This communication is going to be a little different. This entire website contains a lot of stuff written by me, most of it is pretty dull. I’m not really sure of my motivation but it’s something to do and it makes me feel modern even though I’ve been writing web pages since 1995 [Imperial College Student Union web site].
Over the last year or so I have been thinking about horse racing and whether it is morally justifiable to allow this to happen. I have slowly come to the conclusion that there is NO moral justification for humans to use animals in sport.
I dislike the idea that we, as a species, put ourselves on top of horses and then race them as hard as possible around a track and that it is then broadcast for people to watch as sport. I do realise that it is a huge industry and that many people rely on this for their livelihoods but that doesn’t get around the fact that I find it impossible to justify as a just thing. Horse racing is a hangover from a time when we were not a liberal society. I would argue that our society (esp in the UK) is largely liberal and we seek reason for doing things. I do not see any reason why we take large beings and race them against each other for the financial gain of ourselves.
Sport is for human pleasure and social cohesion so we can only use humans to help us create that. I do not see any reason why humans should be using animals for sport. I would happily sign a petition calling for the end of animals in human forms of entertainment. Sport is, essentially entertainment. It doesn’t matter who or what wins, we just use it as a distraction from the more important aspects of our lives, such as our moral duty to save this planet and ensure everyone has enough to eat and freedom to be what they want. [Deep breath] Here goes:
Animals should not be used for sport
I’m pretty sure that this also goes for greyhound racing, fishing, cock fighting etc. As I said, this topic is one that I have been thinking about gradually and so “pretty sure” means I am working through the arguments in my head and trying to decide on what is “right”. Just in case you are wondering, I do NOT need a god to help me decide what is just.
I am happy for humans to be used in sport. Having said that, we generally don’t have to “destroy” humans if they fall in a race. Yes, some sports people die for what they do and that is sad, but at least they were (hopefully) aware of the risks.
I am reasonably happy to grow animals for food. I like eating meat and poultry and fish. I am aware of the inefficiencies of us growing meat to eat and that is a problem I should think about another time. We specifically grow animals to kill and then eat. I understand that, morally, that is different from growing animals to use as ENTERTAINMENT. This does not make me an hypocrite, just in case you were thinking that. I’ll explain my rationality for you: growing and eating animals to survive as humans is ok, growing animals for entertainment is not. Whether it is justifiable to grow animals for food, given the energy constraints this world faces I shall deal with another time.
I do know that when I try to put my thoughts down in writing that I struggle a little to get my ideas across. This is because writing is not a natural thing for me. I also haven’t spent all my time covering every aspect of this communication because I haven’t got the time. What you are reading here is the condensed version, putting my argument as simply as possible and trying to justify it. If you have problems with what I say, I don’t care. Perhaps you will start to think about this and work out what your arguments are.