(refutation of disagreement with 6. M.)
Refutation of claiming that animals are not harmed because they do not have rationality:
- No one needs to be able to make inferences in order to feel pain or suffer. Therefore it is simply mistaken to say that beings who are non-rational cannot suffer. However, even animals who are derided as "bird brains" can reason. Betty the crow made the news in 2002 when she bent a wire, repeatedly, to fashion it into a hook that dragged away a bucket of food from a bullying cage-mate, another crow. She could not have been "genetically programmed," instinctually driven, or environmentally determined to do this, and was not trained to do it. It was simply a calculated and intelligent act as many animals are accustomed to doing in coping with everyday situations. It is also irrational to assume that, insofar as a being lacks rationality, we have a licence to harm that being at will. Yet that is the conclusion that is usually drawn, unless of course the non-rational being is human (comatose, insane, senile, congenitally cognitively challenged, stroke victim, etc.).