything it doesn't like, second they have somewhere to go, house pets can't escape abuse a cow can just run off tear down a fence and be gone in a matter of minutes.
And once these right are applied to animals it opens the flood gate, studies have found that certain vegetable do in fact feel pain, well no more vegetables, then come the problem with microorganisms which are animals, well no more antibiotics sorry kids. If you can apply a human concept to animals why not apply it to everything, because they don't understand, or don't care.
Debate Round No. 1


Pigs are considered by most experts as smarter than dogs. But even if cows/chickens/pigs were not as intelligent as dogs, why does the intelligence level of a sentient being justify killing it?

Consistency test. If the intelligence level of a human [mentally disabled] was no greater than the intelligence level of a cow, would we then be justified in killing the human? If not, then intelligence is not a valid justification to use when killing something. You'd have to deploy a consistent argument for the justification you use to commit an action.

The rest of what you're saying is irrelevant to my argument, and most of it is completely false. I will humor some of your comments in this Round 2 response, but you need to stick to the question I asked about the key difference you need to pinpoint. For now you have said intelligence. In which I have already showed how that is flawed, unless you're willing to be okay with killing a mentally disabled human [who has no greater intelligence than a cow] for food?

Saying an animal doesn't know what slavery is and doesn't care, is objectively false. Animals have emotions and experience similar mental states to humans. Just because they can't talk, doesn't mean they aren't thinking with more complexity than you assume. Animals also pursue happiness and better mental states, similar to how we do. Saying they lack the ability to pursue happiness is just a lack of scientific knowledge on your part.

Degrading treatment is something that you yourself would not accept. If you wouldn't accept it for yourself, why would you accept it for the animal? Again, the only justification you have provided so far is "intelligence". In which, can we deploy degrading treatment to the mentally disabled, since they are of lesser intelligence?

The statement of factory farming not being as bad as the wild, is again, ignorantly false. Baby male cows are killed shortly after their born. Baby male chickens are grounded up within days (or hours) after they are born. Female chickens are debeaked. None if these things would happen in the wild, in which just displays your ignorance on what happens in these farms.

The rest of what you're saying is irrelevant to the argument, and again, factually wrong. I am not going to entertain a response for that stuff, as you're getting off track here.

Focus on what justification you are using to treat animals differently. Which is intelligence level. And if that intelligence level was present in a human [such as the mentally disabled], is it not ok to treat that human like you would a cow? If not, you have an inconsistent position, which is internally contradictory. It frames like this:

I am okay killing a cow based on their lower intelligence level.
I am not okay killing a human based on their lower intelligence level.

You cannot deploy a justification and accept it in one context, but reject it in another context. That's a contradictory position.
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by asta 3 years ago
Vegans are the new Quakers.
Posted by darkwolf 3 years ago
hello, I feel I owe you guys an explanation. I took this debate on at a bad time, and couldn't get back to it. Sorry guys.
Posted by Leaning 3 years ago
@All. It might be worth starting a forum thread for all of this.
Posted by chatterbears 3 years ago
@Overhead. Maybe you can start a debate and direct it toward my username and I will accept. I don't mind doing two debates at once, since someone already accepted this one.
Posted by Dinis 3 years ago
The animals don"t even know they have rights. What is with just because they feel pain that they are allowed to have the same rights as humans, pain is felt very differently between animals and humans.
Posted by Overhead 3 years ago
I always prefer the maximum - if in the end you don't need it then no problemo but it gives you the most space if you do end up going into detail.
Posted by canis 3 years ago
Killing them and eating them would be a violation of the rights I said they deserve. Why would I kill them and eat them?..True..But violating some "human rights" is what we do to get a "burger"..We violate anything to get what we want..
Posted by chatterbears 3 years ago
@Overhead - How high do you want it to be?

@Canis - Killing them and eating them would be a violation of the rights I said they deserve. Why would I kill them and eat them?
Posted by Overhead 3 years ago
I'd accept if the character limit were higher.
Posted by canis 3 years ago
Well you would kill and eat them anyway...That does not fit very well with "basic human rights"...
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