Friday, May 8, 2015

Animal Rights

In this article, animal testing is considered a violation of the rights of animals. Since animals are sentient beings, and able to suffer, they deserve to have the same protections as human beings do. Animals are also unable to provide consent for any of the testing that is being conducted on them. This inability to give consent is a huge factor in the view point that animals deserve to be protected by laws. Animals, at one point thought to not share many characteristics with humans, have been observed making and using tools, communicating with one another verbally, and having sentience--the ability to suffer. These are all things that were previously thought to belong to humans only, making us distinct from animals. It would be speciesist to deny animals the same rights as humans. The AWA (Animal Welfare Act) is also discussed in the article, and it is pointed out that the majority of animals used for testing, 95%, are left completely unprotected by their rules and regulations. This group is made up of mostly rats and mice, as well as farm animals bred for slaughter and food, which amount to 9 billion animals per year just for human consumption. Even the animals that do have certain rights given to them are still suffering, as these laws do not prevent the killing of the animals, but simply tries to make the whole process more "comfortable" by stating that the animals must have clean water and food, safe shelters, and given anesthesia when preforming the invasive procedures that end up killing the animal. Descartes believed animals could have instincts, but did not have the ability to suffer, or to feel pain. This theory has been abandoned by many, but unfortunately, many also still remain who hold on to that theory in order to further continue their practices.

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