We tend to see human rights and animal rights as something which is different, however, this can a problem for both campaigns. In fact, human rights and animal rights are far more similar than we care to admit. Basically, at their core, human rights and animal rights are virtually identical. Let us see how identical human rights and animal rights are.
At first we will start with human rights. According to equalityhumanrights.com human rights is about 'rights and freedoms'. Theydescribe these rights as every person to be entitled to fairness, dignity and independence. The United Nations describes human rights as being about things such as the freedom to life, freedom from being exploited and used like a slave, and freedom from being tortured.
It also argues that all humans have the same rights, but, they don't. And even more to the point can't. One of the arguments against animal rights is that animals don't, can't or shouldn't have rights,because they cannot vote. On this basis, children don't, can't or shouldn't have rights because they cannot vote. Or prisoners don't, can't or shouldn't have rights because they cannot vote. But, most people would agree that children do have rights, even though they can't vote. And many people believe that prisoners have rights, such as, the right not to be tortured, even though they cannot vote.
Therefore, stating that animals are devoid of all rights because they cannot vote is wrong, and silly.
It also takes away from the real and sensible debate about animal rights. It takes us into an area that states 'animals cannot have all of the rights humans have, therefore, they cannot have any of the rights humans have.' In light of this, now that we have looked at what human rights mean, we are now going to look at what animal rights mean.
Animal rights is not about things such as giving them the vote, it is about rights which ensure that they do not suffer, are not killed and have the freedom to be free without humans enslaving them and using them.
We could write a book about animal rights and what animal rights mean, and what they do not mean. But, the focus on this article is to address that human rights and animal rights are not as inseparable as we imagine. They are more dual than we give them credit for. But more to the point, animal rights and human rights can affect one another. And, there are many good examples of this. We will take some examples to show how human rights and animal rights are intertwined.
The first example that we have is homelessness. One of the main reasons, if not thee main reasons for animals to end up in shelters, is through homelessness. Sometimes, or often, if a human has pets and they become homeless, then, the pet(s) they have also become homeless. Therefore, if we have a problem with human homelessness, then we also can and do have a problem with animal homelessness.
Another example that human issues and animal issues are intertwined, is education. Not everyone has the option of a good education. Whereas, we should see education as a right, not a privilege . Education systems seem very limited in what they teach. Being strangely devoid of both animal and human rights issues. However, the key to tackling both human and animal rights issues is in educating people. Educating people could reduce things such as unwanted pets, pets which end up in shelters. Either for months, years, or worse, death.
And, the last example comes from history itself. As a former history student, it seems obvious that the theory of Speciesism is very similar to other prejudices and discrimination throughout history. Speciesism is really important. Because it highlights that rather than treating animals with morality (not killing them for example), we treat them with no consideration. We, or most people, don't seem to value that animals are emotionally rich, that they can feel pleasure and pain. Instead, we often treat them as if they didn't possess these emotions. As if they didn't have a conscious awareness of their surroundings. Instead, we seem to treat them differently, because they look different to us.