its been my opinion for a while that nat rights dont exist, but that if they did, animals would have them too.
there is no valid argument against it that couldnt also apply to humans.
the reality of course is animals have no rights because they cannot assert or defend their rights in an organized political way. their rights extend exactly as far as their power to defend their physical liberty.
the same thing applies to people. their rights extend exactly insofar as their power to defend them, either individually or in organized groups.
but these arent natural rights, they are not part of ethics. they are just facts of political power applied to the end of protecting asserted claims.
any ethical claim that one "must" respect the rights of others for moral, rather than practical reasons, would apply to all living things. just because animals are stupid, or can't follow laws, is no argument against their having ethics based rights. there are plenty of stupid people running around who can't follow laws either. they aren't without rights according to an ethical or morally based claim of rights.
the easiest way out of this intellectual morass is to chuck the premise, recognize the absence of any natural rights, and find arguments that actually correspond w/ reality.
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