Response to Prompt 3: Animal Rights and Speciesism

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I think that as issues like these keep coming up I’m constantly reminded of one thing: I believe that animals do indeed have intrinsic value.  That being said I absolutely disagree with Carl Cohen and his view that since animals have seemingly no capacity for moral judgment, giving them rights is trivial.  Furthermore, claiming that the use of animals for experimentation for the betterment of human life is more important than the rights of the animals involved seems unethical to me.  I do think that science and research is important but I also believe that this research can be conducted in an ethical manner.  Additionally, I do think that food chain is very important and that humans do naturally appear and consume other animals.  With the growth of technology and industrialization we have put ourselves at the top of the food chain, but this does not give humans the right to exploit animals or cause unnecessary pain and suffering to them.  The videos of how our food is slaughtered and processed is disgusting and how many of the animals are treated is appalling.  From this I have to agree with Polyface Farm’s view that if people were to see how animals are raised for agriculture and experimentation in such a horrible and unethical way, that they would see their own human species in the same light.  I think that if we could bring eating and farming back to the community level with local farmer’s markets and butcher shops then the practice of eating (meat) would be considerably more healthy and more importantly, ethical.

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2 responses »

  1. You make several great points here. I do agree with you that while research is important, it should by no means not take precedence over ensuring that all animals are treated humanely. Instead of exploiting animals for our own experimentation and personal profit, we should look into the variety of research alternatives that are available to us such as human population comparisons and cell and tissue cultures. Not only are these methods more humane, but they also tend to be less costly.

  2. ” I do think that science and research is important but I also believe that this research can be conducted in an ethical manner.”

    I highly agree with this statement. To some degree, I believe the scientific community agrees with your statement as well, considering that there are biomedical ethics boards that review and regulate experimentation on animals. Despite this, I’m curious about why you think that there is still unethical treatment of animals in research.

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