The Instigator
Paramountdesktop
Pro (for)
Winning
53 Points
The Contender
TheSkeptic
Con (against)
Losing
52 Points

People for Ethical Treatment of Animals

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/30/2008 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,190 times Debate No: 5205
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (16)

 

Paramountdesktop

Pro

People for Ethical Treatment of Animals is an organization that stands for the rights of animals. Its main emphasis is to abolish factory farming, fur farming, animal testing, and animals in entertainment. Also, it campaigns against fishing, the killing of animals regarded as pests, abuse of chained backyard dogs, cock fighting, bull fighting and consumption of meet. These practices, that P.E.T.A. works to eliminate, are cruel. In factory farming, animals are slaughtered by the masses. In fur farming, an animal is literally stripped of its skin, so that its coat can become a new fashion vogue for humans. Apropos animal testing, what a deplorable procedure a vivisection is. Every year, tens of millions of animals are dissected, infected, injected, gassed, burned and blinded in hidden laboratories on college campuses and research facilities throughout the U.S. I could easily continue to elucidate the cruelties in the other issues the organization addresses.
These poor animals can not resist, on their own, the fate imposed on them by humans. That is why I deem that P.E.T.A. champions a worthy cause, representing animals that don't have a voice in our society.
TheSkeptic

Con

Thank you Pro, for challenging me to this debate.

Since the title of this debate does not confer any position, I will derive from his opening argument that he is advocating animal rights; which basically makes up PETA.

The four core issues he addresses, and what PETA confronts, are factory farming, fur farming, animal testing, and animals in entertainment.

However, I being Con, argue that animal rights should not be advocated, but instead animal welfare. I am in accordance with most of the issues PETA addresses, but to a limited extent. I agree that ethical issues in factory farming, fur farming, and animals in entertainment are alarming, but I negate the proposition that they should be completely done with; that animals should has as much rights as humans. We should still be able to have the three said practices, but the welfare of the animals in each of them should be increased. To consider that animals are on the same moral threshold as humans is ludicrous, as we have moral judgment and interests.

"Apropos animal testing, what a deplorable procedure a vivisection is. Every year, tens of millions of animals are dissected, infected, injected, gassed, burned and blinded in hidden laboratories on college campuses and research facilities throughout the U.S."

On the issue of animal testing, while I will argue for some leniency on the suffering of animals, make it clear that animal testing contributes to 95% of our biomedical research. Virtually every medical advancement in the 20th century has been derived from animal testing. Some of the advancements are as follow:

Penicillin, Blood transfusions, tuberculosis medicine, meningitis vaccine, kidney transplants, breast cancer treatments, asthma inhalers, polio vaccine, insulin for diabetics, and deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease.

These few out of the very many medical advancements from animal testing have been discovered through animal testing. I do not think I even have to state how many human lives this has saved.
Debate Round No. 1
Paramountdesktop

Pro

We live in a world dominated by humans. That is why, in our society, the rights of animals tend to get overlooked.

Like every species, humans have the inherent nature to protect members of their own species, and, therefore, have a predilection for other humans. But does that signify that the value other animals' life is any less? No. And why should animals not have a certain degree of rights?

I deem that an organization, giving a voice to animals that cannot represent themselves among man, and contesting the terrible treatment animals cannot withstand, champions a good cause.

Apropos fur farming and usings animals for entertainment, why should such unsignificant things be done at the expense of animals? Like I said, in fur farming, an animal is literally stripped of its skin, so that its coat can become the latest fashion vogue for humans. Regarding animal entertainment, I think it is horrible to remove an animal from its habitat, so that it be used as some form of amusement.

On the subject of factory farming, yes it is a means to producing all the meat products the world demands, but there are many negatives aspects. The large concentration, of animals, animal waste, and the potential for dead animals in a small space, is not only profoundly unethical, but the contamination is apt to cause disease and is a potential environmental hazard.

