SRSP 11-16 Topic 5 U1d – Animal rights issues
The fundamental principle of the Animal Rights Movement is that non-human animals deserve to live according to their own natures, free from harm, abuse, and exploitation, just as human animals do. This goes further than just saying that we should treat animals well while we exploit them, or before we kill and eat them. It says animals have the right to be free from human cruelty and exploitation, just as humans possess this right. The withholding of this so-called right from the non-human animals based on their species membership is referred to as ‘speciesism’.
This unit investigates a range of scientific and religious views concerning animals and how they should be treated. It asks whether humans are guilty of speciesism by considering the degree to which we attribute rights to animals. Students will investigate how food from animals is produced and whether scientific advances make animal experimentation necessary. Students will consider their own opinions as stereotypes in this areas are challenged and differing views examined.
Students will have an opportunity to reflect on the spiritual implications of these questions.
This unit consists of 6 lessons and is suitable for students aged from 11 to 14 years
- Do animals have rights? If so what are they and how do they affect how we treat them?
- Are humans just another sub-species of animals or do we have a special position in creation? If so what responsibilities does this position bring?
- Do science and religion agree over the status of animals?
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