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Animal Rights and Personhood

Human Enough

Animal Rights and Personhood

As discussed in the previous post, one of the greatest hindrances to extending equality beyond humanity, in my view, is the positioning of humans as morally superior beings to animals. Superiority extrapolated from, for example, the capacity for certain cognitive and language abilities, or  ‘person potential’ not considered inherent in animals. It is this concept of ‘potential’, I believe, which is most detrimental to the figuring of ‘rights’ and whether or not an animal deserves them. The application of rights or Personhood to an animal is based on criteria specific to ‘human potential’, in other words, ‘humanness’ to which morality is then attributed, and with it, by inference, a more valued life. Does this mean then, that animals who are more like ‘us’, should be considered to lead more qualitatively valuable lives, in terms of a moral contribution, and therefore should also be more…

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