Animal Testing:

Animals not only react differently than humans to different drugs, vaccines, and experiments, they also react differently from one another. Ignoring this difference has been and continues to be very costly to human health.

Examples:
The most famous example of the dangers of animal testing is the Thalidomide tragedy of the 1960s and 1970s. Thalidomide, which came out on the German market late in the 1950s, had previously been safety tested on thousands of animals. It was marketed as a wonderful sedative for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers and it supposedly caused no harm to either mother or child. Despite this "safety testing", at least 10,000 children whose mothers had taken Thalidomide were born throughout the world with severe deformities.

Clioquinol is another example of a drug that was safety tested in animals and had a severely negative impact on humans. This drug, manufactured in Japan in the 1970s, was marketed as providing safe relief from diarrhea. Not only did Clioquinol not work in humans, it actually caused diarrhea. As a result of Clioquinol being administered to the public, some 30,000 cases of blindness and/or paralysis and thousands of deaths occurred.

You claim that if animal research is discontinued, it will be at the expense of human health and life. Industry groups, such as Americans for Medical Progress credit animal research with advances such as the development of the polio vaccine, anesthesia, and the discovery of insulin. But a close examination of medical history clearly disputes these claims.

Dr. Jonas Salk and Dr. Albert Sabin, are credited with the development of a vaccine to combat poliomyelitis (polio). Yet in the medical industry itself there remains a dispute as to the means by which the development of the polio vaccine occurred and whether or not the vaccine even played a major role in stopping the virus. Dr. John Enders, Dr.Thomas H. Weller, and Dr. Frederick C. Robbins won the Nobel Prize in 1954 for proving for the first time that it was possible to grow poliovirus in laboratory cultures of non-nervous-system human tissue. This team stopped just short of creating the polio vaccine that would be released to the public. Around the time Enders, Weller, and Robbins won the Nobel Prize, Sabin and Salk began using monkey kidney cells to produce their polio vaccines despite the existence of better alternatives. It was unknown at the time that viruses commonly found in monkey kidney cells are now known to cause cancer in humans.

The claim that the polio vaccine was developed through the use of animal experimentation is misleading. Furthermore, as far as the benefits are concerned, there is ample evidence demonstrating the harmful effects the polio vaccine has had on human health. Deborah Blum, in her 1984 book, The Monkey Wars, wrote, "In the late 1980s, scientists tracking the life histories of 59,000 pregnant women all vaccinated with Salk polio vaccine found that their offspring had a thirteen times higher rate of brain tumors than those who did not receive the vaccine." (pg. 229) Many historians believe that the decline in cases in polio, like many epidemics of the past, must be attributed to factors such as improved hygiene and not solely vaccination.

Animal research is not aiding the fight against cancer. In fact, it is diverting resources from effective research and from the most obvious solution which is prevention. According to the National Cancer Institute, 80% of all cancers are preventable. Clinical observation and epidemiological studies have shown us that high fat diets, smoking, environmental pollutants, and other lifestyle factors are the main causes of cancer.

Moneim A. Fadali, M.D., in his book, Animal Experimentation: A Harvest of Shame, reports:

"Despite screening over half a million compounds as anti-cancer agents on laboratory animals between 1970-1985, only 80 compounds moved into clinical trials on humans. Of these, a mere 24 had any anti-cancer activity and only 12 appeared to have a 'substantial clinical role.' Actually, these so-called 'new' active agents were not so new: they are analogs of chemotherapeutic agents already known to work in humans." (pg.25)

The progress that has been made in the study of AIDS has come from human clinical investigation and in vitro (cell and tissue culture) research. Animal models continue to be used even though they do not develop the human AIDS virus. The development of life saving protease inhibitors was delayed by misleading monkey data. Referring to efforts to develop an AIDS vaccine, leading AIDS researcher Dr. Mark Feinberg stated: "What good does it do you to test something in a monkey? You find five or six years from now that it works in the monkey, and then you test it in humans and you realize that humans behave totally differently from monkeys, so you've wasted five years".

