Animal Rights: A Human Dilemma
August 21, 2012
Medical research conducted in scientific laboratories utilizing certain animals and tissue for the purposes of biomedical research is critical to the continued health of society. Utilizing animals for medical research is a legal and allowable method under specific restrictions placed by law. This research over time reveals methods for cures, treatments, medical devices and the ultimate eradication of disease for humans and animals alike. However, it also presents an argument and ethical dilemma for animal rights activist groups who believe medical research using animals is cruelty to animals and must be discontinued. Conversely, medical scientists have a duty to society to protect the world from environmental factors that would cause illness and mass death unnecessarily. For this reason, it is essential that a common ground or balance of needs be determined between these two groups so that the continuation of life is uninterrupted by disagreements in the ethics of right and wrong. Animal Rights: A Human Dilemma
The ills of society extend the continuum from overpopulation to obesity and global warming to the extinction of life, as we know it. To that end, some would say that it is at society’s own hands that would bring about the extinction of life. As a result, when the use of animals in medical research is the subject the ability of the top two life forms becomes an ethical debate. A debate that asks the question, has a progressive faction of the civilized society turned its back on the value of a human life to take up the fight for the rights of non-human animals? Because of this conflict in ideology, the use of animals in medical research ignites a dilemma that causes society to make a choice for the rights of animals over human life. This paper will examine whether the use of animals in scientific medical research is abuse and cruelty to animals as defined by animal rights groups or is it carefully planned life saving science. The rights of animals have become mass social and economic issue fueled by a ground swell movement that is shaking up the collective conscience of society. Animal rights groups such as the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) are all proponents for animal rights. They gain strength in numbers and via charitable funding by staying visible through media outlets, public protests, and lobbying in the halls of the White House in order for their political opinions to be heard. For instance, PETA a non-profit organization, chiefly funded through its membership of more than three million supporters actively campaigns for the rights of animals and is one of the most visible of these organizations. In fact, they can be very effective and persuasive because of their outrageous techniques and stunts. They carry placards with pictures of slaughtered animals on them in their protest lines, using shock and awe to garner the attention of anyone within eyeshot of this activity. In an ironic approach, since this act itself appears to be cruel to the animals they profess to be protecting. Would it be right, proper or acceptable to demonstrate publicly against the abusers of a child by using a picture of that child to get the message across? No, it would not, because the rights of humans and animals are not the same. However, animal rights activists would lead society to believe the rights of both are equal. This activity also sheds a negative light on their own credibility and contradicts their mission. However, there are those who believe their use of shock and awe campaigns, attention seeking protests and distortion of the facts, is damaging to the advancement of medicine. Their attention seeking protests are only antics to exert their self-indulgent agenda; yet,...
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