Do you think that morally humans should be constrained in how we treat animals? If so, what is the source of the limits on ethical treatment, rights possessed by animals, or humans’ belief that animals should not be treated in certain ways? Based on these thoughts, do species have rights that differ in some way from those that might be possessed by individual animals? The U.S. Endangered Species Act and similar international conventions protect species from extinction, but do not protect individual members of a species until it is threatened with extinction. Can this be justified? If you agree with animal rights being vested in species, then should all species of animals, plants, and insects be protected? Should this protection extend to subspecies or subpopulations of a species?
If you want to do some reading on the subject, Peter Singer is one of the best-known proponents of animal rights. Here is a website with more information on these views:
Here is an online exchange between economist Bryan Caplan and philosopher Mike Huemer on whether insects have rights:
The assignment minimum is 3 pages.