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Animal Rights and Animal Ethics

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Animal Rights and Animal Ethics Do animals have rights? Yet another view suggests that animals can have rights, but animal rights are weaker than human rights. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Animal Rights and Animal Ethics


1
Animal Rights and Animal Ethics
2
Content
  • Speciesism
  • Are humans unique?
  • Marginal cases
  • Animal rights
  • Kant
  • Singer
  • Regan
  • Do animals have rights?
  • Factory farming
  • Animal experimentation

3
Speciesism
  • The moral status (moral standing) of a being or
    entity answers the question whether the being or
    entity is morally considerable.
  • It usually refers either to a right not to be
    killed or made to suffer, or to a general moral
    requirement to be treated in a certain way.

4
Speciesism
  • French philosopher René Descartes (1596-1650)
    held that animals have no moral status because
    they have no souls.
  • According to Descartes, because the soul is
    necessary to consciousness, animals cannot feel
    pain or pleasure.

5
Speciesism
  • We now know that Descartes was wrong. Animals do
    feel pain and pleasure. They have consciousness
    and engage in purposeful behavior.
  • The differences between humans and other animals
    are more a matter of degree than of kind.

6
Speciesism
  • Speciesism is a prejudice for ones own species
    and against other species. It involves the
    assigning of different moral statuses, values or
    rights to beings on the basis of their species
    membership.

7
Speciesism
  • Speciesism entails discrimination practiced by
    humans against other species.
  • Unequal treatment is usually justified on the
    grounds that human beings, as a species, are
    superior in some ways to other species of animals.

8
Speciesism
  • The most obvious property shared among all human
    beings that excludes all nonhuman animals is our
    membership of a particular biological group the
    species homo sapiens.

9
Speciesism
  • From the standpoint of modern ethics, an
    individuals membership of a group alone is not
    morally relevant.
  • Like racism and sexism, speciesism involves
    unequal treatment on the basis of group
    membership that cannot be morally justified.

10
Speciesism
  • People who object to speciesism argue that a
    difference of species is not a morally relevant
    difference in the same way that a difference of
    race (or sex) is not a morally relevant
    difference between human beings.

11
Speciesism
  • Counterargument Racism and sexism are wrong
    because there are no relevant differences between
    the sexes or races. Between people and animals,
    however, there are significant differences.

12
Speciesism
  • For example, it is false that blacks and women
    are incapable of being benefited by education,
    and therefore they should enjoy equal access to
    educational opportunities. The same is obviously
    not true in the case of cows, or dogs, or even
    chimpanzees.

13
Speciesism
  • Speciesism can be justified on the ground there
    is a clear difference between humans and other
    species.
  • Human beings are more self-aware, and more able
    to choose their own course of action than other
    animals. This enables them to think and act
    morally, and so entitles them to a higher moral
    status.

14
Speciesism
  • Another argument in favor of speciesism is that
    it is biologically natural to treat ones own
    species favorably.
  • Almost all nonhuman animals treat members of
    their own species better than those of other
    species.

15
Speciesism
  • Most people, faced with a difficult choice
    between a human and an animal, would probably
    react in a speciesist way.
  • A child and a dog are trapped in a fire. You can
    only save one of them. Which will you save?

16
Are humans unique?
  • What is distinctive about humanity such that
    humans are thought to have moral status and
    non-humans do not?
  • Is there any moral justification for unequal
    treatment of humans and nonhuman animals?

17
Are humans unique?
  • Humans are members of the species homo sapiens.
    As such, humans share a genetic make-up and a
    distinctive physiology.
  • But this is unimportant from the moral point of
    view. Species membership is a morally irrelevant
    characteristic.

18
Are humans unique?
  • Those who believe in Darwinian evolution argue
    that humans are animals and are fundamentally the
    same as other animals.
  • Experts tell us that we humans share much of our
    DNA with other organisms.

19
Are humans unique?
  • The genetic differences between human beings and
    their closest evolutionary relatives
    chimpanzees are proportionately very small
    human beings and chimpanzees have approximately
    98.4 percent of their genes in common.

