Re “A Change of Heart About Animals,” Commentary, Sept 7: Jeremy Rifkin argues that animals and humans are more alike than we think and should treat them with similar respect. I agree with Rifkin’s point. People need to understand that animals are not mindless creatures who should be treated as less just because they can not communicate with us the way we do with one another.
Most people tend to consider animals as lesser because they do not open their mouths and speak to us. Rifkin’s usage of Koko the gorilla’s story shows that some animals do understand but lack the education to communicate with humans in an effective way.
Rifkin explains that animals do grieve and that elephants specifically will look over their loved ones dead bodies for days. This provides more reason as to why we should not senselessly poach animals. Although animals do feed on one another, they mostly do in order to eat, not for sport.
In general, the reality is not easy to see and Rifkin writes it out in a practical way that makes it easy to comprehend. Now the hope is that people take it into consideration, actually treating animals with more respect.