Animal Testing & Animal Rights
by Yuan-Ku Luo on February 27, 2013 - 12:12pm
Animal testing is one of the most debatable topics in many areas, including legislation, ethic, science and environmental study. Most of the time when people think about animal testing, they think of animal abuse, and will have the bias of animal testing is morally unacceptable. However, there are many ways to look into this issue, whether it’s truly unacceptable or not. This post will mostly focus on the negative influence of animal testing bases on the argument of Peter Singer, the article “Animal research is a source of human compassion, not a shame” published on Lancet and a news report on “Animal Testing of Cosmetic officially banned in European Union” posted by Green Canada.
Follow the newest post “Animal Testing of Cosmetic officially banned in European Union” by Green Canada on 2013 February 6th, they release a new announcement from European about the legislation change on animal testing. This news says after 23 years of striking, the European countries finally establish laws against animal testing on cosmetic. Organizations point out the reason why they think it should be prohibit by laws is because, most companies force to feed animals in order to collect the data, and products they are testing might have side effect on their skin and also scientists will force animals swallow large amounts of a test chemical to determine the effect, and it does that cause death. There are 12 million animals a year are used in Europe for this purpose and many of them dead because of the testing (Green Canada). So question occurs, should we do animal testing? Is it morally acceptable to do such an action because we as human know animals cannot speak for themselves?
According to Peter Singer, he thinks we can only do animal testing if it can provide an actual good to our society and have to fit the costs. He thinks animal is just liked human, they suffer just like us. He thinks we should not have the right to do whatever we want on them, they understand pains, and they have the rights to live. According to his article “2013 sees advances in humane treatment of animals” which published in 2013 February 25th, he points out the improvement of legislations on Europe and the United States. Like mentioned above, Europe government just pass a law to against animal testing on cosmetics few weeks ago, and US’s Human Society has start movements on against the use of sow stalls (it’s a 2 feet wide by 7 feet long cages, and pigs can only live in this environment for their entire life). Singer says he is look forward to seeing the animal liberation to have a great improvement in this year; he thinks animal testing is the same as human slavery. If we have successfully ended human slavery, we should also give animal the rights of life.
After reading so many stories about the negative side of animal testing, then is there any positive affect about animal testing? The answer is yes, according to the article “Animal research is a source of human compassion, not shame” posted by Lancent. It points out the idea of the use of animals in medical research has save many people’s life. Without animal testing, there will be much less medical improvement than what we have right now, and there will be no new drugs for new or hard-to-treat diseases (815. Lancent). It is true that animal testing has its benefit to our society, but like stated by Peter Singer, “we can only do it for a better good”, in other word, we should not abuse our sources on animal testing. Animal testing can only be allowed when we know it’s worthy, because every animal is a life, we should not abuse it.
In conclusion, I think the reason why animal testing is so debatable is because we cannot live without it. Nowadays many of the medical discoveries are contributed by the results of animal testing. However, Peter Singer is right; as long as animals can suffer like each one of us, then ethically we should respect their life like we respect ours. For actions like animal testing on cosmetics and the use of sow stalls, we’ve knew that the cost did not fit the price, animals are suffer too much for an unnecessary result. This is the time when legislation take the place to protect the animals by establish laws. Overall, I think the easiest way to look at animal rights is too see them as human. All of us are just one of the species on earth; none of us is more important than the others. Ethically we should respect them, and legislationlly we should establish laws to protect them from those who don’t want to respect them.