Animals and Human Culture

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Submitted By jenika
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Animals and Human culture

Before the 19th century, the West viewed nonhumans as being outside the legal and moral community (Francione, 2008). In this respect, how they were treated or used raised no legal or moral concern. The Western community could use nonhumans for whatever purpose they felt like, inflicting suffering and pain to whatever magnitude they wanted and no obligation owed to them would be deemed as being violated. In other words nonhumans were not distinguished from other inanimate objects and as such had no legal or moral obligations (Nikki, 2012). There are those acts that from the surface appeared as obligation towards other animals, for instance an obligation not to injure a donkey or horse that belonged to the neighbor, in actual sense we owed the obligation not to the animal but to our neighbors. Issues of moral became a concern only to the limited scope when humans who were cruel or known to subject the nonhumans to suffering were generally thought to be capable of maltreating humans. Just like the above, the obligation related to the animal in question was actually owed to the other human beings. Nonhumans were viewed as having little moral significance.

This essay will focus on Jane Goodall assertion that ‘Who are we to say that the suffering of human being is more terrible than the suffering of nonhuman being, or that it matters more’? (1990). Some scholars believe that human being suffer more as compared to the nonhuman beings and they deem the latter as things and equals them to machines. On the other hand, some scholars such as Goodall argue that humans are not unique from other nonhuman being and thus the same compassion and consideration shown to human being should also be shown to animals. This essay will focus not both sides of the argument in order to get a clear understanding of how nonhumans being are perceived.…...

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