Animals Are Not Inferior To People 

Dear Editor,

My whole life I have had dogs as pets. Through these pets I have witnessed countless events proving their empathy and intelligence. Whenever I am upset my dog lays next to me to comfort me. My dog knows he can only annoy our smaller dog or steal socks when nobody else is in the room proving his intelligence.

Political animal activist, Jeremy Rifkin declares animals are more like us than we previously thought and society needs to change the way we treat them, and I agree because of animals’ intelligence, shared characteristics with humans, ethics and emotions.

Animal intelligence is one reason animals are similar to humans and why we need to treat them better. In “A Change of Heart About Animals”, Rifkin recounts, “Koko, the 300-pound gorilla at the Gorilla Foundation in Northern California, was taught sign language and has mastered more than 1,000 signs and understands several thousand English words. On human IQ tests, she scored between 70 and 95” (Rifkin). A gorilla is able to listen and comprehend what humans are saying. Consequently, animals with such high levels of intelligence do not deserve to be kept in captivity.

The characteristics that human beings and animals share is another reason we need to treat animals more humanely. For example, in “Hooked on a Myth”, Victoria discloses, “If you look at thin sections of the trigeminal nerve, the main nerve for the face for all vertebrates, fish have the same two types of nociceptors that we do﹣A-delta and C fibers. So they do have the necessary sensory wiring to detect pain” (Braithwaite). The logical concept developed here is because fish have the same nerves as humans they are capable of feeling pain like humans. Subsequently a fish can feel pain as the hook pierces through its mouth.

Ethically humans should treat animals with zero cruelty. Humans are the ones who treat animals poorly, so humans should be the ones to fix how animals are treated. On ThoughtCo, Lin demands, “There are many predators in the wild who hunt and eat meat-based prey. Why should humans who are also animals, be exempt” (Lin)? Many animals in the wild are obligate carnivores and will die without the consumption of meat, on the other hand humans can easily survive without eating meat.

Animals’ ability to feel emotions is why animals should receive better treatment. When Koko the gorilla discovered her beloved friend Robin Williams had died she bowed her head and became somber. Koko has the ability to empathize with all the people in the world who were also mourning Robin Williams’ death. In Beneath the Surface, John Hargrove declares, “Seaworld didn’t become a $2.5 billion company because of sequins and choreography. It was built on the backs of captive killer whales” (Hargrove). Seaworld keeps orcas in captivity and these animals require large distances of ocean to thrive. Humanity should show compassion for the animals being mistreated by Seaworld.

Humans are the most dominant species on the planet and with that much power we should ensure that animals are treated fairly. Creating laws to provide additional protections for animals needs to become a priority.

Yours truly,


07 September 2020
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