Focusing On “Suffering” Hurts The Animals

For some reason, the “animal movement” seems to be obsessed with focusing on the “suffering” of other animals.

While it is a great tactic to attract volunteers and donations, is it really something we should be focusing on?

Does focusing on “suffering” actually help “the animals”?

Not All Suffering Is Bad

The problem that arises when “suffering” is focused on, is that not all “suffering” is bad.

For example, when someone exercises, they may “suffer” due to the stress they have put on their muscles. Stress that makes the muscles stronger.

So, in this instance, the “suffering” is good.

Likewise, when other animals are thought of as “suffering” due to having a hard life, it may be a good thing as it makes the herd more resilient.

Suffering Relates To Treatment Not Rights

Whenever animal advocates talk about the “suffering” of other animals, it is always with regards to how the animals are being treated.

If the treatment is improved, the suffering is reduced.

If this happens, the industry can then claim a win as they have made things better for “the animals”.

Take eggs for example.

The focus has been on the “Suffering” that layer hens endure due to being confined to a battery cage.

The industry went cage-free, so the suffering has been reduced.

That decision has also enabled the industry to market cage-free eggs as a “premium” product.

It Ignores Their Individuality

Focusing on how other animals are treated, and how much they are suffering ignores that they are rights holding individuals.

When we ignore their rights, they become nothing more than a commodity.

A resource to be used

Used in such a way so as to cause the least amount of suffering.

This means that the rights of other animals are not acknowledged.

Even if they are acknowledged, they can’t be respected or even genuinely considered if other animals are still being used.

But The Public Don’t Understand About Rights

This has to be one of the worst excuses for promoting reform that I have ever heard.

How can they ever hope to understand rights if they are not told about in the first place?

If you don’t talk to people about rights, how will they come to understand that other animals do have rights?

If they don’t come to that point, how will they understand why they shouldn’t be used in the first place?


What are your thoughts?