For Steve Kramer
By Matt Young
Why is it that we as a society condemn the actions of a man against a man but very rarely a man against an animal? I think this question must be understood if we are ever to change the rights animals have. As of yet I don't believe animals have any actual rights. Rather humans have rights that involve animals. If we are to truly allow animals to have rights the same or similar to humans then we must first define what it is that makes us feel as if they are entitled to rights.
Peter Singer addresses the ordeal of animal rights better than I have ever seen anyone address it. His analysis laid out in A Utilitarian Defense of Animal Liberation is remarkably
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My father insisted on having "humane" mouse traps and instead of squashing a bug he would take it out side and let it go. When I was about eight my father caught me shooting a robin with my pellet gun and grounded me. I threw a fit and screamed, "What's the big deal? Its only a stupid bird!" and ran inside. That evening my dad called me into his room and sat me down for a talk. He tried to explain to me that everything had a right to live and we had no business taking that right away with out a reason. I didn't quite under stand what he meant by that and still insisted that it was only a bird. Nevertheless, I finally agreed to stop shooting them. This was only to get out of the room and I took no stock in what I had agreed to do. Later that week I was at it again, shooting at birds while my father was at work. As I took aim at a large robin my father's words lingered in the back of my head. I pushed them aside in my mind but the hesitation was just enough for my aim to be affected. The pellet hit the robin and sent it to the ground but this time it didn't kill it immediately. It lay on the ground squawking and flapping its wings. I stood there and watched the robin die and at that moment my father's words took effect and as I witnessed the life slowly leave this creature I felt tears welling up inside of me. It wasn't until then that I fully realized the effect my actions had. After that I only raised my gun at another animal if I intended to bring