Real animal rights

By Zak Maybaum

I’m writing in response to Lally Gartel’s column on animal rights published in the March 8 issue of the Daily Illini. I find her argument against positions on animal rights ridiculous.

Her main argument is that animals don’t have the inherent right to life, and brings up a zebra being killed in the wild by a lion and no one stopping it. There is a huge flaw in her logic here. Not only are we talking about an animal being killed by another animal (the food chain) but it’s also happening in the wild.

There is a big difference between a lion killing a zebra because that is it’s instinct on how to survive, and someone breeding cattle in a factory farm and raising them for the sole purpose of being slaughtered and consumed.

And about the natural order of things, a lion killing a zebra is OK because that is how things work in the wild; animals live off other animals. But we have evolved to a point where we are capable of coherent, logical thought and no longer live in the wild; we’re removed from the food chain.

It would be one thing if we were still living amongst the animals and killing them with our bare hands or crudely fashioned weapons to take back to our huts or caves to cook and eat. But we aren’t.

We have evolved past that and therefore, we can choose what we want to eat. Lions have to eat meat; they’re carnivores. Humans don’t HAVE to eat meat to survive. As for your argument on humans being the smartest animals on earth and having the ability to eat other animals, does that mean I can kill and eat someone who I don’t like? I mean, we’re all animals … survival of the fittest right?

Zak Maybaum

sophomore in FAA