Cohen humans, in general, according to Cohen (as

Cohen suggests that
individuals have an obligation towards those who are given rights and those who
are not, including animals who are not human (as cited in Timmons, 2016). Cohen
is quick to point out that obligations can
result from promises and are applicable to those with and without rights (as
cited in Timmons, 2016). For example, Cohen talks about how, because he is an
instructor, he provides constructive criticism, but his pupils do not obtain
the right to advocate for that
feedback (as cited in Timmons, 2016). 
Cohen also uses the example of politicians, who should be respectful of
their constituents (as cited in Timmons, 2016). According to Cohen, this attitude does not originate from the
constituents’ rights (as cited in Timmons, 2016).

Similarly,
Cohen states that obligations also result from what individuals need to do (as
cited in Timmons, 2016). Perhaps most relevantly, Cohen talks about people
working in professions that depend on their animals (as cited in Timmons, 2016).
According to Cohen, these people should treat the animals a certain way, but these
animals are not given rights at any
point (as cited in Timmons, 2016). Cohen mentions how a dog does not have to be
walked or have medical treatment, but the dog’s owner should make sure his or
her dog has both of these (as cited in Timmons, 2016). Cohen mentions that a
dog’s owner should also euthanize the dog if the dog is in extreme suffering
(as cited in Timmons, 2016). Cohen seems to suggest that humans have to realize
that animals can suffer too, and thus, humans need to treat animals in the same
ethical ways that humans treat other humans (as cited in Timmons, 2016).

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While
Cohen does not endorse the notion that rights belong to animals, the way he
advocates humans treat animals is the same as the ways he advocates humans
treat other humans (as cited in Timmons, 2016). Humans should behave ethically
towards animals who are not humans, to a certain extent, and they should do so
in the same way they treat humans, in general, according to Cohen (as cited in
Timmons, 2016). Cohen believes that animals should be treated fairly, even
though they do not possess the same legitimacy that humans do (as cited in Timmons, 2016). This concept is
similar to virtue ethics’ connection to character and positive behavior
(Hettche, 2013). Within virtue ethics, there are even aretaic notions, which
reinforce the concept of righteousness being
equated with positive behavior (Hettche, 2013). Cohen believes that humans should still act ethically towards
animals and have our behavior towards them be positive (as cited in Timmons,
2016). Similarly, virtue ethics emphasizes a similar concept of eudaimonia and
respectful bearing (Hettche, 2013).

Therefore,
Cohen believes obligations towards animals or humans are not different, but the
treatment each group can expect to receive is (as cited in Timmons, 2016). For
example, when humans are euthanized, there is active euthanasia, which is when
somebody is purposely trying to kill another individual, often because he or
she is suffering (Timmons, 2016). Passive euthanasia occurs when medical care
is not given that could have enabled the individual to live longer (Timmons,
2016). Active and passive euthanasia could be applicable to animals, since the
veterinarian could purposely cause the animal’s death or, instead, not give the
animal medical care that could have saved his or her life (Timmons, 2016).
According to Cohen, when animals are euthanized, humans need to end their suffering just as some
people feel like it is important to end human suffering (as cited in Timmons, 2016).

The many
examples Cohen uses when talking about the obligations humans have do not seem to pertain strictly to humans or animals,
leading the reader to infer they are not different between animals and humans
(as cited in Timmons, 2016). For example, Cohen talks about how, if an animal
is suffering, they should be euthanized (as cited in Timmons, 2016). Similarly,
any logical philosopher, including Cohen, would not condone human suffering. In
fact, Cohen makes a point to discuss how malaria is making millions of
individuals suffer, so Cohen advocates for animal testing for a vaccine (as
cited in Timmons, 2016).

Just as
how people should react to suffering doesn’t change, Cohen uses another example
of the invitees at a party being treated respectfully (as cited in Timmons,
2016). Cohen suggests that, just as animals deserve to be treated fairly, so do
these people, even though one group enjoys rights and the other doesn’t (as
cited in Timmons, 2016). According to Cohen, humans have obligations towards
humans and animals, but humans retain rights that do not belong to animals because
rights are specific to mankind and mankind only, not animalkind and animalkind
only (as cited in Timmons, 2016).