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Tom Regan- The Case for Animal Rights Although the animal rights-movement was originally started by Peter Singer it was Tom Regan who came up with the most uncompromising ideas and gave the movement its name In his book which came out under the University of California Press in 1983 Regan argues that humans and animals have equal inherent rights However before explaining his own philosophy he explains four other theories that exist about animal rights These four theories are those of indirect duty contractarianism kindnesscruelty and utilitarianism After having elaborated on these theories he explains the fallacies of these theories with regard to animal rights The first theory Regan deals with is that of indirect duty In this theory we have no direct duties towards animals we do not owe them anything and we cannot inflict injustice upon them Animals are only owed consideration to the extent that actions toward them have an effect on the people who care for them He illustrates the falsity of this theory with an example your neighbour kicks his dog yet according to the previous assumption this is not wrong as the owner of the dog is not harmed emotionally or physically This system has two basic flaws it denies the idea that humans feel pain and it denies the fact that pain is still pain whether it is felt by a dog a monkey or a human being The second theory Regan deals with is that of contractarianism a somewhat more sophisticated form of indirect duty This theory states that morality consists of a set of rules that individuals voluntarily agree to abide by like a contract All those who understand and accept the rules and terms of the contract are directly covered Those who are not capable of understanding terms of the contract such as children may be indirectly covered but only if there is a covered person who cares for the uncovered person Lastly
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