Cultural changes of today have also made animal experimentation a lot more moral. When animal experimentation first began thousands of animals were being killed needlessly, however in the 21st century procedures are a lot more necessary and reduce the amount of pain endured by the animals. As technology progresses fewer testing on animals are being carried out as they can compile data that they have already gathered or use alternatives. Also with the help of more organisations such as PETA (http://www.peta.org/) animals that have been used and survived experimentation now have a place to go to instead of being put to death.
Howerve you can argue that medical research is not concerned with the welfare of animals and so, if animals are like us in any important way, then animal research is inherently immoral. Tom Regan and Richard Ryder argue that animals are like us, that they share with us the capacity for seeing, hearing, believing, remembering, and anticipating and for experiencing pleasure and pain. They suggest that animals are ‘subjects of a being’. ()
I gathered the following quote from a forum that I found on the internet which required comments between the comparison of animals and humans: "Nobody likes to see undue cruelty to anything, especially in the field of cosmetics or similar egotistical selfish areas. But you show me the animal I have to kill to save my child's life and I'll tear it apart with my bare hands if I have to - no question of doubt in my mind." (Internet forum, 2008) This shows that the appreciation of human life is much higher than the appreciation of animal life. the world value their lives much higher than animal life, this is a valid explanation to test on animals in order to save human life.
From a religious point of view we are going to look at a number of philosopher and what the bible has to say about the moral and belief of animal experimentations and the value of an animals life in the world
Discussing animal testing from a religious view creates a whole new argument. Speciesism is a hierarchy placing humans above animals and is practiced by Jews and Christians who base their superiority on God's words in Genesis. The word dominion is used in the Bible and Torah which leads Christians and Jews to believe that man alone is created in God's image, and man alone is given dominion over all the animals on earth, this therefore provides Christians and Jews to benefit from the use of animal testing as they have power over the earth. The bible says “let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth and over all the creatures that move along the ground” (genesis 1:26, 28)
In the bible God does not mention the treatment of animals in great extent however, from the creation part of the bible we get both how we must treat animals and what the Bible says about those animals. In Genesis 1 we find the creation of all living beings. It is during this chapter, in the Bible, that God sets the relationship between man and animal. In verses 28-30 in Genesis 1 God describes how man and animals are to exist. In verse 28 God gives to man authority over all that was created on earth. Man is to take care of and use the earth. Man is to have the authority over all that was created. This means that man is to ensure the control and protection of all that God had created.
We must be careful in this role. Many are for protecting every animal no matter the cost both to mankind and to the animals. However, it is important to notice what God does after the sin of man. Genesis 3 gives to us the details of the first sin man commits. In verse 21 God prepares for mankind a covering out of skin, for the first time an animal dies. The implications from this flow throughout the Word of God, because of man's sin death has entered the world. However, for our discussion on animals it is important to understand that the animals are to be used by men for our needs.
In Genesis 1:26-27 it says that Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them
In Genesis 9 there is a change between man and animal. Up until this point in history animals were not used as food. However, God now puts certain animals in the diet of mankind. God also puts fear into the animals, so that they fear mankind. Again animals are used as to fill the needs of men. However, God continues His command in verse 2 to watch over these animals.
One of the most important names in respect of animal Rights and Christianity is Peter Singer who wrote the book animal liberations starts of by noting that, for some, the idea of Animal Liberation might seem like a joke, or parody of other "proper" liberation and freedom movements. This is similar to the way that Andrew Linzey begins Animal Theology - by saying that some people would seriously question the idea of an animal theology. Peter Singer therefore begins this work with an examination of the case for the equality of women. Whereas it is clear that men and women are similar and there is case for equality for women, animals are recognisably different to humans so the case for their equality with humans can be highly questionable. But women demand the right to abortion as part of their equality package and, since men can not have abortions, this is a clear difference between men and women that does not compromise (in most people’s minds) the case for the equality of women. The case for the basic principles of equality does not require identical or equal treatment; it requires equal consideration. Equal consideration for different beings may to lead to different treatment and different rights. (Peter Singer page 2) he also states the basic element - the taking into account of the interests of the being, whatever those interests may be - must, according to the principle of equality, be extended to all beings, black or white, masculine or feminine, human or non-human. (Singer p.5) So, logically the same reasoning for equality has to apply to animals. So logically the same reasoning for equality has to apply to animals.
