Do only ‘cute’ animals deserve our compassion?

your say May 15, 2019 01:00

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Re: “Why we love some species but loathe others”, The Nation Weekend, May 11-12.



A few years ago I was ridiculed for writing a letter deploring the horrible way we torture rats. Yet we show more compassion towards pigeons, who have been called “rats with wings” and generally pose a greater health threat than rats. And you are far more likely to be bitten by a dog than a rat.

Or look at the terrible way we abuse pigs, who are affectionate animals and more intelligent than dogs. I also love dogs. But rights aren’t about love. Rights mean if someone can suffer as much as I can, he has the same rights as I do not to be tortured. 

Look at it this way: would anyone deny that a human who is not “cute” or “loveable” has the same rights as a human who is? The same logic applies to animals.

Eric Bahrt