20
Are humans unique?
  • Thus, the crucial question is whether or not the
    actual differences between humans (as a species)
    and other species of animals are morally relevant
    and hence justify different moral considerations
    and unequal treatment.

21
Are humans unique?
  • If there are morally relevant differences between
    human and nonhuman animals that justify treating
    them differently, what are these differences and
    how do they matter?

22
Are humans unique?
  • Humans are morally considerable because of the
    distinctively human capacities we possess,
    capacities that only we humans have.
  • Capacities such as thinking and reasoning
    distinguish humans from nonhumans because they
    are thought to be integral to our personhood.

23
Are humans unique?
  • Higher-order thinking is unarguably something
    unique to the human race. Besides, only human
    beings are naturally moral beings.
  • Free will is another quality that makes human
    being unique most other life forms act merely
    upon instinct.

24
Are humans unique?
  • Humans can plan for the future, using memories of
    the past and reason to make decisions, rather
    than follow blind impulses.
  • The major difference in the brains of humans and
    of other animals occurs in the frontal cortex,
    i.e. the site of self-consciousness (awareness of
    oneself as a separate and unique entity).

25
Are humans unique?
  • We differ in kind from other animals because of
    our rational nature, a nature characterized by
    the capacities for conceptual thought and free
    choice.
  • In virtue of having such a nature, all human
    beings are persons, and all persons possess the
    real dignity that is deserving of full moral
    respect.

26
Marginal cases
  • Some philosophers, however, argued that while
    humans are different in a variety of ways from
    each other and other animals, these differences
    do not provide a philosophical defense for
    denying nonhuman animals moral consideration.

27
Marginal cases
  • What is it that really differentiates humans
    morally from animals?
  • Most of us, if asked this question, would
    initially respond by citing some psychological
    capacities, for example, self-consciousness,
    rationality, autonomy, free will, ability to use
    language to communicate, etc.

28
Marginal cases
  • The problem with this response, is that, for each
    of these capacities, there are some human beings
    who lack it.
  • Does it imply that those human beings who lack
    these capacities, or who possess them to no
    greater degree than certain animals, are not
    entitled to the same moral status as other
    humans?

29
Marginal cases
  • If rationality, intelligence and language, etc.
    are necessary conditions for moral consideration,
    should human infants, the severely retarded and
    brain-damaged humans be excluded from moral
    consideration?

30
Marginal cases
  • If members of society such as infants, the
    senile, the comatose, and the mentally
    handicapped have moral status, animals should,
    too, have moral status because there is no known
    morally relevant ability that those marginal-case
    humans have that animals lack.

31
Marginal cases
  • The argument from marginal cases is a
    philosophical argument regarding the moral status
    of animals.
  • If these marginal human beings deserve the same
    moral consideration as normal human beings, why
    not animals too?

32
Marginal cases
  • Consider a cow. We ask why it is acceptable to
    kill this cow for food we might claim, for
    example, that the cow has no concept of self
    and therefore it cannot be wrong to kill it.
  • However, many young children may also lack this
    same concept of self.

33
Marginal cases
  • So if we accept the self-concept criterion, then
    we must also accept that killing children is
    acceptable for exactly the same reason as it is
    acceptable to killing cows, which is absurd.
  • So the concept of self cannot be a relevant
    criterion.

34
Marginal cases
  • For any criterion or set of criteria (e.g.
    language, consciousness, free will) there exists
    some marginal humans who are mentally deficient
    in some way which would inevitably entail the
    exclusion of them form having moral status.

35
Marginal cases
  • If we are justified in denying moral status to
    animals then we are justified in denying moral
    status to the marginal cases.
  • We are not justified in denying moral status to
    the marginal cases. Thus, we are not justified in
    denying moral status to animals.

36
Marginal cases
  • The argument from marginal cases requires us to
    treat like cases alike, but babies, the
    intellectually impaired and the senile currently
    have rights that animals do not have.
  • To avoid the charge of speciesism, we should,
    therefore, give the same rights to animals.

