Never let mass shooters express remorse

About animal rights, animal welfare and the equality of humans and animals - a moral consideration taking into account Gaita's position


1 Introduction

2. Animal welfare
2.1. Development of animal welfare in law
2.2. Inclusion in and Constitutional Impact

3. Gaita's view of equality between humans and animals

4. Are all animals the same?

5. Peter Singer on the equality of all animals
5.1. Are people specialists who do not recognize the equality of all beings?
5.2. A common concept of dignity for humans and animals

6. Anchoring the inequality between humans and animals in the language in comparison with the language of previously discriminated groups of people

7. PeTA - People for Ethical Treatment of Animals
7.1. Interesting facts about PeTA
7.2. The Chicken Holocaust Campaign
7.3. Reactions to the campaign

8. Summary

1 Introduction

For many years animal rights activists, animal rights activists and their opponents have been in constant conflict: Do people behave immorally when they have an appetite for chicken or pork or is it their nature to eat animals? If you eat body parts or meat; Hen menstrual end products or eggs; Cow gland secretions or milk? Does the healthy human body need meat for a healthy diet or can we be vegetarian or vegan as well? Is it a naturalistic fallacy to justify the consumption of animal products by stating that humans have omnivorous teeth and are therefore intended for the consumption of meat? These are questions that do not leave the thoughtful non-vegetarian indifferent when pondering about the animal as a food producer.

But the most diverse discourses are not only being held about animals as food, animal rights activists and animal rights activists have also made it their business to improve the lives of tortured and suffering animals. This includes not only domestic and farm animals, but also zoo animals, animals used for research purposes and species threatened with extinction.

However, animal rights activists and animal rights activists are not to be equated.

Both have different starting points and pursue different goals.

Animal rights activists do not advocate certain animal species, whether threatened or tortured. They don't differentiate between vertebrates and an earthworm. You argue that all Animals are capable of suffering and thus all are to be equated with humans. Animal rights activists therefore worry about the fate of every single animal. Their goal is an end to all use, keeping and suppression of all animals.

Animal rights activists, on the other hand, advocate a better quality of life for animals that humans have made use of. They want to achieve "that animals in agriculture, in laboratories and elsewhere are not tortured, that their keeping conditions are improved and, where necessary, they are killed painlessly."[1] They do not equate humans and animals; people are more interested.

In the end, an all-encompassing question comes to the fore: Do we see animals as our equal fellow creatures and do we protect them for their own sake or do we protect the animals only on the basis of our own customs and morals, which we consider unworthy of torturing animals by humans leaves?

Since animal welfare plays an important role for animal rights activists and animal rights activists as well as for the majority of the German population, the development of animal welfare and its anchoring in law and constitution should first be discussed. This should address both positive and negative effects. Then a position of the seemingly natural handling (at least for most people) of humans and animals is to be presented.

Raimond Gaita describes the interaction between humans and animals as partners and friends, but not as equal fellow creatures.

Peter Singer and the animal rights organization PeTA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) oppose such a view of humans and animals. The arguments of the animal rights activists will mainly be dealt with in this work. The greater focus should be on Peter Singer, as the PeTA adopts or uses Peter Singer's argument to a large extent.

Finally, the discourse on the controversial PeTA campaign with the chicken-Holocaust comparison will be taken up and discussed. The status of the debate on equality between humans and animals can be discussed using the creation of such campaigns and the reactions to them.

2. Animal welfare

Animal welfare has been anchored in law since the German Reich (1871-1933). As can be seen from the development of animal protection, from its incorporation into the law to its incorporation into the constitution, we have succeeded in imposing rights and obligations on people in dealing with animals, which are intended to help animals live as painfully as possible. First, the development of the Animal Welfare Act should be briefly explained in order to then make the inclusion of animal welfare the constitution more tangible.

2.1. Development of animal welfare in law

In the middle of the 18th century there were only penal regulations that sanctioned the torture of animals, later regulations on keeping animals and animal experiments were developed. However, only public abuse of animals was made a criminal offense. Animal welfare was not there to protect the animal for its own will, but rather to protect the uninvolved person from the sight of abuse.

