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Why is it that we as a society condemn the actions of a man against a man but very rarely a man against an animal? I think this question must be understood if we are ever to change the rights animals have. As of yet I don't believe animals have any actual rights. Rather humans have rights that involve animals. If we are to truly allow animals to have rights the same or similar to humans then we must first define what it is that makes us feel as if they are entitled to rights. Obviously a dog is not physically equal to a human and it would be outlandish to state that a dog has equal mental ability to that of the average human. However, there are humans that have fewer mental capabilities than that of the average dog. We would not subject this human to product testing and research but we feel it is all right to place animals in this position. A general defense to this is that the human life matters more than that of an animal, but what allows us to make that judgment. Singer addresses this defense by comparing the inequality placed on species to that of the inequality placed on races and sexes, hence his term "speciesism". Peter Singer addresses the ordeal of animal rights better than I have ever seen anyone address it. His analysis laid out in A Utilitarian Defense of Animal Liberation is remarkably stated. He pushes the viewer to see animals as equals to us. But in order for him to do this he must first redefine equality. I think that the over use of the word equality has been an enormous set back in the movement for animal rights. "Hunting is a long and honorable tradition in Michigan, teaching many valuable lessons and encouraging a love of the outdoors," is the most laughable premise perpetuated by hunters everywhere and has long ago begun to sound like a broken record. Hunting may very well be a tradition to a small minority but in no way does that make it right or acceptable. Many things that are no longer practiced in the 21st Century were also

once considered "tradition."

How hunting would engender love and appreciation of nature, which I hope includes wildlife, is a somewhat skewed and simplistic statement -- is that to say that the 95 percent of non-hunters in the country do not appreciate or respect nature because they haven't blasted the life out of an animal? Many claim that killing an animal is not the main reason for being outdoors, so why not just leave it at that and enjoy the life, beauty and wonder of a sentient creature whose life doesn't belong to anyone to do with as they please! Have these brave and nature-loving hunters ever heard of a camera?

The advice to fellow hunters to shoot straight is very telling because many animals are NOT retrieved after being wounded, whether fatally or not. Animal suffering doesn't seem to concern hunters -- do animals not feel pain, happiness, fear? Yes, the allure and excitement of killing an animal is indeed hard to explain to the majority of the population -- it is nothing less than blood thirst and wielding absolute power over animals that are not on an even playing field without weapons! I wonder how many of these brave hunters would be out there if they knew that animals could shoot back -- probably none!