Animal Rights Essay

Animals have been used for testing since the 18th century. Animals are still being used for scientific research, though the Animal Welfare Act has been put in place to try and regulate how animals are treated. Animals rights activists believe that animals should not be used for testing, as it is cruel and inhumane. They believe that animals should be treated with respect and given the same rights as humans.

Animal welfare activists believe that Animals should be protected from cruelty, but do not necessarily believe that they should have the same rights as humans. The debate between animal rights and animal welfare is a long and heated one, with both sides having valid points. Ultimately, it is up to each individual to decide where they stand on the issue. Animals have been used for testing since the 18th century.

Barbara Gorden-Lickey, Ph. D., at the University of Oregon shut the eyes of kittens and forced them to jump from a height onto a platform surrounded by water in order to study the effects of blindness on the brain. This type of cruel and inhumane research is just one example as to why animal rights organizations such as PETA are so important (People of the Ethical Treatment of Animals).  

Animals have been used for experiments ever since the beginning of science. Animals were the first test subjects for medicine and surgery and continue to be used today. The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) was passed in 1966 as a way to regulate the use of animals in research. The AWA requires that all animals used in experiments be given painkillers, however, this is not always followed. Animals are still being subjected to cruel and painful experiments that cause them physical and mental harm.

There are many reasons why people should support animal rights. Animals are sentient beings that feel pain and suffering just like humans do. They should not be subjected to experimentations or any other forms of abuse. Animals have been found to be capable of emotions such as love, joy, fear, and sadness. They form bonds with other animals and humans. Animals should be treated with respect and given the same consideration as humans.

Animal rights advocates argue that animals should not be used in experiments because it is cruel and inhumane. Animals in experiments are often subjected to force feeding, deprivation, burns, electric shocks, and more. These procedures can cause physical pain and suffering. Animals may also experience psychological distress from being confined to small cages or being isolated from other animals. The stress of these conditions can lead to mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

There are alternatives to using animals in experiments that do not involve cruelty or pain. In vitro techniques use cell cultures instead of live animals. In silico models use computer simulations to study biological processes. Animals should only be used in experiments when there is no other way to obtain the necessary data.

The Animal Welfare Act does not do enough to protect animals from cruelty and suffering. The act needs to be updated to include stricter guidelines for the care and treatment of animals in experiments. Animals should only be used in experiments when absolutely necessary and when all other options have been exhausted. We must do better to protect the rights of animals.

“Imagine if your body was left to science while you were still alive,” reads a protestor’s sign from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). A lack of awareness and support for such organizations puts non-criminals, who have emotions as profound as humans, through horrible suffering.

Groups like PETA are attempting to safeguard the innocent animals who are just trying to survive in a hectic and sometimes cruel world that human beings appear to think they control. The effort of these organized groups (custom or animal rights organizations) is crucial because if no one intervenes after an individual performs an action, then the consequences might be heavenly on everyone.  

Animals that are used for research experiments, food, and clothing endure tremendous amounts of physical and emotional pain. Animals have been known to feel emotions such as happiness, sadness, love, fear, guilt, shame and embarrassment just like humans (Orlans 34).

In some cases they have even been known to show more compassion then humans. Research shows that animals in the wild will go out of their way to help a wounded or sick member of their group (Herzog). So if animals can feel pain and other emotions like humans why is it that we believe it is okay to treat them with such disrespect?

There are laws in place that are meant to protect animals from abuse such as the Animal Welfare Act however; this act does not do enough. The Animal Welfare Act was put into place in 1966; it was created to regulate the treatment of animals in zoos, circuses, animal shelters and laboratories (AWA). This act however does not apply to farm animals. Animals on farms are not protected by any federal laws; they are basically treated like inanimate objects. In some states there are “anti-cruelty” laws but they do not do much to stop the abuse that animals on farms endure on a daily basis.

Animals on factory farms are crammed into tight spaces where they can barely move, they are given drugs to make them grow faster and to prevent diseases that occur from the unsanitary conditions they live in, and when they are finally slaughtered their throats are slit and they are hung upside down to bleed out (Farm Sanctuary). Animals on factory farms go through more pain and suffering than any other animal; yet because they are not considered “pets” or used for research there are no laws to protect them.

The way we treat animals is a reflection of how we treat each other and ourselves. If we allow animals to be treated with such disrespect then it will only be a matter of time before humans are being treated the same way.

Animals have emotions and feel pain just like us, so why is it okay to abuse them? We need to do something to stop the abuse, whether it is passing stricter laws to protect animals or using our voices to speak out against those who abuse them. Animals are innocent creatures who deserve to be respected and treated with compassion.

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