Uploaded by jrreid on Aug 19, 2000
One of the most touchy aspects of our relationship with animals is the use of animals in laboratory sciences. Some manufactures of cosmetics and household products still conduct painful and useless tests on live animals, even though no law requires them to do so. Some people, called anti-vivisectionists, are at one extreme in their concern. They want an abolition of all experiments on live animals. At the other extreme there are those who say that it is quite all right for us to do whatever we like to animals. They say that God gave us such a right, since it is written in the bible (Genesis 1:26) that man has dominion over all creatures. If what is done to the animal may produce something of educational value, adds to scientific knowledge, or can help improve human health, they argue that it is worth killing animals or subjecting them to painful experiments. I believe that the unnecessary testing of animals is inhumane and unethical when alternative methods are available.
The anti-vivisectionists say we should allow no experiments on animals and the animal utilitarians, or vivisectionists, claim that we can do anything to animals if it is for the ultimate good of humanity. Perhaps they are both wrong. Much can be learned from treating animals that are already sick or injured in testing new life-saving drugs and surgical techniques. Animals, as well as people benefit from new discoveries. But is it right to take perfectly healthy animals and harm them to find cures for human illnesses, many of which we bring on ourselves by poisoning the environment, eating the wrong kinds of foods, and by not adopting a healthy active life-style?
Do people have the right to do what ever they like to perfectly healthy animals? Do we have the right to continue doing experiments over and over again in a needless repetition and a waste of animals if no new information is going to be gained. Animals suffer unnecessarily and their lives are pointlessly wasted. If the issue were simple, animal experimentation might never have become so controversial.
Each year in the United States an estimated 20-70 million animals-from cats, dogs and primates, to rabbits, rats and mice-suffer and die in the name of research. Animal tests for the safety of cosmetics, household products and chemicals are the least justifiable. Animals have doses of shampoo, hair spray, and deodorant dripped into their eyes...