37
Marginal cases
  • Counterargument Most of us believe that society
    (family, government, charities, etc.) has the
    duty to take care of the needs of every baby,
    every mentally impaired person, etc.
  • Does it imply that society has the duty to take
    care of the needs of every animal?

38
Marginal cases
  • We feel a special obligation to care for the
    handicapped members of our own species, who
    cannot survive in this world without such care.
  • Most animals manage very well, despite their
    lower intelligence and lesser capacities, and do
    not require special care from us.

39
Marginal cases
  • Those who reject the argument from marginal cases
    may argue that only moral agents or persons have
    moral status, and they are the primary holders of
    moral rights.
  • We grant rights to human infants because they
    will become moral agents and so deserve our
    respect.

40
Marginal cases
  • In the case of the mentally disabled, it may be
    true that chimpanzees have similar mental
    capacities as these persons, but their meanings
    in (human) society are not the same because of
    the web of social relationships that give special
    meanings to human existence.

41
Animal rights
  • Do animals have rights? If animals do have
    rights, do they have the same rights as human
    beings? Are we humans violating these rights when
    we use them for our own purposes?

42
Animal rights
  • One widely accepted view recognizes persons as
    beings with a moral status that entitles them to
    a complete set of basic rights.
  • In the case of nonhuman animals, while they may
    have species-specific needs, they are not
    entitled to the same moral status and rights of
    human beings.

43
Animal rights
  • Proponents of animal rights maintain that animals
    have rights of the same sort, although perhaps
    not exactly the same rights, as human beings.
  • Animal interests are not always the same as human
    interests. Thus, animals rights may not be
    exactly the same as human rights.

44
Animal rights
  • Thus, for example, animals may possess the right
    to life or a right against suffering, since they
    can suffer and die.
  • But they cannot, for obvious reasons, possess
    political and civil rights such as the right to
    vote or the right to freedom of speech.

45
Animal rights
  • Relevant rights for animals may include
  • the right to live free in the natural state of
    their choosing
  • the right to express normal behavior
  • the right to life
  • the right to reproduce
  • the right to choose their own lifestyle
  • the right to live free from human induced harm

46
Animal rights
  • If animals do have rights, then there are certain
    things that human beings should not do to
    animals, because doing them would violate the
    animals rights.

47
Animal rights
  • Accepting the idea of animal rights means
  • no experiments on animals
  • no breeding and killing animals for food or
    clothes or medicine
  • no use of animals for hard labor
  • no selective breeding for any reason other than
    the benefit of the animal
  • no hunting
  • no zoos or use of animals in entertainment

48
Kant
  • Kant believes that appropriate human conduct
    (morality) does not extend beyond the human
    species because only humans are
    ends-in-themselves.
  • All other animals are seen as a means to an end.

49
Kant
  • Kant argues that moral agents must be
    self-conscious, be rational, have moral
    principles, be able to evaluate alternatives and
    be able to make judgments.
  • Since non-human animals cannot reason, they
    cannot be moral agents.

50
Kant
  • Kant denies that animals have moral status. For
    Kant, moral obligations and moral rights apply to
    agents alone.
  • Animals are not autonomous or self-conscious, and
    so cannot be considered moral agents. They are
    mere objects or instruments for human use.

51
Kant
  • Nonhuman animals lack the capacity of moral
    autonomy. Without moral autonomy there can be no
    understanding of duty.
  • In Kants view, while animals are worthy of our
    moral concern, they cannot be afforded any moral
    status in their own right.

52
Kant
  • In short, Kant assumes that humans are
    self-conscious and rational, whereas animals are
    not.
  • This difference implies that we have no direct
    duties to animals we have direct duties only to
    humans.

53
Kant
  • Kant So far as animals are concerned we have
    no direct duties. Animals are not self-conscious
    and there merely as a means to an end. The end is
    man Our duties towards animals are merely
    indirect duties towards humanity.

54
Kant
  • Our duties to animals are indirect duties to
    humans. In other words, the moral treatment of
    animals is only a means of cultivating moral
    treatment of humans.
  • We should not mistreat animals because this may
    lead to mistreatment of humans.

