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Tom Regan, Are Zoos Morally Defensible?

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Tatiana Villanueva

on 15 April 2014

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Transcript of Tom Regan, Are Zoos Morally Defensible?

Def. - Prejudice against a certain species.
This word is important because many would agree zoos are not based on reason or actual experience, which eliminates the rights from the species who live in a zoo.


Speciesism
Respect
Def. – A feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.
Personally my definition of respect is not the same as I found, I believe respect was built based on the golden rule “treat others as you would like to be treated”, but this word is important because the basic human rights are based on respect, dignity, and equality. Speciesism disconnects the animals with the right of respect.

Freedom
This definition is especially important because this does NOT define animals in a zoo. Freedom of animals are compromised by the conditions of captivity.

Zoo
Def. – An establishment that maintains a collection of wild animals, typically in a park or gardens, for study, conservation, or display to the public.
This word is important because it is important to know the facility of the animals who are oddly still being defined as wild.

Literary Critic
By: Tatiana Villanueva

Tom Regan, Are Zoos Morally Defensible?
Def. – The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.
“In an oft-quoted passage Bentham enfranchises sentient animals in the utilitarian moral community by declaring, “The question is not, Can they talk?, or Can they reason?, but Can they suffer?”
• This passage is important because if we deny rights to animals because one can’t talk or reason with them, what does that say about how human kind will treat one another? Allowing humans to treat animals without compassion for pain can result into deep mental disturbance. (Many serial killers are proven to have started abuse at a young age torturing animals) This passage also raises the fact that animals can suffer, just as humans can, which connects animals with humans.
“Despite its historic importance and continued influence, we are, I think, well advised to look elsewhere for an answer to our question.”
• The utilitarian point of view does not hold weight when morally assessing zoos for the simple fact that who is to say that a “tram operator’s interest in a steady job” weighs more than “a wild animals’ interest to roam free.” The utilitarian point of view makes it impossible to determine which side weighs greater, it will eventually fall on opinions.
“They are not our tools, not our models, not our resources, not our commodities.”
• This passage is important because to look at humans as tools, models, resources, or commodities would violate human rights which if the right of each of us to be treated with respect and worth. Just as we don’t determine the moral worth of a human being based on them being useful, those who believe in animal rights generally believe women do not serve men, the poor do not serve the rich, and colored people do not serve the white. There is no master specie on this earth, and this should be translated in the way we “study” animals.
Passages
Moral
This definition is significant because of the title Are Zoos Morally Defensible. Are zoos truly concerned with the principles of right and wrong? And do zoos reflect the goodness or badness of a human character? Personally I think you can turn on the National Geographic Channel if you are feeling curious. This is also important because humans simply cannot give an educated moral assessment of zoos, unless we build a zoo for humans… (Although many would argue we have that, it is called prison/jail)
Do you believe if zoos did not exist, we would be robbing the younger generation of that experience? Would it be a loss or a gain? Why?

Would you offer your life in order to benefit another species entertainment, health, or knowledge benefit? Why or why not?

Strengths & Weaknesses
A
strength
I found was the Rights Based Theory which states animals have rights and should not be in captivity.
Another
strength
I found was the support that animals are aware of pleasure and suffering therefor should have rights just as humans do.
Utilitarianism being in the equation I thought was
weak
for the simple fact that humans and humans are weighing out the good and bad of zoos, the heart of the animals are not being fairly represented.
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