Peter Singer most famously known for his book named animal liberation which states that The Institute of national health spent over $11 million on experiments that involved direct manipulation of the brain, over $5 million on experiments that studied the effects drugs have on behaviour, almost $3 million on learning and memory experiments, and over $2 million on experiments involving sleep deprivation, stress, fear, and anxiety. This government agency spent more than $30 million dollars on animal experiments in one year. This surely arises the question of how can these things happen? How can people who are not sadists spend their working days driving monkeys into lifelong depression, heating dogs to death, or turning cats into drug addicts? How can they then remove their white coats, wash their hands, and go home to dinner with their families? How can taxpayers allow their money to be used to support these experiments? (Singer, 1975). The simple answer to this question is we tolerate cruelties inflicted on members of other species that would outrage us if performed on members of our own species Jeremy Bentham also shares similar view on animal testing as Singer, Bentham is regarded to many as the first major scholar of animal testing and argued that the pain that animals feel is similar to the pain we as humans feel. He also argued that the ability to suffer and not the ability to reason should be the criteria we look at when deciding animal testing is right or wrong, if the ability to reason was the criteria used than the humans who had the best reasoning then many humans would still be slaves. Of course this now is rejected by society however they still feel it is morally correct to treat animals as ‘things’. Bentham holds the view that instead of treating animals differently because of the lack of reasoning we should treat them similar to us as they have similar pain and pleasure levels. (Bentham, 2005)
However in contrast to the views of Bentham and Singer many people feel that animal testing is the right way forward as it provides many benefits for the human race. Most medical advances such as vaccines against diseases like rabies, polio, measles, mumps, rubella and TB and antibiotics for HIV drugs, insulin and cancer treatments rely on animal tests. This is mainly because other testing methods aren't advanced enough. Scientists claim there are no differences in lab animals and humans that cannot be factored into tests; this means that the results are going to be relevant and much clearer than any other alternative method of testing. Also Operations on animals helped to develop organ transplant and open-heart surgery techniques, however this would only make animal experimentation right if you believed that animals were less important than human life which arises the issue of Charles Dawkins theory of evolution which states that species develop over a period of time from a common origin, in this case mans origin evolved from Apes, however many Apes are still used for animal testing.
From the book animal rights and wrongs a traditional philosopher who questions the whole animal rights concept is Roger Scruton who sets out a compelling account of how we should think about the morality of our relationships to other animals. He argues that it is wrong to believe that animals automatically have rights, but suggests we owe them duties depending on whether we are treating them as pets, for laboratory experiments or for meal
Another One of the most important names in respect of animal Rights and Christianity is Andrew Linzey who associated with the Christian movement for animal rights. His name if put into a search engine on the internet appears up many times in various animal campaigns The Rev.Dr.Andrew Linzey is a Senior Research Fellow at Oxford University for Theology and Animal Welfare. Andrew Linzey is passionately interested in how humans relate to, and treat, animals. Animals are as much a part of God’s creation as humans are, and, as a Christian he consistently points out that, historically, Christianity has failed to show due concern to how animals should be treated. His mission, and some Christians would say it was a revolutionary mission, is to change Christian attitudes to animals. From his book in the introudcution it sets out his general purpose and begins his introduction by acknowledging that some people will disagree with the whole idea of an animal theology in the same way that they disagree that there can be a "black" theology. But linzey answer to people who disagree with the idea of an animal theology is that the need for moral justice, which should be given to animals, actually comes from the "central" theme of Christian theology. Linzey oftern talks about that Christians have largely ignored the possibility to apply chritians teachings to theology to the treatment of animals.
Christian philosopher Andrew Linzey feels that Animals should have some rights because of their status as creatures of God. Their position comes from their position of vulnerability. He believes one fundamental Christian principle of the duty of the strong to help the weak, as animals do not have a chocie wheather to participate in animal testing I would regard them as weak, in order to be a good Christian it would make sense to protect the weak and claim an end to animal testing. (Linzey, 1990)
For my conclusion in my opinion I feel that overall the Pros for Animal experiment heavily overweigh the cons both from a religious and secular point of view. In order for the human race to continue their needs to be sacrifices and animals are one of these, it makes sense that if millions of animals are being slaughtered across the world for food and skin it provides a valid excuse to use them in experiments that benefit the human race. I would rather work for a ban on animals being used as meat and fur that for animal experimentation as we can have alternative food but there is no alternative especially for medical science that can provide the accuracy than animal testing provides. This decisioin was based after examining and considering ethical responses from secular and non secular views drawing up the image that human structure, rights, values and emotions are far more perplex than those of an animal.
Books I have used
Internet forum, 2008
- The bible
- Animal Liberation by Peter Singer 1975
- Animal Rights and Wrongs by Roger Scruton 1997
- Animal Theology by Andrew Linzey 1994
- The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique",