Rifkin, Change of Heart About Animals
Jeremy Rifkin in the article “A Change of Heart About Animals” describes how the lives of animals are all for the benefit of the human race and how animals deserve more respect. Many concerned and caring people believe that animals should be treated with love and respect. The reality of this is that Rifkin seizes to comprehend that the life without using animals as a benefit is highly unlikely and would just further complicate the already complex world we live in today.
To some point I can agree with Rifkin, but highly disagree with him when it comes to how animals are only used for benefiting humans. I, like Rifkin, agree that animals deserve more respect. Animals have been proven to be more like humans than we think. In the article Rifkin uses Koko, a 300-pound gorilla as an example stating “…Koko who was taught sign language and has mastered more than 1,000 signs and understands several thousand English words and on human IQ tests, she scores between 70 and 95” (8). According to http//www. iq-test. learninginfo. rg the average score of an IQ test is 100, therefore Koko is just barely below the average human. Rifkin also uses a story about an elephant that doesn’t leave its dead kin for days, and occasionally touches the kin’s body with its trunk. Rifkin gives examples that both prove how animals can show emotions and the intelligence similar of that to humans, which should alter the way humans treat animals. Unfortunately Rifkin seems to be drawn to believe that animals are just for the benefit of humans. I agree to an extent, but mostly disagree.
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Rifkin begins to question what humans can do to prevent killing and promoting inhumane acts upon human’s fellow creatures. Rifkin backs up his argument by using strong words like “millions of domestic animals raised under the most inhumane conditions and destined for slaughter and human consumption” (15). When Rifkin uses this kind of diction he seems to be attacking the reader’s feelings, which turns me away and makes me question his credibility. Just to find out that he is actually just an American economist and now animal rights activist with no background with animal rights.
In recent discussions about animal rights a controversial issue has been if animals deserve better rights and that animals are all treated inhumanly. Though I concede that animals deserve to be treated better and deserve more rights, I still insist that animals are not all for human benefit. The animals that we do use are all for consumption and to survive. What would we do without dairy cows? What about cattle used for meat? Could everyone be vegetarian? The answer will never be discovered.
It’s completely ludicrous to believe that every human is going to stop eating meat or even stop eating or drinking anything that derived from animals. You don’t have to be a genius to figure that one out. Rifkin is clearly just a riled-up activist using some statistics to prove something that is just unethical. He believes that animals are all for human benefit. Shouldn’t he be worried about economic problems since he happens to be the president of the Foundation on Economic Trends in Washington D. C.? So we should leave him to that and question why he is questioning animal rights in the first place.