Animal welfare refers to well being of nonhuman animals. According to the statement, animals should be given a number of political and constitutional rights if we truly care about their welfare. Since they share the same planet as us and need basic necessities such as food and water, they should be considered as members of society just like humans. Since humans have different rights such as the right to vote and freedom of speech, animals should also be given some rights.
However, this statement is vague and does not say which political rights should be given to animals. Nonhuman animals do not have the intellectual capacity to understand what elections are and what a democracy is. It is not possible for us to make them understand the systems created by humans. Even if we somehow manage to help them understand the concept of politics, we cannot be certain whether they have the ability to make decisions.
If we provide animals with the right to freedom, it would not be possible for us to take ‘ownership’ of them. Hence, the milk, textile, pharmaceutical and food industries will fail to function.
Some may, therefore, argue that it is not necessary for animals to be given rights for their welfare. We provide high-quality medical care for animals and protect them from exploitation. Many organisations such as the RSPCA provide protection and care for animals around the world. In addition to that, laws and legislations protect endangered animals from being poached.
Since this issue involves many ethical and moral considerations, it is difficult to come to a specific conclusion. Of course, animals should be treated with respect and care as they are a vital part of our community. However, giving them political rights may seem unnecessary as they are not able to comprehend the concept of rights. Therefore, it is only necessary that we provide them with basic necessities such as food, water, shelter and protection.