Animal Rights

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The issue of animal experimentation is a widely debated topic in the United States. A fundamental question of this debate is whether the functions of animal testing and research are morally and ethically justified. In the viewpoint of the pro-research community, animal testing is a necessary practice. They support this position by stating that humans, instinctually, prioritize their own survival above other animals thus making any use of animals justifiable (Fox 5). The supporters of animal testing believe that it is illogical for humans to place anthropocentric values in animals citing that they can not be moral equals to mankind (Fox 3, 6). The animal rights faction holds belief in different viewpoints against the testing of animals in experiments.

In the philosophy of the animal rights movement, it is asserted that non-human creatures are sentient beings and they are entitled to the same rights that humans have and that man has no place or authority to use these creatures as our means or modes of survival (Guither 9). They view the use of animals in experimentation as immoral and unethical and should be done away with. A compromise of these two conflicting viewpoints could be attained in stance of animal welfare. Animal welfare can be defined as a moderate stance of animal research where the quality of life and well being of animals in testing are considered while scientific progress is attained. An important theory in practice of this is called "The Three R's": reduce, refine, and replace. The supporters of animal welfare aim to reduce the amount of animals used in experimentation, refine the practices of testing in which they are more humane, and replace- to eventually find an alternative to animals in testing (Roush).

By looking at the debate of the uses of animals in scientific research, one may suggest that the application of the animal welfarist's philosophy of "The Three R's" in testing practices would serve as a compromise between the animal rights and animal research factions. Since antiquity mankind has asserted itself as the dominant animal in nature. Just as the snake eats the rodent, humans consume what prey falls before them. Throughout history, humans have used animals to nourish, clothe, make tools, and most importantly, to learn about themselves from the characteristics of other creatures. As the depth of human kn...

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...upporters of scientific research in animals base their argument that humans being a dominant, highly intelligent creature of nature, should have the right, just as any organism, to protect and perpetuate their species. In addition to this assertion, the pro-research community states that animals, in general, have no standing in the moral autonomy humans have, and should be used as an instrument of survival. In opposition to this the animal rights activists view humans and animal on the same plane as both having a right to be treated humanely.

The animals rights philosophy asserts that humans, as a part of nature, have no right to use animals solely for the benefit of their species, citing the practice as unethical and immoral. To mediate these differences, animal welfare activists encourage the practice of "The Three R's". This can be seen a suitable practice to compromise the need for scientific research and to increase the standards and awareness of the rights of the animals used as subjects. This stance of compromise and concern for the welfare of animals would serve as the best method of scientific ingenuity and human compassion to attain the goals of all concerned
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