Argument: Animals are equal to humans in science as lifeforms on Earth

Issue Report: Animal testing

Issue Report: Hunting for sport


Tom Regan. “The Philosophy of Animal Rights”. Retrieved May 6th, 2008 – “Explanation: The philosophy of animal rights is respectful of our best science in general and evolutionary biology in particular. The latter teaches that, in Darwin’s words, humans differ from many other animals “in degree,” not in kind.” Questions of line drawing to one side, it is obvious that the animals used in laboratories, raised for food, and hunted for pleasure or trapped for profit, for example, are our psychological kin. This is no fantasy, this is fact, proven by our best science.”

Randy Fairchild. “The Case Against Animal Testing”. Helium – “Nor is it sufficient to draw the species barrier. What difference does it make, ethically, that humans cannot reproduce with other animals (and therefore are not the same species)? What defines a species drifts over time in a process called evolution, and all animals diverged from one another at one point in the past, just as humans may diverge from one another and form new species in the future.”

Tom Regan, an American animal right philosopher. “10 Reasons AGAINST Animal Rights and Their Replies”. Retrieved May 6th, 2008 – “10 Reasons AGAINST. Animal Rights and Their Replies” – “1. You are equating animals and humans, when, in fact, humans and animals differ greatly.
Reply: We are not saying that humans and other animals are equal in every way. For example, we are not saying that dogs and cats can do calculus, or that pigs and cows enjoy poetry. What we are saying is that, like humans, many other animals are psychological beings, with an experiential welfare of their own. In this sense, we and they are the same. In this sense, therefore, despite our many differences, we and they are equal.”

Peter Singer – “All the arguments to prove man’s superiority cannot shatter this hard fact: in suffering, the animals are our equals.”[1]

Charles Darwin – “There is no fundamental difference between humans and the higher mammals in their mental faculties”[2]

Mark Twain – “It is just like man’s vanity and impertinence to call an animal dumb because it is dumb to his dull perceptions.”[3]

Michael Stepaniak, quoted in Joanne Stepaniak, The Vegan Sourcebook, 1998 – “The life spark in my eyes is in no way different than the life spark in the eyes of any other sentient being.”

Todd Wilkinson. “In Animal Kingdom, Are Bison Equal In ‘Value’ To Humans?”. New West. September 21st, 2007 – “BOB JACKSON: How many times have you heard people say: “Hey, those animals are behaving and playing just like us?” If humans looked at life from a perspective of trying to relate to animals, then we’d have a better understanding of why science categorizes us as part of the animal kingdom. But to do so means pondering equality with other species, something most humans can’t consider.

To my knowledge, anthropomorphize means “to attribute human form or personality to things not human”. But there is no opposite term in Webster’s Dictionary. If there is, I have never heard it used in scientific circles. Without the opposite view being presented or identified, I have to attribute the origins of the term, anthropomorphism, to the bias of superiority humans assert over everything else in the world.

Scholastically, I grew up with the teachings that there are “lower” and “higher” forms of life. Science delineated and assigned these different levels and yet the survival of higher life forms depends on the organisms considered of lesser value or relevance.”

Henry Beston. The Outermost House. 1928 – “The animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren; they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth.”[4]

Hendrick Van Loon – “We are fellow passengers on the same planet, and we are all equally responsible for the happiness and the well-being of the world in which we happen to live.”[5]