Against Public Performances by Animals
… Yet, in pursuit of these goals, they cause incalculable amounts of animal suffering. The overwhelming majority of animal suffering is not the result of cruelty, and therefore the injunction to avoid cruelty is largely irrelevant to thetreatment of animals in society. At the same time, restricting one’s moral vocabulary to “cruelty” in assessing the treatment of animals leads to a situation where those who are concerned about animals tar all those who cause animal suffering with the same brush, be they dog fighters or medical researchers; if they cause animal suffering, they are ipso facto “cruel. essays on cruelty to animals One of the most pervasive claims about the moral status of other creaturesa€” a claim that, as we shall see, permeates our laws concerning cruelty to animalsa€”grows historically out of the positions we have discussed. This approach, epitomized in the writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas and Immanuel Kant, suggests that although animals are not themselves direct objects of moral concern, there are nonetheless certain things that are not morally justifiable when done to animals.
On this view, unnecessary cruelty to animals is forbidden, not, however, because animals are intrinsically objects of moral attention, but rather because of the psychological fact that people who brutalize animals will or may tend to behave cruelly toward other people. research paper animal abuse Much of the abuse to which animals are subjected in scientific practice can be traced directly to the nature of scientific education, or perhaps one ought to say, scientific training.
Contrary to what the layperson or humanist tends to expect, the training of professional scientists, pure and applied, is not designed to foster Newtons, Einsteins, or Darwins. Although the essence of science in one sense consists of free thought and inquiry, the spirit of wonder harnessed to relentless questioning, the actual molding of a scientific career bears little resemblance to this ideal. animal abuse research papers
Although, in theory, the papers describing the projects are public knowledge and ought to be made available upon request to any interested citizen, in point of fact the agency consistently failed to turn over the documents and was sued by Friends of Animals before they released them. The point is to look at these projects in the cold light of day, to have them reviewed by people outside the circle of mutual masturbation that sometimes tends to characterize “peer review” for federal funding.
The public, and the legislators, must be made aware of the incredible amounts of public money being spent on psychological research of questionable validity and significant animal abuse. animal abuse essay Many researchers, especially human medical researchers, know virtually nothing about the animals they use, save that the animals model a particular disease syndrome. One could get an M. D. -Ph. D. degree in an animal-using area of biomedicine and never learn anything about the animals one uses in terms of their needs and natures, physical and psychological.
Such ignorance alone assured that a significant amount of animal abuse would attend the reseach process. Buttressed by scientific ideology’s denial of concern with ethics and with mental states in animals, one had a situation that made such abuse inevitable (for example, by absolving the research community of any knowledge of laboratory animal analgesia). against animal testing essay Much scientific research has been put in peril by a failure to see how various forms of pain, suffering, disease, and unhappiness can skew relevant physiological and metabolic variables.
All of us are aware of the metabolic and physiological changes that stress, tension, pain, fear, and anxiety can cause in our bodies. The same is true of animals. Vernon Riley showed that, not surprisingly, animals living under unpleasant conditions experienced higher incidence of tumors; the implications of this for cancer research are obvious, especially in light of numerous scandals mentioned earlier that have come to light regarding the husbandry of laboratory animals used in such research. gainst animal testing essays Researchers who would never dream of dragging a microtome to work behind a pick-up truck will treat animals in ways which bespeak ignorance of or disregard for the extraordinary sensitivity of animals to noxious experiences. Unimaginable amounts of data are jeopardized by a failure to acknowledge, let alone control for, widely overlooked variables. Few esearchers worry about such things as noise levels, technician personality and handling of the animals, restraint, housing congenial to the animals’ natures, opportunities for play and social interaction for the animals, yet all of these have demonstrable physiological and metabolic effects. animal testing research paper To cite some examples: Barnett et al. studied the effects on pigs of being gently stroked versus slapped or shocked. The pigs that were handled unpleasantly showed significantly lower growth performance, feed conversion, and reproductive success.
Boars unpleasantly handled developed smaller testicles at 160 days of age and showed later attainment of behavioral puberty. Seabrook has shown what successful dairymen always knew, namely that how herdsmen treat cows is a major factor in milk production. Ingram has shown that variation in environmental conditions during the neonatal period can change brain chemistry in piglets. Isaac has discussed the incredible range of experiences which can serve as stressors for laboratory rats. In fact, he tells us, any stimulus can serve as a stressor. nimal testing the sample essay Many wished to use anesthesia for ethical reasons, yet others declared that anesthesia would skew results. Interestingly enough, not a single researcher had heard of GA¤rtner’s monumental results, which showed that having a familiar technician simply move rats in a cage three feet was enough, 100 seconds later, to produce major changes in 25 plasma variables, all of which changes demonstrated a micro- circulatory shock profile, and which persisted for a considerable period of time.
I pointed out that until they controlled for such morally neutral stress variables, they could hardly piously withhold anesthesia on scientific grounds. animal testing essay An excellent example of researcher ignorance and its effect both on research and on animal suffering may be found in an experiment conducted some years ago. A researcher was studying the effect of starvation on the digestive system of mule deer. (Many mule deer starve to death each winter in the mountains. To do so, the researcher starved the animals systematically, withholding food until the animals died and could be necropsied. Aside from the fact that deer in the wild do not starve systematically with all food withheld, the experiment was ironically rendered totally meaningless by the researcher’s use of a basic scientific tool, the control group, that is, a group of deer that was not starved, for purposes of comparison.