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What Gives Us The Privilege? : Animal Rights

2077 words - 8 pages

After an incident in 1933 involving the blinding of seventeen women from a mascara product, the U.S. congress passed the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938, which stated that products must be deemed safe for human use before being sold. This was the beginning of animal testing (Cruelty-Free Labeling). Most companies use animal testing, which ensures their product is safe for consumer use. Animal testing is a very controversial topic due to the fact that the knowledge and research gained through the tests is tremendous. On the other hand, there are millions of animals forced to endure these painful experiments. Those in favor of testing, due to the fact that it is reliable, argue that it is benefitting the health of society, and all experimentation on animals allow scientists new research and provide information for the betterment of mankind. All of those against animal testing argue that inflicting pain on a living creature when alternative methods are available is cruel. Putting a halt on all forms of animal testing is next to impossible. If animal testing started as a means to protect living creatures from being harmed, then how is the solution part of that very problem? Humans have laws to protect them from being blinded by mascara, yet animals do not deserve the right to live an abuse and pain-free life? Giving animals basic rights is by far the best solution. Animals deserve basic rights due to the fact that pain is a punishment to all living creatures, animals are beneficial to society, and lastly, animals have mental abilities equal to that of humans in certain ways.
If humans have the right to be protected from pain, then any living thing deserves this protection. Inflicting pain on another living creature is evil, and most societies understand this simple truth. Some humans feel that they are privileged to better treatment than animals with the assumption that animals do not posses a soul as humans do. In the book Animal Rights and Human Morality, author Bernard E. Rollin explores this idea that humans feel they have been placed at the top of the food chain, and therefore can determine what creatures are or are not worthy of possessing a soul. He cleverly and sarcastically remarks on the ludicrous argument that animals are better to test on than humans due to the fact that they do not possess a soul, when it cannot be scientifically proven in any way that humans themselves have souls either. “Even if we suppose that animals do not have a soul while humans do, the key question is this: What does the possession of a soul have to do with being an object of moral concern?” (Rollin 45) Rollin continues to elaborate his frustration on this idea, stating that lacking a soul has nothing to do with ethical consideration towards animals (Rollin 45). Humans have no right to determine the existence of a soul from other creatures. The possession of a soul in animals, or lack thereof, cannot be the determining factor in whether it is...

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