Monkeys have for long been subject to abuse by Mauritian laboratories. Perhaps, we do not realise it, but if we do not voice out on such atrocities and injustice, this implies our acceptance for such malpractices. Aren’t we encouraging the idea of speciesism? Humans are not the only species of the planet and they share this world with millions of living creatures, among which, our cousins, the primates.
We are facing a new form of animal cruelty in the trading of animals to satisfy the never-ending human wants. Indeed, baby monkeys have now become the target of poachers in Mauritius. The latter are capturing baby monkeys to sell them at Rs 3000 per unit, specially for scientific purposes. These baby monkeys are often held in captivity under horrific conditions which entail both psychological and physical repercussions. They frequently suffer abuse, neglect and even death at the whims of human nature. They are separated from their mothers soon after their birth and often end up spending the rest of their lives in cages, with restricted movements. Some even end up as meat for human beings due to increasing demand. NGOs have been made aware of such practice and are coming up with measures to address the problem.
What about animal rights? One has to recognize that animals have feelings and we need to protect them. Human have a duty to treat animals humanely in our role as “stewards of the earth”. Hence, it is our duty and moral obligation to come up fast with solutions to address this new life threatening issue regarding baby monkeys.
Animal Rights is the idea that non-human animals are entitled to the possession of their own lives and that their most basic interests – such as the need to avoid suffering – should be afforded the same consideration as similar interests of human beings. Advocates of this philosophy argue that animals should no longer be viewed as property of used as food, clothing, research subjects, entertainment, or beasts of burden. Moreover, many cultural traditions around the world espouse some forms of animals rights. They suggest the extension of basic legal rights and personhood to at least some animals. The animals most often considered are bonobos and chimpanzees. This is supported by some animal rights academics because it would break through the species barrier, but opposed by others because it predicates moral value on mental complexity, rather than on sentience alone. However, animal rights have their fair share of critics. A view summed up by the philosopher Roger Scruton, wrote that only humans have duties and thus, only humans should have rights.
There should be no moral justification for refusing to take that suffering into consideration. We are living in a modern world and those arcane views should be disregarded as cruel; else, are we worthy to be considered as humans?