The word animal originates from the word animalis that is a Latin word meaning containing breath. Animals are all the other organisms that are neither humans nor plants. However, biologically, animals are members of the kingdom Animalia and the kingdom contains several creatures including human beings. Therefore, animals are a group of organisms that are eukaryotic and are of multi-cellular nature. Their body forms eventually become fixed after they develop fully. Some animals, however, undergo metamorphosis in later stages of their lives whereby they have some changes in their body forms, such an example is the snake that molts after a specified period. Animals are extremely important to man because they provide food mainly to human beings as in the case of milk and poultry. In addition, they also have other benefits to man and their rights should be respected.
Without the existence of animals, out diet would only be limited plants. Such foods may lack some key nutritional components that can only be acquired from foods obtained from animals. Some of the foods obtained from the animals include milk obtained from cows, goats and camels, red meat from cows and white meat mainly from poultry. Such foods are extremely crucial for the well-being of human beings especially in the case of their health. Omega 3 is an example of dietary requirement that can only be obtained from oily fish and not from any plant. Omega 3 is a vital dietary requirement especially for growing children, and if deficient, it may lead to several complications in the health of the person in question. Therefore, animals as a source of food are essential for the survival of the human race.
My ideas on animals are not inclined to any particular side. I am not an extremist that supports the fight for the rights of animals, but I also acknowledge that their treatment is sometimes unmerited. Animals are crucial to man, I agree, but the notion that they should have equal rights to those of man is rather incongruous. The people who claim to be fighting for these rights should keep in mind that animals are our subordinates in every single aspect. Their fight is unwarranted, as they want to elevate such animals to the level of human beings, and this is unreasonable on their part. Their fight also seeks to lower the opinion of man by making animals equal to man. Such organizations should understand that the need for animals to be treated with a little more dignity is just, but it should be within limits.
Both religion and the theory of evolution are formative of my idea pertaining to this matter. From Christianity, the Bible clearly states that human beings are the most superior of all the creations made by God. This is stated during creation when God declares that Adam, the first man to be created, is in charge of all the creations in the world. God also asked him to take care of all he had created and, therefore, granted him responsibility over animals and plants. From the Bible, this means that the idea that animals should have rights equal to man is in complete contradiction to the Bible. However, The Bible also states that man should protect the animals from all harm, and this justifies the fight for just treatment of animals as the activists claim. As a result, I do not support the quest to provide human beings and animals to with equal rights because it opposes Christianity.
In the case of the theory of evolution, is depicts human beings as more superior to animals. Evidence of this is in the evolution theory, which presupposes that man developed over a long period whereby his features improved gradually. The theory includes the use of natural selection as a means of evolution. Natural selection is another theory that was used to explain the need for survival in a certain group of organisms. It explains that, during reproduction, several offsprings are born but only the strong ones will survive and develop into maturity. In the case of animals, their adaptations, mannerisms and features signify that human beings are more developed. For example if we use the brain capacity as a general feature in man and animals, the brain capacity of man is much larger than that of the animals. Therefore, man being more superior will require more laws that are complex in order to ensure their protection. Animals, on the other hand, should have rights, but they should not be at par with those of the human beings.
One controversial issue concerning animals in the recent past is the utilization of animals in processes of medical testing. This issue has brought about a lot of conflict between animal rights activists and medical doctors and researchers who use animals in their research. This procedure is commonly referred to as animal experimentation or animal research. It is the process of utilizing non-human organisms in experiments mostly medical tests. Animal research is common and is used worldwide in order to carry out studies in order to find out the effects of several drugs or medical procedures. Since such tests cannot be used on human beings, they are carried out on animals and the effects registered in the animals may be extrapolated to the human beings, as well. Animal testing takes place on a variety of animal species such as amphibians, primates and rodents. The highest percentage of the animals utilized in animal testing on a global scale is mice.
Organizations that are against the utilization of animals in these procedures have been established in a bid to stop the practice especially in the European countries. Such organizations include PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and BUAV (British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection). Such organizations have raised awareness on the unjust treatment of animals especially those used in research. Among the reasons why they are against the practice is because after the animals have completed the research, they are euthanized. These organizations have amassed a large number of followers who share their beliefs. As part of their campaign for the rights of the animals, they have held several conferences and meetings on the matter. The use of celebrities in the United States has also helped to popularize the need for animals’ rights in the country.
Research that the animals are used in includes drug testing for several drugs before they obtain FDA approval, genetic testing and xenotransplantation. Animals have been very effective in the medical field, as they have enabled researchers to come up with several treatments for diseases, previously rendered incurable. Animal research did not start recently, instead, it begun several centuries ago. The earliest civilization known to have used animal testing is the Greek society. During the 2nd and 3rd century BC, Erastratus and Aristotle performed experiments on animals. In Rome and Spain, several other researchers also used animals for the purpose of research. One of the most important discoveries in medicine pertaining to animal testing is the demonstration of the Germ Theory. Louis Pasteur revealed this phenomenon using a sheep into which he induced anthrax. Pavlov also contributed to science by the discovery of the conditioning reflex using dogs in his research.
Several other discoveries have been made concerning insulin and the treatment of leprosy by the utilization of animals in research. Genetic engineering, commonly called cloning is also another notable result of animal research. Laws were passed in the United States to ensure that animal testing was performed before a drug was released into the market. After the thalidomide disaster that occurred in the 1960’s, this legislation was taken even more seriously since it claimed the lives of several children and the survivors were left with congenital abnormalities. However, even with the obvious benefits of animal testing, there is still a lot of controversy surrounding the matter of animal testing. I think animal research is an integral part of our lives because, without it, human beings will be exposed to several infectious materials. There also will not be any development in science since research is the cause of this development.
The fact that the research facilities euthanize the animals is more advantageous because most of them may end up with untreatable complications due to the research. Euthanasia is better than the endurance of pain every day with no hope of a cure. Recently in an article, the debate on the utilization of animals during research was covered. In this case, one ardent supporter was against the euthanization of a mouse. The mouse had been used in research about the effects of cholesterol on the heart rate. After the research was concluded, it could not maintain a steady heart rate and was prone to several strokes that occurred often. The research facility decided to euthanize the mouse since its heart was under a lot of stress. In this case, the activist disagreed to this and was advocating for the rights of the mouse by refusing euthanasia. In my opinion, the activist was wrong since letting the mouse live would subject it to a lot of unnecessary pain.
This is because it was already in a poor condition due to the excessive cholesterol it has in its body. This had blocked its blood vessels and therefore, endangered its life. Euthanasia was, therefore, in this case the most suitable option for the mouse. The texts that have influenced my ideologies in this matter are scientific journals that have discussed the matter at great length and resulted in a unanimous decision that animal testing is unavoidable in this society. As much as the animals are key research, such facilities should treat these organisms justly while performing their procedures on them. Therefore, animal rights should be adhered to within reasonable limits.