Carl Cohen : Why Animals Do Not Have Rights
parte 1 | parte 2 | parte 3 | parte 4 | parte 5 | parte 6
This lecture will begin with an analysis of the concept of rights, and their relation to obligations. This relation, I will argue, is not reciprocal, although it is often mistakenly believed that it is. Therefore, although it is certainly true that we have many weighty obligations to animals, it does not follow that these obligations arise from their rights. Rights, I will show, are a central element in the human moral condition, but have no place in the moral lives of animals. I go on to explain the consequences of this view, and I vigorously defend the uses of animals - mice, and rats, and rabbits - in medical investigations. Such uses of animals, I argue, cannot infringe the rights of animals because animals are of such a nature that they cannot be the possessors of rights.