Animal Rights – Reflective Paper Essay

When it comes to animals and their rights, there is a definite line between our needs and our taking advantage of those species that we consider inferior. As long as man has existed he has been carnivorous, and the same holds true for many other species of animals. Animals are a necessity to humans for survival, whether it be for food, clothing, etc. However, the unnecessary torture of animals through testing is not a necessity for human survival. When it comes to the needless torture of animals that we claim to benefit, the animals lives need to be taken into consideration.

To start with, animals are not capable of giving their consent to be used as subjects in an experiment. Secondly, experiments can only be performed on an individual who is willing, morally speaking. Therefore it is immoral to use animals in experiments. It would be great if this were a world where our lives were actually governed by morals. The sad truth is that we do not. Until we do, someone is going to have to stand up for the silent majority that is incapable of voicing its opinion. When there is torture and unjust treatment towards humans, people then realize that it is wrong.

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When it comes to needlessly conducting experiments on animals, no one ever says anything. Humans need to stop thinking about themselves as a superior species to other animals. They have to start thinking about how we can stop the cruelty that they inflict upon animals day after day in experiment after experiment. Tom Regan, a well-known animal rights activist, wrote, “the fundamental wrong is the system that allows us to view animals as our resources, here for us- to be eaten, or surgically manipulated, or exploited for our own purposes. Using Animals for testing is wrong and should be banned. They should be entitled to the rights we have. Every day humans are using defenseless animals for cruel and most often useless tests. The animals cannot fight for themselves therefore we must. There should be stronger laws to protect them from laboratory experiments. Although private companies run most labs, experiments are often conducted by public organizations. The U. S. government, the Army and Air Force in particular, has designed and conducted many animal experiments.

The experiments were engineered so that many animals would suffer and die without any certainty that this suffering and death would save a single life, or benefit humans in any way at all. These animals are literally being tortured to death by substances such as drugs, cosmetics, diseases, tobacco, alcohol, detergents and other poisons. The common belief is that animal testing has accelerated science and medicine a great deal, but the truth is simple: animal experimentation has not cured a single disease.

People have been misled into believing that animal experimentation is responsible for many “miracle cures” and “medical breakthroughs” for decades. The reason is very straightforward: animals differ from humans greatly—too much to be able to have accurate results from experiments. The only progress with infectious disease made in the 20th century was made through improved nutrition, hygiene, and public sanitation. This is not a result of animal research.

Here is my question to all those pro animal testers out there: if animal testing is so safe, why is it that the FDA is forced to take thousands of pharmaceutical drugs off the shelves after they have been proven “safe” after animal experimentation? In response, someone may say something such as this: animal testing is better than nothing; besides, they are just beings that do not think or reason. It is true that the main difference between humans and other animals is our ability to think and reason. However, what about those who are mentally challenged? Surely, some animals are smarter than some humans are.

Surely there are some humans who cannot think or reason; yet, that is not a reason to experiment on them. Toxicity tests are inconclusive. The Lethal Dose 50% test or LD- 50 forces increasing amounts of a test product until half of the test group dies. Animals are fed or injected with cosmetic products… As the dose increases internal organs become blocked, rupture, and cause animals’ organs to not function and they bleed on the inside. If the animals are not murdered in the test, they are killed afterwards. Toxicity tests determine the effective toxicity for animals but not humans.

They determine the toxic level for mice, dogs, rabbits, cats and chimpanzees, but not for young or old men and women. Some animals die in the test as a result of the volume of material, not the toxicity of the material. Most important, is the number of animals that suffer unnecessarily: why pour drain cleaner down the throats of animals, when humans would never do such a thing? Eye irritancy tests are outdated. Companies use the Draize Test to determine the irritancy of household products and cosmetics including laundry soap, toilet cleaner, erfumes and shampoos. The animal being tested on is tied up so that movement is restricted. They are not given any pain killers or anything. Substances are dripped into the eyes of the animal (usually rabbits in eye tests), and results are recorded over a period of three to twenty days. Some bad reactions result in irritation or blindness. Rabbit’s eyes have thinner corneas, and are more sensitive to inflammation than human’s eyes. That is why it doesn’t make sense to test something on an eye that will react differently to humans.

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