55
Kant
  • Kant If a man shoots his dog because the
    animal is no longer capable of service, he does
    not fail in his duty to the dog, for the dog
    cannot judge, but his act is inhuman and damages
    in himself that humanity which it is his duty to
    show towards mankind.

56
Kant
  • For Kant, if it is morally right to treat animals
    well, it is only because this promotes kindness
    between persons.
  • Animals should be treated well not because they
    have intrinsic values, but only because of the
    positive effects on other humans.

57
Kant
  • But why should killing animals tend to brutalize
    a person and make him more likely to harm or kill
    other people? Do butchers commit more murders?

58
Kant
  • The problem with Kants view on animals is that
    it makes rational self-consciousness the sole
    criterion for being morally considerable.
  • But why should we think that rational
    self-consciousness is the only thing of moral
    importance?

59
Kant
  • To be consistent, Kant would have to agree that
    nonhuman animals that are self-conscious (e.g.
    chimpanzees) have moral status, and human beings
    who are not self-conscious (e.g. fetuses) do not
    have moral status.

60
Singer
  • Utilitarianism is a form of consequentialism
    because it evaluates the rightness or wrongness
    of an action by that actions expected
    consequences, i.e. the degree to which an action
    satisfies interests.

61
Singer
  • A utilitarian accepts two moral principles 1
    everyones interests count, and similar interests
    must be counted as having similar weight or
    importance, and 2 do that act that will bring
    about the best balance of satisfaction over
    dissatisfaction for everyone affected by the
    outcome.

62
Singer
  • Utilitarianism believes that the essence of
    morality is to promote happiness and eliminate
    suffering.
  • Animals are capable of happiness and suffering,
    so they are morally considerable in the same way
    that human beings are.

63
Singer
  • Utilitarian philosopher Peter Singer challenges
    the view that there are fundamental differences
    in the moral status of human beings and
    non-humans.
  • Singer asserts that many animals are capable of
    suffering and therefore warrant moral
    consideration.

64
Singer
  • Singer maintains that sentience, the capacity of
    feeling pleasure and pain, is a sufficient
    condition for having interests.
  • If a nonhuman animal can feel pleasure and pain,
    then that animal possesses interests. A sentient
    animal has an interest in a painless, pleasurable
    life.

65
Singer
  • Singer argues that there is no morally
    justifiable way to exclude from moral
    consideration non-humans or non-persons who can
    clearly suffer.
  • Any being that has an interest in not suffering
    deserves to have that interest taken into account.

66
Singer
  • A mouse, like a human being, have an interest in
    not being kicked, because both would suffer.
  • Unlike a human being or a mouse, a stone does not
    suffer when kicked, and therefore has no interest
    in not being kicked.

67
Singer
  • Singer argues that what make racism and sexism
    morally objectionable is that a racist or sexist
    does not give equal weight to the similar
    interests of members of different races and
    sexes.
  • He defines a speciesist as someone who gives
    different weights to the similar interests of
    humans and animals.

68
Singer
  • Singer The racist gives greater weight to the
    interests of members of his own race, when there
    is a clash between their interests and the
    interests of another race. Similarly, the
    speciesist allows the interests of his own
    species to override the greater interests of
    members of other species.

69
Singer
  • The right action, according to utilitarian
    reasoning, is one that maximizes happiness and
    minimizes suffering.
  • Because nonhuman animals are just as capable of
    happiness and suffering as humans, their
    interests and satisfaction should be included in
    utilitarian calculations.

70
Singer
  • Singer The essence of the Principle of Equal
    Consideration of Interests is that we give equal
    weight in our moral deliberations to the like
    interests of all those affected by our actions.

71
Singer
  • To insist on equal consideration of animals
    interests is not to claim that animals have the
    same interests as human beings or that animals
    ought to be treated in the same way as humans.

72
Singer
  • The equal consideration of interests will often
    mean quite different treatment, depending on the
    nature of the entity being considered.
  • It would be as absurd to talk of a dogs right to
    vote as to talk of a mans right to have an
    abortion.

73
Singer
  • To take another example, because a pig has no
    interests that would be served by an education,
    whereas a child does, equal consideration for the
    interests of a pig and child will lead to very
    different treatment.

