Opinion Essay Animal Rights

Using animals in research and to test the safety of products has been a topic of heated debate for decades. According to data collected by F. Barbara Orlans for her book, In the Name of Science: Issues in Responsible Animal Experimentation, sixty percent of all animals used in testing are used in biomedical research and product-safety testing (62). People have different feelings for animals; many look upon animals as companions while others view animals as a means for advancing medical techniques or furthering experimental research. However individuals perceive animals, the fact remains that animals are being exploited by research facilities and cosmetics companies all across the country and all around the world. Although humans often benefit from successful animal research, the pain, the suffering, and the deaths of animals are not worth the possible human benefits. Therefore, animals should not be used in research or to test the safety of products.

First, animals' rights are violated when they are used in research. Tom Regan, a philosophy professor at North Carolina State University, states: "Animals have a basic moral right to respectful treatment. . . .This inherent value is not respected when animals are reduced to being mere tools in a scientific experiment" (qtd. in Orlans 26). Animals and people are alike in many ways; they both feel, think, behave, and experience pain. Thus, animals should be treated with the same respect as humans. Yet animals' rights are violated when they are used in research because they are not given a choice. Animals are subjected to tests that are often painful or cause permanent damage or death, and they are never given the option of not participating in the experiment. Regan further says, for example, that "animal [experimentation] is morally wrong no matter how much humans may benefit because the animal's basic right has been infringed. Risks are not morally transferable to those who do not choose to take them" (qtd. in Orlans 26). Animals do not willingly sacrifice themselves for the advancement of human welfare and new technology. Their decisions are made for them because they cannot vocalize their own preferences and choices. When humans decide the fate of animals in research environments, the animals' rights are taken away without any thought of their well-being or the quality of their lives. Therefore, animal experimentation should be stopped because it violates the rights of animals.

Next, the pain and suffering that experimental animals are subject to is not worth any possible benefits to humans. "The American Veterinary Medial Association defines animal pain as an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience perceived as arising from a specific region of the body and associated with actual or potential tissue damage" (Orlans 129). Animals feel pain in many of the same ways that humans do; in fact, their reactions to pain are virtually identical (both humans and animals scream, for example). When animals are used for product toxicity testing or laboratory research, they are subjected to painful and frequently deadly experiments. Two of the most commonly used toxicity tests are the Draize test and the LD50 test, both ofwhich are infamous for the intense pain and suffering they inflect upon experimental animals. In the Draize test the substance or product being tested is placed in the eyes of an animal (generally a rabbit is used for this test); then the animal is monitored for damage to the cornea and other tissues in and near the eye. This test is intensely painful for the animal, and blindness, scarring, and death are generally the end results. The Draize test has been criticized for being unreliable and a needless waste of animal life. The LD50 test is used to test the dosage of a substance that is necessary to cause death in fifty percent of the animal subjects within a certain amount of time. To perform this test, the researchers hook the animals up to tubes that pump huge amounts of the test product into their stomachs until they die. This test is extremely painful to the animals because death can take days or even weeks. According to Orlans, the animals suffer from "vomiting, diarrhea, paralysis, convulsion, and internal bleeding. Since death is the required endpoint, dying animals are not put out of their misery by euthanasia" (154). In his article entitled "Time to Reform Toxic Tests," Michael Balls, a professor of medial cell biology at the University of Nottingham and chairman of the trustees of FRAME (the Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments), states that the LD50 test is "scientifically unjustifiable. The precision it purports to provide is an illusion because of uncontrollable biological variables" (31). The use of the Draize test and the LD50 test to examine product toxicity has decreased over the past few years, but these tests have not been eliminated completely. Thus, because animals are subjected to agonizing pain, suffering and death when they are used in laboratory and cosmetics testing, animal research must be stopped to prevent more waste of animal life.

Finally, the testing of products on animals is completely unnecessary because viable alternatives are available. Many cosmetic companies, for example, have sought better ways to test their products without the use of animal subjects. In Against Animal Testing, a pamphlet published by The Body Shop, a well-known cosmetics and bath-product company based in London, the development of products that "use natural ingredients, like bananas and Basil nut oil, as well as others with a long history of safe human usage" is advocated instead of testing on animals (3).Furthermore, the Draize test has become practically obsolete because of the development of a synthetic cellular tissue that closely resembles human skin. Researchers can test the potential damage that a product can do to the skin by using this artificial "skin" instead of testing on animals. Another alternative to this test is a product called Eyetex. This synthetic material turns opaque when a product damages it, closely resembling the way that a real eye reacts to harmful substances. Computers have also been used to simulate and estimate the potential damage that a product or chemical can cause, and human tissues and cells have been used to examine the effects of harmful substances. In another method, in vitro testing, cellular tests are done inside a test tube. All of these tests have been proven to be useful and reliable alternatives to testing products on live animals. Therefore, because effective means of product toxicity testing are available without the use of live animal specimens, testing potentially deadly substances on animals is unnecessary.

