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The Planet of Which Apes Exactly?

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The Planet of Which Apes Exactly? By: Emmanuel Perez For: Aurora Flewwelling-Skup Date: 10/30/2003 The Planet of Which Apes Exactly? You have David Suzuki on one side, and Frederic A. King on the other. One's a renowned and ardent defender of nature's interests, and the other's a neuroscientist, director of Emory University's primate research centre, and an adherent of animal research and experimentation. Naturally, Suzuki's "The Pain of Animals" and King's "Animals in Research: The Case of Experimentation" contrast in the gist of their respective arguments, specifically on the topic of humans' rights over animals, but also on their views of the opposing arguments, but can still be considered similar in style, in this case in their appeal to our sensitivity. In his plea against the liberal use of animals for basic research and experimentation, David Suzuki denounces humans' "sacrifice" of animals, to advance their own cause. Throughout his essay, he reminds us that animals are "living beings" and that they have shown an ability to feel pain and emotions. In that aspect, he thinks the animal species is no different than men, and that it's no coincidence that men have designated animals as their tool of choice for research: it is because we resemble them so much. As for Frederic King, he believes that although animals should be treated with consideration, on the basis of their sense of pain and emotion, they should not be put on the same pedestal as humans. ...read more.


As far as Mr Suzuki's concerned, he does not even begin to fully examine the flip side of the coin with us. He barely brings up the beneficial aspects of animal experimentation. However, he uses what can turn out to be, in some cases, an effective argumentative technique. In one of his anecdotes, he tells us about the time he chased a squirrel until it had nowhere to go. The squirrel started "crying," and that is when Mr Suzuki realized the effect his actions had on that squirrel. By sharing this story, he makes the point that he was standing on the other side once upon a time, the "dark side," but has come to his senses by opening his eyes to the reality that animals do feel pain and are aware of the dangers brewing around them and the pain inflicted upon them. Thus, he does not feel that he needs to present the 'enemy's' arguments since he, too, has been on their side of the road and now has a clear and unbiased view as to what's wrong and what's right. Even though he decides to go through his expos´┐Ż without taking into consideration all of the pros and cons of the question, he does so without the least bit sign of arrogance and guile. Frederick King, on his side, does present us with the opposing view. ...read more.


To support and further reinforce his point, he cleverly brings in ethicist Arthur Kaplan's opinion into the debate, he who believes in the same concept and principles of human rights as King. Since an ethicist is someone who specializes in "determining" what is right from wrong, how can he possibly be wrong, right? All in all, I think it is important to remember that these two essays were not written as part of a personal confrontational debate between the two men. It was simply two people, with two distinct backgrounds as far as their life experiences and career paths are concerned, presenting their ideas and philosophies on similar subjects. Obviously, Mr Suzuki decided to go a more friendlier and basic approach than that of Mr King, who appeared to be stating the incontestable superiority of the human race. Although, textually, Mr King appeared to be more flexible on his views than Mr Suzuki, we come to the conclusion that the reality is not what it seems to be. Frederic King's essay is full of deceitful wiles, whereas David Suzuki is more straightforward and transparent. People whom, until now, have "trusted the system" in their belief that animals are not being used, in the majority of cases, as worthless and expandable guinea pigs, should reconsider their opinion, because Mr King seemed to be unabashedly hiding behind his condescendence. ...read more.

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