74
Singer
  • What a child and a pig have in common, however,
    is an interest in avoiding suffering.
  • Thus, to the extent that animals are capable of
    suffering, their interests must be given equal
    consideration to our own when we make ethical
    decisions, according to Singer.

75
Singer
  • Singers principle of equal consideration of
    interests calls for the immediate end to many of
    our current practices that cause enormous pain
    and suffering to animals such as factory farming,
    animal experimentation and hunting.

76
Regan
  • Tom Regan disagrees with Singers utilitarian
    program for animal liberation, because he rejects
    utilitarianism as lacking a notion of intrinsic
    worth.
  • Regans position is that animals and humans
    should have equal rights because of their equal
    intrinsic worth.

77
Regan
  • Regan argues that what is important for moral
    consideration are not the differences between
    humans and animals but the similarities.
  • Both humans and animals are what he calls
    subjects-of-a-life both equally deserve moral
    consideration and both are bearers of rights.

78
Regan
  • Many animals, according to Regan, are
    subjects-of-a-life, i.e. conscious creatures
    having an individual welfare that has importance
    to them regardless of their usefulness to others.

79
Regan
  • These animals possess capacities for emotion,
    belief, desire and memory, so Regan argues that
    we should treat them with the same respects as we
    treat human beings.
  • They should be viewed as ends-in-themselves
    rather than mere objects or resources for others.

80
Regan
  • If a being is a subject-of-a-life, it can be said
    to have inherent value.
  • All beings with inherent value are equally
    valuable and entitled to the same rights. Their
    inherent value does not depend on how useful they
    are to others.

81
Regan
  • Inherent value is the value of conscious
    individuals (of any species) regardless of their
    usefulness to others.
  • Any being that is a subject-of-a-life has
    inherent worth and the rights that protect such
    worth, and all subjects-of-a-life have these
    rights equally.

82
Regan
  • Kants error, in Regans view, was in thinking
    that only human subjects were ends-in-themselves.
  • For Regan, to be a subject-of-a-life is to be an
    end-in-itself. All subjects-of-a-life, therefore,
    have the same basic rights and dignity, and
    should be treated with equal respect.

83
Regan
  • In Regans view, individuals who have inherent
    value must never be treated merely as a means.
  • In other words, all subjects-of-a-life have the
    right to be treated with respect, which includes
    also the right not to be harmed.

84
Regan
  • To attribute moral rights to an individual is to
    assert that the individual has some kind of
    special moral dignity such that certain things
    cannot justifiably be done to him/her/it for the
    sake of benefit to others.

85
Regan
  • To have a right to life, for example, implies
    that others are prohibited from injuring their
    bodies, taking their life, or putting them at
    risk of serious harm.
  • Humans are not justified in harming them for the
    sake of benefits to humans, no matter how great
    those benefits may be.

86
Regan
  • For Regan, any practice that fails to respect the
    rights of those animals who have them (e.g.
    eating animals, hunting animals, experimenting on
    animals, using animals for entertainment) is
    wrong, irrespective of human need, context, or
    culture.

87
Regan
  • Regans view entails that animals have the same
    basic rights and the same moral status as human
    beings.
  • Thus, he argues for the abolition of 1 animal
    agriculture, 2 commercial and sport hunting,
    and 3 the use of animals in science.

88
Do animals have rights?
  • No one can deny that animals have interests.
    Animals pursue their interests and suffer when
    their interests are not satisfied.
  • Is the fact that animals have interests a
    sufficient condition for the possession of
    rights?

89
Do animals have rights?
  • Opponents to animal rights may argue that 1
    nonhuman animals cannot make moral judgments, 2
    they do not behave morally and cannot take
    responsibility for their actions, and 3 and
    they are not members of the moral community.

90
Do animals have rights?
  • If we value the lives of human beings more than
    the lives of animals, this is because we value
    certain capacities that human beings have but
    animals do not have.
  • One of these capacities is our ability to make
    moral judgments.

