We are living in an era where taking care of the appearance and well-being has become extremely important and because of this many philosophies and ideologies regarding healthful living have been developed in the past few years. For example, when it comes to vegetarianism the reason of its creation was mainly due to religion or in order to increase our health, however since the last century there were more people that became vegetarians because of moral and ideological reasons. This started a new lifestyle among people similar to vegetarianism but called veganism that is based on not eating animals or products of animal origin but also not using or wearing this products. Vegans in comparison to vegetarians are more engaged in respecting their lifestyle because of moral reasons, they do not want to harm any animal-being as they are strong advocates of their rights, they almost treat them equally to human-beings (Nordin 4). For this reason, I reckon that vegans who strongly protect animal rights should also fight for human rights and defend their specie as they are primarily themselves humans.
The philosopher Peter Singer, who pointed out animal rights and promoted vegetarianism, was against the abuse of animals and the use of modern methods on them in order to provide ourselves food (Vegetarianism). He also highlighted that people are not permitted to put one race over the other, therefore we should treat everybody equally including animals. He based his theory on the argument that they also feel pain so their live is just as fragile an sensitive as human live (Nordin 5). As a matter of fact, people who are vegetarian or vegan because of moral principles base their beliefs on the philosophy of Animal Rights and agree with the utilitarian stream of Singer that we should not fulfil our needs at the sacrifice of animals but do it without hurting anyone (Nordin 5). In my opinion, if vegans strongly care about ethics and about not provoking any damage on the health of any creature, they should also respect human rights to the same extend mainly because otherwise they will be contradicting their vegan beliefs. If they advocate for life in general, regardless of whether someone has emotions or not, they would be supporting not only human rights but also animal rights.
What is more, it is said that vegans fight for animals because they cannot defend themselves from being imprisoned and taken advantage of. Personally I believe that if they do it out of sorrow and pity for them, they should also fight for humans that are not even born and people who are not capable of defending themselves. On one hand, when it comes to abortion according to Hamilton many vegans support it because they does not perceive a foetus as a human being capable of experience pain, therefore they does not consider it as something brutal and cruel but as something that is equivalent to an operation (12). However, on the other hand following that kind of thinking vegans could be accused of speciesism because they favour intelligent beings and capable of feeling rather than developing beings.(Nordin 12) According to the Ecologist, cruelty or eradication should not be applied neither on animals nor on humans, in fact the campaigns that are against animal oppression have the same goal that the advocates of human rights fight for. They both promote empathy and compassion for the living species, especially for the species that cannot protect themselves from the harsh world or are being taken advantage of and in the case of foetus, by definition they are regarded as human beings so should be protected.
“Man is the most dangerous, destructive, selfish, and unethical animal on earth.” – Michael W Fox, vice president, Humane Society of the United States. (qtd. in Nordin 22). On the other hand, vegans should not support human rights because it is mainly caused by the actions of men that animals suffer. According to Nordin, humans are also animals because men came from them. However, during the passage of time they had acquired qualities that permitted them be the leading specie (22). If only vegans and vegetarians remembers that and care about animals, why should they care for humans that have the capacity to differentiate between good and evil, and they still choose to harm others. For example, in the case of amnesty why should vegans care about criminalist if they are not harmless, but on the contrary fully aware of their actions.
To conclude, vegans should respect and support also human rights as their philosophy is based on treating each specie equally, in spite of whether it is animal or a human. They should also advocate for the rights of developing human beings and for people with disabilities because in many ways they are similar to animals who cannot protect themselves.