Animal rights has been a polemic topic ever since I can remember, and in the past year it has become even more so due to the ever increasing attacks against animal researchers. While I believe this will never end due to a subset of people who, for whatever reason, will be fanatically drawn to a cause I also feel there are plenty of people out there who simply suffer from a lack of knowledge of what really goes on in laboratories all over the world. I cannot hope to enlighten them in one post, but I will try to sway those on fence over the course of writing this blog.
Let us get one thing straight right from the beginning; were animal research to end today so would all medical progress. That is a fact, and there is no way to rationally dispute it.
With that said let us now move on to the real debate; is it morally justifiable to use animals to further human knowledge? With a load of qualifiers, my answer is “yes.” However, I understand those who say “no” because they believe the animal housing and experimentation to be cruel.
First, let’s deal with housing. Housing has changed considerably since the beginning of animal research but even at that it is still my least favorite aspect of all animal research. The situation is not bad, but it is far less than ideal (at least for some species). However, while the animals may not have as much space as I would like (but then they never really could) and the space they do have isn’t sunny and grassy the animals do have many advantages their wild brethren do not. First, the animals are kept safe. Second, the animals are kept well fed and hydrated with plenty of clean food and water. Finally, all animals are kept healthy through modern veterinary care. While it’s not “natural” or “wild” it is still good and, at least in my opinion, it’s completely arbitrary what life a person thinks is better for the animal. There are plenty of benefits and detriments to each; it simply depends on what YOU feel is most important to a HUMAN life.
Well, I’m done writing for now because I have to make some food, but this isn’t over. I still have to write about the experimentation angle of animal research. I’ll do that soon, and if I don’t then call me out on it and I’ll get it done.