Responsibility to Non-human Animals


Defense of animals’ rights is the responsibility of everyone. Every little thing helps, so it is everyone’s moral obligation to do as much as possible to simplify animals’ lives. It is essential for several reasons. Firstly, many animals, including non-human ones, experience unethical treatment from people.

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Secondly, in many cases, animals have no possibility and strength to defend themselves. Thirdly, it is a matter of honor to bring up and develop the feeling of responsibility and tolerance towards human’s four-legged friends. Considering cruel and unethical treatment of animals all over the world, violation of their rights, one must have a capability to provide timely rescue to the animals or, at least, to prove one’s humaneness in treating animals. The essay is about to explain the importance of animals’ rights and people’s responsibility regarding this question. In addition, the paper discusses the arguments for and against animal rights. As animals are helpless in many situations, it is fair to provide them with official rights.

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It is remains a mystery why a certain percentage of people tend to torture animals. Specialists of psychology assume that the reason of antisocial behavior is unhappy childhood and lack of love; so as a revenge, grown-ups are eager to humiliate the weaker ones, namely, unprotected animals. Clearly, people with mental disorders may hurt animals intentionally. All people have rights and obligations, which stated in the Constitution of each country and in the Declaration of Human Rights. Following this point, one should ask whether animals should have the same attitude, even if they do not know about rights’ existence. What counts are care, devotion, and thoughtful testament. Certainly, animals do not understand the languages people speak, except for the language of trust and unconditional love. Rights exist in order to regulate justice; otherwise, they are useless.

Cantor’s (2014) statement “Billions of nonhuman animals suffer intensely throughout their lives because they lack rights and are the property of humans” fully reflects the current situation in modern world. In the world, where a man may treat an animal like property, there must be rules that control and prevent human from unethical treatment of animals. No one can deny that only people have an opportunity to possess, to own, and to control other species. Tom Regan (1985) supports this statement, noticing that “Animals, it is true, lack many of the abilities humans possess. They cannot read, do higher mathematics, build a bookcase or make baba ghanoush” (p. 2). In order to regulate the balance of rights, the Doctrine of animal rights was developed (Hard, 2010). It announces several ground rules that state the following. Experiments on animals are forbidden. It is not allowed to breed or kill animals for food, medicine, or clothes usage. The usage of animals for hard labor is forbidden. Hunting is not allowed. It is forbidden to develop selective breeding, except bringing benefits for the animal itself.

Taking into consideration the main principles, one should state that it is amoral to do something opposite. Protecting animal rights must become the moral obligation of every individual. Ignoring the mentioned principles leads to murders, cruel treatment such as dog fighting, killing animals for food or worse, for fun. Sadly, there is certain percentage of people, who are mentally unstable and actually enjoy animals’ malicious insults and tortures. There is no doubt that such kind of unsocial behavior is illegal and penalized.

People can be divided into two groups: the ones, who violate animals’ rights, and the ones, who defend them. Because of continuous violation of animal rights, cruel treatment, illegal hunting and killing, thousands of species have become extinct. Many observations prove that non-human animals express the sense of intuition, reactions, such as imitation, attention, and memory as well as feelings like love, care, or curiosity. Clearly, instinct of self-protection and natural selection is the basis of animal nature; at the same time, almost everything what animals do is focused on procreation and survival. These creatures are not familiar with cruelty, lies, betrayal, or selfishness. Keeping that in mind, one should ask who deserves to have the rights after all? Without any doubt, human beings should treat other species with respect; after all, humans and animals are creatures of the same planet, so “neighborhood” must be as friendly as possible.

Certainly, there is an opinion that animals should not have any rights (“Animal Rights”, n.d.). The reasons for this opinion are as follows. First, animals are not conscious creatures. Second, animals do not have the ability to think. Third, animals have no souls. Finally, animals have no morality, just instincts.

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Any point of view has the right to exist; however, everyone is free to choose appropriate and moral one. It is unfair to evaluate the existence or absence of soul. All living creatures have a soul, even if that is not obvious at first sight. Being at the highest stage of evolution does not give humans the right to judge non-human animals. On the contrary, it must open a broad vision regarding other species of the planet Earth. For example, all species tend to exist in groups or prides, depending on the type. They also develop a strong emotional connection to maintain their relationship, for example, “many species of non-humans develop long-lasting kinship ties” (“The Moral Status of Animals”, 2010). This way, humans and non-humans have similar abilities; following this statement, it is reasonable to expect the equality of rights for all.

Fortunately, people care about animals’ welfare and they do their best to help them in any possible way. Protection of animal rights is the job of countless official non-commercial organizations all over the world such as PETA, or People for Ethical Treatment of Animals, OIPA, or International Organization for Animal Protection, World Animal Protection International, and so on. Not to mention WSPA, or World Society for the Protection of Animals, that provides principals of loyalty and care more than in 150 countries of the world. Obviously, the existence of these non-commercial organizations is the evidence of humaneness, aspiration to protect animals, their rights and will to increase the population of rare species (“What We Do”, n.d.). The essential postulates of the above-mentioned organizations are similar. They inspire others to donate to provide medical treatment and ask for the protection of wildlife and home animals. Furthermore, they work on prevention of animals’ suffering in the clothing trade or entertainment industry (“Our Mission Statement”, n.d.).

Organizations also spread protectionism, namely, protection of fauna, prevention of animal rights’ violation, and assistance with medicines’ collection (“Our Work”, n.d.). Anyone is free to become a volunteer of a non-commercial organization that rescues animals. To think about it, regardless of territorial or religious issues, animals must be protected. For example, in North Korea, dogs are the common meal, while other countries find it unnatural and unacceptable. In India, a cow is a sacred animal, and it is treated by people with nothing but respect. Nevertheless, the rest of the world does not share this opinion, continuing to eat meals made from cow meat. Aside of that, unnaturally aggressive treatment of animals in the counties of the Third World shocks people to the very core, when murdering and eating animals is a daily rut. To add to it, corrida in Spain, dogfighting, bullfighting, and cockfights for entertainment must be forbidden once and for all. Fur, leather, meat, bones, and laboratory experiments are not what animals are about; moreover, animals do not have to become “victims” of fashion, cosmetics, or the pharmaceutical industry.

Wise statement of Tom Regan (1985) expresses the main issue of the present “The fundamental wrong is the system that allows us to view animals as our resources, here for us — to be eaten, or surgically manipulated, or exploited for sport or money” (p. 5). A great number of non-human animals are afraid of people, even if these people have good intentions. Animals have learned that kindness and generosity might be the last things to expect from people. It is a matter of honor to make a greater effort to improve the current world situation regarding the rights of non-human animals.


In conclusion, it is worth to pay attention at animal welfare in every country, city, or town. Not only that, but it is necessary to provide action to make the Earth a better place to live for non-human animals. Protection of rare species, the creation of special conditions for animals’ reproduction, healthy nutrition, and proper medical care are matters of the highest priority. The essay has revealed the main concepts of the Doctrine of animal rights; it contains argumentative analysis of pros and cons regarding rights of non-human animals. The paper reflects discussion of unethical human behavior towards animals and its possible reasons. It also enumerates the list of the main organizations that keep fighting with injustice, their activities of improving animal welfare, preventing breaking the law regarding animals’ rights. The essay defines basic key point of importance the responsibility to non-human animals. Better treatment is possible due to the sharing natural environment for animals; owing to proper animal welfare education, children and teenagers will turn into conscious adults who clearly define right and wrong and who will be able to protect four-legged friends. Finally, it is important to explain to children and adults how they should live in harmony with nature, its flora, and fauna.

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