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Them And Us Essay, Research Paper
Animal Welfare Institute. Animals and Their Legal Rights, 1968.
Baier, Stephen W. The Impact of Animal Rights on the Use of Animals for Biomedical Research, Product Testing and Evaluation. American Biology Teacher 55.3 (Mar. 1993) : 136-39.
Blake, A., B. Collins. Animal testing: for and against. Nursing Times 95.8 (Feb. 24- Mar. 2 1999): 32-3.
Cantor, David. Animals Don t Belong in School. American School Board Journal 79.10 (Oct. 1992): 39-40.
Gorman, Christine. What s it worth to find a cure? Time 148 (8 July 1996): 53.
Morris, Desmond. The Animal Contract. New York; Warner Books, 1990.
Newkirk, Ingrid. Save the Animals! 101 Easy Things You Can Do. New York; Warner Books, Inc., 1990.
Williams, Jeanne, ed. Animal Rights and Welfare, New York; The H.W. Wilson Company, 1991.
Williams, Joy. The inhumanity of the animal people. Harper s 295 (Aug. 1997): 60-7.
Them or Us
It has been over fifty years since humankind began infecting, maiming and killing it s closest relative, the chimpanzee. We use them for our own personal advantage, because they are so much like us. Chimpanzees possess ninety-eight percent of the same genetic material that we ourselves possess. Somehow we continue to use our closest relatives as experimental subjects. It is this two- percent difference that allows us to use them in experimentation on our behalf, and if it did not exist, we would not be able to use them in medical research because they would be us. If they did not have this small difference medical progress would come to a standstill, or as Joy Williams quotes in her article The inhumanity of the animal people, it would slow to a snail s pace. When humans are treating their closest relative in this manner one can only wonder at what they are doing to the animals further down in the evolutionary ladder ( Joy 62).
The issue of animal experimentation has long been debated as to whether or not it is a necessary element for humankind. Animals have been used for the good of man since the first human decided that fur could provide warmth and that the meat of animals was nutritious and it s use was acceptable. Cruelty to animals cannot be justified by the argument of the greater good of mankind when there are many alternatives to the use of animals ( Morris 20).
The main reason animals are used in laboratory tests is to further the interests of mankind. This is often done without the least bit of concern for the animals forced to forfeit their lives for the sake of advancement in medicine, cosmetics, and household products ( Joy 65). Animal experimentation is unethical, and morally wrong because of the inherent cruelty and lack of necessity.
Ethics have begun to be defined as rights in the U.S. Animal rights activists believe that this implies equal consideration of interests, but to others this idea is laughable ( Joy 64). These activists also believe that animals possess inherent rights and ideals not unlike humans, and therefore the torture and death of animals for the sake of humans is inexcusable on any moral grounds. M.A. Fox, as interpreted by Baier, asserts that because animals are not included in the human moral community, that they do not have rights equal to those possessed by humans ( Baier137). Lacking many experiments that animal rights activists feel are unethical, much of AIDS research would be impossible ( Gorman 53).
Walter E. Howard believes, What is right or wrong concerning the rights of animals largely depends on one s personal ethics, ( 739). According to Joy Williams Humans don t want to enter into a pact with animals. This is because as long as animals don t reason humans do not have to feel awkwardness and guilt or even be unnerved. Williams states that it would make the way we treat them seem unreasonable, and that animals being voiceless is a relief to us because it releases us from feeling empathy or sorrow (60). Many believe that the use of animals is justified within certain criteria because there is an ethical distinction between lower and higher order animals, such as between rodents and primates. The only questions that can follow this are Who makes this decision? and What are the criteria for acceptable and unacceptable procedures? ( Baier 137).
