Should Animals Have Human Rights?

Hi there and welcome to BrainStuff. I'm Josh Clark, and you're you, and this is
the BrainStuff where we talk about animal personhood. So have you ever seen a kid torturing a small
animal and thought, 1) there's a future serial killer. And 2) why doesn't that animal have the same
rights that I do? That's a very interesting question, and you
can put it a different way: are there animals out there that experience life in a way similar
enough to ours, that they deserve the same protections that humans receive? And it's not just an academic question, and
not just for naval gazing. There are actually a lot of people fighting
for this right now. The problem is, you can't just say, "Sure,
animals deserve rights, let's just call them all humans from now on." Which is why we're about to discuss some very
arcane legal stuff. Let's start with the definition of a person,
a natural human person. Philosophers have been grappling with this
idea for millenia, but we'll keep our definition simple. We'll say that a person is an individual with
free will, a sound mind, and certain inalienable rights. Like not having your face smashed, because
that's annoying to say the least. And this definition of person extends to all
human beings, regardless of race, creed, gender, sexual orientation, and so on and so forth. But you'll notice that this definition doesn't
focus on things like physical attributes. It focuses on things like mental attributes. Like the ability to think about abstract concepts,
to consider the future, to learn from the past. It doesn't say anything about having only
two legs. But again, you can't just say, "Alright, animals
are humans, let's go forward." That's where the other definition of person
comes up. This is called 'legal personhood.' It's the idea that you take the attributes
of a person – their rights, their responsibilities, the legal attributes – and bestow it on something
that is most decidedly not a person. Most frequently you run up against this with
corporations, who are able to enter into contracts and be sued and that kind of stuff. They are considered (under the law) legal
persons. So if it works for corporations, why can't
we extend this to animals as well? The basis of that concept is that some animals
are intelligent enough and emotion enough that they experience life similar to that
of a human child. And as a result, they deserve the same protections
that human children receive. Like not being abused or tortured. The right to life, the right to freedom, things
like that. This idea has been picking up steam in the
last couple decades. In 1992 the country of Switzerland amended
its constitution to change animals from 'things' to 'beings.' That was a watershed moment. In 2002 Germany followed suit. And in 2007, Spain's autonomous Balearic Islands
decided to bestow legal rights to great apes. In the US, a case was recently settled where
Steven Wise, the director of the Nonhuman Rights Project, sued a university in New York
for the freedom of two chimpanzees. At first, the case was going pretty well in
his favor. The judge ruled that the university needed
to show why it was holding these two chimpanzees, and actually used the term 'habeas corpus,'
which, to that point, had only been applied to human beings. The ruling was quickly reversed, like the
next day, but the case is still considered a watershed moment in the nonhuman rights
movement. But this new concept of animal rights has
its critics as well. Some people say, "Okay, if we did extend these
same legal protections that humans have to animals – like apes, cetaceans (dolphins),
or elephants – then how do you also accord them the same responsibilities that humans
have, too? For example, if one monkey killed and ate
another monkey, do you charge that monkey with murder? And even if you do, and you try him, who makes
up his jury of peers? There are a lot of prickly legal questions
that would be opened up. But this does seem to be the way the animal
rights movement is moving. So, expect to be working alongside a chimp
or a dolphin in the next few years. That's my prediction. What do you think? Do animals deserve the same rights as you? Do corporations? Let us know in the comments section below. And while you're down there, go ahead and
subscribe to BrainStuff. And if you like this kind of thing, then head
on over to, where you'll find a treasure trove of interesting stuff.

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. You forgot to say what animals are similar to humans from the prospective of thinking like us and be like us and we can't charge monkey for murder because he doesn't have the capability to know what it is murder and there are birds who have the intelligence of five years old human child then what then kids don't know in that age what good and wrong they are just learning and if we give animals rights that means we can't eat them which the majority of people in our world today eat animals

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  3. The question is not "should animals have human rights?" The question is should we, as humans who are also animals, stop depriving other animals of their natural rights?

  4. Can we just all agree to be nice to animals? Unless they are trying to kill you then it's ok to kill them, or food, animals are made to be eaten as well,

  5. I do not believe animals deserve any rights. There is no right in nature until people invented this concept. The mother nature did not give our ancestors any "rights". As a human, human should always be the priority.

  6. Whist human rights have many complex issues…the main most important "right" animals should be granted is the right to live FREE of ownership by humans.

    Other issues such as "self defence" and pest control issues of human protecting their lives and environment would be the next issues regarding the "right to life" of any such animals posting threats to humans in the human environment. However the worst abuse of animals all stems from the fact humans are allowed to "own" non human animals. This means we can kill them if we please for whatever reasons.

    We forcibly breed unnatural species of animals that we then make dependant on us as no longer part of any natural ecosystem.

    Those breeds should cease…humans forcing animals to reproduce…which stems from the 1st problem of "owning" animals like property.

    I do not agree with "speciesism" favouring SOME species like apes who happen to seem more "human like" than other animals. SENTIENCE should be the only criteria.

    Humans should not interfere with non human species behaviours and morals that we humans cannot understand or necessarily share.

    Animal Ownership. Are most or just a minority of vegans against this or not ? is a valid question ….if anyone wants to reply yes or no or any other comments on this simple question. Domesticated animals…are not natural. Not vegan. Whether farm bred by humans species or pet species.

    After reading and watching various youtube talks on Veganism….having originally seen the mantra of PETA which clearly states "Animals are NOT OURS" for use entertainment food etc purposes…and read the Gary Francione Abolitionist Vegan writings also in tandem with this view that even PETS were not an ethical situation as they were "owned" prisoners of humans not living natural lives at all.

