The above comments do not make sense to me. If non-human animals are entitled to rights, then killing them, regardless whether it is a large number or a small number, is morally wrong.
I think that point depends somewhat upon how you define “rights.”
The principle right is the right not to be used as a means to an end.
Peter Singer is not an advocate of rights. He is a utilitarian.
Most animal rights advocated go by Tom Regan’s philosophy, which states that non-human animals have a right not to be used as a means to an end. Breeding cows and slaughtering them is using cows for our end. This is immoral.
Peter Singer advocates specified “rights” for specified beings. He does not blanketly assume that all beings should be afforded identical “rights.” He also suggests that the conventional notion of “rights” needs to be thought out a bit more. I agree with Singer, for example, in proposing that killing a mosquito or a hornet is not identical to killing a chimpanzee or human. Different beings have different capacities for suffering and a “happy life.”
Peter Singer does not advocate any rights. Peter Singer is an advocate of utilitarianism.
“A utilitarian accepts two moral principles. The first is that of equality: everyone’s interests count, and similar interests must be counted as having similar weight or importance. White or black, American or Iranian, human or animal — everyone’s pain or frustration matter, and matter just as much as the equivalent pain or frustration of anyone else. The second principle a utilitarian accepts is that of utility: do the act that will bring about the best balance between satisfaction and frustration for all affected by the outcome. “
Read more of Tom Regan’s criticism of utilitarianism:
Now read Tom Regan’s philosophy (in a nutshell):
A big difference, isn’t there!
I do agree with you that it is not moral, in general in modern society, to breed cows for slaughter.
What is your reason for claiming that breeding cows for slaughter is immoral?
But although I would not eat a cow myself, I do believe that there are possible situations in which it would be morally justifiable to slaughter cows for food.
What situations? Please give an example.
Peter Singer does advocate that certain rights that are commonly referred to as “human rights” be afforded to certain other primate species in The Great Ape Project. He also argues that what any people consider to be “human rights” need not apply to all members of the species homo sapien. For example, in the case of human vegetables.
Yes, Peter Singer does advocate that certain human rights be granted to the great apes, but this is not his ideology. This is just a strategy. It is an attempt to break the human/all other animals barrier. Once you move the line to humans and all other great apes/all other animals, it is only a matter of time before that line has to be moved again further, and further, until all sentient beings are granted rights.
So you think a right to life is unimportant to a non-human animal? Non-human animals don’t care whether they live or die?
Some beings care and some don’t have a capacity to care. Some are capable of suffering via the sensation of pain but do not have the capacity for anguish via thoughts of concern about their future. Certain rights should be afforded to certain beings and certain rights should not. No creature should be needlessly made to suffer but a chicken, for example, need not be granted the “right” to vote or the “right” to freedom of press.
I agree with most of the above. I am not concerned about the right to vote or the freedom of speech. I am only concerned about the right not to be used as a means to an end. All sentient beings should be granted this right, regardless of their mental capabilities.