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Before we as a society can decide whether animals have rights or not we need to keep an open mind Evolution of life is at least 25 million years old and from the beginning right to the present day humans have fought for the survival against other species and have evolved to such an extent that they have been taken as the most superior of all living beings Both Cohen and Williams value human life They feel if the betterment of humanity is wanted then use of animals has to be accepted Animals like human beings do suffer but being a lower species they have a tendency to be used by humans As superiority does not signify cruelty therfore both the authors value animal life too and are against the misuse of animals The critics against the use of animals argue about the rights of animals To analyze this one has to first correctly understand the use of the term rights and see how absurd they are on this issue What does the term rights mean According to Cohen a right is a claim or potential claim that one party may exercise against another To comprehend any genuine right fully one must know who holds the right against whom it is held and to what it is a right 865 Only those who have the capacity to make moral claims against one another can talk about defending rights Human beings have rights because each one of them has consciously accepted the others rights and thus will always be self-legislative and morally autonomous Applying this definition of rights to animals one can understand why they have been denied rights As Cohen believes animals lack the capacity for free moral judgment 866 They are incapable of exercising and responding to moral claims and can never recognize the possible conflicts between what is in their own interest and what is just Only in a community of beings capable
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