Animal Abuse: Is Animal Testing Ethically Correct

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Animals are a large portion of our food consumption and are used to test medical and cosmetic products before selling them to the public. The question many people are starting to ask themselves is “do animals have rights”? Although animals are used for medical research and food consumption, animals do have rights and these industries should not test their products on these animals because it is ethically wrong and infringes on animals’ rights.

There has been an ongoing battle as to whether we should have animal rights laws. Different people have different opinions on animals’ rights, depending on the type of society they live in. It is found to be very common in the Western Hemisphere to advocate more for animal rights. In surveys conducted by the General Social Survey in 1993, 1994, and 2008, they surveyed 1,500 people. They asked about race, religion, gender, political affiliation, and income. The results of the GSS state, “In other words, people who supported an expansive conception of human rights and welfare were also more likely to support animal rights,” (Par,Valentino 2). As our generation gets older we start to form our own political views and it shows through what we advocate for. Our generation tends to focus more towards environmental issues in our society. Part of these environmental issues includes animal rights laws. According to the Texas Society for Biomedical Research, we are violating animal rights with: “Use of animals and animal products for human or animal dietary consumption (meat and dairy), confinement livestock and poultry production, Hunting, trapping, and fishing, fur-farming, use of animals in cosmetic and product-safety testing, the practice of owning pets, use of animals and animal products in clothing and domestic products (wool, fur, leather, silk), use of animals for any medical or veterinary research or procedure, zoos, circuses, rodeos, horse shows, and dog-shows, all performing animals, guide dogs for the blind, police dogs and search and rescue dogs,” (Texas Society for Biomedical Research 3). The author provided a list of ways in which we are exploiting animals for our own gain and violating their rights in the process. While there are some things on this list we cannot ban, for example, search and rescue dogs, others we could pass laws in order to give certain animals more rights such as animals used in performances.

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The meat industry and dairy industries account for some of the most controversial animal abuse cases in modern media. The meat and dairy industries are two of the biggest food producers in our country. We use meat and dairy almost everyday of our lives. In order for companies to produce enough meat and dairy to keep up with our daily use, it requires huge farms and thousands of animals. Many companies take good care of the animals at their farms such as MOOville Creamery and . Some companies are not as considerate as to how they care for their animals. In 2008, PETA attached a camera to an undercover activist who worked as an employee for Mowmar Farms. The videos showed extreme cases of animal abuse. According to the author of the article, “Animals Suffer Needlessly for Food Production”, Ted Genoways claims, ”... a worker demonstrated the method for euthanizing underweight piglets: taking them by the hind legs and smashing their skulls against the concrete floor … Their bloodied bodies were then tossed into a giant bin…”. This describes the gruesome details of the animal abuse that happens at many meat and dairy farms around the country. The entry-level herdsman, Shawn Lyons, was convicted of criminal livestock neglect. He was only the 7th person convicted of animal abuse in the meat industry in American history. With the amount of meat and dairy farms in the United States, it is not likely that Lyons was only the first person to have committed the crime of criminal livestock neglect.

Animals are used as test subjects for medical and cosmetic research and advancement. They are used to test if cosmetic and medical products or medical procedures are safe for human use. While the intentions of animal testing are to help advance cosmetic and medical technology, many people have begun to advocate that it is a form of animal cruelty. If people would not test on other humans why should we test on animals? According to Lori Gruen, a professor of animal studies at Wesleyan University, “Importantly, just because something is scientifically justified doesn't mean it is ethically justified,” (Gruen). Gruen argues that while we are doing the morally correct thing by not testing potentially harmful experiments on humans, it does not make these actions just. It infringes on the rights of animals because they have just as much of a right to life as humans do.

However, many people claim that the animal rights movement is a waste of time.

Works Cited

  1. Texas Society for Biomedical Research. 'Animal Welfare Is Different Than Animal Rights.' Animal Experimentation, edited by Susan C. Hunnicutt, Greenhaven Press, 2013. At Issue. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, Accessed 20 Feb. 2020. Originally published as 'Animal Welfare and Animal Rights,', 2011.
  2. Par, Yon Soo, and Benjamin Valentino. 'Who supports animal rights? Here's what we found.', 26 July 2019. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, Accessed 27 Feb. 2020.
  3. Genoways, Ted. 'Animals Suffer Needlessly for Food Production.' Vegetarianism, edited by Amy Francis, Greenhaven Press, 2015. Current Controversies. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, Accessed 27 Feb. 2020. Originally published as 'Gagged by Big Ag,' Mother Jones, 2013.
  4. Gruen, Lori. 'Not All Scientific Research on Animals Is Ethically Justified.' Scientific Research, edited by Sylvia Engdahl, Greenhaven Press, 2015. Opposing Viewpoints. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, Accessed 27 Feb. 2020. Originally published as 'New Maternal Deprivation Research at U of Wisconsin,', 16 Oct. 2012.
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Animal Abuse: Is Animal Testing Ethically Correct. (2022, March 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 26, 2024, from
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