The natural order | A real animal threat

Shanghai monkey

A Shanghai monkey (Photo: F3rn4nd0/Wikimedia/CC-BY)

The common idea is that animals are under the stewardship of humankind. This means that we are to care for them, to an extent. The modern view is that they have rights, and these rights require recognition, protection and respect.

Entire organizations and movements in society have recently sprung up regarding animal rights. They have protested against the treatment of animals in society. They are against cruelty to animals, animal blood sports and the slaughter of animals for consumption. In fact, they are against animal-based products of any kind. Some contend that animals have an inherent social value. However, the more widely accepted idea is that some animals should be cared for, but the existence of their rights is a mere social construction.

Social danger of animals

Animals are known to be a natural danger to humans, and their primal and wild nature in effect will cause human injuries and, in some case, fatalities. Animals are, in fact, inherently dangerous to humans. This is reinforced by the incident in which a monkey abducted a baby in Malaysia and killed it. (Link to story below.) This suggests that the danger of an animal merits a reassessment. The usual notion is that fierce animals such as lions and bears slay humans. However, we forget that most, if not all, of these creatures are primal and can kill a human given the right conditions. Communities live among animals, and this heightens the danger from animals, even from creatures like monkeys.

The natural order

In the scenario in which a baby was killed by a monkey, there were concerns that those who hunted down the monkey may have killed the wrong one. The Darwinian concept may offer an explanation for this: Either humans kill the monkey that killed the child or hunt a different money to even things out so there would be one less animal to worry about. It’s a reduction of potential child abductors and killers.

With or without animal rights, wild creatures cannot be held accountable for harms done to human beings. Many people believe that the only defense against these animals would be to hunt them down and kill them. Some humans believe animal rights undermine human rights, which are considered more important and valuable. These are the kind of rights protected by law and public policy.

Needed measures

Animal rights need to be a matter of social convenience, but it has to be set aside when human safety is at stake. Moreover, the culture of animal rights activism must be brought to perspective and limited to merely caring for animals, not a prohibition to kill them if it is what public welfare and safety require. This is to prevent any more injuries on humans. There may be a need for funding — grants, a low-rate personal loan or a small loan to get quick cash — to research better ways to deal with this issue and other related cases.


The Straits Times

The Case for Animal Rights (PDF)

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