For the first time, animal welfare found its way into the penal code in the German Reich. Non-public animal abuse was now also prohibited. Experimental animal research, for example, was not prohibited, which is explained by the fact that the animal experimenter could not be accused of having morally reprehensible or crude behavior.[2]

The slaughtering method of slaughtering, in which, according to the Jewish rite, for example, the animal is cut across the carotid artery, esophagus and windpipe with a knife after the Jewish rite, was made a criminal offense after the National Socialists came to power. That was certainly less motivated by the idea of ​​protecting animals, but rather to intervene in the cultural life of the Jewish religious communities.

In 1933 animal welfare was for the first time based on the animals' ability to suffer. Animal experiments that were associated with considerable pain were banned.[3]

The Animal Welfare Act remained in force after World War II, only ritual slaughtering for Jewish religious communities was permitted again, with reservations. With the new version of the Animal Welfare Act, the continued validity of the old Animal Welfare Act was only formally adjusted.

In § 1 sentence 1 of the Animal Welfare Act, the pathocentric orientation of the law becomes clear, in which it says that the regulations serve the "protection of the life and well-being of animals". The anthropocentric counterbalance to this was that nobody was an animal for no good reason Allowed to cause pain, suffering or harm.[4]

In the new version of the Animal Welfare Act of 1986, the pathocentric idea was reinforced by a "Human responsibility for the animal as a fellow creature, its life and well-being" the speech is.[5]

2.2. Inclusion in and Constitutional Impact

A ruling by the Federal Constitutional Court in January 2002 on the slaughter of a Muslim butcher resulted in sometimes violent public reactions. The German Animal Welfare Association, the Federal Association of Anti-Animal Experiments and PeTA started a postcard campaign to the parliamentary offices so that animal welfare could be included in the Basic Law. Over 2 million people took part.[6]

It is questionable why exactly this judgment on the Muslim butcher aroused such indignation from the population and the animal welfare associations, while it remained calm when it came to slaughtering according to the Jewish rite, which has been practiced in Germany for years.

The reason is certainly the historical burden of the prohibition of slaughter for the Jewish religious community as described above, and on the other hand it is controversial whether it is really mandatory for Muslims to slaughter without anesthesia.

The PeTA makes the following appeal every year on its website: In a message on the Muslim Festival of Sacrifice, it appeals to the Muslims that the believers “could bake a cake instead of a ritual slaughter and distribute it to the poor without violating religious laws ". Mohammed also lived mainly on barley bread, dates, figs, nuts and spring water.[7]

Here there is interference in internal affairs of the religious community. PeTA violates the dignity of the religious community if the organization hereby indirectly indicates that the practiced rites are only carried out on the basis of misinterpretations.

After all, PeTA would not accept if the organization were to dispute the definition and rules of action of veganism. Just like PeTA thinks, the monopoly on definition[8] what living being is capable of suffering.

One can say, as the Federal Constitutional Court did in its judgment of January 15, 2002, that it is “scientifically controversial whether slaughtering without prior anesthesia causes more pain and suffering than slaughtering with prior anesthesia”.

This would mean our "normal" slaughter and the slaughter (of the Muslims and Jews) would be the same for the animals in terms of suffering. Above all, however, the slaughter of the Muslims for the Festival of Sacrifice is attacked, as one can still expect broad support from the “meat-eating” population. The PeTA is about this detour, not immediately transparent for everyone, but still about a goal you have declared:

“People who support animal rights believe that we as humans

have no right to use animals for food, clothing, entertainment, experimentation, or any other purpose

to use".[9]

This motto will not be clear to every supporter (if it were clear to the people, there would certainly not be such broad support) and this is accepted in order to achieve the goal.

The animal rights and animal welfare organization wanted to get animal welfare included in the constitution so that animal welfare could be more effectively enforced.

A short time after the postcard campaign, animal welfare was integrated into the constitution as a national goal. And not with the far-reaching consequences that animal rights activists or animal rights activists had hoped for.

The consequence of the anchoring in the constitution is that now, in individual cases, one must always weigh up between religious freedom and animal welfare.

One could see this as equality without consequences, because in principle a lot has remained the same and it is still possible to use animals for the benefit of humans. However, cases are also conceivable in which this equality leads to a disadvantage for people, at least for minorities in the population.

Since both religious freedom and animal welfare are now in the constitution, it is possible that judgments to the detriment of religious freedom could be made if the interests of animal welfare are classified as predominant.

Here it would even be possible for animal welfare to predominate over human interests. From an equality one would come directly to a possible overriding in collision cases.

