SRSP 16-19 Topic 6 U1d – Animal Rights
The question of animal rights is as prevalent today as it has ever been. It needs to be considered in relation to human rights and responsibilities. There are underlying questions when looking at animal rights. What do we mean by rights and on what precepts are they based? Are humans different from other animals and if so, in what ways? These are controversial issues that arouse strong feelings.
Often these feelings are expressed in actions – sometimes violent – which can have political consequences. This unit will look at the ethical and religious thinking behind the debate, the questions that are raised, and the relationship of Christianity to Vegetarianism. It concludes with an examination of the questions surrounding research on animals.
This unit consists of 4 lessons and is suitable for students aged from 16 to 19 years
- Are humans superior to animals?
- Do animals experience the same kind of feelings that we do?
- How can eating animals be justified?
- If we allow experiments on primates should we also allow them on humans with mental illness, low IQ or those in a persistent vegetative state?
- Should anyone with a conscience refuse any medical treatment that arises from experiments on primates?
- Is the knowledge we get from experimenting on any animals worth more than the animals themselves?
- Does the end justify the means – if we can cure diseases that affect millions worldwide, is the suffering of a few thousand primates justified?
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