However, many people believe that animal testing is justified because the animals are sacrificed to make products safer for human use and consumption. The problem with thisreasoning is that the animals' safety, well-being, and quality of life is generally not a consideration. Experimental animals are virtually tortured to death, and all of these tests are done in the interest of human welfare, without any thought to how the animals are treated. Others respond that animals themselves benefit from animal research. Yet in an article entitled "Is Your Experiment Really Necessary?" Sheila Silcock, a research consultant for the RSPCA, states: "Animals may themselves be the beneficiaries of animal experiments. But the value we place on the quality of their lives is determined by their perceived value to humans" (34). Making human's lives better should not be justification for torturing and exploiting animals. The value that humans place on their own lives should be extended to the lives of animals as well.

Still other people think that animal testing is acceptable because animals are lower species than humans and therefore have no rights. These individuals feel that animals have no rights because they lack the capacity to understand or to knowingly exercise these rights. However, animal experimentation in medical research and cosmetics testing cannot be justified on the basis that animals are lower on the evolutionary chart than humans since animals resemble humans in so many ways. Many animals, especially the higher mammalian species, possess internal systems and organs that are identical to the structures and functions of human internal organs. Also, animals have feelings, thoughts, goals, needs, and desires that are similar to human functions and capacities, and these similarities should be respected, not exploited, because of the selfishness of humans. Tom Regan asserts that "animals are subjects of a life just as human beings are, and a subject of a life has inherent value. They are . . . ends in themselves" (qtd. in Orlans 26). Therefore, animals' lives should be respected because they have an inherent right to be treated with dignity. The harm that is committed against animals should not be minimized because they are not considered to be "human."

In conclusion, animal testing should be eliminated because it violates animals' rights, it causes pain and suffering to the experimental animals, and other means of testing product toxicity are available. Humans cannot justify making life better for themselves by randomly torturing and executing thousands of animals per year to perform laboratory experiments or to test products. Animals should be treated with respect and dignity, and this right to decent treatment is not upheld when animals are exploited for selfish human gain. After all, humans are animals too.

Works Cited

Against Animal Testing. The Body Shop, 1993.

Balls, Michael. "Time to Reform Toxic Tests." New Scientist 134 (1992):31-33.

Orlans, F. Barbara. In the Name of Science: Issues in Responsible Animal Experimentation. New York: Oxford UP, 1993.

Silcock, Sheila. "Is Your Experiment Really Necessary?" New Scientist 134 (1992): 32-34.

Heather Dunnuck

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample 242 - Animals should not be exploited by people and that they should have the same rights

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IELTS Writing Task 2/ IELTS Essay:

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

A growing number of people feel that animals should not be exploited by people and that they should have the same rights as humans, while others argue that humans must employ animals to satisfy their various needs, including uses for food and research.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Give reasons from your own experience and examples where relevant.

Sample Answer 1:
It has become a debatable topic about the exploitation of animals by mankind. Some people believed that animals should not be exploited and should be treated fairly by human beings. In contrast, others think animals should be utilised to assist humans in various kinds of ways, such as the source of food or for medical testing. The following essay will discuss both views in details, but in my opinion, I believe that animals can be used as the source of food or to assist human beings in the proportionate way and human should treat them properly.

On the one hand, a group of people believe that mankind does not have the rights to exploit animals, as they are also living creatures. It is true that animals live by following their instinct, but they have the same feeling as human beings, therefore it would not be fair for mankind to exploit them. In several cases, it has been reported that some of the cows had cried before they were slaughtered in the slaughterhouse, which means that they also had the same feeling as human beings. In another reported cases, some of the animals was treated poorly by their masters, though they had been exploited heavily and made them sick or injured.

On the other hand, it is undeniable that mankind needs the assistant of animals in various kinds of ways. Firstly, some animals are needed by humans to assist them in producing and providing foods. In many countries, cows, buffalos or horses are used by farmers to cultivate their farming areas, and some dairy farms animals such as chicken and sheep are slaughtered for their meats. Without the existence of these animals, there would be a humanity issue about the lack of food supplies and starvation for mankind. Secondly, some animals are used in certain scientific experiments or medical testing for the sake of humanity. Several new drugs are being tested in some mice or monkeys before they are being tested on human beings. Although it might seem as an inhuman act, but these experiments have saved thousands of human lives.

In conclusion, people have different opinions about the exploitation of animals. Some people agree with the statement but others disagree with it. In my opinion, I think the employment or the usage of animals to help human beings is not a problem, as long as we exploit them in a proportionate way. For example, as many farmers use dogs as their assistant in their field and the dogs should be treated and fed properly.