Clearly, if we are going to make medical progress, a new approach is needed. Human medicine can no longer be based on veterinary medicine. It is fraudulent and dangerous to apply data from one species to another. There are endless examples of the differences between humans and non-human animals.

1. PCP is a sedative for chimps
2. Penicillin kills cats and guinea pigs but has saved many human lives.
3. Arsenic is not poisonous to rats, mice, or sheep.
4. Morphine is a sedative for humans but is a stimulant for cats, goats, and horses.
5. Digitalis while dangerously raising blood pressure in dogs continues to save countless cardiac patients by lowering heart rate.

The National Institutes of Health alone pours well over five billion dollars annually into superfluous animal experimentation. Abolishing animal research will mean these resources could be redirected into prevention and the types of research which actually have a chance of advancing human medicine and human health.

There is no basic connection between animal testing and the human health. The general belief in the goodness of animal testing is basically the result of brainwashing that the general public has been subjected to for a long, long time. Behind these torturous practices are the pharmaceutical companies that spend billions of dollars on financing and publicizing the research universities and institutes.

Clearly, if you we are looking to make any progress in medicine, an entirely new approach is required. Human medicine should no longer be dependent on veterinary medicine. It is dangerous and fraudulent to apply data retrieved from one species to another entirely different species.
TheSkeptic

Con

An interesting observation. My opponent has literally copy-pasted this entire argument from another debate; albeit while on the same topic, I would prefer my opponent to write some original material. From reading his argument, it seems as if he has just copy-pasted an article. I ask my opponent to next time cite his sources.

"Like every species, humans have the inherent nature to protect members of their own species, and, therefore, have a predilection for other humans. But does that signify that the value other animals' life is any less? No. And why should animals not have a certain degree of rights?"

Animals cannot be held on the same moral platform as humans. Rights are a human invention used to moderate human social interaction. Animals are amoral creatures; they do not have free will. To have a right, you must have free will. Humans are sapient; we have rationality. This is what distinguishes us from animals.

"Apropos fur farming and usings animals for entertainment, why should such unsignificant things be done at the expense of animals? Like I said, in fur farming, an animal is literally stripped of its skin, so that its coat can become the latest fashion vogue for humans. Regarding animal entertainment, I think it is horrible to remove an animal from its habitat, so that it be used as some form of amusement."

I have already stated that while I agree with animal rights groups that such treatments of animals is unnecessary suffering, we can still have these practices but with guidelines, with restrictions.

"The most famous example of the dangers of animal testing is the Thalidomide tragedy of the 1960s and 1970s. Thalidomide, which came out on the German market late in the 1950s, had previously been safety tested on thousands of animals. It was marketed as a wonderful sedative for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers and it supposedly caused no harm to either mother or child. Despite this "safety testing", at least 10,000 children whose mothers had taken Thalidomide were born throughout the world with severe deformities."

The reason this happened was because of inadequate research. Especially since regulations back then aren't as righteous, such a thing was bound to happen. However, after ample research, the FDA has approved it since 2006 for its affect in treating multiple myeloma patients.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

"Clioquinol is another example of a drug that was safety tested in animals and had a severely negative impact on humans. This drug, manufactured in Japan in the 1970s, was marketed as providing safe relief from diarrhea. Not only did Clioquinol not work in humans, it actually caused diarrhea. As a result of Clioquinol being administered to the public, some 30,000 cases of blindness and/or paralysis and thousands of deaths occurred."

