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Why Animal Testing: Why does it raise ethical issues? Cats, dogs, nonhuman primates and other animals are drowned, suffocated, and starved to death. They.

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Presentation on theme: "Why Animal Testing: Why does it raise ethical issues? Cats, dogs, nonhuman primates and other animals are drowned, suffocated, and starved to death. They."— Presentation transcript:


2 Why Animal Testing: Why does it raise ethical issues? Cats, dogs, nonhuman primates and other animals are drowned, suffocated, and starved to death. They are burned and subjected to radiation. Their eyes are removed, their hearing is destroyed. They have limbs severed and organs crushed. Invasive means are used to give them heart attacks, cancers, and seizures. They are deprived of sleep, subjected to electric shock, and exposed to extremes of heat and cold…

3 fully …and thats on a good day, when the testing labs are following the guidelines. All the procedures on the previous slide comply fully with the Animal Welfare Act. Each procedure conforms with what Animal Plant Health Inspection Service inspectors count as humane care and treatment. And testing labs have done much crueler things, unnecessarily. The following slides show examples (no graphic photos) of fully approved tests…

4 Fully approved: E. Sander Connollys (Columbia Univ.) experiments Strokes were (are?) induced in baboons by removing their left eyeballs to reach and clamp a critical blood vessel to their brains. Metal pipes were (are?) surgically implanted in monkeys skulls for the purpose of inducing stress in order to study the connection between stress and menstrual cycles. Nicotine was (is?) pumped into pregnant baboons who are strapped into backpacks full of instrumentation and tethered inside cages. More info at

5 Experiments Funded by March of Dimes The March of Dimes has funded experimenters who have sewn cats eyes shut, implanted wires into the uteruses of pregnant monkeys, cut open the skulls of ferrets and injected chemicals directly into their brains, and administered cocaine, nicotine, and alcohol to pregnant rats even though the harmful effects of these substances on developing fetuses is well known. Info: Humane Charity Seal of Approval –

6 Harry Harlow, Primate Research Experiments on a monkeys instinct to cling to its mother even when the mother subjects it to rejection and pain. (Research conducted by Harry Harlow at the Primate Research Centre at Madison, Wisconsin, see Singer 1995, )

7 More examples Removing monkeys eyes to discover whether their facial expressions resembled that of sighted monkeys when deprived of their mothers. They did. (See Gendin 1986, 200) Testing the pressure on a hose when monkeys bit it in response to electric shocks on their tails compared to the biting pressure resulting from amphetamines, etc. (See Gendin 1986, 2001)

8 Dont we need to experiment on animals because of the benefit? So therefore it is morally justified. This response assumes that animals dont have moral rights. Also, it makes the scientific assumption that there are great medical benefits from animal research. AND, it assumes theres NOTHING BETTER than can be done for humans than animal research.

9 What about pain and suffering-free research? If an animal is killed, thats still a harm-- something bad has happened to the animal. They miss out on all they would have experienced; their lives are cut short. We dont think that if someone killed us painlessly, that would make it morally ok. The response, Well, treating these animals in these ways would be OK if done humanely and with every effort to minimize pain needs serious defense.serious defense

10 Whats wrong with testing cosmetics on animals? Companies dont put lipstick and rouge on a pig, take it to a bar, and see if anybody picks it up. A "researcher" pries open the eye of a young rabbit (as it squirms to break free) and pours in a vial of drain cleaner.

11 Is it okay to use a medicine that has been tested on animals? Take the generic version of the drug--this won't put money into the pockets of the company that tested it on animals. Just as driving on roads that were built by slaves doesn't mean that one supports slavery, using medicines that were tested on animals doesn't mean one supports animal testing. If there is no generic version of a drug that was tested on animals, but taking the drug makes a person better able to help animals today, that person should do so for the sake of animals. There is no one-to-one correlation between consumer drug purchases and animal misery (as there is with the correlation of food consumption, leather, etc.). Ironically, in some cases it helps animals to support the companies testing on them (but we dont recommend this). One company, when doing financially well, invested money in alternative testing and cut the number of animal tests. Protesting, and law changes, will make companies change their policies. Boycotting products may be only symbolic.

12 Legality is no guarantee of morality. Who gets legal rights is determined by the opinion of todays legislators. The law changes as public opinion or political motivations change, but ethics are not so arbitrary. Look at some of the other things that have at one time been legal in the U.S.child labor, human slavery, the oppression of women. If animal exploitation were wrong, it would be illegal

13 In the US, it used to be… Illegal to possess a bathtub in Massachusetts. Legal for parents to have their children hung for disobedience. Legal to kill someone if others thought them to be a witch. If youd guess that laws are more logical now, then please smile at the following 2 slides (a small sampling of the dumb laws still on the books) and take laws with several grains of salt.a small sampling

14 Laws which still exist in the US In Arkansas, a man is permitted to beat his wife, but no more than once a month. In Montana, seven or more native Americans together are considered a raiding or war party, and it is legal to shoot them. In Vermont, it is illegal to deny the existence of God. In Alabama, it is illegal to wear a fake moustache that causes laughter in church. You may not have an ice cream cone in your back pocket at any time. Children of incestuous couples are deemed legitimate. In Arizona, when being attacked by a criminal or burglar, you may only protect yourself with the same weapon that the other person possesses. Any misdemeanor committed while wearing a red mask is considered a felony. In Tombstone: It is illegal for men and women over the age of 18 to have less than one missing tooth visible when smiling.

