In the article “All animals are equal” Peter Singer argues that non-human animals should be treated with the same respect as the human beings since the non-human animals are equal to the humans. Singer defines speciesism as the act of giving biased favors to the members of one’s own species, acting against the representatives of the other species. To prove himself right, he makes three claims against speciesism. Equality is based on equal thought; equality is an ethical idea not based on facts, and that the ability to suffer is a requirement for rights. Singer argues that without speciesism there would be no inequality.
To support his first argument, Singer shows that equality does not mean equal rights and that if an animal doesn’t know what voting is, it doesn’t have the right to vote. However, this doesn’t exclude it from having equal considerations and no matter what happens that animal should be treated equally to any human being. This proof also makes the arguments inhibiting the extension of rights to non-humans very vague.
To show that equality is based on ethics rather than facts, Singer argues that we demand equality among human beings and protest against racism, sexism and all the other things that go against the idea of equality. But the fact is that all human beings are different and no one is perfect. If equality was a factual aspect, then we would never have opposed racism in its favor. This proves that equality is a moral aspect and people demand equality because they ethically approve it, not because of the facts. So, no matter how big the differences between the humans and non humans are, we should treat them as equals, because it is a moral obligation of human beings.
Finally, Singer argues that whatever activity person is compelled to do it may change with the nature of his actions affecting them. He associates the rights given to any being with the suffering it tolerates. He supports the argument by showing that the behavior of humans towards animals is not worth the animals’ suffering from human beings, including being slain just for the taste of the human beings.
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Show More"In "All Animals Are Equal," Singer argues for the equality of all animals, on the basis of an argument by analogy with various civil rights movements, on the part of human beings. How does this argument go exactly, and what is Singer's precise conclusion? Is his argument successful? Why or why not? If you think it is successful, raise a residual potentially damaging objection, and respond on Singer's behalf (i.e., as a proponent of the position). And if not, how far does the argument go and/or how might it be improved? What has Singer taught us here, if anything?"
Singer makes a three-part argument for why “All Animals Are Equal”, or at the very least should be granted equal consideration. Firstly, he argues that, assuming all humans…show more content…
The comparison Singer draws here is granting men the right to abortion – biologically irrelevant. “Recognizing this obvious fact… is no barrier to the case for extending the basic principle of equality to nonhuman animals”.
Premise 1: “If the demand for equality were based on the actual equality of all human beings, we would have to stop demanding equality… Equality is a moral ideal, not a simple assertion of fact.”
This is a premise that seems intuitively true and unproblematic. Singer argues for this claim by simply enumerating the various qualities it is possible for humans to have, and pointing out that for every quality possessed by one particular group, another group is excluded by it. Some examples he gives are “intelligence, moral capacity [and] physical strength”. However, there are a few responses that can be made to this claim.
Firstly, the determination of “actual equality” that Singer utilizes seems overly simplistic and based on a single characteristic. While it is true that no one characteristic – except a common humanity – is shared by all humans, it does not preclude the fact that there could be some combination of characteristics that are shared by the majority of the population. Perhaps we do award moral consideration to individuals simply on the basis that they belong to the human race. While this may be arbitrary, there seems to be no justification