As yet, no explanation exists as to why it produced this reaction, and some researchers have questioned whether clioquinol was the causative agent in the disease, noting that the drug had been used for 20 years prior to the epidemic without incident, and that the SMON cases began to reduce in number prior to the discontinuation of the drug.[7] Theories suggested have included improper dosing, the permitted use of the drug for extended periods of time, [8] and dosing which did not consider the smaller average stature of Japanese. Researchers have also suggested the SMON epidemic could have been due to a viral infection with a Inoue-Melnick virus.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

I would like to point out how animal rights groups like to cherry pick incidents such as these two, and publicize it as if everything else were the same. As I have shown, these cases were either from inadequate research, or a case of where the drug was probably not the causative agent, but in fact some other reason causing deaths.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Scientists working on polio in monkeys up to the late 1940's had found out a lot about the polio virus but they're were seriously hampered by the fact that it was thought that polio could not be grown outside a living organism, which made it extremely difficult to obtain the quantities of virus necessary for vaccine research. John Ender's breakthrough discovery that polio could be grown in tissue culture enabled scientists to grow large amounts of many different strains of polio in tissue culture which could then be assessed for their potential as vaccines. What anti-vivisectionists don't point out is that Enders relied on testing in monkeys to verify that the virus was indeed growing and to examine the pathogenicity of different strains (1,2).

http://speakingofresearch.com...

In 1998, the National Cancer Institute undertook a large study, using cancer case information from the Institutes SEER database. The published findings from the study revealed that there was no increased incidence of cancer in persons who may have received vaccine containing SV40.[46] Another large study in Sweden examined cancer rates of 700,000 individuals who had received potentially contaminated polio vaccine as late as 1957; the study again revealed no increased cancer incidence between persons who received polio vaccines containing SV40 and those who did not.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Also, note that even if the polio vaccines containing SV40 did cause brain tumors and such; this wouldn't be because we used animal testing to discover this vaccine, but because one of the strains of vaccines was not checked thoroughly enough. This is not an issue of animal testing, but of regulations and safety.

If there were such "better alternatives" to treating cancer and AIDS that does not involve animal testing, then what is it? It seems as if my opponent makes the claim that scientists prefer to take the longer and more expensive pathway of animal testing instead of doing the easier and faster better alternative. If this was true, the only reason I could think of to explain such a bizarre practice was because they like hurting animals. This, I find preposterous.

While humans and every non-human animal look vastly different in appearance, we share a very close physiological structure. We have all the same organs, and all the same inner body systems such as the digestive system and so on. From mice to monkeys, our bodies work surprisingly the same, and this is why they are so effective for medical advancements. While there are still some few differences, the similarities far outweigh.

In fact, even mice share 99% of the same DNA as humans. This enables us to manipulate mice DNA by turning "off" or "on" a gene or two, and testing the mice.

1. PCP is a sedative for chimps
2. Penicillin kills cats and guinea pigs but has saved many human lives.
3. Arsenic is not poisonous to rats, mice, or sheep.
4. Morphine is a sedative for humans but is a stimulant for cats, goats, and horses.
5. Digitalis while dangerously raising blood pressure in dogs continues to save countless cardiac patients by lowering heart rate.

An important thing to note is that all these claims are not cited. Animal rights groups have a tendency to not even indulge themselves in some real science, but just choosing what they think will support their view. For instance, for #4, it has been shown that morphine works on cats, etc. This seems to stem from a paper reporting the effect of morphine on cats. 3mg/kg caused no excitement, whereas 20mg/kg produced marked excitement. A normal human dosage is 0.1-0.2mg/kg. This is about 50-200 times the normal dosage!

http://speakingofresearch.com...

PETA's involvement with ALF can cause potentially detrimental results for medical science. This is why I am against PETA and
Debate Round No. 2
Paramountdesktop

Pro

*Off the record: Hi Sam! Fun debate! =) You accepted my debate while I was on vacation, so I've been typing up counterarguments whenever I have access to a computer! You've concocted some tough arguments! My vacation is not supposed to be stressful, lol. X)*

For clarification purposes, I would like to say that my animal testing argument is one I'm using in a simultaneous debate.
http://www.debate.org...

"Animals cannot be held on the same moral platform as humans. Rights are a human invention used to moderate human social interaction. Animals are amoral creatures; they do not have free will. To have a right, you must have free will. Humans are sapient; we have rationality. This is what distinguishes us from animals."

