If we want to take animals seriously as co-creatures, we must in any case recognize their right to respect for their animal dignity, which protects them from abuse as experimental objects. The conflict between monkeys, dogs and cats being mistreated in experimental laboratories, on the one hand, and the interests of medicine, the pharmaceutical industry and “basic researchers”, on the other, gains a constitutional position and forces benefits for people resulting from it. In this discretion, it is important whether it corresponds to the “dignity of man” that he takes other beings’ dignity for dubious experiments, the results of which are often not transferable to man.
Furthermore, animals must be guaranteed a basic right to life and conditions appropriate to their species. Then it will finally become a constitutional question whether in the future it will be possible to lock millions of chickens in cages where they peck at each other for blood, so they burn their beaks and cut their claws to survive at all. In assessing the conflict, the question of “human dignity” is also questioned here, which is incompatible with such treatment of animals. Also, castration of young piglets (without stunning) to spare carnivores the smell of pigs, or raising pigs in dark stables to bring them into apathy and thus speed up fattening.
Religious leaders, guardians of non-divine cult traditions, producers of milk, eggs and meat will attack such fundamental rights demands after misguided agricultural policies in recent decades have managed to destroy small and medium-sized farms and replace them with agricultural factories. Will we once and for all obey the dictates of industrialized meat production or will we emerge from a dead end, not only out of health but also out of respect for animals? Not overnight and not with the economic breakdown of the job-rich industry, but with the gradual transition to the peaceful handling of co-creations.