[ by - Darwin Lesmana ]

Sample Answer 2:
There have been lots of debates about animal rights in different societies over last decade and sometimes we watch or hear from media that a group of people are protesting in each corner of the world to protect animal rights. However, this group believes that animals should not be  endangered by humans, while some others point that human needs are more important and people should be allowed to use animals for their different purposes. Therefore, this essay has tried to cover both of mentioned views and would suggest a good way to solve the issue.

According to most of the history documents, the human has employed animals to have a better life from the time that civilisation has come to existence. In fact, the skin of animals has been considered as the first material for clothing industry and human has used the meat of them as a delicious food. These days, people spend money for these purposes and in addition scientists conduct most of their biology experiments on animals to find cures for illnesses.

Some people worry about the mentioned trend as many animals’ species have been extinct because of exploiting them by the human. Actually, they believe that the God has created animals to live and human shouldn’t kill them or destroys their life places for his needs. So, if no step is taken for this situation, our planet has no place for animals and we just can see animals in zoos which will be another way of employing animals by the human.

By contrast, some other argues that the God has created animals for human better life and it is inevitable that people use animals for their targets. In other words, it is such a life law that always the stronger kill the weaker for continuing the life and in the forest, wild animals kill other for food as human do it for his purposes. Therefore, human should exploit animals for food, clothes and to develop the science and no other way can be taken.

I think, therefore, this occasion is such a sophisticated issue and both of views are concerning one aspect of human and animal rights. But perhaps, the realistic solution is balancing human behaviour about animals. Put another way, human should try to replace other ways instead of exploiting animals, however; it is not possible to eliminate the role of employing animals in human life.

[ by -  Milad Rahimi ]

Sample Answer 3:
The animal is one of the living things, like the human. Some people believe that animals should be kept and treated well because they have the same rights as the human. Other people think that animal should be used for food, clothes, education, and research purposes. From my point of view, animals bring many advantages to the human life. But it does not mean human can treat them badly and even do exploitation.    
 
As God creature, animals live and they have the same feelings like humans do, like pain, suffering, frustration, happiness, etc. People who advocate animal rights think that animals are equal as the human, so they deserve the same treatment.  People must not use animals for their necessity. For instance, using animals for experiments, using them for the entertainment business, killing them for foods or making clothes and many others is inhuman. These activities not only hurt the animals but also may destroy the balance of nature. In this case, people with this point of view believe that exploitation and violence in animals are cruel behaviour.  
 
In contrast, some people argue that animals are created to fulfil human needs. They have a lot of benefits for human life. Firstly, animals can be used for education. Many scientists utilise animals for their research, like biology or medical study. It can really help people to enrich their knowledge about the earth phenomena and also to find new medications for helping the humans. Secondly, animals are really important as food sources. They can provide human nutrition. For example, fishes, crabs, lobsters, and meats are containing protein which is needed for human health.  
 
In conclusion, I believe that animals give many benefits for humans. They can help improving human life, especially provide food. However, people should treat them in good ways. I agree that animals deserve to be treated well but it does not mean that they must be treated as equal as humans.

[ by -  Farahdina Bachtiar ]

Sample Answer 4:
Since prehistoric era, animals have been widely used by humans and in different ways to fulfil several needs. They have provided main sources of food, clothes, transportation and other tools largely used for the well-being of humankind. Yet in the modern world, animals still offer an efficient and indispensable mean for scientists to develop killing edge vaccinations. Whether to ban the exploitation of animals in general or to continue profiting from them for the betterment of people's lives still a matter of dispute. I personally believe that animals' use in our lives should be strictly controlled.

In favour of securing the same rights as humans, some claim that animals should be treated in a moral and ethical way. They consequently require to stop slaughtering sheep and cows, for instance, simply to provision eatable meat. They additionally argue that though animals are driven by instinct rather by brain like humans, they still are living creatures and should enjoy their lives in peace.

On the other side, supporters of exploiting animals for the good of mankind evaluate their use in our lives as essential in different aspects. Firstly it is suspicious that humans may survive by merely rely on vegetable sources of food even though this is not impossible.

Secondly, it would be quite impossible to keep the pace of development in medicine, especially to counter epidemic diseases, if we restrain the scientists from experiencing on animals. However, testing each and every new drug on humans is unethical and inhuman.

To conclude, despite the unstoppable voices against the exploitation of animals, in general, it would not be easy for humans to evolve without utilising animals, however, humans should control this utilisation and regulate it firmly. Miss using animals like in circuses, zoos or illegal competitions should be completely prohibited since those activities are solely aiming fun and mere financial benefits and disregarding animals' suffering.

[ by -  Sam Sal ]

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