Many people are aware of what their wears are made of. The skins and fur come from animals that went through miserable process of torture in the slaughterhouses. Animals have been turned into other use of living other than enjoying their God-given gift of life. They get raised into cages just to get skins and fur from them when they are due. That is a lot of suffering for those animals whenever they go through the ordeal considering that there are many alternatives available that can be applied to create stylish and beautiful products. According to Plannithin (96), “global leather industry slaughters a billion and more animals for skins and hides each year”. These animals go through all sorts of horrors in the factory. They are deprived of food, get extremely crowded in cages and transported with no care among others. People boost for having products made of leather and forget the possibility thattheir best friend went through hell in the factory to make these products.
Animal agriculture has been turned into business making money on the bodies of innocent creatures. Farms have continued to be insensitive towards the victims as they celebrate super profits they make (Gibson 26). Companies make millions from animal skins and concentrate on these returns overlooking the rights of animals. An example is the multimillion-dollar meat industry which does not only benefit from the meat itself but also all the byproducts of meat consumption. Skin is used for packing the meat as it is considered a very beneficial thing in the economy. Thousands of alligators get mercilessly slaughtered each year in the name of obtaining highly valuable products. Almost all the slaughterhouses link their economic success to leather goods. The leather is obtained from many animals including ostriches, deer, sharks, snakes and alligators.
Sources of leather and how they are obtained
Snakes. In many occasions, snakes are skinned alive because it is believed it gives the skin more elasticity than skinning it when dead. There are different ways of doing this. It can be skinned by putting a nail into the head and laying it straight on a tree by pinning the tail. It is then held straight by stepping on the footand the skin cut down by splitting it with a knife. It can also be first hit hard on the head and a hose pipe forced into its mouth and immediately filling it with heavy running water so that it fills up and expands like a balloon. The water is prevented from escaping and left there for a few minutes before loosening it to easily and quickly peel off the skin. The skin is used to make bags, belts, wallets, shoes among others.
Ostriches. They are separated from their parents while they are still very young and confined until they are one-year-old. During this period, its feathers get frequently plucked to make feather dusters. These ostriches get killed after living for only one year considering they can live up to more than forty years. In obtaining their skin, they are overcrowded in one place, and one by one their throats are as others watch just to go through the same process. Their feathers are then ripped off to create goose bumps that are needed for texture. Ostrich’s leather is very valuable because of their distinct pattern. It can take up to two hours of struggle to kill an ostrich. Sometimes they are exposed to electric shocks while they are conscious before splitting off their throats.
Alligators. An investigation by PETA revealed how workers in animal factory hacked into alligators necks and damaged their brain with heavy rods. Numerous animals would still be alive minutes later after workers tried killing them. The alligator company produces about 300,000 pounds of meat and more than 15000 skins of the alligators. Other than skin, alligators are farmed for their teeth and skull and sold at a very high value.
Environmental and social concerns have also been raising questions on sustainable future with this luxurious fashion of animal products. Manufacturing of these products in one way or another have been a key factor in our deteriorating environment. “Buying leather directly contributes to factory farms and slaughterhouses because the skin is the most economically important byproduct of the meat industry. The leather is also no friend of the environment, as it shares responsibility for all the environmental destruction caused by the meat industry as well as the pollution caused by the toxins used in tanning” (Minteer 101). The modern animal farming has been very stressful to our environment through pollution offossil fuel and land. Waters are no exception, as chemicals fill the oceans, the safety of both human beings and animals is threatened. Eating them becomes harmful to our health. The waste materials that remain after the required animal parts are obtained are disposed of to the environment thuscontributing to global warming and the climate change. Trade associations, profit and nonprofit making organizations have initiated programs that ensure observation of environmental ethics within the factoryfarms. Fashion can be sustainable by concentrating on harmless effects on the environment and the society. Animal rights in leather, focus on safe production and factory transparency in their contribution to climate change and worker protection.
Ethical production and consumption, therefore, remains an issue and calls for more practice. Consumers should adjust their tastes and preferences to environmentally friendly products and ethical methods of production (Harrington 494). They should familiarize themselves withanimal rights, social and environmental ethics. The factory farms can invent better products that are similarly luxurious as animal body parts. They can produce beautiful and valuable products which can be of same value as animals’ products. In conjunction with consumers, the factory farms can convert their production and remain at the same level of the economy.
Inventions to substitute animal products in the fashion will not only ensure sustainable environment but grant animals their rights. Animals suffer the same way as humans and have the same instincts human beings have. Believers of animal rights value the importance of every creature living their lives fully and free from violence and suffering. Animals are special creatures that should not be a property to someone or valued at the usefulness of its body parts.
An animal right is a philosophy that enforces the need for non-human animals to have rights like the ones desired by humans. These rights include the entitlement to life, avoidance of premature death and free living withoutunnecessary pain and torture by human beings.
Animal welfare is the conditions under which an animal lives within its habitat (Davis 169). Any animal is considered to be in a good state if it is living comfortably, free and with no deprivation of its basic needs. Animal welfare act applies in many areas including animal carriers and breeders. It protects mammals with exception of some animals like birds. That is why it is slightly different from animal’srights by giving certain animals superiority over others.
The key principal of animal rights is that all nonhuman animals have right to live in accordance to their creations (Anderson 286). They should not be abused or exploited in any way. This means that animals should be treated right and not tortured while killing them. Animals have the right to be freed from the cruel treatment by humans just like the human’s same right possession. It is of no use to claim a title over the animals and feel okay with that notion of superiority. Humans should feel compassion for animals because they have the ability to feel fear, loneliness, kinship and hunger. Animal rights enlighten us on moral living. People should not torture animals even if the value is luxurious.
