Do you think animals should have rights?

.....................................Do Animals Have Rights?................................

For many years, the controversial question ‘Do animals have rights?’ has been circulating and in turn has received many mixed responses. In the Blah Blah section I asked the simple question ‘Do you believe in Animal Testing?’. I received a very definite response of ‘NO!’. It also seems that many people are 100% against animal testing and are 100% rooted to the suggestion that animals should have rights.

However I speak differently.

Now, I do not support animal cruelty, which to me is intentionally harming an animal with no reason to abuse. I do however believe in animal testing if the animal is not being harmed or inconveniently being tested on.

In the 1970’s, the Australian philosopher Peter Singer was the first to put forward the claim that animals have rights. Since then people have been asking: Should we eat animals? Should we use animals for entertainment? Should animals have rights?
This is not a debate of entertainment. It is a debate about the ethical principals at issue.

Firstly, I propose to examine the argument of animals having rights. I believe animals should have some rights, but limited rights. For example, I believe there should be no dog fighting, no bull fighting and no fox fighting. By allowing harm come to these animals, it shows not just cruelty and intentional harm, but it also encourages violence amongst humans and represents an uncivilised society. As human beings, and hopefully as civilised ones, we should respect the life of others.

It is wise to remember that as humans we are related to animals. The only difference being that we are developed with a great amount of complexity. As humans we feel emotion and pain. We get frightened and we can feel the prick of broken glass. Animals too feel what we feel. When a monkey gets frightened it shows it’s fear by smiling and recoiling behind an object. When we get frightened we show expressions and we try and conceal ourselves too. Like dogs, when we feel happy we get excited and hyper. There is no justice when harm comes to life that can feel and hear and see and touch. These animals should have a right to live a life of comfort and security and peace.

However, even though the debate for allowing animals to have rights is strong, the debate to keep them from having extreme rights is just as strong.
It’s known that some animal activists are hypocrites, extremists and terrorists. The Animal Liberation Front (ALF) use terrorist tactics and death- threats. The PETA organisation are also extremists. These people refuse modern medicine which, could not have come about without animal testing.

Animals are living things, right? And you believe living things should be free, correct? Well what about bacteria. That’s living. It’s alive and just like humans it reproduces. Why can’t bacteria have freedom? They are, after all, living too. The right to life of all living things includes bacteria. So off goes the AIDS virus, enjoying these freedom rights… killing and destroying. Animals kill and destroy too. You allow a lion to wonder off down the street, enjoying it’s freedom. What does the lion see? Lunch.

Now onto animal experimentation.

I’m not prattling on about testing cosmetics on animals because I think that’s just plain wrong. But I am going to debate testing medical and science procedures on them.
For many years scientists have been testing medical and science procedures on animals. I agree with this testing if it doesn’t harm the animal and if it’s tested on the correct animals.

What is sometimes over looked in this debate is veterinary practice. I think it’s ok to practice veterinary techniques on animals if it’s in their own interest. Without such practice how do we know how to help the animals? Testing a bloody plant won’t help.

Secondly, as humans we share around 98% of our genes with chimpanzees and slightly fewer with other monkeys. So when these animals are tested on, they will react similarly to a human. This is a great guide in the development of drugs and surgical techniques that will help humans in the future. Ask yourself this: would you allow your mother, father, brother, sister or other family member to partake in these testings? No, you wouldn’t, because it would be considered immoral to risk the life of a human being….

However, most animal experiments are done on animals that compare very little, if at all, nothing to humans. Tests are being carried out everyday on mice, rats and rabbits. How a rabbit would react to a drug shows nothing on how a human would react as each animal has it’s own unique physiology.

And finally, it is not acceptable to test animals that are perfectly healthy. Not acceptable at all!

I’m not here to change your mind, I’m just showing both sides of this argument. I personally think animal testing is helpful to humans. Everyday people are cured and helped of painful illness. Drugs that cured these people were tested on animals. They worked. They helped a human life. Of course, not all the drugs have worked and some have had to be withdrawn, but can you offer an alternate to testing? Testing plants will not help. Just won’t work. Testing the weather won’t help. Testing a converse won’t help. It would be incredible if a machine was developed with such brain power that it could determine these things for us, but unfortunately it hasn’t.

Scientists are not all bad. They do try and minimize stress to animals. But some people are never grateful for what they have. Without animal testing we wouldn’t have the miracle operations we have today. Open heart surgery. Brain transplants. Other complex operations.

Ever heard of the first Head Transplant? I suggest you look it up. On May 21, 1908, Charles Guthrie successfully grafted a dogs head onto the body of another dog. This became the worlds first man-made two headed dog… that lived! This success showed major progress and hope for science and surgery.

At the end of the day, what you choose is your own business. Whether you refuse to accept animal testing or whether you see it as I see it, I won’t condone anyone for their choice. At the end of the day, we’re only human.

PS: I don't want whiney moany comments. Don't call me inhuman. You believe what you believe. I believe what I believe. End Of.

Posted on July 5th, 2008 at 10:35am


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