We have discussed another set of contemporary issues. Gay rights, animal rights, internet privacy, death penalty and insider trading were the topics of the day. He gave us detailed information about the each issue and discussed thusly. Each of the topics is big debate topics in their own, but animal rights make me comprehend most.
Many believe that animal have their right of possessing their own life and right not to suffer. Animal rights activists bang around the world blaming others to be unethical and guilty. From my understanding, although there are events when animals are mistreated, claims of animal rights activists seem to be slightly shortsighted. However, I want to look at the reasons of such a raise for animal rights. It is true that in most of the cases, animals are mistreated. Especially in the slaughter houses animals are treated violently. Their skins are ripped while they are alive. I have personally witnessed such incidents, and have seen many documentaries on the matter.
Another troubling thing about animals is the fact that many different types of the animal world are completely disappearing due to illegal hunting and being occupied by human beings and not having place to survive. Animals have become source of entertainment and pleasure in some cases.
However, there is another side of the coin which helps us to get a better picture in being ethical in treating the animals. My first concern is 50% of the world’s population lives under the line of poverty and hardly finds their daily food to survive. In such a time, is it feasible to stop consuming meat and using animal products? Moreover, is it ethical to deprive those people from one of the few sources of food? It might be suggested to improve agriculture, but we should bear in mind that many of the places where poverty exists suffer from water insufficiency too. So, they are unable to meet the needs of people only with vegetables.
Secondly, zoos have become the places where endangered types of animals are preserved safely and even bred in order to continue their generation. Wildlife parks are the perfect place for disappearing animals. If they are not taken care in the zoos or wildlife parks, they are unable to survive by their own. Same goes to pets. Is it ethical to “leave them alone” when it might be disastrous for animals?
In short, I do believe that animals are being mistreated, but I also believe that animal rights activists are extreme in their thoughts. I admire the way animals are treated in Islam. For example, before slaughtering there is no harming or beating the animal, but treating it gently, furthermore Muslims use very sharp knife not to give pain to the cattle. The cattle’s eyes are closed before slaughtering, and the animal cannot see the knife and is not in fear.