Animals are have often been substituted for humans in biomedical research. Many of their uses include establishing the responses to disease and trauma, validating disease remedies, and trying out medical equipment and maneuvers ( Baier 136). They have been used in tests such as lethal dose and Draize Eye Irritancy Test. In the lethal dose test observations are made on reactions to ingested substances such as toilet bowl cleaner and other household products. This test is continued until about fifty percent of them finally die. The Draize Eye Irritancy Test is when they pour nail polish and shampoo and other such products into the eyes of the animal to watch for reactions ( Newkirk 2).
Humans and animals have physical and psychological differences, which make animal research useless, or ineffective ( Williams 49).Animals are also induced with diseases, but these tests almost never result in a cure that can be used on humans. Animals are not naturally prone to heart disease and high blood pressure so scientists have to imitate them in the subjects. This has little or no comparison to humans that are troubled by these diseases naturally, and contrary to popular opinion animal research does not save lives, it destroys them. Evidence suggests that it actually kills people. All dependable information on both heart disease and high blood pressure has resulted from human experimentation, even though millions of similar experiments were conducted on animals. If animal tests were at all effective enough to be believed then humans would never have taken aspirin or penicillin, because they both cause death in cats ( Blake 32-3).
The American Welfare Institute s Critical Review of Conditions in Institutions Receiving Funds Under DHEW Auspices documented the following atrocities upon visitation to these institutions: cages too small for animals to stand or lie in a normal position, failure to administer pain-relieving drugs after surgery, to destroy suffering animals, to supervise animals after surgery, to provide comfortable resting places for animals, repeated use of the same animal for painful procedures, failure to provide water, and to identify animals, immobilization of unanesthetized animals, and filth( Animal 66). There is only one way for an animal to leave a laboratory, deceased. Even though these horrible acts have been recognized in many different institutions there are no provisions in the Animal Welfare Act for animals having experiments or procedures conducted on them in labs, in fact the government cannot interfere in experimentation whatsoever ( Joy 62).
Opposition and unease involving the use of animals in research has begun to be heard by a more greatly diversified group of people. This is why alternatives to animal experimentation are on the rise. Some believe in the Three R s concept: reduction, by limiting experiment types and numbers, refinement by limiting the pain and discomfort of lab animals, and replacement by finding alternative methods of experimentation without the use of animals. Many researchers agree that these alternatives are acceptable, but that they are only in the beginning stages ( Baier 136-39).
Stephen W. Baier, a biology teacher in the East Penn School District in Emmaus Pennsylvania, informs that the foundation of biomedical advances, as seen by many of today s researchers, is the area of animal research (137). On the contrary, the belief that animal research is cruel and inhumane, useless and detrimental to Science and that it also puts lives in danger is beginning to spread to an increasing number of doctors and scientists. Testing cosmetics on animals was commonplace a short time ago, but now it is considered inhumane. This attitude is beginning to spread into the idea of animal testing, even though it has become commonplace for vertebrate animals to be used in all kinds of research, including household product testing, biomedical and veterinary research, medical advancement, and many areas of learning ( Blake 136).
Many people from many of the parties involved in animal testing, including scientists, doctors, and patients want to replace animal testing ( Blake 32-3). Andrew Blake, the director of the organization Seriously III for Medical Research believes that the rights of humans outweigh those of animals. He feels that people feel guilt and contradictory animals have no responsibilities. Contrarily Britt Colling, and animal rights campaigner believes that the choice in animal research is not between animals and humans, but that it is between genuine and fake science. ( Blake 32-3).
Animals have been used for the good of man since the first human decided that fur could provide warmth and that the meat of animals was nutritious and acceptable. Cruelty to animals cannot be justified by the argument of the greater good of mankind in the face of alternatives to the use of animals. Mankind s arrogance has created a world of pain and suffering for his animal counterparts. No matter how much the supporters and opposers disagree it is a fact that biomedical research, product testing, and education will continue to deprive helpless and innocent animals of there God given right, life. ( Baier 138).
Thesis: Animal experimentation is unethical, and morally wrong because of the inherent cruelty and lack of necessity.
A. Animal rights
B. Human rights
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