91
Do animals have rights?
  • The holders of rights must have the capacity to
    comprehend rules of duty governing all, including
    themselves.
  • Animals lack the capacity of moral judgment.
    Thus, they do not have moral rights.

92
Do animals have rights?
  • Counterargument Some human beings (e.g. babies,
    senile people, people with some severe mental
    defects and people in a coma) do not have the
    capacity for free moral judgment either, and by
    this argument they would not have any rights.

93
Do animals have rights?
  • Some argue that since animals do not behave in a
    moral way, they do not deserve moral treatment
    from other beings.
  • Animals, it is argued, usually behave selfishly,
    and pursue their own interests without take
    others interests into consideration.

94
Do animals have rights?
  • Human beings are normally held to be responsible
    for what they do.
  • In recognizing that someone is responsible for
    his or her actions, you accord that person
    respect which is reserved for those who possess
    moral autonomy.

95
Do animals have rights?
  • We do not expect animals to behave like moral
    persons.
  • For example, we do not regard a dog as having
    done something morally wrong when it bites
    someone if the dog is put to death because of
    the bite, that is to protect people, not to
    punish the dog.

96
Do animals have rights?
  • It can also be argued that rights are unique to
    human beings because rights only have meaning
    within a moral community.
  • Only human beings live in a moral community.
    Animals are not members of the moral community
    and thus do not have rights.

97
Do animals have rights?
  • Rights imply obligations. The idea of rights and
    duties is distinctive to the human condition, and
    it makes no sense to spread them beyond our own
    species.
  • Why should human beings have obligations towards
    animals, if animals do not have obligations to
    other animals or to human beings?

98
Do animals have rights?
  • Yet another view suggests that animals can have
    rights, but animal rights are weaker than human
    rights.
  • According to this view, we are morally permitted
    to treat animals in ways that we cannot treat
    humans.

99
Do animals have rights?
  • For example, it would be wrong to kill an
    annoying homeless person, but it would not be
    wrong to kill an annoying rat that has invaded
    the house.

100
Do animals have rights?
  • What is the difference between killing an injured
    stray dog and killing an injured homeless person?
    Why is the former morally justifiable but not the
    latter?

101
Do animals have rights?
  • Finally, even if animals do not have rights,
    human beings may still have a moral duty not to
    mistreat them.
  • The argument that animals should be treated
    properly can be based entirely on the need for
    human beings to behave morally, rather than on
    the rights of animals.

102
Do animals have rights?
  • We may accept that certain things are morally
    wrong and should not be done regardless of
    whether the victim has any rights or not.
  • For example, many people think that causing pain
    and suffering is morally wrong, whether the
    victim is a human being or a nonhuman animal.

103
Factory farming
  • The second half of the 20th century saw the
    intensification of cattle breeding which provoked
    fierce debates.
  • During the 1960s and 1970s, pressure groups
    started to argue on behalf of the interests of
    animals kept in factory farms.

104
Factory farming
  • In the United States alone, billions of animals
    are killed each year for human consumption.
  • The majority of these are raised in conditions in
    which their well-being is systematically
    sacrificed in every way that might reduce
    expenditures and thereby maximize profits.

105
Factory farming
  • Factory-farmed animals often experience an entire
    life of pain.
  • Cruelty to farm animals usually has the elements
    of an intentional act towards them, or willful
    neglect, that causes unnecessary suffering, in
    that it affects their life, health or comfort.

106
Factory farming
  • The use of animals for food is the largest direct
    cause of animal abuse and suffering today.
  • From the standpoint of utilitarianism, It is
    morally unacceptable to cause serious suffering
    to animals for trivial reasons.

107
Factory farming
  • The suffering caused by factory farms is not
    justified by the human desire for meat.
  • The principle of equal consideration of interests
    requires that we abstain from eating and using
    factory-farmed products.

108
Factory farming
  • We have no nutritional need for animal products.
    In fact, vegetarians are, on average, healthier
    than those who eat meat.
  • There is no shortage of foods that we can eat
    that do not require an animal to suffer in a
    factory farm or slaughterhouse.

