“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by how its animals are treated.”
-Mohandas K. Gandhi
More than half of the households in the world have animals as their companion. Most of us get very upset when we hear an occasional story about some horrible act that’s been done to a dog, or cat, or other animals.
The law codifies this perspective that animals should be treated humanely. Animals should not be made to agonize without any need or unnecessarily. Indeed, those laws do nothing, and they in no way protect animals from human-caused suffering in any meaningful way.
Among legal relations, it’s absurd to use the word “neccesary” in the context, and we don’t. But it’s unlike when it comes to animals. When we see laws protecting animals from unnecessary suffering, they seem to be superficially impressive. If the law prohibits causing extreme pain, meaning it permits us to cause significant distress.
What is the necessary suffering?
Each year more than 100 million animals, including mice, cats, dogs, rabbits, birds, fish, and more, are killed in the laboratories for multiple reasons, including biology lessons, medical training, and even curiosity drove experimentation.
Some other reasons include chemical, drug, food, and cosmetic testing. Many animals have to be euthanized after testing. To make matters even worse, animals are infected with diseases they would never normally contract. Tiny mice injected with micro tumours the size of their bodies, kittens are purposefully blinded, rats are made to suffer seizures, and primate skulls are cut open, and electrodes are implanted.
Experimenters for speed chemicals to animals conduct repeated surgeries on them plant wires in their brains and even crush their spines. Suppose the poor animals are lucky enough to survive the gruelling process. They are just dumped carelessly into a cage that highly resembles a prison cell.
We write the laws; we enforce the rules, we interpret them. It turns out an animal must suffer in the name of animal testing and animal experimentation. So, our laws prohibit gratuitous was suffering, the kind that’s caused sheerly by what we might call evil intent. But as soon as there’s a human purpose, and almost any object will do that, suffering is necessary protected.
It seems that animals became our property, and humans became property owners. As per the rule, an owner can use her thing; however, she sees fit and does whatever she wants with her words. As long as she doesn’t use that thing to hurt somebody else, but the idea itself has no rights.
This plan that animals are things that serve our purposes that they are our property has been potent, and it has entrenched. It now eases the systematic suffering of billions of animals in a variety of industries every year.
For every story we hear in the news about some terrible actor values having been done to an individual animal, there is a research, fashion, sports industrial counterpart where that violence is normalized and multiplied by hundreds or thousands or millions of times.
Visualize two people coming home from work at the end of the day. One of them had a horrible day; he’s in a dreadful mood; his dog is continuously barking. He has the blow torch in the garage. So he retrains his dog on her leash, goes out, gets the blowtorch, comes back and burns the dog.
The second person is a researcher, and she’s presently engaged in a study about the efficacy of various treatments on the burns. She’s returning home from a day at the laboratory where she has restrained several dogs and blowtorched them in pursuit of her study.
The first person has no real but purpose for burning his dog that way and might be charged with causing unnecessary suffering to the dog. Still, the second person not only won’t be charged, but she will also be protected by her institution, supported with public tax dollars, rewarded with professional recognition if her results get published. And the rest of us, if If her results get published. If we ever hear about such things at all, the rest of us will be assured that the experiments were humane.
Hang in because this brings us to the “new dimension” part of the animal experiments and animal testing. For various reasons, society and scientists are increasingly unhappy with animal testing. New science and technology are making alternatives to animal testing viable and, in some cases, even better.
What are these alternatives?
We call them 3 R’s
•Replacement it’s about recreating the conditions inside a living being using cell technology or computer models instead of animal experiments or animal testing. In this way, along with observations from animal experiments, we can use the data generated without animals.
•Reduction means obtaining similar information from fewer animals or more information from the same. This can be, for example, achieved to improve study design and statistical analysis. The additional information can be used to minimize the number of animals needed in experiments.
•Refinement is about receiving the pain or distress of testing animals and improving their welfare. Laboratory conditions of animals are better now, but more can still be done.
You see, we don’t mistreat animals because they’re property. We classify animals as property so that we can manage them poorly. These alternatives help us to prove that we are unable to get the facts right that
“Animals are here with us, not for us.”
Animals can think, feel, and communicate, and are the subjects of a life. There are differences between humans and other animals, of course, just as there are differences between humans, right? We have a notion of human equality, but that’s not because we are equal in our capacities or abilities.
We have many differences, but we have decided that none of those differences is ethically relevant when it comes to protecting our fundamental interest, like our interest in living our own life and not being hurt for somebody else’s purpose.
What are the ethically relevant differences between humans and other animals that make it acceptable for us to hurt them in ways that would never be acceptable to destroy one another?
We can stand against this grave injustice and help organizations like PETA end animal experimentation and animal testing. Here at four simple things that can be done:-
•Make sure you always buy cruelty-free products.
•To educate others, spread the word, tell your family and friends about this cruelty.
•Make sure you ever speak out against classroom dissection.
•Make donation helps organizations like PETA, where all the proceeds go towards helping to end animal experimentation and animal testing.
So, it’s a long road for peaceful coexistence between humans and other animals, but we can now start to see things differently.