An individual’s response to whether it is morally right to hunt, kill, or use animals for sports and entertainment depends on three views regarding the moral worthiness of animals. The moral standing may include existence or life itself, ability to perceive or feel pain, self-awareness, and consciousness of the surrounding environment, the cognitive functions, and the ability to execute complex tasks. One’s perception regarding the extent to which animals poses the above-mentioned moral worthiness characteristics lies in one of the following three positions. The first is the clear-line position that views human beings as the only ones with moral worthiness. The equality stand is based on a belief that both human beings and animals have equal status and moral worthiness (Thiroux & Krasemann, 2012). Finally, the sliding scale position ranks animals based on the moral worthiness while placing human beings at the top of the list to the lowest form of life.
The clear line position supports the use of animals for food, sports, and entertainment because of the belief that they lack moral worthiness. The Lack of personhood means that animals do not have moral rights and can serve human interests without consideration. In the Equal status position, the view accords animals an equal status same as the human beings. This means that they do have moral worthiness and rights. Since they can feel pain like human beings, they should receive an equal and fair treatment. Indians who practice Jainism are a good example of people who hold and believe in this view. Those who practice the sliding scale position treat animals based on where they fall in the ranking of moral worthiness. They regard those animals that rank high, such as dogs, cats and primates as having personhood. That is they are capable of feeling, sensing and awareness. They treat such animals fairly while those that rank low are not accorded the same treatment.
Some arguments supporting the hunting killing and use of animals for sports include, the argument that animals exist for human use and benefit. Human beings use animals for survival and therefore necessary and the superiority of human interests over the welfare of animals. On the other hand, arguments against hunting killing and mistreatment of animals derive their basis from the belief that it is immoral to treat animals cruelly. They include, the ability of animals to feel pain and suffer such treatments, human bias over other animal species and the ability of some animals to self aware and able to choose their own preference of treatment.
Personally, I oppose the use of animals for sports and entertainment. Some sports such as bull fighting and horse racing among others subject the animals to great pain and suffering, which is not morally justifiable. Killing of animals for any purpose is not justifiable. Therefore, hunting animals for pleasure and inappropriate killing of animals for food is not good. The animals should receive a fair treatment and people should practice human dealings with the animals. As superior species, human beings should practice control and responsibility over other animals by not being cruel to them.
The works presented shows the different views regarding the use and treatment of animals. Extremities are evident in the views (those who are strictly against and those who are for animal use) with each group giving their own arguments for their stands. Maintaining such hard lines will create human conflict. Each group will demand respect and adherence to their views. Such conservative and liberal views do not bring about change in the society. They only create divides and misunderstandings. For a change to occur, a common middle ground should exist. Animal use should exist but in a manner that is humane such that it does not offend those who care for the animal rights.
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Thiroux, J. P. & Krasemann, K. W. (2012). Ethics: Theory and Practice, 11th ed. Boston: Pearson