109
Factory farming
  • Almost all of us agree that we should treat dogs
    and cats humanely. There are few opponents, for
    instance, of current anti-cruelty laws aimed at
    protecting pets from abuse.
  • How about applying these laws to animals in
    factory farms?

110
Factory farming
  • Do we believe that dogs and cats are so different
    from pigs, cows and chickens? Why do we think
    that pets deserve legal protection from human
    abuse, while animals in factory farms do not?

111
Factory farming
  • What separates pets from the animals we abuse in
    factory farms is physical proximity.
  • Our disregard for factory-farmed animals persists
    simply because we do not see them. Few people are
    aware of the ways in which they are mistreated.

112
Factory farming
  • What, if anything, is wrong with the idea of
    breeding human babies as a source of food?
  • These babies would not exist at all if we did not
    plan to use them like that, and anyway they are
    not intelligent enough to understand and object
    to what we are doing.

113
Factory farming
  • Those who think that doing so is wrong would have
    to agree that breeding farm animals for food is
    morally objectionable too not only because of the
    pain and suffering inflicted on the animals but
    also because they are treated as mere objects for
    our own purposes.

114
Animal experimentation
  • Medical research on animals has helped to bring
    about treatment of diabetes, cancer, stroke and
    heart ailments.
  • For example, dogs were used in the discovery of
    insulin and monkeys were used in the development
    of a polio vaccine.

115
Animal experimentation
  • While some instances of animal experimentation
    promise very great benefits to human beings (and
    occasionally, to animals as well) many instances
    of experimentation on animals do not produce
    benefits that outweigh the harms they inflict.

116
Animal experimentation
  • We should first ask whether the experiment is
    worth conducting.
  • As experiments routinely involve a large number
    of animals with an uncertain benefit to any
    humans or nonhuman animals, in most cases these
    experiments are not justified.

117
Animal experimentation
  • Many experiments are unnecessary because
    alternative methods of investigation are
    available, or yield results that cannot be
    reliably extrapolated to cases involving human
    beings.

118
Animal experimentation
  • The use of animals in biomedical research is
    often unnecessary, as in testing of cosmetics.
  • There are alternatives that can supplant animal
    testing, such as computer modeling, animal tissue
    testing, genetic research, and stem cell
    experimentation.

119
Animal experimentation
  • Animal research is unreliable and sometime
    counterproductive.
  • For instance, the link between smoking and lung
    cancer was discovered by the British scientist
    Sir Richard Doll in the 1950s by means of a study
    of human lung cancer patients in twenty London
    hospitals.

120
Animal experimentation
  • After Dolls theory was published, animal
    researchers tested it by trying to reproduce the
    carcinogenic effects of smoking in animals.
  • Dolls findings were dismissed because these
    animal experiments failed to demonstrate the link
    between tobacco use and cancer.

121
Animal experimentation
  • Some of this animal research was funded by
    tobacco manufacturers.
  • Dolls important discovery was hindered and
    delayed by animal research, thus delaying the
    health warning to humans and resulting in
    millions more unnecessary deaths.

122
Animal experimentation
  • For experiments that are intended to yield
    knowledge about human beings, such as what
    medicines may benefit us, or what substances may
    harm us, the data obtained would be far more
    reliable if the experimental subjects were human
    beings rather than animals.

123
Animal experimentation
  • According to the animal rights position, the use
    of animals in experiments is a clear violation of
    their rights they are being used as a mere
    means to some end.
  • Thus, animal rights proponents are in favor of
    the abolition of animal experimentation.

124
Animal experimentation
  • Many animals are used in experiments because they
    are so like us this makes them good models of
    human conditions in medicine.
  • But if these animals are so like us, why do we
    treat them so differently?

125
Animal experimentation
  • If we believe it is morally unjustifiable to use
    marginal human beings (e.g. infants or the
    mentally retarded) in experiments, why is it
    permissible to use animals of a similar mental or
    psychological capability?

126
Animal experimentation
  • The dominant ethical position worldwide today is
    that animal experimentation should cause as
    little suffering to animals as possible, and that
    such tests should not be performed unless they
    are necessary.
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