What Do Aniamls Mean To Us? Essay, Research Paper
WHAT DO ANIMALS MEAN TO US?
When it comes to dealing with animals humans tend to think that they can do whatever they want. Animals should have rights just as humans have rights. However, animal rights are disregarded as we continue to eat and use them in experiments. We view animals not as living creatures, but as objects to do with as we please. This is not the preception that we should have of animals.
In ?The Inhumanity of the Animal People,? Joy Williams speaks of the injustice that befalls animals at the hands of humans. Williams says ?The fact that animals are voiceless is a relief to us, it frees us from feeling much emathy or sorrow? (Williams 1). If animals could speak, feeling empathy or sorrow would not be guaranteed as it probably would make no difference given man would continue to use animals to his benefit. ?Catholic moral textbooks instruct that we have no duties of justice or charity toward animals; our only duties concerning them are the proper use we make of them? (2). This ethical statement gives man another reason to treat animals the way that he chooses.
It appears that in our society animals are viewed as machines (2). ?In the laboratory, animals have already been reclassified. Rats and mice are already excluded from the very definition of ?animal? by the Department of Agriculture? (3). By reclassifying these animals, when people complain about animals rights these scientists can simply say that these life-forms are not animals so they have no rights. Man will stradle whatever line he has to in order to get what he desires. This straddling of the line can most easily be seen in the case of the chimpanzee. The chimpanzee is mans closest relative and it is physically just like man except it misses 2 percent of the DNA that man has (3). In society?s eyes this 2 percent gives man the right to experiment on the chimpanzee. With the difference in the DNA of a chimpanzee and man being so small, you must wonder how small does the difference have to be, where man does not feel it has the authority to experiment on another animal. Does it have to be .01 percent or is that still to great a difference for the chimpanzee or another aniamal to live? A key fact about all this testing is that animal tests only predict side effects in humans 48 percent of the time (3).
Man also experiments on animals to increase their food production to satisfy his hunger. Williams speaks of how the only thing that would cause people to stop eating meat is the threat of disease be transported through meat. He then says that ?Once assured by the government that there was no need for alarm, they would be back in the spotless supermarkets, making their selections among the sliced, cubed, and shrink-wrapped remains? (2).
In ?A Vindication of Natural Diet,? Percy Shelley speaks of how it is meant for man to be frugivorous(fruit-eating) not carnivorous(meat-eating). Shelley says ?There is no disease, bodily or mental, which adoption of vegetable diet and pure water has not infallibly mitigated, wherever the experiment has been fairly tried? (Shelley 12). Shelley emphasizes that those who want to take up the vegetable diet must stop at once and not gradually. Shelley believes that man should not eat animals. Her reason for this is not because she believes in animals rights, but because she thinks that animals carry disease and it is not the natural diet of man to eat meat.