My opponent has misconstrued what I said. Because humans only have knowledge of what they are capable of, it is impossible for animals to be considered equal by humans.

I said that animals should have A CERTAIN DEGREE of rights.
Rights meaning treatment that is just, morally good, legal, proper, or fitting. (See dictionary.com)

"I have already stated that while I agree with animal rights groups that such treatments of animals is unnecessary suffering, we can still have these practices but with guidelines, with restrictions."

My opponent fails to specify what "restrictions" or "guidelines" he would instate.
Animals should not be destroyed or bred for this purpose without sufficient justification in terms of public benefit.
Nor should animals be removed from their habitat without sufficient justification in terms of public benefit.

The Clioquinol and Thalidomide catastrophes are not just two isolated cases.

The following is information found from a reputable source.

________________________
Nobody benefits from animal testing when they take medicines. Drugs originate not from such tests but from clinical observation, serendipity and rational drug design. Animal testing became mandatory following the thalidomide tragedy, but it has failed to prevent further disasters. Vioxx, which was used to treat arthritis and acute pain, is the biggest drug catastrophe in history. According to David Graham, associate director of the US Food and Drug Administration's Office of Drug Safety, an estimated 88,000 to 139,000 Americans alone had heart attacks or strokes as a result of taking Vioxx, as many as 55,000 of them fatal. Smaller drug disasters are commonplace, killing many thousands every year.

New human-based tests could prevent many of these deaths. Microdose studies of volunteers reveal drug metabolism in the human body with accuracy. Yet regulators require animal studies, not microdose studies.

We would all be safer without animal tests, which correctly predict drug side effects only between 5 and 25 per cent of the time, according to studies published in the scientific literature. Action must be taken now to prevent another Vioxx.
--------
http://www.newscientist.com......
__________________________

Many more lives would have been saved if humans were initially tested on, instead of animals, before the product was released. We should not assume that medical products that have one effect on animals will have the same effect on humans or vice versa.

That is why animals testing is not only futile but detrimental to humans.

Anyway, we are getting sidetracked. My main point is that an organization, giving a voice to animals that cannot represent themselves among man, and contesting the terrible treatment animals cannot withstand, champions a good cause.

"PETA does a lot of good. In any large organizations, there will always be the few bad apples, like the ones who dumped the bodies of the dogs or cats. But PETA does make a huge difference in exposing unethical care of laboratory animals. While ALF often makes poor decisions, they have also exposed some very poorly managed animal care facilities."

http://omg.yahoo.com...

The fact of the matter remains that PETA only allegedly associated with the ALF and that issue is still debatable.
TheSkeptic

Con

"My opponent has misconstrued what I said. Because humans only have knowledge of what they are capable of, it is impossible for animals to be considered equal by humans...I said that animals should have A CERTAIN DEGREE of rights."

My opponent seems to state that animals do not share the same rights as humans, but at least a certain degree. This I agree with; humans are sapient while animals are only sentient. What distinguishes us from animals is our metacognition. We are aware of our own cognitive processes. There is ample evidence from studies that show non-human animals are only sentient, and have no such thing like consciousness or metacognition. They are not persons, and contribute nothing to the rest of the moral community. Animals are unable to enter into a social contract or make moral choices, and therefore cannot be regarded as possessors of rights.

"My opponent fails to specify what "restrictions" or "guidelines" he would instate."

Thing such as proper anesthesia for fur farming, more strict health and safety guidelines and regulations for animal entertainment, and exclusion of gestation cages for animals and better living conditions for factory farming. There are many things we can do to instate such limits, but hold practices such as animal testing. PETA's advocacy of animal rights means that animals are held on the same platform as humans.

"The Clioquinol and Thalidomide catastrophes are not just two isolated cases."

I have shown how these two incidents were not the cause of animal testing, but of poor safety and regulation. Thus, my argument still stands. My opponent has strayed from his original two examples and now brings up a new one.

"Nobody benefits from animal testing when they take medicines."

