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Thread: Animal research: the rights perspective

  1. #1 Animal research: the rights perspective 
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    Hi,

    l have previously been very pro animal experimentation based on a utilitarian argument. Recently I have however come across the animal rights argument of Gary Francione that as animals are sentient and have interests, these interests deserve to be protected to the same degree as we protect the interests of humans of comparative sentience, ie. babies or the mentally disabled.

    To conduct animal research therefore seems to disregard the interest of animals to not be treated as property (that is have their interests to continue to live be subservient to our own interests).

    Do you have any argument to refute this? Do you think animal research is justifiable, and why?


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    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    Let me ask you this, would you rather that scientists research their theories/inventions on humans instead of other animals?


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    Let me ask you this, would you rather that scientists research their theories/inventions on humans instead of other animals?

    No, I am not sure either could be justified. We could carry out experiments on human babies, and that would likely result in more scientific discoveries than research on animals. But again, as for animals, it would be disregarding the rights of those babies.
    Last edited by James2014; March 14th, 2014 at 04:29 PM.
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  5. #4  
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    Its a grey zone. I generally regard experiments that demonstrably lead to saved human lives as reasonable. Experiments that merely confer some commercial advantage, such as cosmetics research, I see as considerably less reasonable. Species preservation is also an issue. Some species, such as chimpanzees, have been so heavily used for research there is concern the research itself is causing the species' numbers to dwindle.

    I think it is also reasonable, if hard to sensibly quantify, that some species are more worthy of protection than others. Most people would agree chimpanzees, being nearly human themselves, are worthy of some protection. Few people would have any great concern if say, mosquitos were to become extinct due to scientific experiments. In between there is a spectrum, monkeys, dogs, mice, slugs, etc, all the way down to bacteria and even viruses. Are some of these species more worthy of protection than others? I say yes, but coming up with criteria for which are more worthy is a political science nightmare.
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    Forum Masters Degree LuciDreaming's Avatar
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    There have been plenty of nasty experiments conducted on humans - some of the old psych research with autistic children involved making them stand on electrified floors - then little Albert was given a phobia.
    Its a difficult one - anyone who has used any type of medication/makeup/cleaning product or existed in a 1st world country has benefitted from it. Yet personally I feel it is wrong to make anything suffer for the benefit of something else. The fact that it is now possible to grow organs and keep them viable to my mind should make animal experimentation obsolete soon - I hope so. For me experimenting on animals is akin to experimenting on less able humans anyway but short of making my own everything and never taking medication again I am uncomfortably complicit.
    "And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh" Nietzsche.
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    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    Personally, I think animal research is going to become a thing of the past as technology allows us to develop analogs free of ethics issues.
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    Let me ask you this, would you rather that scientists research their theories/inventions on humans instead of other animals?
    Yes
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  9. #8  
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    Don't be stupid. "Animal rights" are 90% bullshit these days, this coming from an animal lover. These are people who want to abolish zoos, ban pets, stop fishing and hunting, and ban things like meat and research.

    Let me ask you, if we dont experiment on animals then on who? Humans? Then clearly you must be valuing the life of an animal over a human. No research=no medicine, technology, psych, biology, shitloads of everything.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sayso View Post
    Don't be stupid. "Animal rights" are 90% bullshit these days, this coming from an animal lover. Let me ask you, if we dont experiment on animals then on who? Humans?
    Already answered, yes, especially when it comes to sentient animals. And there are many ways to research without making other sentient animals suffer.

    --
    These are people who want to abolish zoos, ban pets, stop fishing and hunting, and ban things like meat and research.
    Those are the extremist and probably don't represent most animal rights people. I personally have no objections to hunting to thin herds of animals such as deer to save them from mass starvation, zoos that preserve genetic diversity with something that resembles their natural environment, I fish and I eat some meat (my burden I should probably stop eating beef).
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    i am reminded of a quote by mahatma gandhi. i don't believe gandhi was saying that india does right.

    'The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated'

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post

    Already answered, yes, especially when it comes to sentient animals. And there are many ways to research without making other sentient animals suffer.
    Like what? Please do tell mr righteous!



    Quote Originally Posted by Chucknorium View Post
    i am reminded of a quote by mahatma gandhi. i don't believe gandhi was saying that india does right.

    'The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated'

    US treats its animals extremely well. Go to any 3rd world fucking country and see the difference. People take care of pets, zoo conditions are better, we have all sorts of pet stores and products, vets, etc. there will ALWAYS be animals that will live a life of suffering so humans can live a better life (meat, scientific tests, pets) and while we should try to reduce suffering as much as we can, get over it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sayso View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post

    Already answered, yes, especially when it comes to sentient animals. And there are many ways to research without making other sentient animals suffer.
    Like what? Please do tell mr righteous!



    Quote Originally Posted by Chucknorium View Post
    i am reminded of a quote by mahatma gandhi. i don't believe gandhi was saying that india does right.

    'The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated'

    US treats its animals extremely well. Go to any 3rd world fucking country and see the difference. People take care of pets, zoo conditions are better, we have all sorts of pet stores and products, vets, etc. there will ALWAYS be animals that will live a life of suffering so humans can live a better life (meat, scientific tests, pets) and while we should try to reduce suffering as much as we can, get over it.
    Why so hostile and angry? Who do you think you are that you can tell people to 'get over it'?

    Humans are not the pinnacle of evolution and we dont have some sort of right to life over other species - we share this planet, we don't own it. And the US treats its animals extremely well? Really? Dogs and other animals are kept in cages their entire lives - how is that treating them well?

    There's a whole host of people in prisons that have been deemed unfit by other humans to participate in normal society - how about we use them instead?
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Personally, I think animal research is going to become a thing of the past as technology allows us to develop analogs free of ethics issues.

    Certainly, recent breakthroughs(*) are leading up to the moment that scientists will no longer require laboratory animals to conduct experiments.
    In the mean time, we can seek out the most humane way to kill laboratory animals for the sake of scientific knowledge and its implications on human health.


    (*) Such as a synthetic tissue printer.
    Last edited by Cogito Ergo Sum; March 30th, 2014 at 08:34 AM.
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