15 Laws which still exist in the US California. In Chico: Detonating a nuclear device within the city limits results in a $500 fine. In San Francisco: Persons classified as "ugly" may not walk down any street. In Indian Wells: It is illegal for a trumpet player to play his instrument with the intention of luring someone to a store. Colorado. In Denver: It is unlawful to lend your vacuum cleaner to your next-door neighbor Florida: A law prohibits unmarried women from parachuting on Sunday. Men may not be seen publicly in any kind of strapless gown. Illinois: In Normal, it is against the law to make faces at dogs. Iowa: One-armed piano players must perform for free. In Fort Madison: The fire department is required to practice fire fighting for fifteen minutes before attending a fire.

16 Isn't breaking the law (e.g., destruction of property) wrong? Those who object to law-breaking under all circumstances would have to condemn: The Tiananmen Square demonstrators. The Boston Tea Party participants. Mahatma Gandhi and his followers. World War II resistance fighters. The Polish Solidarity Movement. Vietnam War draft card burners. The list could be continued almost indefinitely. "Certainly one of the highest duties of the citizen is a scrupulous obedience to the laws of the nation. But it is not the highest duty." --Thomas Jefferson (3rd U.S. President)

17 Isn't breaking the law wrong? From Terrorists or Freedom Fighters? Opponents of direct action often argue that illegal actions undermine the rule of law, and they view civil disobedience as a threat to political order. Among other things, this perspective presupposes that the system in question is legitimate or cannot be improved. It misrepresents direct activists as people who lack respect for the principles of law, when arguably they have a higher regard for the spirit of law and its relation to ethics and justice than whose who fetishize political order for its own sake. Moreover, this argument fails to grasp that many direct action advocates are anarchists who seek to replace the states and legal systems they hold in contempt with the ethical substance of self- regulating decentralized communities.

18 Isn't ALF supposed to be non-violent? From Terrorists or Freedom Fighters? Broadening the term "violence" to include store windows, buildings, laboratory equipment, and assorted physical objects can easily trivialize the violence done to human and nonhuman animals and may blur the critical distinction between living beings and nonliving things. There is a huge difference between breaking the neck of a mink and smashing a fur store window, but the values of society are revealed all too clearly when only the latter action is condemned as a crime worthy of intense opprobrium and legal action.

19 Isn't sabotage violence? From Terrorists or Freedom Fighters? If sabotage is violence, it pales in comparison to what industries inflict on animals in the speciesist Gulags, factories, and killing fields/seas of industrial capitalism. Animal liberationists rightly underscore the ironic disparity between the outcry over home demonstrations, liberations, and property damage and the silence over the obscene violence inherent in the torture and killing of billions of animals every year for food, fashion, sport, entertainment, and science. Let moral outrage be put in proper perspective.

20 Whos violent? From Terrorists or Freedom Fighters? Proponents of the "sabotage is violence" argument seem to assert that there is violence (1) in the action itself and (2) in its effect on human targets. In the act of property destruction, objects are defaced, smashed, burned, and demolished. If this is violence, then one certainly ought to open up the definition of violence and terrorism to include corporate destruction of oceans, rivers, marshes, mountains, forests, and ecosystems of all kinds. Those who cry "eco-terrorist" the loudest are typically those who profit the most from violence and killing, and those who seek to disguise their own crimes against life by vilifying others.

21 Tom Regan on Violence Here are the main outlines of a possible justification of violence (against property): 1. Animals are innocent. 2. Violence is used only when it is necessary to rescue them so that they are spared terrible harms. 3. Excessive violence is never used. 4. Violence is used only after nonviolent alternatives have been exhausted, as time and circumstances permit. 5. Therefore, in these cases, the use of violence is justified.

22 Doesn't extreme activism give the AR movement a bad name? Extreme action is a political tactic that dramatizes issues and places them before the public when they otherwise would be ignored in the media, applies pressure to corporations and government agencies that otherwise are able to resist "legitimate" pressure from law-abiding organizations, and broadens the spectrum of activism so that lobbying by mainstream groups is not considered "extremist". Furthermore, in the long run, people may agree with the message even while hating the messenger. Example: The demonstrators who threw bricks at building in protest of the Vietnam War were hated. But they made news, and their message hit home.

23 Do ALF raids give the AR movement a bad name? ALF "raids" have given us proof of horrific cruelty that would not have been discovered or believed otherwise. They have resulted in official filing of criminal charges against laboratories, citing of experimenters for violations of the Animal Welfare Act, and, in some cases, shutting down of abusive labs for good. Often ALF raids have been followed by widespread scientific condemnation of the practices occurring in the targeted labs.

24 Do ALF raids give the AR movement a bad name? ALF raids may give the ALF a bad name, but the movement is not ALF, or vice versa. Some believe that ALF acts as the "bad cop" to the "good cop' of other AR advocates. Dr. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X created the same dynamic in the civil rights movement. Malcolm X preached change powered by violent confrontation. Malcolm X adamantly spoke out against the white people, calling them white devils. Did this hinder the movement or strengthen it? On one hand, the appeal of Malcolm X and King to separate groups made for a larger following in shear numbers increasing awareness more effectively than just one group could. Those two, using their unintended good cop-bad cop strategy ended up appealing to more people.

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