Essays on Animal Rights

Animal rights is the principle that any non-human species should have the right to own their own life and that their own desires, such as the ability to escape hardship, should be of the same importance to humanity as human interests. In other words, animals have the right to be regarded as the entities they are, with their own interests and needs, rather than as emotionless objects. A great example of the blatant disregard of animal rights would be the use of animals in the sports and entertainment industry. As such, it should be prohibited due to the deterioration of the animals' mental health, shortening of their lifespans, and the decline of species in relation to hunting.

Humans themselves are the main contributors to the deterioration of the mental health of these animals. This is because we humans capture and plunder these animals from their original homes, throw them in tanks, cages, etc., and subject them to be jesters for our own entertainment. Animals in captivity can not completely exhibit natural behaviors such as foraging, socializing, or swimming. Most species, such as polar bears, grizzly bears, and tigers, suffer from isolation both physically and mentally. Animals need ample space to roam, swim, and explore-particularly large animals. Circus animal trainers get animals to perform dangerous tricks using whips, electrical prods, and bullhorns. Animals are also kept in solitary confinement for the most part of the day until it's time to act. Such isolation is detrimental to their physical and psychological health. They are kept in sterile enclosures as they move from show to show, often for several months, and are not given ample time to exercise or wander in the wild as they should. In aquatic marine life, there are often symptoms of extreme psychological distress. Animals housed in marine parks or aquariums generally experience the same stress rates as the animals we encounter in the zoo. Among aquatic life, there are often signs of extreme psychological distress. They have been observed gritting their teeth, exerting signs of violence, self-harming, and have plunged into psychotic episodes. These animals display signs of high rates of stress due to not being able to follow the patterns of migration as they would in the wild. They are highly social animals and require companions, but the aquarium separates these animals from their partners because they lack the required amount of room. Through echolocation, dolphins, and orcas navigate the wild, what echolocation means is the sonar waves, or their sounds bounce off the walls to let them know that something is in the way, around them, or the size of the object. In these insanely small tanks that these animals are kept in, they are driven totally insane because, whenever they use their echolocation, the reverberations of the sonar waves bounce off the walls and travel back to them. According to (Meek, n.d.), A former SeaWorld employee stated that orcas are fed a concoction of drugs including antipsychotics and benzodiazepines to reduce aggression and anxiety in their unnatural environments (para. 90). Still, it doesn't just stop there, in the world of horse racing, horses are abused by trainers and others to make them run as quickly as possible, no matter the consequences for their health and happiness. Examples include, but are not limited to, electrocuting, whipping, and even horse drugging. This brings me to my next point, which is the decline in the lifespan of animals due to these horrendous practices.

Life expectancy is defined as the average period that an organism may expect to live. Some animals may benefit from being in captivity, i.e. if they are a declining species, this presents a new means to increase their population. Nevertheless, certain animals that suffer due to captivity are met with a shorter lifespan than their wild counterparts. Through research, it was found that elephants can live up to 70 years. However, very few are able to reach that age. The average lifespan of an elephant these days is about 42 years approx. For Asian elephants and 58 years approx. for African elephants. (Sample, 2008) Stated that “Elephants born and raised in zoos live less than half as long as those living in their native Africa and Asia, despite being protected from predators and having better care, according to one of the reports.

The first thing that should come to mind after hearing this should be to ask ourselves “why is this happening?”. Well, after reading the first point, you would be correct to assume that it would be due to the stress that these animals are being subjected to on a daily basis. Aside from stress, the article also points out that another factor contributing to this reduction is due to the lack of exercise these animals are able to get as it relates to the little space available in their enclosures. As a consequence of this, the majority of elephants bred in captivity suffer from obesity. As for aquatic life, wild orcas have an average life expectancy of 30 to 50 years, though if lucky, some may survive much longer. While orcas and other dolphins in captivity swim in tanks in endless circles and are denied the opportunity to participate in almost all of the natural behaviors. Others are compelled to perform pointless tricks, instead. Many die well short of their natural life expectancy as orcas in captivity have a median lifespan of just 9 years. In the case of racehorses, though it is not much talked about anymore, horse racing is still very much in the game. Most racehorses have a brief racing career (only 2-4 years), regardless of the fact that particularly for this reason these horses were bred. Owing largely to bad results, sickness, injury, and behavioral issues, horses can be discharged from the racing industry. Furthermore, it was predicted that approximately 800 horses each year die from race-related accidents, while the majority of the well-retired horses will become training, leisure, or equestrian sports animals, and the remainder will be slaughtered.

“In the United States, where horse slaughter was outlawed in 2007, an estimated 120,000 horses (Thoroughbreds and others) were exported to Canada for slaughter in 2009. In total, an estimated two-thirds of all Thoroughbred racehorses are euthanized, slaughtered, or abandoned once they're retired from racing. As a result, a number of Thoroughbred horse rescue organizations have emerged to take in and care for abandoned or threatened Thoroughbreds.” 

As you can see, not all animals used for our entertainment are given the opportunity to live out their lives, even if their lifespan is already reduced.

This leads to final point being the decline and/or complete destruction of certain animal species in connection to hunting. “Hunting” is the specialty of looking for, seeking after, and capturing and/or killing wild creatures. While it is popularly considered as a tradition in various parts of the world such as Europe and is held close to the hearts of many, many large birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and fish are rapidly in danger of becoming extinct by its greatest and most immediate threat. This is a result of trophy hunters, as well as poachers who go after antelopes and deer for their large horns and antlers, elephants for their long tusks, or lions for their magnificent manes, are placing certain animals that are already suffering from climate change, land destruction and pollution are at greater risk of extinction. They are being killed for meat, “prizes” like horns and tusks, and parts of the body used in Asian medicine. Even as a tradition, hunting practices may also be regarded, for several reasons, as disrespectful, for, example, 'canned hunting' which is the killing of animals within enclosed areas such as a pen by paying trophy hunters. Practices like this are a major contributor to the decline in lions especially to those in Africa, namely those in the south region. According to (Solly, 2019), A team of international researchers led by scientists from Oregon State University surveyed the populations of 292 large animal species, where 70%, or over 200, were declining in number, while 59%, or 171, were at risk of extinction. Huge numbers of wildlife are continuously dropping globally right under our noses. Consequently, it was found that in the last 250 years, 9 mega-faunas have been discovered to have gone extinct in the wild. Great white sharks are one of the greatest killer fish on Earth but even so, they are the victims of the fisherman's 'finning,'. As it entails, it means cutting off and collecting the shark's fins. The sharks are then thrown back into the ocean to die or be eaten alive. Shark fins are, as the name implies, the main ingredient of shark fin soup. It's an especially popular delicacy in China and Vietnam that has substantially decreased the number of great white sharks in our oceans. Rightfully so, the practice has been declared illegal in many nations, including but not limited to Brazil, South Africa, and the USA, despite this, it continues to remain prevalent and broadly distributed.

No matter what others may say, humans, are the most terrifying predators of all, both to our own kind and to the onlooking animals. When it comes to activities in the sports and entertainment industry, many animals suffer due to our own hands. As such, there should be an increase in the action taken to improve animal rights. Furthermore, the use of animals in these industries should be Forbidden because of the degradation of the mental health of the animals, the shortening of their lifespan, and the extinction of wildlife in connection to hunting.

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We've found 13 essays on Animal Rights
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