Nobody needs to be a philosopher to know that it is wrong to hurt animals. It is a natural instinct to feel disturbed upon seeing the animal suffer and die and fully natural to care. Differentiating the way, we treat animals at home, both home raised and pets, is of no importance because we should look past these distinctions and have equal respect for all animals.
The concepts of rights have been a debate on whether the human rights should be given to animals. The subject has questioned if origins of these rights come from law or communication from God. Thinking about animal rights should just be as important as thinking about human rights. The rights that both human and animals have are based on their capabilities and interests. Animals are interested to live as well as humans. Animals like avoiding pain and living happily, which is the same motive human beings have. Animals would exercise freedom if they were fully capable as humans do. These rights are not fully supported by law and humans can go on abusing animals without persecution. According diversified believes of animals, it becomes difficult to tune people into treating animals as they would wish to be treated. If in the factory farm an animal is confined in a cage, starved and probably castrated without anesthesia, then this should logically call for a persecution. But the idea beyond the situation may be viewed economically valuable that it outweighs the animal right.
It is very clear that humans have rights and enjoy them to the maximum. Nobody signed them but apply automatically and are protected as part of citizenship. You find people taking advantage of thenatural freedom to kill animals and exchange it for guarantee by our stronger ones. The only true rights enjoyed by animals are those extended by humans through pets, zoo creatures among others.
Animal advocates provide the people with information on genetic engineering and other topics that are distorted to justify human interests (Anderson 286). Certain groups take advantage of these issues to portray animal’s rights as a way of intimidating them. Violence against animals may only be stopped if it was standardized with human rights by encouraging acts of violence against human beings too. Usually, people decline laws and say it invades the constitution. State bills which are in favor of animal rights have been opposed. An example is the “Animal rights and Ecological Terrorism Act”, that was brought in Texas in 2003.The bill was said to contradict freedom of speech. Supporters of animal are without tiring, monitoring legislative proposals that would restrict social and environmental change by groups of interests.
Personhood and animals
There are ethics supporting certain beliefs about animal personhood. They are elaborated with three differentapproaches to personhood. All of them explain try to explain why animals are similar to humans and how we are obligated to relating with them. Even with many critics, they reveal out the sense of granting animals right The most powerful of all is the quantitative approach which states that many animals are like humans and should be treated the same. This approach does not emphasize on the differences between humans and animals but looks at individuals with value just as animals. Three factors that affect the morals in relation to animal personhood are: understanding of humanity, human value and use of animals for valuable luxury (Cupp 34). This presents a threat to human life as it directly implies that there should be same treatment whether positive or negative in all animals, human beings included. According to Regan, “Human and animal rights are validated with respect to moral principles. Most important is justice, which is addressed through this respective principle.”
Qualitative approach. It outlines perfectionist capacities. In this approach, Tom Regan outlines capacities that anyone would have to exhibit in life. He lists them as self-awareness, control, time consciousness, capability to relate, curiosity, change, feeling, fear and communication as fundamentals of personhood. These capacities are complex and unclear and remain unknown.
Ontological approach. The approach argues that, what matters is category and humans being are categorized in the same class as many animals, they exhibit similar inherent factor. The claim is the idea of genetic origins of animals and their relation to capacities. Different animals have different capacities which are inherent. The extra capacities that humans have are said by critics to be the reasons why animals cannot be persons and so humans will always have a superior hand. Researchers argue that human beings should not be valued by their generic capabilities but on their individual beings.
Quantitative approach. It defines personhood by application of certain acts. Narrativization is the first act which states that personhood is biographical. Personhood is dependent on generational continuity of life. Second act is its interaction, which explains the role of having relations with each other. These relations can either be within one self or between animals. It argues that personhood is based on interactions. Interaction by animals may not easily recognized and understood by humans, but all in all, animals still relate and that makes them behave like people. Third is the idea of viewpoint. Humans relate to their surroundings as well as animals. It doesn’t matter the perfection of relationship but the capacity to relate brings the similarities. Every animal has its way of interacting, and there is no categorical difference on interaction between animals and human beings (Cupp 34). Personhood of animals should be appreciated, respected and the characteristics that make animals persons should be obeyed.
According to Nibert (168), animals should be treated like beings and persons that have a mind. We should not use animal’s behaviors to infer them but should be seen as an expression of something. The personhood of animals emphasizes on human’s responsibilities of taking care of animals and treating them with compassion. Animals are denied the right to live naturally and instead tortured and skinned alive while they are still very young.
It is truly a painful experience to those beautiful souls of animals that fall victim to torture in the hands of human beings. Mistaken beliefs that animals do not feel pain should be completely abolished. They may not react same way as humans while they are being skinned alive, but they suffer brutally in their own way. Everyone should be aware of what they wear and practice ethical purchasing that supports animal rights. There are many alternatives to leather that can be used to produce same quality of products. It is a call to everyone to learn more about the pain animals go through in the name of manufacturing leather. Incorporating the environmental and social concerns, humans should act in accordance with the animal’s interests and immediately stop selling products made of skin.
Actually the humane alternatives are stronger and stylish. If these alternatives are used, animals will be at a safer place and at the same time, we will be safeguarding the environment. People should concentrate on the importance of these alternatives one of them being they are affordable. Other benefits are durability like the non-leather shoes and accessories. An example is a chlorenol, materials used to make popular brands of hiking. Other alternatives used to make these fashion brands include rubber, cotton and linen from flax. It’s now upon every human being to take necessary steps and bring an end to animal suffering.
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