In the opinion of the author, however, the prohibition of performing a ritual act for the preparation of food, which also does not harm people, is actually an unreasonable restriction on religious freedom.

After all, there are no useless sacrificial rites, but the animals are consumed.

Of course, it must be ensured that here too the animal is protected from unnecessary suffering from improper slaughtering.

The unintended consequence of such bans is an increase in improper slaughtering by laypeople, which does not help animal welfare either.

In practice, animal welfare in the constitution still has the effect that animal welfare is used as an argument for denying Muslim butchers the exemption for slaughtering. In this case there is in fact a predominance of animal rights due to the equality of animal rights and religious freedom.

It can therefore hardly be justified why animal welfare should be weighted just as much, should count just as much as the religious freedom of humans, unless humans assume complete equality between humans and animals. However, this would also mean that it would no longer be possible to carry out life-saving animal experiments that are necessary for humans. Even more so, no consumption of animals would be possible.

3. Gaita's view of equality between humans and animals

Confessing animal rights activists and members of animal rights organizations are convinced that humans are only animals. Accepting this is also one of the principles of PeTA.

Raimond Gaita, moral philosopher, tries to explain such and similar views in his book "The Philosopher's Dog". By reflecting on the differences, but also the apparent equality, of our feelings and perceptions towards people and animals, through our speeches about people and animals, and through the evaluation and experience of death in humans and animals, Gaita tries to justify why people “ cultivate human “friendships with animals, why humans can appreciate and appreciate animals like humans, and why human behavior towards animals is nevertheless different from interpersonal behavior.

Confronted with such theses, animal rights activists justify themselves with the sentence: “People are also just animals”. One tends to initially agree.

As Newkirk (chairman and co-founder of PeTA) claims: “A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy. They are all mammals.[10]

Regarding arguments like these, Gaita says:

“What they actually mean is that the reference to the biological species alone is not

provides sufficient justification as to why one affects a being in one way or another

should act. [...] Rather, our attitudes are largely determined by those differences

that we consider to be ethically relevant. "[11]

Gaita and opponents of animal rights activists agree that there are differences between humans and animals that justify treating humans differently from animals. In order not to be guilty of “species discrimination”, it is advisable, according to Gaita, not to give an explanation through the biological differences, but rather to “base our actions on these concrete differences”.[12]

Gaita sees one of these differences in our actions towards humans or towards animals in the different ways of speaking about the death to be brought about. While people are talking about releasing them from their torments, they are putting an animal to sleep. Indeed, it would sound strange to most people if we talked about putting someone to sleep.

Animal rights activists do not want to see any difference in our speech behavior towards humans or animals with regard to death. An unaffected sense of language tells you to kill animals, not murder them. For animal rights activists, however, it is entirely permissible to speak of the murder of animals, since for them living beings are killed for base motives. The same context applied to people means murder.

Exactly here, in the context of the subject of murder or killing, the difference becomes noticeably clear. Gaita points out that, after all, the murder of a human is more terrible than the death of an animal. He calls it another type of horror that one experiences in both cases[13]. With Gaita's examples it is made clear what effects the equality of humans and animals would actually have to have if one really believed in the absolute equality of both. Animal rights activists would then have to be convinced that meat eaters are at least instigators of murder. They would have to react to a meat dish in the same way as if they were being served children. Experience has shown, however, that such behavior is not confirmed.

In order to illuminate and justify even more that humans and animals are unequal and different and to justify why we treat animals differently than humans, Gaita writes:


[1] Michael Miersch: "A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy" p.3 On:

[2] Caspar, Johannes. Animal welfare in the law of modern industrial society. Pp. 261-264

[3] Caspar, Johannes. Animal welfare in the law of modern industrial society. Pp. 269-272

[4] Caspar, Johannes. Animal welfare in the law of modern industrial society. Pp. 279-281

[5] Caspar, Johannes. Animal welfare in the law of modern industrial society. Pp.281-284

[6] on: 01.12.02

[7] on: 02/18/05

[8] PeTA is based on Singer's definition. Compare p. 20 of this work

[9] 02/18/05

[10] on 02/18/05

[11] Gaita, Raimond. The philosopher's dog. P. 48

[12] Gaita, Raimond. The philosopher's dog. P. 48

[13] Gaita, Raimond. The philosopher's dog. P. 250

End of the reading sample from 28 pages