Animal RightsEver since The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals inEngland in 1824 was formed there has been long running debates on the topic ofanimal rights. The first societies were formed to protect and maintain humantreatment of work animals, such as cattle, horses and house hold pets. Towardsthe end of the 19th century more organizations were formed, this time to protestthe use of animals in scientific experimentation. In todays society groupssuch as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have continued thesetraditional fights as well as adding new agendas. These new agendas includehunting and fishing, and dissection of animals in science classes.
This paperwill discuss the pros and cons of animal experimentation and research, animalsin the classroom, animal organizations and hunting. Along with these topics mypersonal opinion will be stated, before and after researching the topic.The rights of animals have always been important to me during my life.This is due to the fact that I have had a dog for a pet for as long as Iremember. On this topic I feel as though having domesticated animals in the homeis fine as long as proper care is taken of them. As for more controversial issuelike animal research and experimentation my views vary. A few years ago I feltthat any research or experimentation on animals was inhumane and unjust.
Howeverafter maturing and becoming more aware of the world, I now feel as though thereare definite goods that come from animal research that can not come from doingtests on humans. This view is by no means one sided. I also feel that there aresome things being done to animals that just should not happen, such as thetesting of cosmetics.
In other areas of animal rights like dissection in theclassroom I think that as long as the animals died naturally it is fine to usethem to further a students education along with human cadavers. Of course, Ihope thatanimal dissection can become a thing of the past with the advent of newtechnologies. On the topic of hunting I have had a first hand experience.
Thedeer population where I live grew out of control a few years ago and as a lastresort the town decided to have a hunt. It was very controlled safe and had alimit as to how many deer were killed. This sort of animal control is extremeand in my opinion should be avoided at all costs. However, the overpopulation ofdeer was causing health risks to the town, like a spread of lymes disease, whichmade hunting a necessity.
The rights of animals are watched out for byorganizations dating back to the early 1800s. This, I feel is an important stepin protecting animals as long as they protest within there legal rights. Inorder to sum my opinion up animals do have certain rights but if experiments,research, hunting and dissection provide positive increases in knowledge thatfurthers the existence of the world it is a necessary thing that must be done.Perhaps the biggest and most debated subject dealing with the rights ofanimals is the use of them in research and experimentation. “Very few peoplewould object to the use of animals if human lives were saved as a consequence.”(Minkoff, 26) However the extremists who do object would do so on a few keypoints.
Firstly, animals which are used are subjected to in humane treatment.This consists of tests such as the LD50, which entails giving an animal a lethaldose of a chemical or drug until 50% of them die. Also, experimenters aresubjecting them to wound experiments, radiation experiments and studies on theeffects of chemical warfare.(PETA, 2) Organizations such as PETA are alsoopposed to cosmetic testing on animals due to experimenters spraying, injecting,and feeding cosmetics to animals which cause labored breathing, blindness anddeath in some cases. These organizations argue that cosmetics have already beentested on animals in the past why continue doing the same tests.
Due to theprotests of The Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing in 1981, Avon andRevlon have stopped using animals in their research.(Comptons, CD) Experimentsand research on animals such as the LD50 test and cosmetic tests are, accordingto animal rights organizations cruel and inhumane towards animals. They believethat animals have rights and they are just as important to society as humans are,therefore if humans are not used for these experiments then animals shouldnteither. Despite these objections for experimenting on animals there are positiveresults that come from it.Research on animals is important in understanding diseases and developingways to prevent them. The polio vaccine, kidney transplants, and heart surgerytechniques have all been developed with the help of animal research.
Throughincreased efforts by the scientific community, effective treatments for diabetes,diphtheria, and other diseases have been developed with animaltesting.(Bioethics, 148) There are many reasons given for it to be necessary towork with animals in research. First scientists must be able to test medicaltreatments for effectiveness and drugs for their toxicity before being tested onhumans. Also new surgical techniques before being used on humans must be testedon living things with circulatory and pulmonary systems like ours. No “computermodels, cell cultures, nor artificial substances can simulate flesh, muscleblood, bones and organs.
“(Ampef, 2) If considered carefully there is noalternative to animal research. It is impossible to explain or predict thecourse of many diseases without observing the effects of it on the entire livingsystem. In the classroom, it is argued, dissections must go on in order tofurther our knowledge. But, what about computer programs like the virtual frog?The answer to this is simply that even with todays technologies these kind ofcomputer programs are not sophisticated enough to reproduce a living organism.In researching the topic of animal rights my eyes have been opened tovarious different reasons to support and not to support animal rights. Afterserious consideration of both sides of the argument, my opinion is that animalsshould be used in research and experiments, excluding cosmetic experiments.
Inmy opinion this type of animal use is fine as long as it results in positivelyadvancing the human race. Despite this point of view I also believe thisresearch must produce these results in a humane manner. Animals do have rightsand should not be used for unnecessary things such as hunting which is purelytaking advantage of animals because they can not defend themselves and no goodcomes from this sport. The only exception to this was stated earlier in whichhunting was used as a last resort to curb a possible health threat. Finally myhope for the use of animals in the classroom is that someday there will beenough technological advances for computer programs that will enable them tosimulate a real animal. This actually goes for all animal testing, if we couldsimulate an animal or human, on a computer we would not have to subject anyoneto testing.
Animals do have the right not to treated inhumanely whether it be inthe home, laboratory, classroom or field, yet as long as animals are being usedto help benefit the world, animals in my opinion can be used in some respects.Works cited:Comptons Interactive Encyclopedia. CD-ROM. Comptons New Media Inc. : 1994Encyclopedia of Bioethics, Simon and Schuster. New York: 1995Minkoff, Eli C., Biology Today: An Issues Approach.
McGraw-Hill Companies,Inc., New York: 1996. (pp25 – 32)Miller, David Lee Winston. ” The LD50 Test, A Failure of Extreme, but Measurable,Proportions.
“1997. Online. Available: http://www.sunyit.
edu/millerd1/LD50.HTM”Without Animal Research.” Americans for Medical Progress Educational Foundation.1997.
Online. Available: http://www.ampef.org/research.htm”Animal Experimentation.” People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
1997.Online. Available: http://www.envirolink.org/arrs/peta/facts/exp/fsexp01.htm