The issue of animal rights sparks differing views. Some individualsargue animals should have rights, just as is the case for humans.Others suppose that animals have no rights and can be used for humangratification, to conduct medical studies and for food. In support ofhuman rights, the paper argues scientific experiments are not ajustification, like people animals too feel pain and are sentient.
In medical studies, denying animals their rights to conduct tests isan important procedure towards comprehending and getting closure onhow to cure human illnesses. The studies, all through history haveentailed employing animals in various tests and the results have beenregarded as greatly informative. However, in the recent past, usinganimals for scientific study is questionable. Issues focus on ifhuman beings abuse animal rights. When trying to determine if animalshave rights, those against animal rights argue that humans aresuperior to animals. Humans have a greater intelligence level, whichgives people the right to use animals as need arise. Animals arehuman properties, according to (Sustein 1) this means they can beused for medical testing, for their fur among other uses. A differentreasoning is that “animals are neither rational nor self-aware(Sunstein 1).” This makes humans better and in control of animals.Using the difference in intelligence level to justify the exploit ofanimals in laboratory tests is not logic. This can be argued usingthe scenario of an individual that is mentally retarded, or has braindefects making their intelligent level not higher than that ofanimals. However, in this case people will argue that humans withmore intellect should protect such persons. The same should alsoapply to animals, where humans as the more intelligent species needto protect other less intelligent or unintelligent species.
Most individuals that argue for the denial of animals rights inconducting experiments state that animal testing has the capabilityto result in extensive progress in medicine. The animals used, likechimpanzees, have almost the same genetic composition as humans. Itis true that without animal tests, it would be impossible to getcures for some human illnesses (Epstein and Brook 1). Conversely, itis imperative to recognize that in spite of having almost identicalgenetic composition, it does not imply that the immune system of theanimals work the same as in humans. Even after the experiments haveproven successful in animals, scientists, always take a further stepto test on humans prior to terming an experiment as successful. Inthe case of illnesses like HIV, cancer or fatal heart attacks, theillnesses are largely associated with people’s lifestyles. Thismeans that when people engage in responsible sexual conduct, theyreduce chances of contracting HIV. Consuming diets that are healthyand exercising daily reduces the chances of getting cancer and fatalheart attack. It is only in hereditary cancer cases that animal testsmay prove successful. Hence, drug testing can be avoided and moreeffective ways of controlling illnesses adopted.
All humans agree that no individual has the right to murder or hurtanother, apart from in self-defense. The argument derives from theundeniable fact that humans feel pain, since the body has a nervoussystem. Whenever nerve cells are destroyed, for instance by a sharpobject, the brain gets signals triggering in the consciousness aspain. The more cells destroyed at the same time, the more paincaused. The nervous system of many animals, in specific mammals, isalmost the same to that of humans, proposing that animals feel thesame intense pain like people. Hence, if persons do not have a rightto inflict pain in other individuals, the same applies to animals.Additionally, there is scientific proof noting that many animals havefeelings, are subject to mental stress, and are affected by most ofthe similar things affecting humanity emotionally (Cohen and Regan60). Research shows that children of animal species passed awayfollowing untimely separation from the mothers, regardless of amplecare by scientists. Animals restricted to cages for long periods,like in vivisection laboratories, depict signs of madness as well asneuroticism, frequently throwing their bodies against walls, ortearing flesh, which are all desperate fits (Cohen and Regan 48-51).This makes it apparent that like humans, animals feel pain andhappiness, which demands they are granted their animal rights.Scientific tests are used for human convenience, which is equivalentto denying animals a right to live freely. The fact is animals aresentient beings, and it is our role as humans to protect and notdestroy them.
Human beings should make it their objective to protect animal life.It is true that they are less intelligent, and help in sciencediscoveries. However, they have a nervous system, which makes itpossible for the animals to feel excruciating pain as humans. Peopleshould consider changing their lifestyle to avoid cancer and heartattack cases, thus reducing the need for more scienceexperimentation. Measures should be directed towards protectingrights of animals.
Cohen, Carl,and Tom Regan. The Debate.Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2001. Print.
Epstein, Alex and Brook, YAron. The Evil of Animal “Rights”.Tulsa World, 19 May 2001. Web. 6 Dec. 2014 http://ari.convio.net/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5211&news_iv_ctrl=2090
Sustein, Cass R. The Rights of Animals: A Very Short Primer.University of Chicago Law School. Web. 6 Dec. 2014http://www.law.uchicago.edu/files/files/157.crs_.animals.pdf