    I then was alarmed to see many "vegans" promoting the continuation of animals as "pets" and seeing animals therefore as things to "use" for our companionship needs etc as desirable.

    My that historically animals whether for food or transport etc "uses" had uses…some easy to keep species then when technology replaced the need for their "uses" were turned into "Pets" and others like shire and transport mainly horse breeds naturally went extinct. Real wild horse species bearing no resemblance to their original wild natural ancestors anymore than a modern human designed species farm pig bred for meat resembles physically a wild boar.

    Our "pet" dogs and cat breeds are also unnatural human designed breeds. None of the human designed animal breeds can now live naturally in any ecosystem in the wild they are dependant on humans and there is no space or ecosystem that they belong in out there. Therefore the extinction of these human created species is natural and desirable as part of the goal of a vegan world. Leaving only REAL natural species o wildlife.what is even left of them now wolves lions elephants hedgehogs etc are down to minimal numbers.

    The animals humans own and keep ..are all prisoners. Whether petted on their heads when chosen to live unnaturally in our homes having their testicles cut off as "pets" to never have families naturally etc of their own and be forced to behave as humans require behaviourally to fit in with our unnatural life we want from a non human animal, or a human bred "farm animal" intended to be killed for food. The only difference in STATUS of a farm animal owned by humans and a PET animal owned by humans…is their TREATMENT. Their status is exactly the same…they are prisoners…used by us and lead unnatural lives. Owned legally by us, unlike as i said protected against ownership REAL wild animal species..some not all. I look forward to the day we accept ALL ownership of any animals is accepted as unethical, and therefore possible due to public opinion changing, to be made ILLEGAL. So long as we continue to promote the idea that is GOOD and ethically RIGHT to keep PET prisoners…we cannot at the same time say we should not own and do as we please with animals we choose to TREAT differently by killing them.

    Owning animals…is not vegan. Owning pets is not vegan even if we justify keeping and "treating" some of them as well as WE think necessary and think saving "rescue" abandoned by previously owners of those pet animals is ethically better than destroying them…which half are always anyway….because pet ownership is seen as a human RIGHT so that will always continue, so long as humans think "owning" animals is ok.

    Because animals are "property" except some protected REAL wild animal species that it is illegal to "own" therefore THOSE are really free and safe from human "ownership" as "pets" we can destroy them when they serve no purpose. Which is the case for every single pet dog or cat owned. We can just destroy them if it suits us. Only cessation of pet ownership itself and allowing animals to be natural species free of human ownership will the enormous numbers of DEATHS of hundreds of millions per year of PET abandons cease.

    I share this video which discusses some of these issues well.

    Eisel Mazard known as A Bas Le Ciel on youtube


    I end saying I agree that Captive animals are NOT companion animals. We may like to use that term, like fur babies…never recognising that they are ADULT mature animals not kids …who in the human or other animal world when grown up, adult are FREE to make their own lives and decisions.

    There is nothing NATURAL about an animal of another species like a human feeding another adult animal. We do this because we OWN them and they are our prisoners and we cannot set them free to live naturally as they were human created unnatural species that should go extinct to be ethical by ceasing to adulate pet ownership as ethically right for any animal.

    Vegans should promote, encourage cessation of pet ownership. Recognise pets are unnatural prisoners of humans and should go extinct like the human created unnatural farm frankenstein breeds.

  7. I think if a monkey killed another monkey of course the monkeys couldn’t testify, or be a jury so we would have to use humans, but i feel like the humans would be biased against the monkeys, and not take it seriously so they would not say it is a monkey, and just say it is a human, and if a monkey does something bad to a human it would be the same drill, but if a human sued a monkey of course the monkey does not have money so i think he would have to pay with an alternative, but if a monkey sued a human the monkey of course would not appreciate money so the human would probably use the equivalent money to but a bunch of food, and stuff like that, but you might be asking how does a monkey sue a human because it cannot actually talk after all well i think the monkey should have a human lawyer who always takes on the case, but how do we know he is taking it seriously and is not biased well i think he would have to go to a special school, or take a special test to become a monkey lawyer, and he could only become a monkey lawyer if he went to that special school to study special monkey law, and to be a lawyer of a human he would have to go to normal law school
    Like if you agree

  8. AS long as people go to jail for kicking pets and endangered species or get the death penalty , if u can torcher an animal u can torcher a human, death fot those people

  9. Some of them yes, i don't want any animals to suffer , ill happly get popcorn and watch humans getting boiled alive

  10. The question is semantically invalid. You can't say "should". They either do or they don't. So they only proper question is "Do animals have rights?". The original question is like asking "should 1 be 2?" or "Should yellow be red?". It is grammatically correct, but semantically invalid. Immutable things can't have a "should" for their attributes, they are derived by the identity of what the thing is. Animals either have rights or they don't and they do not have rights.

  11. They do not need to be treated like humans cause they're not. The question in my opinion should be if we should keep treating them as if they were the worst criminals on earth, you know keeping them locked up in zoo's, using them for entertainment in circuses and sea worlds and not to mention the over 56 billion animals we kill just for food each year when we don't need too (in fact we would be even better off without as meat, dairy and processed foods are the main causes of the worlds biggest killers in form of diseases). We need to wake up this world and do better with the information that we are so privileged to have <3 Spread the word – go vegan for our planet, fellow beings (the animals) and our selves

  12. Pet keeping is bad human behavior. Let animals live their life in their own race in their own free space (not zoo) !

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