Animals Have Souls!

Alexis Clendenin Gabriel 21 March, 2013 English IV Senior Project Animals have souls. Should Animal Experimentation for Medical Research be banned? Throughout history, animal experimentation has played an imperative role in leading to new discoveries and human advantages. However, many people tend to forget the great numbers of animal that have suffered serious damage during the process of experimentation. Many people misunderstand the nature the lives that animals actually live, and are unable to understand the actual laboratory procedures and techniques.

Animal experimentation should be excluded because it is inhumane, unethical, and there are safer ways to test products. According to the latest US statistics, “Nearly one million animals were tortured, mutilated and killed in US laboratories in 2009. ”(Business Wire) The most common animals used for experimentation are mice, rats, rabbits, primates, dogs, cats; no animal is safe from experimentation. (PETA) Animals should be roaming free, not lying in a cold cage not knowing what’s about to transpire upon them. In the laboratory, animals are compelled to inhaling, ingesting getting injected with lethal substances. PETA) Humans have stronger rights than animals since we can reason rationally. We use animals to eat them, play with them, and wear their skins. Most vital, we use them as test subjects for medical purposes. The research has led us to discoveries which have saved millions of lives. The outcomes have led to immunizations against polio, mumps, hepatitis, diphtheria, and rubella; which have saved countless lives. (Gale, 2) Researching animals is crucial for scientists, medical societies, and health agencies all over the world to enhance the lives of humans. Government regulations around the world require that new drugs, vaccines and surgical implants first be tested in animals for potential toxic reactions. ” (Gale, 1) The testing of animals is the only guaranteed way we can continue our production of safe medicines. Without animal testing scientists cannot be optimistic that all medicines on the market are safe and reliable. To be helpful to human beings, the drugs should be tested using human cells, tissues, and organs. Recent technological developments made it possible to replace experimenting on animals.

The use of cell culture, analytical technology, micro-organism tests, and computer models are some examples of additional approaches for medical research. (O’Neill, 2) Scientists only want to obtain the best results and that is why they test on animals. Animals and humans can have the similar medical issues. (Gale, 1)”Opposition to all animal testing would require a life without drugs, vaccines, painkillers, anesthetics, and surgery. ”(Gale 2) If we didn’t have any treatments to any illnesses, would the human species survive? The answer is unknown.

Every day in the United States animals are beaten, neglected, or forced to struggle for survival. Left in unsanitary conditions with no food or water, they have little hope as they live out their days without the compassion they deserve. Some are found and rescued, given the chance to experience how great life and humans can be; others aren’t so lucky. To grow as a nation, we must fight for these abused animals’ rights and severely punish heartless owners. It is up to us to speak for these creatures who lack a voice, for who will if we don’t?

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One of the first steps in protecting animals and creating effective cruelty laws is knowing what animal cruelty actually is. There are two categories: passive cruelty and active cruelty. The first involves acts of omission, meaning the abuse happens as a result of neglect or lack of action. Passive cruelty might seem less serious, but that is not the case; it can lead to terrible pain and suffering, and ultimately death. Examples include starvation, dehydration, untreated parasite infestations, inadequate shelter in extreme weather conditions, and the failure to get medical care.

Passive cruelty is sometimes due to the owner’s ignorance, so many animal control officers will first try to educate neglectful owners on how to properly care for animals before giving them a citation or placing them under arrest. Active cruelty, on the other hand, is more well known and disturbing. Sometimes referred to as non-accidental injury, this type of abuse involves purposefully inflicting harm on an animal in order to feel more powerful or gain control.

Active cruelty against animals should be taken very seriously, since it can be a sign that a person has serious psychological issues and may commit more acts of violence – possibly against humans. It is hard to tell just what drives people to harm innocent animals. “According to a 1997 study done by the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Northeastern University, animal abusers are five times more likely to commit violent crimes against people and four times more likely to commit property crimes than are individuals without a history of animal abuse,” says Pet-abuse. om. It is vital to report people who hurt animals. Most animal abusers find some sort of fulfillment or power in torturing a victim they know can’t fight back, which is why crimes like rape and child molestation are committed. While not all animal abusers become serial killers or rapists, it is important to take every case seriously. For example, Carroll Edward Cole was a West Coast serial killer who may have murdered as many as 35 women in the 1970s and was executed in 1985. Based on Cole’s testimony, his first violent act was strangling a puppy.

The Columbine school shooting is another example of animal abuse as a precursor to human violence. Before killing 12 classmates and then turning the guns on themselves, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebod had bragged to friends about mutilating animals. If these acts had been reported to authorities and taken seriously, these two young men might have been put in a proper facility and helped, possibly avoiding the horrific massacre. Given these examples, it’s hard to imagine why all states don’t take animal cruelty seriously. Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Mississippi, North Dakota, and South Dakota have no felony provisions for cruelty to animals.

According to the Humane Society, a good felony anticruelty law should protect all animals, apply to first-time offenders, carry large fines and lengthy prison time, have no exemptions, require convicted abusers to get counseling at their own expense, and prohibit abusers from owning or living among animals. Along with these laws we need officials who will strongly enforce them. Police, psychologists, and even the FBI recognize the link between animal cruelty and violence against people. To better protect communities, all states should institute strong penalties and work to increase public awareness of these crimes.

It’s not only up to the legal system to ensure that communities across the country are aware and educated about animal cruelty. There are plenty of things everyday citizens can do. The simplest action is for people to take care of their own pets and learn the facts so they can educate others on proper animal care. Another easy way to help is by donating to or volunteering at a local animal shelter. Contrary to popular belief, volunteering doesn’t require a lot of time; simply going in a few hours a week helps tremendously.

Finally, by writing letters you can remind your local lawmakers that animal abuse is a real problem that needs to be addressed. Taking a few minutes to support this worthy cause not only helps animals, it allows you to feel proud about standing up for something so important to society. It is our job to be the voice for creatures who cannot speak up for themselves. As a nation we need to make it our priority to come together and ensure the safety of our beloved pets. As Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. ”

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