Why are Animal Rights Important?

Genevieve Pyslarou

What makes Humans More Unique Than Animals?

It is said that we have one-hundred billion neurons in the human brain, but where is this research coming from? Suzana Herculano-Houzel asked fellow scientists where this number came from, and no one had an answer. She decided to perform her own research and found that we are not unique because of our neuron count, because that is not accurate. Instead we are unique because we know how to cook, so essentially we are “unique” because we spend less time scavenging for food and chewing it. When food is raw it is harder to digest which consumes more energy that our brains need (Houzel). So when our food is cooked, the parts that are harder to digest are broken down when the food is heated. Humans are animals, which does not make us unique to other phylums.

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Mann, Boris. Cooking. 2004. N.p.

Are Animals Conscious?

It is a known wonder if animals can think and feel, we often believe that animals can not think complex thoughts like humans. There is still research being conducted as to what animals think of, however many scientists believe animal intelligence is more complex than we think (Rogers, 212). The consciousness, or the awareness of one’s surroundings, is apparent in the minds of animals. Research has been done that shows that animals can feel sadness when a partner has died or been taken away (Rollin, 344). To have consciousness is to have a mental experience, animals have mental experiences through fight or flight. The fight or flight syndrome is brought on by the adrenal gland that produces the hormone adrenaline, this is when the animal must fight to survive or run away to survive. This is the state of being conscious, an example would be a gazelle and a lion. The lion is stalking his prey and makes a sound, the herd of gazelle would start to run away from the sound of danger in fear of being hunted. The children would remember this incident to know for future reference.
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Thomson Safaris Tanzania Safaris and Kili Treks. Lion Hunting Gazelle. 2010. Flickr. Flickr. Web. 03 May 2016.

What are Animal Rights?

The definition of animal rights are the inability to use animals as pets, in research or anywhere. For many years, we have performed experiments on animals to understand more about humans. It is said that the experiments have led to longer lives for humans and many other benefits (Frazza, 52). A big question for many animal rights activists is: How are we learning about humans through the experimentation on animals? Many activists may also think that we should perform these experiments on criminals or “retarded” people. Yet, we are not able to do this because it is illegal to perform experiments on humans. In the video above, we learn that our brains are not the same of rodents and yet most of our experiments are used on rodents. Each rodent has a different genetic makeup and so do we, which infuriates many animal rights activists because of the growing population of humans. Meaning, we could use humans instead of animals on experiments for human knowledge on human diseases.
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UAR News Team. 2013 Animal Research Statistics from the Home Office. 2014. Understanding Animal Research. Web. 3 May 2016.

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Animal used for human benefits in creating an ear

thedailytouch.com, Mar. 20, 2013


Overall, I feel good about having researched what animals mean to people. There have been similarities and differences in opinions about the topic. It has opened my eyes as to who is passionate about the treatment on animals and how they should be treated because they are just like us. This is the game of life and humans are taking advantage of how we treat our no to two to four-legged brothers and sisters. Many people do not have any knowledge on animals and how they may love and how they are more similar to us than different on the way we think. I have had personal experiences where people have said that we are much more unique and superior to animals.