“It is one thing to say that the suffering of a nonhuman animal, just as the suffering of us humans, is a bad thing in itself. It is another to say that we or the nonhuman animals have a right not to be caused to suffer or feel pain (MacKinnon, 382). ” Most of the time, when people think of animals, they think of something furry, cuddly, feathery, slimy, and something with a beak or lots of sharp teeth. However, many people do not think of life, a beating heart, feelings and receptiveness to stimulants.
Take a minute to stop and think of this; after all, animals are not just big fluffy things, they are living, breathing, creatures that have been given a life just as we humans have. When it comes to whether or not animals are just objects for us to experiment on and help us, I think of what animals truly are and I feel as if this is wrong. Although I do not feel that animals should have the same rights that humans have, I also do not feel as if they should just be experimental objects.
Mackinnon states, “Even those who support animal rights sometimes agree that the uses of animals in experimentation can be ethically supported if they serve important and worthwhile purposes (386). ” I support the reformist position in means that which allows people to eat meat, requires certain size cages and ventilation, however, I do not agree with animal experimentation. Peter Singer states, “Nonhuman animals lack certain capacities that human animals possess, and that this may justify different treatment. But it does not justify giving less consideration to their needs and interests (MacKinnon, 398). His position has merit which causes one to stand behind the same beliefs as he does and feel that animals should have similar rights that people have because they too feel pain and experience emotions and just because they look different does not mean that they are that much different than us. Animals are used for a variety of different tests. Humans are important, but that does not give anyone the right to cause needless pain and suffering on the animals’ part. It is understood that scientists do need to test out products, but one may feel that that they would get more accurate results if they tested a human product on a human.
It is argued that we would find cures and medications much easier if we tested these things out on our own species. By testing on humans we would get more information on how our bodies react to different drugs compared to continuing the testing on different species that do not have the same body and DNA make-up as we have. Many people argue that human experimentation is wrong because often times they are injected with cancer causing materials, weed killer, even though sometimes it is something as harmless as mascara. People find this to be wrong but yet find it acceptable to do experiments on animals.
It makes it easier to test on animals because they cannot disagree to volunteer. This would make it difficult to test on humans because many people would not want to experience the kind of pain we put these animals through. The tests animals endure are full of constant pain and torture even if the product being tested is something as simple as mascara. The benefits that we get from experimenting with animals cannot alone morally justify killing them on our own behalf. “Cruelty is defined as the infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering (MacKinnon, 399). The farms cruelly force them to live in extremely close contact with the other animals, which is completely against their instincts. This lifestyle causes severe stress that can lead to cannibalism and self-mutilation. Most of the time if animals get killed at these farms, they die by gassing, poison, electrocution and suffocation. So remember all these facts about animal cruelty the next time you decide to buy a fur coat. Unfortunately, there are many people out there who are in favor of not having animal rights. They have many arguments of why animals should not have rights.
Bonnie Steinbock is one of the many people who are not in favor of animal rights. She makes a strong claim: Namely, that certain capacities, which seem to be unique to human beings, entitle their possessors to a privileged position in the moral community. Both rats and human beings dislike pain…but if we can free human beings from crippling diseases, pain, and death through experimentation which involves making animals suffer, and if this is the only way to achieve such results, then I think that such experimentation is justified because human lives are more valuable than animals’ lives (401).
One thing that people tend to argue about is animals cannot reason. They cannot be held responsible for their actions. To have rights, you must have these capacities. One may beg to differ because if you think about it infants are also unable to reason. Does that mean infants do not have any right either? Can we keep infants in little two by two feet cages and experiment on them? Many do not think so. If any one person did this it was start a huge massacre and no one else would agree with them.
Another common argument that is often made is it is foolish to believe that animals have a right to vote, to marry, or to even change their citizenship which causes animals to not have right. Part of what is said here is true however different individuals do not have to have all of the same rights in order to have some of the same rights. For example an infant does not have the right to vote however this does not mean the child lacks the right to be treated with respect. This falls under the rights held by H. L.
A. Hart and S. I. Benn. Despite some good arguments why animals should not have rights, there are many more sound reasons for animals to have them. The evidence shows why animals should have rights because they too have emotions, feel pain, and are living breathing creatures just like us! Next time you are in a store about to buy a product that is tested on animals think twice about it because they should have rights just like us no matter what others think and you should not support their rights being taken away.