This essay will explore the moral and ethical issues raised by human superiority over animals, why we shouldn’t have any superiority, and how this subject is portrayed in a variety of different media. The world today is becoming less aware of the pain and suffering being inflicted on animals. As a re­sult, animals are becoming even more and more downtrod­den in society. Humans have, and continue to, treat animals as if they are property, as if we can own and therefore control their lives and what happens to them. This is immoral, ani­mals are here for themselves, animals have their own lives, and they think, have feelings, feel pain, require love (from their own species), feel emotional hurt, have families, and everything else that humans do. To just simply say that non-human animals should have no rights because they’re “de­fective” is a mindless statement.  People come to this “con­clusion” because they come up with some mindless babble like, non-human animals can’t talk, drive cars or vote, and there­fore they have no non-tradable properties. Well answer me this; do non-human animals have the right to exist in their natural environment and express behaviours that matter to them? We withhold non-human animals the very basic rights, simply because they don’t resemble humans. Humans are speciest!

Humans are callous, brutal and cold-blooded towards non-human animals; humans have no consideration for the feelings and suffering which they selfishly inflict on animals. When a human kills another human they are the disgrace of the country, the headlines in the news, and all they did was kill one human, one insignificant human life. Yet, no one seems to care that everyday billions upon billions of innocent animals are being sickeningly, nauseatingly, hideously, vilely, unanaesthetically murdered for meat. If you think the process of that cute cow in the field to the steak on your plate is all candy and roses, then here is an extract from a very informa­tive article on the way in which an animal is killed to become meat, (something that humans have no nutritional requirement for!).

“Death came in the form of a pneumatic nail gun that was placed against their heads and fired. The gun is designed so that the nail never completely leaves the gun, but simply is blown into the animal’s head and then pulled out by the butcher as the animal collapses. Three of the four times I saw it used, it did the job on the first try, but one cow struggled a good deal after collapsing. After the animal has collapsed (but still conscious), the side of the killing stall is raised, and a chain is secured to the right hind leg. The cow is then hoisted by that one leg to a hanging position. At this point, the butcher drains the body of blood by slitting the cow’s throat. When the blood vessels are severed, there is an amazing torrent of blood so profuse that the butcher is unable to step aside fast enough to avoid being covered with it. This steaming torrent of blood lasts only about 15 seconds, after which the only task left to the man at the first station is to skin and remove the animal’s head.

At the second station in the kill shed, the headless ani­mal is dropped to the floor. The body is propped up on the back and relieved of hooves and, if female, milk sack and udders. At this time, any urine and faeces that didn’t drain from the body during the first few seconds of death now pour freely onto the floor. The body is then slit down the middle, and the hide is peeled partially away. A yoke is then hooked to the stumps of the hind legs, the body is lifted upwards, and the rest of the hide is pulled past a roller secured to the floor and peeled off. The animal’s body is now at the third station of the kill shed where it is gutted and then sawed in half— becoming two “sides of beef’.

The sides of beef are sprayed down and weighed at the fourth and final station of the kill station. They are then placed in the cooling locker where the residual warmth of life steams away slowly in preparation for the deep-freeze storage locker. From the cooling locker, the meat goes into a main storage area where it is kept for as long as a week. This locker exits to a butchering area where the sides of beef are reduced to parts for the supermarket which end up on dining room tables. The final stop on my tour was the sausage and hot dog production facilities. It is often said that if you could see what goes into a hot dog, you’d never eat one eat one again. Well that adage applies tenfold to the production of sausage. The most vio­lently nauseating smell that I have ever experienced was the odour wafting up from the sausage meat boiling vats.” – Taken from the article, A Visit to a Slaughterhouse; by Dave Gifford.

Now if you can read that and still eat meat, then that proves the point. Humans are heartless! The very fact that the person dismembering the cow can slit its throat while the animal is still alive, without feeling even a trace of guilt or sorrow, shows that person to be heartless. Humans think that animals are on the earth to be products of human greed and gluttony. We cram them into boxes and cages, let them lie in their own waste, crippled, swollen, deformed; and shovel them, drag them, chain them, like their worthless pieces of junk with no individual non-tradable value or interests.

An interesting issue raised in the novel, ‘Black Beauty’, is that of working animals. Black Beauty is a pre-20th cen­tury novel, about the life of one horse. The life of this horse was written to show the inhumane way in which horses were being treated. They were treated like slaves. Their attitude towards their horses is as if the horses have no interest of their own, they only live to work for humans. Take a look at this novel extract:

“Then there is the steam-engine style of driving; these drivers were mostly people from town, who never had a horse of their own, and generally travelled by rail. They always seemed to think that a horse was something like a steam en­gine, only smaller. At any rate, they think that if only they pay for it, a horse is bound to go just as far, and just as fast, and with just as heavy a load as they please. And be the roads heavy and muddy, or dry and good; be they stony or smooth, up-hill or downhill, it is all the same-on, on, one must go at the same pace, with no relief and no consideration. These people never think of getting out walking up a steep hill. Oh, no, they have paid to ride, and ride they will! The horse Oh, he’s used to it! What were horses made for, if not to drag people up-hill? Walk! A good joke indeed! And so the whip is plied and the rain is chucked, and often a rough scolding voice cries out, Go along, you lazy beast!’ And then another slash of the whip, when all the time we were doing our very best to get along, uncomplaining and obedient, though often sorely harassed and downhearted.”

This shows the way in which humans think of animals. It shows that humans believe animals to be equipment, ma­chines that they can work into the ground, after all, they have no non-tradable properties, they are only here to serve us, if they weren’t used, and then what would be the use of them! What babble, non-human animals exist in the same way we do, for their own interests, they are of the same value as us, they are not our “equipment”.

In the bible, it says— “Then God said let us make man in our image … and let him have dominion over fish of the sea and the birds of the air, and over the cattle … and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth…”

So many people mix this statement up, their like why should animals have rights, god doesn’t say they should! Well in the bible, it doesn’t say that we have the right to work the hell out of them, run them into the ground, brutally murder them, bash them, rape them, and maim them! It’s just like the way parents have domain over their children, they hold no right to use their children their children as tools, and they have no right to abuse them. It means they have the responsi­bility to care for them.

The film ‘ Andre’ shows us that humans can have won­derful harmonious relationships with non-human animals, like the love and respect that a dog and a human can have when they both learn to respect each other. But more often than not, the relationship between animals is far from harmonious. I’m talking about abused companion animals. No you do NOT own them; you are just simply their caretaker. When people buy pets on impulse, one day they want one, and then they get sick of caring for it, and it gets neglected, which is abuse of the emotional kind.

The novel, Musco – Blue Whale, raises another issue of humans using non-humans to their advantage. It raises the issue of whaling, a disgusting practice for human profit in meat, oil, bone and baleen. Used for things as vain as make­up, yes that’s right, millions of whales are murdered to make useless cosmetics, vain and heartless! This book shows man in his most arrogant state, it shows that humans will stop at nothing; they don’t care if it involves the ruthless torture of non-human animals, as long as their profiting then they doesn’t care.

So as all the sources show, humans are heartless and speciest. The way in which humans treat non-human animals needs drastic changing; we should not be exploiting them for any reason at all. There are not here to serve us, they are here for their own purposes. One final question for you to con­sider; “If possessing a higher degree of intelligence does not entitle one human to use another for his own ends, how can it entitle humans to exploit non-humans?”