We, humans, are animals. We all need air and have the same basic features such as eyes, ears, lungs, and heart. And if it is true that we are animals ourselves, then that also means human rights and animal rights are the same.
However, many people believe there is a clear difference between all the other animals and humans. Consequently, it is no wonder they treat animals as lesser beings simply because they lack the mental and physical capabilities of humans.
Having more developed mental capabilities does not give humans the right to mistreat animals.
Any form of cruelty inflicted on humans or other species is barbarity. It is against human rights and animal rights. Moreover, human rights campaigns share the same basic principles with the animal rights campaigns—a world where both humans and animals live without suffering and oppression, and where everyone is treated with love, kindness, and respect.
We are all sentient beings, which means that we have the ability to feel emotions. For instance, your pup feels fear, joy, sadness, and anger just like you do. If you mistreat your animal, they will feel neglected, lonely and afraid.
Often our mistreatment of animals goes parallel with our mistreatment of other human beings. This is another reason why human rights and animal rights are so similar. Consequently, thinking that an animal is an inferior being creates ground for animal cruelty. This is the same type of reasoning that breeds discrimination based on age, race, nationality, gender, and faith.
Speciesism and racism
Speciesism is the belief that human beings are superior to all other species. Consequently, this causes some humans to inflict prejudice and violence on other species through incarceration, mistreatment, cruelty, and killings. This is evident with the current ongoing war and hatred against pit bulls.
Speciesism is analogous to racisms. Furthermore, at the center of both beliefs is prejudice, oppression, and domination all of which are not compatible with modern and civilized society as they go against basic human rights and animal rights.
People understand the pain and abuse so why do we stand aside and watch our beloved pets go through suffering? One thing remains true, simply because humans have the capacity to dominate other animals doesn’t give users the right to do so.
We should use our higher thinking and reasoning capabilities to ensure the wellbeing of other animals.
Viewing other living creatures as less superior to us gives us the excuse to dominate them, mistreat them, and even kill them. This is because we do not consider them as living, thinking, and sentient beings that feel emotions just as much as we do. It also causes us to see a huge difference between human rights and animal rights.
But where do we start?
But before we can make the first attempt at freeing oppressed humans and animals, we need to change our minds and how we view animals. The mentality that we are superior needs to be replaced with one of admiration and respect for animals.
Understanding that both humans and animals share a common ancestry should prompt us to take better care of our animals. After all, they are a link to a distant past. Moreover, we are like them and they are like us. Human rights and animal rights are not so different after all.
We cannot mistreat that which we respect and love. In addition, instead of considering yourself a superior being, consider the similarities that we share with the rest of the animal kingdom.
It is easy to think of humans as a more successful species. But, look at it this way. Experts believe that early humans domesticated dogs from wolves around 15,000 years ago. However, wolves have been in existence for over 750,000 years.
The oldest fossils of modern humans date back to 200,000 years ago. That means the dog species is much older than humans even while we have a much longer lifespan.
Bottom line is that in the greater scheme of things, all animals that exist today have been around for hundreds of thousands and even millions of years. Therefore, they deserve a stake on this planet just as much as we do. Once you appreciate this fact then it is easy to understand why human rights and animal rights are the same.
The only reason there are over 8 billion of us on the planet is due to our mental capabilities which allows us to find better solutions to life’s challenges. However, we have used our abilities to prosecute other species so much so that some animals have become extinct.
But there is hope on the horizon. Some dog breeds for example such as pit bulls and dogo argentino have been facing discrimination for years now. Furthermore, states, counties, and cities have banned ownership of the dogs claiming certain characteristics make them more dangerous than other breeds.
Pit bulls have been topping off the list of the most discriminated breed in the US. Many top government officials even while overturning the ban will still agree that pit bulls have an image problem. Therefore, it is up to us to change that by raising dogs the right way. It will take time but it is not impossible.
However, the good thing is that people have started to realize that such claims are backed by assumptions and no valid evidence exists that some dog breeds are more than others.
With the realization of this truth, more and more jurisdictions are overturning the ban on pit bulls. Moreover, supporters of such movements claim that discrimination on dog breeds is no different from discriminations and stereotypes held on people and thus human rights and animal rights are the same.
A dog’s aggression has nothing to do with how the dog looks and more to do with how it is treated. If you teach a dog to be vicious and deny the animal a chance to socialize, then it will be vicious. This is regardless of the breed. Likewise, socializing a dog and discouraging aggressive and negative behavior make the dog friendly towards people and towards other animals.
Changing our view of animals is the first step towards creating a better life for both us and our animals. Above all, learning to respect your dog is paramount to treating them the right way and giving them the care they deserve.