By Kevin Hile
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Additional resources for Animal Rights (Point Counterpoint)
Fox, a veterinarian and vice president of the Humane Society of the United States, feels that speciesism is a symptom of modern society because of the beliefs that form the foundation of the American economic system. Point1 38 1/14/04 6:56 AM Page 38 ANIMAL RIGHTS • Should attorneys be allowed to represent animals the same way they might represent a person who can’t speak for him- or herself? Animal rights supporters point out that speciesism is just another form of racism and is no better than our history of prejudice against people of other races, ethnic groups, religions, and gender.
Humans might boast a large brain size, but brain volume in itself doesn’t indicate intelligence with any accuracy. Whales, for example, have much larger brains than people, yet they are not generally considered equally intelligent; chimpanzee brains are also larger in proportion to their entire body mass than are the brains of humans, but, again, they are not considered as intelligent. On the other hand, whereas large brains don’t always equal intelligence, some animals with much smaller brains have surprised scientists with their mental acuity.
Should tool-making skills, then, be one way that human beings are judged to be unique and superior to other animals? Humans also are capable of much more advanced language than even the higher primates, such as chimpanzees. CntrPnt1 1/14/04 6:58 AM Page 43 Animals Are Not Worthy of Rights Like Those of Humans human child. Fox goes on to declare that many of the conclusions reached by researchers such as Sue Savage-Rumbaugh have led to misleading arguments about chimpanzees’ abilities. ” 8 A big difference between human language capabilities and those of chimpanzees and gorillas is the ability to discuss objects and ideas that are not physically present (abstraction) and the ability to syntactically organize words into complex sentences.
Animal Rights (Point Counterpoint) by Kevin Hile