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Whether or not we should use animals in medical research - Essay Example

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Whether or not we should use animals in medical research

Every side of the argument has posed questions concerning man’s place with respect to these animals and the natural world. Most people arguing against the use of animals for medical research have based their arguments on the relationship between humans and nature philosophies as put forward by Peter Singer that humans do not exist totally above nature, with the focus basically on animals. Singer refers to most attitudes that humans possess towards animals as speciesism that is a concept, which has existed throughout history (Owen 33). Before him, Aristotle was of the view that nature consists of a hierarchy where animals with less ability to reason existed for those who had less ability to reason. Therefore, plants are in existence for the sake of animals, with animals existing for the sake of humans. He used this concept to further his belief in slavery with humans with less reasoning ability existing to serve those with higher ability (Owen 34). While this view has been rejected by society, it is applied towards animals and other non-humans. Speciesism has been practiced by Christians and Jews based on the superiority they extract from the book of Genesis and God’s word (Owen 36). ...
The lobby for animal liberation does not contend that every animal has equal worth, however. It contends that where the animal and man possess similar interests, these interests need to be equated to each other, for instance, the avoidance of physical pain (Owen 37). There should be no automatic discount because one is human and the other evidently is not. Singer’s rejection of speciesism is clearly illustrated by his clarification; he does not mean to imply that all living beings have equal worth via his consideration of how man makes choices within his own species. If man had to make a choice between saving a normal human being’s life and that of an intellectually deficient human, he would most probably plump for the normal one. However, were the choice between the prevention of suffering in a normal human and in the intellectually deprived, making the assumption that both had painful injuries and that there were only pain-killers for one, then the choice becomes murkier. The choice probably would be on the basis of the one who had more suffering (Owen 38). Because most experiments concerning animals are painful to the animal, the movement for animal rights commits itself to the complete abolition of animal use in medical research. Those that support the utilization of animals for medical research argue that while animals do suffer in a morally significant way, this is not sufficient ground, by itself, to afford them equal status morally with humans (Owen 50). Therefore, if the animals do not have the same moral status in comparison to humans, humans are not morally obligated to restrain themselves from using them for medical research. ...Show more


One pertinent question that faces the modern world is the use of animals for scientific experimentation. Most ideas that have to do with nature especially animals have been formed in the midst of the controversy. Every side of the argument has posed questions concerning man’s place with respect to these animals and the natural world…
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Whether or not we should use animals in medical research essay example
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