Do all animals have the same rights as humans? Some but not all, animal rights activists believe animals have inherent legal and moral rights, just as humans do. According to this viewpoint it is unethical to use animals for any purpose, whether for pets, research, recreation, clothing, or as food. Animal use in testing is a huge controversial issue. Some believe animals have the same rights as humans and should for no reason be used as test subjects for research. Others, including members of medical and scientific communities say it is unethical not to use animals in research because animal experiments can lead to medical discoveries that improve the health and well-being of both humans and animals. Human health will not improve without animal experimentation. There is of course two sides to this issue. Worldwide, animals are used in numerous experiments which inflict pain and suffering to the animal. The first testing of animals started over one hundred years ago. Since then, animal testing has been a source of emotional conflict for humans. In 1966, the Animal Welfare Act took place. This was the start of the animal rights movement. Over the years, animal activists have become increasingly vocal and/or destructive. The ways in which animal activists try to get their message across to the public varies greatly. Some conduct letter-writing campaigns, others attack laboratories and harass scientists. One of these groups is the PETA founded in 1980 by Alex Pacheco and Ingrid Newkirk. PETA stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. The group works on a wide range of issues such as biochemical testing, cosmetic testing, dissection, factory farming, neglect and abuse to animals in pet stores, and through hunting and trapping, and the wearing of fur, and non-leather footwear. The PETA is not known to be a violent group. Instead it often pulls public stunts. For example three members dressed in rabbit suits and chained themselves to a flagpole in front of Gillette head quarters in Boston, Mass. to protest the company"s use of animals in product testing. The stunt was an embarrassment to the company. While PETA may be the most visible animal rights group, it is by no means alone. There are dozens of "rights" groups who pursue a more far-reaching agenda. One of these groups is the ALF, Animal Liberation Front. This group emerged in the United States in the late 1970"s and has claimed responsibility for destroying or damaging more than one hundred labs and farms around the nation. In a world of animal testing there are a wide range of tests. These tests are done for multiple purposes, from finding a cure for a disease to testing the harshness of a shampoo or floor cleaner. Many activists claim that animal testing is not only unethical but also often scientifically unproductive. "There have been some medical advances of course but the pay off is slight. When you"re doing billions of animal experiments, it would be a miracle if there weren"t some developments," says George Cave an animal activist. When Dr. Hamm was told what George Cave said, Hamm came back with a strong argument. He discussed how childhood leukemia, used to be a death sentence but now those kids get to go home. He also discussed Hodgkin"s disease and how it is now a treatable cancer when ten years ago it was also a death sentence. Another argument he stated was how we can treat some types of liver cancer today and the research that got us there was done on animals because it had to be. There are no other alternatives exist that could give us this progress. One species that humans tend to use often in testing because they are most like ourselves is the chimpanzee. They are used in different experiments. Because chimpanzees are more like humans than any other species they are popular subjects for the development of vaccines for prevention of hepatitis B, hepatitis C and onchocerciasis. Chimpanzees are the only nonhuman animal species susceptible to these infections (Prince 115). Animal Activists are against the use of chimpanzees b/c of the decline in the chimpanzee population. In approximately the past ten years the chimpanzee population of Gabon, containing some of the best habitats, was reduced by twenty percent. There is an estimate between four thousand and five thousand chimpanzees that exist worldwide in medical institutions, zoological exhibits, roadside menageries, and entertainment compounds.
Using the agreed question (from the comments), I am debating based on the following question:
Be it resolved that animals should not be used for testing.
I will be debating the Con side of this argument, however will not be debating that animals SHOULD be used for testing, but rather that it is not in and of itself immoral that animals ARE used for testing.
I am using the following definition:
Animal: a living, multi-cellular biological organism which derives nourishment through ingestion rather than photosynthesis, and which are spontaneously and independently mobile, and not a human being.
I will use Round 2 to rebut Pro, and I will conclude in Round 3.
Ultimately, the question of whether or not it is right to use animals for product testing is a moral one. As such, I will be arguing from moral grounds.
So, given that this is to be a moral argument, why does man have morals if but to serve our values? What does a rational human being hold as their highest value or highest purpose? I would argue that the first principle of morality is to pursue man's primary purpose " that being survival of man qua man. In other words, in order to survive as a human being ought to survive. In other words, the prime moral directive of a human being is to choose his actions, values, and goals, in such a way as to maintain and enjoy that which we value the highest " our own life.
Given that products which are tested upon animals are generally either necessary for the direct preservation of our lives (pharmaceuticals), or aid us in the enjoyment of our own lives (shampoo, soap, cosmetics). It is necessary to perform testing on living cellular structures similar to that of human beings in order to determine safety for human use. Given that necessity, it is therefore morally justifiable to use animals for testing purposes.
1) Ayn Rand, "The Virtue of Selfishness", p21 http://philo.abhinav.ac.in...
2) Ibid, p22