“What is man without the beast? If the beast were gone, man would die from a great loneliness of spirit. For whatever happens to the beast soon happens to man” (Chief Seattle). While much has been done to protect animals, it is nowhere near what needs to be done to secure their inhabitance on earth and give them their rights. Animals have nerves so they can feel pain and they do suffer so is it right to put them through that by experimenting on them. Additionally if more of the world’s animals are not protected a lot more will be extinct in the coming years. Finally hunting, in almost all areas, is no longer a way to gain food as it used to be, it is now just done for pure sport or “fun”. Should animals have to suffer just to benefit a single race of beings? And what does it feel like to be hunted down in terror and then torn apart while still alive?
The main types of animals experimented on are monkeys, cats, dogs, cattle, sheep, horses, and small mammals. Numerous amounts of tests are carried out on these animals each year. Types of tests include acute toxicity test, chronic toxicity test, skin irritation tests, acute inhalation toxicity tests, psychology research, and weapons tests as listed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or PETA (PETA fact sheet 2). An acute toxicity test is where certain chemicals are force fed to an animal to find out the lethal dosage. Chronic toxicity test is to find out whether or not a chemical can be harmful in small dosages over a period of time. Skin irritation tests are carried out by placing a chemical on the bare skin of an animal and covering it with a plaster like material, at which point the animals are restrained. Acute inhalation toxicity tests uses aerosol products to test its effect on an animals lungs animals are killed afterwards to check the effect on its tissues. Psychology research are pointless tests that determine the obvious, like effects of shocking, mutilation, drug abuse, etc.
Weapons tests, the testing of weapons like radiation, lasers, and chemicals to find out what effect they would have on humans, are inhuman and very harmful to the animal (PETA fact sheet 2). With all of this pain and suffering not much good comes out of animals testing. Even with testing the buyer is not completely safe from harmful drugs because each animal’s reactions would not be the same in humans. One example is strychnine, which is one of the most deadly drugs a human could consume, has no effect on monkeys, chickens, or guinea pigs says People for Reason in Science and Medicine or PRISM (PRISM 4). In addition to different genes, the environment that the animals are tested in are way different than the ones that the human would actually be going through. Along the same lines, a disease that was formed artificially will not be the same as it would be if formed naturally. “Using animals to teach surgeons is a dangerous technique because it misleads the students leading to dangerous doctors.” (PRISM 6).
It is estimated that over 16million hunters pay for hunting licenses each year in the united states, and there are still many more that hunt illegally (Bender, Leone 148). If all of these people are hunting how is there any way that the animal population can keep up. The mourning pigeon is the most common pigeon in the united states but with a total of about 50 million being killed each year it is very likely that it may become the least common. And the sad part is that people kill them for no reason but pure sport. It may be different if we killed them for food but we don’t and its not only that we’re killing them without cause its that we’re killing them in excessive amounts with no cause.
The same goes for any game wildlife because with so many hunters and no restraint too many are being killed. And even though the hunters are paying to do this the government is still losing a lot more money because they are the ones that stock most of these hunting animals such as the pheasant (Bender, Leone 172) While seasons are set up to regulate when people can hunt a certain animal they do not do much good. This is because a lot of hunters do not follow game laws. A survey taken recorded that when asked if they had ever violated a game law 85 percent admitted they had (Bender, Leone 171). And when a hunter hunts illegal he takes about 4 times as much as the ones that hunt legally because if they don’t care that they hunt when they aren’t supposed to why not go over how many one person is allowed to kill (Bender, Leone 170).
Hunting isn’t the only factor pushing animal endangerment; decrease in habitats and increase in pollution are also key factors. These along with other factors are on the edge of causing a mass extinction because of how rapidly animals are being killed off. As shown in past mass extinctions the more dominant of species thriving are the ones who are eradicated and the species less likely to become so are saved. Thus the next mass extinction that we are bringing forth may cause the extinction of the entire human population (Bender, Leone 140).
And worst off all the tropics are the most vulnerable of areas. Containing over half of the worlds species, it is an astonishment that more is not being done to protect them. These unprotected forests are being lost at about 200,000 square kilometers per year. At this rate as much as 1 million species could be lost in 20 years (Bender, Leone 141). Zoos are vital to the preservation of a species because without it most species will no longer exsits when human carelessness kills them off. Endangered species can be captured and bred in zoos later to be introduced into the wild in an attempt to keep the lineage going. Zoos may help in other ways like informing the public on how important animals are so that the awarness can go up and more can be done.
Many supporters of animal experimentation would argue that animals do not go through pain at all but instead have no feelings what so ever. But they can still state that none of the experiments involve pain unless relief from pain would inturupt the results of the experiment. It is a prove fact that all animals have feelings and can be in pain. animals have a nervous system and if they couldn’t feel anything what would be the point in even having a nervous system? Any one that has or does own a pet or has contact with animals at all can vouch that they have feelings. Pet owners can tell when their animal is in pain, is depressed, is happy or excited, cold or hot, or is angry. So how can a person say that an animal has no feelings and therefore, its safe to perform experiments on them that obviously would induce severe pain.
Animals are vital to human existence, without any animals the human race very well may cease to exsit, and at the rate we are killing them off we may not have any more left in the centuries to come unless they can obtain their rights necessary for survival. The testing on these animals should come to a halt to end unnecessary suffering and deaths. Stricter protections should be placed on endangered species if not all wild animals.
Hunting of animals should become prohibited because it serves no purpose but to amuse the hunter. If these actions are not taken mass extinction may be inevitable. So think what you as a pet owner would feel if a scientist violently shocked your dog just to find out the obvious reaction that it almost killed it, or if a hunter chased down that dog and tore painfully into its flesh while it was still alive just for that hunter’s own amusement.
“Animal Experimentation and Human Medicine” , People for Reason in Science and
Medicine (PRISM), 0ctober 2004, http://www.sumeria.net/health/prism.html
“Animal Experimentation (vivisection)” , people for the ethical treatment of animals
(PETA), October 2004, http://www.sumeria.net/anim/tests.html
Bender, D., & Leone, B. (1989). Animal rights: opposing viewpoints. San Diego:
Greenhaven Press, Inc.