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Animals as Friends, not Scientific Experiments - Essay Example

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Name Name of Professor Animals are Friends, not Scientific Experiments Introduction Sooner or later, animal use in scientific research will end. Animal experimentation is inhumane, hence it should be stopped. It may come to an end due to changing ethical and political perspective…
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Animals as Friends, not Scientific Experiments

Download file to see previous pages... As argued by philosopher David DeGrazia (1996), “The path to the ethical treatment of animals runs through their minds” (p. 76). His argument stress the value of taking into consideration animals’ mental being, such as their self-consciousness, intelligence, recognition, and ability to feel pleasure and pain, in evaluating the ethical implications of animal experimentation. If the wellbeing of animals rests in his/her emotions, and if such emotions are the mechanism of the mind, then all genuine moral debate over animal welfare should one way or another consider what is in the minds of these animals. DeGrazia (1996) argues, “What sorts of mental capacities we attribute to animals have a great deal to do with how we think they should be treated” (p.1). The argument of DeGrazia is compelling because it poses crucial and interconnected issues. First, is there truly a difference between the physical and the mental in animal welfare? Are hunger and pain, which are primary concerns of animal welfare, truly associated with the minds of animals? Or are these welfare concerns physical, or a union of the mental and the physical? This paper begins with Albert Schweitzer’s perspective of animal welfare that does not depend on evaluating the mental capabilities of animals, to identify his contribution to the resolution of certain cases of animal experimentation. Albert Schweitzer suggested respect for life as a guideline for interacting with and relating to our environment. According to Schweitzer, an ethical man “does not ask how far this or that life deserves sympathy as valuable in itself, nor how far it is capable of feeling. To him life as such is sacred. He shatters no ice crystals that sparkles in the sun, tears no leaf from its tress, breaks off no flower, and is careful not to crush any insect as he walks” (Carbone 2004, 48). This statement is inspiring, but does it contribute to the resolution of the issue on how and when to research or test on animals? Could the ‘ethical man’ ethically inflict pain on animals for scientific research? Evidently, Schweitzer says yes to the latter question because he is not a critic of animal experimentation. He argues (Carbone 2004, 48): Those who experiment upon animals by surgery and drugs, or inoculate them with diseases in order to be able to help mankind by the results obtained, should never quiet their consciences with the conviction that their cruel action may in general have a worthy purpose. In every single instance they must consider whether it is really necessary to demand of an animal this sacrifice for men. And they must take anxious care that the pain be mitigated as much as possible. He proposed that life should be respected and valued, irrespective of its position on any human hierarchy. However, he acknowledged the special need to draw a line between when to save a life and give up another, but gave practically no instruction for these decisions. By placing his entire focus on the ethical man’s attributes instead on those to whom this ‘ethical man’ should pay moral attention to Schweitzer contributes insignificantly to the cases of animal welfare. Science and technology have their limitations and cannot resolve the ethical issues entrenched in nearly all animal welfare discussions. For example, not every suffering or pain can be presently cured with medicines. What degree of pain requires stopping a scientific resear ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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