Of course they do, animal testing was probably the reason how the medicine was made.

"Animal testing became mandatory following the thalidomide tragedy, but it has failed to prevent further disasters."

Rubbish. He has no evidence of this.

"Vioxx, which was used to treat arthritis and acute pain, is the biggest drug catastrophe in history. "

It is quite amusing how anti-animal testing advocates seem to link every drug catastrophe with animal testing. However, yet again in the case of Vioxx, or better known as Rofecoxib, the reason for this incident was not because of faulty animal testing, but because the people who made this drug failed to supply adequate papers to the FDA which would have shown that it increased heart attacks. This is once again not an issue of animal testing, but of safety and regulations.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

"New human-based tests could prevent many of these deaths. Microdose studies of volunteers reveal drug metabolism in the human body with accuracy. Yet regulators require animal studies, not microdose studies."

My opponent shows no evidence for this.

"We would all be safer without animal tests, which correctly predict drug side effects only between 5 and 25 per cent of the time, according to studies published in the scientific literature."

This is again rubbish. My opponent shows no evidence for this, and no links. If the newscientist link was his intended citation, then it links to no specific article but the homepage.

"That is why animals testing is not only futile but detrimental to humans."

Animal testing has been used to find many significant medical advances, a few including:

Diphtheria antitoxin from guinea pigs.
Discovery of insulin and its treatment of diabetes mellitus from dogs.
Antibiotics for tuberculosis from guinea pigs.
Lithium from guinea pigs.
Non-volatile anaesthetic halothane from rodents, cats, dogs, rabbtis and monkeys. This is particularly important because this new generation of anesthesia allows complex surgeries to be possible for the first time.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

"Anyway, we are getting sidetracked. My main point is that an organization, giving a voice to animals that cannot represent themselves among man, and contesting the terrible treatment animals cannot withstand, champions a good cause."

PETA unjustly euthanize pets (how ironic) even when they are fairly adoptable; all stemming from their animal rights extremism.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

They stress that animals are on the same moral ground as humans. I have argued that they are not, and my opponent has not refuted my argument thus far. In fact, they are so radical that Ingrid Newkirk, the president of the organization, has stated that even if animal research resulted in a cure for AIDS, she'd be against it.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

PETA seems to argue that the suffering of animals are equal to the suffering of humans. So if by saving an infant from a dog's attack would cause the dog more harm, we should not save the infant, then this is truly wrong. Their campaign of showing chickens being treated the same as Jews in the Holocaust is outrageous and downright offensive. Is my opponent saying that a chicken is morally identical human?

If we were to follow along with PETA's campaigns, that means no pets. No horseback riding. No zoos. No circuses. No Seaworld (ouch!). No dogs that guide blind people.

If you give animals rights, then they also will have responsibilities.

PETA's support on direct action violence is terrorism, and they are worthy of no praise.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by dieguixd 8 years ago
dieguixd
really good aregument.. im really impressed but im gonna have to go with Skeptic
and please next time give cites instead of copying and pasting
Posted by Paramountdesktop 9 years ago
Paramountdesktop
Hey, I said that animals should not be removed from their habitats without sufficient justification in terms of public benefit. Seaworld rescues animals and makes the public care. =)
Posted by Paramountdesktop 9 years ago
Paramountdesktop
I want to apologize! I was on vacation and was entering arguments on my cell phone or whatever computers I could find. Looking back at my arguments, I can see that they are somewhat tenuous and contradictory. Please take into consideration my strongest points! Thanks!

-Paramountdesktop
Posted by monkeyyxxsun 9 years ago
monkeyyxxsun
I do like PETA but Paramountdesktop's arguments do not make sense.
Posted by TheSkeptic 9 years ago
TheSkeptic
"PETA's involvement with ALF can cause potentially detrimental results for medical science. This is why I am against PETA and"

...and its animal rights extremism.

Man that's what I typed, but it doesn't show up.

The hell...
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