Is it moral for corporations to test cosmetics on animals or to use animals for medical experimentation? Animals’ place in the moral community and their rights
There is a widespread belief that mankind is a “wreath of nature”. This perception usually makes people feel themselves extraordinary and lets them believe that everything is created for their own pleasure and convenience. From the pedestal on which they stand, people look at the speechless animals as inferior beings that cannot experience the same emotions as humans do. People often kill animals not only for food but also for their own enjoyment and fun. Take circuses for example, where animals are locked in cages with the single purpose being shown. Many animals, on the other hand, are used for medical and cosmetic experimentations which usually result in fatalities. Inevitably, the moral question for animal cruelty arises. On what grounds one considers that he is allowed to infringe upon other species’ right to life without pain and violence? People are not the creator of the animals. Non-humans, like humans, are created by God and they should have equal rights in front of the nature. Bible taught that God first created animals on the Earth. After that he gave birth to humans and he allowed them to give a name to all animals so they could be of people’s help. But God also created herdsmen who had to protect and take care of the animals. So even though the animals were created to help the people, it is our duty to take care of and protect them. It is obvious that humans and nonhumans are interrelated- they are tightly connected into one chain called “life”. Both species have to help and support each other- not to subdue the weaker to the stronger. In the past, animals were seen mostly as a means for the human survival. People killed animals for food and used their furs for clothing, also they used them as a labor force in the agriculture and used them in laboratories for experimentation. Nowadays the situation is almost the same but with one very significant difference- more and more people start recognizing animals as creatures that deserve respect and right of life without pain and suffering. Still many people do not confess that animals deserve moral consideration because according to the Michael Allen Fox’s definition in order to be moral agent, humans or non-humans should be part of the moral community: Most generally, it is a group of beings that shares certain characteristics and whose members are or consider themselves to be bound to observe certain rules of conduct in relation to one another because of their mutual likeness. These rules create what we call obligations and derive in some intimate way from the characteristics which are beings composing the moral community have in common.  Here one can ask a very important question: “What could animals have in common with morality as long as all these determinants of morally considerable beings is constructed by people and for them?”. There is no way for animal to be part of the moral community if it is determined by factors that are invented by man. Morality is a human characteristic, which is there to help people fit into society, to have some limits and achieve synergy with other human beings. For example to be recognized as part of the moral community a being should be able to solve complex task, to be hold responsible for his actions, to be able to create family and to take care of it, to express satisfaction or dissatisfaction, to strive to survive and many other criteria. Much of these determinants could be also found in the non-humans lives. Orangutans are one typical example of animals that act and express feeling close to those of people- they can create families and take care of them, they are able to survive relying only on themselves, they can feel pain and cry when something hurts them, they can feel happy and usually can solve some complex problems and get out of...
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