"Animal Rights": Do They Really Exist?

860 words - 3 pages

Today, many scientists and philosophers are concerned with animal rights advocates’ beliefs that all animals, including ones used for laboratory testing and experimentation, deserve legal protection.The Wilmington Morning Star, “First, Animals Aren’t People”, Adrian Morrison, D.V.M., Ph.D wrote an article dated August 2, 2002. In this article, Dr. Morrison states his concerns with the proponents of animals rights belief that animals have rights due to the following facts: (1) certain animals share qualities of consciousness that have heretofore been seen as uniquely human; (2) animals are brutalized in research; and (3) research with animals has been made obsolete by computers and other technology. Dr. Morrison asserts that these statements are wrong. He feels that limited similarities of consciousness are not sufficient grounds to grant legal personhood to animals. He also states that scientists have every reason to treat animals humanely because good science depends on healthy animals, which is enforced by laws ensuring humane care. Lastly, he assures that there is no substitute for animal-based research. Dr. Morrison assumes that the legal interest in animal rights is not truly an effort to protect animals, but an effort to “enforce a flawed ethic concerning the relationship between humanity and the animal world.” He also believes that because there has been such medical advancement due to animal-based research, it is not only ethical, but also our obligation. Dr. Morrison lists what he calls the "First Principles of Research" supporting his argument which includes and explains: (1) all human beings are persons; (2) our first obligation is to our fellow humans; (3) animals are not little persons; and (4) we have a great obligation to the animals under our control. Finally, Dr. Morrison says that “those who try to draw other species into the human fold by emphasizing intellectual abilities that are but shadows of our own, demean those species” and expresses that they should be appreciated in their own right, merely wonderful creations of nature.My opinion on animal-based research is not biased. I strongly feel that even if we do get benefits from animal experiments, benefit alone cannot justify morally the exploitation of animals.If getting benefits from exploiting animals was alone sufficient to justify their exploitation, then why doesn’t that argument work when humans are concerned? After all, no one would dispute that we would get even greater benefits if we used un-consenting humans in experiments. So why not use un-consenting humans if there would be great...

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