Huynh 1 Kimberly Huynh Ms. Swanson CSU ERWC Period 2 1 October 2014 Animal Rights: A Necessity or a Hindrance? The entitlement of rights to animals has been a long-standing issue ever since the 1960s. An organization called the Animal Legal Defense Fund has proposed a petition that calls for increased protection for the rights of animals. The petition states that all animals should be free from abuse, cruelty, neglect, and animal exploitation, and calls for further rights for laboratory animals, companion animals, farm animals, and wildlife. But what would these “rights” mean to humanity? If we were to extend rights to animals, then that would not only mean humans are restricted from eating meat, but also that scientists would not be able to test a cure for a disease. Thus, a “Bill of Rights” for animals is not necessary, as it has a negative effect on our health, it is a hindrance to medical research, and animals do not have the capacity for rational thought and no sense of self-awareness.
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"Isn't man an amazing animal? He kills wildlife--birds, kangaroos, deer,
all kinds of cats, coyotes, groundhogs, mice, foxes and dingoes--by the million
in order to protect his domestic animals and their feed. Then he kills domestic
animals by the billion and eats them. This in turn kills man by the million,
because eating all those animals leads to degenerative--and fatal--health
conditions like heart disease, kidney disease, and cancer. So then man tortures
and kills millions more animals to look for cures for these diseases. Elsewhere,
millions of other human beings are being killed by hunger and malnutrition
because food they could eat is being used to fatten domestic animals. Meanwhile,
some people are dying of sad laughter at the absurdity of man, who kills so
easily and so violently, and once a year sends out cards praying for Peace on
Earth." (Coats, 13)
We need to realize, that in today's society, animals deserve just as
much freedom as humans have. Although we are larger in size, we are not
superior in status. Animals have been around on the earth for as long as humans,
if not longer. Animals play an important role in today's society whether or not
we choose to admit it. Like a newborn baby learning to play with others we must
learn to share the planet with animals.
One of the main issues being disputed today with animal right, is
SUPERIORITY. Over 7 Billion animals die at the hands of humans, in the US,
every year. Out of those 7 Billion animals, about 95% of them are killed for
uses as food. Advocates for animal rights justify their research by presenting
the obvious differences that exist between humans and animals. These include
size, status, strength, and ability. Sometimes, one who is against animal rights
will take the attitude that "God gave them [animals] to us to use." What these
researchers fail to recognize is PAIN. All creatures are capable of feeling
pain. If a creature is capable of experiencing the pain then they too can wish
for the pain to end. That right, along with many others, of animals is being
denied to them even as we speak. Animals have a few basic rights which should
be observed by all, no matter what company or corporation they belong to. These
rights include freedom, the right to live peacefully in their own environment,
the right to receive respect and most importantly, the right to LIFE.
Throughout history it has been noted by many, that humans have gained
their existence from animals. In 1871, Charles Darwin proposed that one species
could evolve from another. He stated that humans had evolved from other
primates, such as apes and monkeys. Darwin related human feelings to those of
animals. By stating that certain human characteristics could be traced back to
animals, Darwin caused much controversy. He was now contradicting the
traditional relationship between human and animal. In a way, almost putting
them both on the same level. This theory questioned all that was believed to be
true in society and made people think about their purpose.
With many of the experiments done today, animals are mistreated
in every way shape and form. Usually, there is a lack of adequate food and
water. Ventilation for the animals is minimal and many times cages are packed
full with animals, leaving very little if any room to move around. On many
occasions, the animal will die throughout the course of the experiment.
Animals are in laboratories, today, because we are powerful enough to keep them
there, not because they truly belong there. Once we have an animal caged and
restrained, we suddenly gain an even greater feeling of superiority over the
animal. No matter what laws exist, experimentation will continue. This is
because the experimenter's imagination is endless. Our containing the animals
can be related to one's enslavery of another human being.
One way in which many domesticated, yet homeless, animals are brought to
laboratories is through Pound Seizure. Pound Seizure is a law which requires
shelters/pounds to sell, "extra" animals to experimenters. As a result of
Pound Seizure, 200,000 stray/homeless cats and dogs die at the hands of
researchers each year. At the moment, there are five states which allow and
have Pound Seizure Laws. Iowa, MN, OK, SD, and UT all allow these practices to
go on legally.
Today, one major reason that the animal rights movement still plays a
minor part in society is IGNORANCE. Many people feel that animal testing does
not exist because they do not see it directly. What they do not realize is that
animal testing is being done by many of the major companies around today.
Colgate, Palmolive, Gillette, Johnson & Johnson, and L'Oreal all test on animals.
One way to get around using these animal tested products is to look for products
that will specifically state "No Animal Testing Done On This Product."
Today, an animal's rights are protected by the Animal Welfare Act which
was passed in 1966. It sets standards for the treatment of animals used in
research, zoos, circuses, and pet stores. It covers housing, food, cleanliness,
and medical care. Although this act covers many animals, mice and rats, which
account for 70% of animals used in testing, are not included, and many animal
rights activists claim that the standards are not strictly enforced. According
to Psychological Abstracts, every year approximately 1-2 million animals are
used for research purposes. About 90% of the animals that are used are rats,
mice, and birds. Presently there are two major animal rights groups around.
They would be PETA and the ASPCA. PETA (People For the Ethical Treatment of
Animals), promotes vegetarianism
"Does Your Food Have A Face?" (Achor, 57) and "cruelty free" products.
PETA attempts to establish and defend the rights of all animals. Their primary
focus is on the factory farms, laboratories and the fur trade, but will also
concern themselves with hunting, fishing, zoos, the circus and other ways in
which animals are used for entertainment purposes. PETA is actively involved in
exposing all the illegal practices used in animal experimentation.
As many new studies continue to come out, more research is pointing to
the conclusion that animal experiments are not always as accurate as we'd like
to think they are. Although some similarities exist, quite a few of the
positive results gotten from animal tests, will backfire when first used by
humans. A commonly used test by researchers is the LD 50. The LD 50 (Lethal
Dose) gets its name because in this experiment 100 animals are taken, and then
subjected to lethel doses of a potentially dangerous chemical or drug. The
dosage is the increased until 50 of the animals die. If the animal is "lucky"
enough to survive, its life will be a total hell. They could end up being
deformed for life. If not deformed than definitely traumatized. After being
subjected to constant pain, punishment, stress and social and emotional
deprivation, the animal might never act the same.
Animal rights is a humane position which looks out for the rights of
others not just humans. It must be understood, that all living beings are
unique expressions of life. They each have their own inherent value, for if
they did not, then why would they exist? We may think that just because animals
do not speak to us, that they do not possess feelings, but they are capable of
feeling pain and suffering. Just like you and me animals have the right to live
their life without exploitation, or unnecessary pain.
"Question: What has billions of legs but still can't run
"Answer: The 6 Billion animals raised and killed for food every
year in the US." (Achor, 77) This may sound like a funny riddle,
but just remember what, or who, you are eating next time you have
some sort of meat.
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