What makes up a „right“?
Image: Farangis Yegane http://moosh-o-gorbeh.farangis.de
Is it you yourself who decides about what you consider to be your “right”? It’s an inner process, isn’t it, that you believe you ought to have a right to breathe, a right to walk wherever you want to, a right to say whatever you feel like saying.
There is another layer of the term “right” that is not an inner process but that marks instead that what the society, or the whole human world considers to be a “right” or your “right” respectively. This form of a “legal right” – lets ground it upon the basis of a generalized form of all legal human rights taken together as, so to speak, a “generic” type of a right the humans actually “grant” you, themselves as a group, or a group within the human group – this generic type of an exclusively human right (our current “legal right”) can be detached and even really be something different than the type of right you give yourself.
Without the outer form of a right that is given to you as a person or that is in contrast NOT given to any other living sentient being, you or any sentient being still has their inner sense of what I would call a right. It’s not so that a sense of right (which has something to do with rights and wrongs, as strange as we may think this would be) is something that only exists if you are told what is wrong and what is right. A sense of what you personally may consider a right is something dependent on the beings socialization, on its social contexts. And yes, I do call the behaviour of nonhuman animals amongst other nonhuman animals too a form of social behaviour.
Now if people say “rights” are nothing natural in the case of “animal rights”, and Animal Rights can only be granted on a more or less arbitrary basis, they are wrong insofar in which one can easily realize that all rights in the purest form are something that has to be dealt with on a subjective and a socio-ethical plane.
Rights are natural, because rights stem from self-experience and social interaction. Legal rights on the contrast are quite arbitrary.
Palang Latif, Animal Rights and Politics, I had previously posted this specific fragment on our visual opinions workshop blog http://www.farangis.de/blog/what-are-rights