Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Animal Rights

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An animal is a multicellular organism originating from the kingdom Animalia, with different characteristics from plants. Example of the characteristics are capacity for locomotion, non-photosynthetic metabolism, pronounced response to stimuli, restricted growth and and fixed bodily structure. Eventhough animals are thought to be inferior to human because they lack rationality and language; they are not less worthy of consideration than humans.

The term ‘Animal Rights’ sums up an act that intends to protect all animals from being exploited or abused by humans. This includes activities which can cause pain to the animals, such as medical experimentation, imprisonment in circuses and zoos, hunting and fur production. Before these animals are killed, they are usually burned, scalded, poisoned, starved, given electric shocks, injected with drugs, subjected to near-freezing temperatures, infected with radioactive elements or driven insane. Some are even intentionally inflicted with diseases such as cancer, diabetes, oral infections, stomach ulcers, Syphilis, herpes and many more for the sole reason of experimentation.

Every year, millions of animals suffer and die in excruciating tests to determine the safety of cosmetics and other products. Substances such as eye shadow and soap are tested on rabbits, rats, guinea pigs, dogs, and other animals, despite the fact that this test results does little to help prevent or treat human illness and injury. Cosmetics are not required to be tested on animals and since non-animal alternatives are around, it is hard to understand why some companies still continue to conduct these inhuman tests. There are tests that are more reliable and less expensive that do not require the use of animals. Some of these tests include the use of cell cultures, corneal and skin tissue cultures, corneas from eye banks, and computer and mathematical models. Companies and experimenters can also use ingredients that have already been proven safe or natural ingredients. Unfortunately, companies are still using the old-fashioned cruel tests on animals.

Besides that, more than 100 million of animals are killed each year in the United States of America. This number is staggering, but yet fails to reflect the entire situation. It is estimated that for every animal killed and claimed by a hunter, at least two other animals are hurt along the process and if untreated, these animals die slowly and painfully from blood loss, infection or starvation. Even if the hunter does not succeed in killing the animals, he is still somewhat harming them. The constant chase experienced by the animals leads to great anxiety and stress, which in turn hinders with their abilities to eat and store necessary fat for surviving during the winter. The hunter’s action interferes with nature's delicate balance. Stray buckshot, garbage left behind, recreational vehicles, campfires, and other foreign elements introduced by hunters inflict chaos on the environment and wildlife.

It is unbelievable that some people are so ignorant and indifferent to animal suffering and think that using fur coats to make a fashion statement is equivalent to achieving paramount. The world needs to come to terms with the shocking statistics regarding the number of animals it takes to make one single coat. For example, it takes approximately 16 coyotes to make a single 40” coat. This indicates that sixteen healthy, living coyotes had their rights to live snatched away right under their noses just so one human could lead the luxurious life. Only because animals cannot speak and lack the ability to voice out their opinion, it does not mean that they do not feel pain and the actions of the fur manufacturers can be justified.

People often fail to give animals the respect and rights they deserve and they are treated as lifeless, scientific creatures with no feelings that they can discard at their own convenience. We are constantly hearing on the news and other programs about people going to jail and having their animals taken and being fined because they haven’t been feeding them or looking after them. And yet scientists conducting excruciating experiments get away with what they are doing despite it surpassing cruelty and even barbaric beyond compassion.

One question that one needs to ask himself or herself is ‘Why must all these defenseless animals go on suffering?’ It is almost the end of the 20th century, and we have had some marvelous scientific advancements and yet we are not past animal testing. People need to stop turning the other shoulder when it comes to animal testing. It is an extremely important issue and also a real predicament at hand. The problem that we are faced with is not a difficult one to fix. The technology (such as mass media) is available for us to use and we should take advantage of our advanced alternative methods. Animals are truly beautiful, exquisite creatures that should be protected and cherished.

Many animal rights activists see their fight against the violation of ‘Animal Rights’ as a simple matter of moral duty, of ethics, or even of religious obligation. Thomas Edison stated, "Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages." We should all be aware of the fact that by nature, animals lack the same motor skills and brain power that humans are born with and this justifies the idea that it is a man's duty to use his knowledge for the welfare of animals. Animals deserve to live according to their own natures, without harm, abuse, or exploitation as animals are capable of feeling pain, fear, hunger, thirst, loneliness, and kinship.

Animals have suffered enough on the account of selfish and heartless human beings. Let us all take stand and put a stop to their pain. One of the most effective way to show our support for ‘Animal Rights’ is by being compassionate and observant shoppers. Products that were tested on animals should never be purchased. Another way is by avoiding from spending money on entertainment which includes the usage and abuse of animals (such as marine parks and circus). Besides that, we can also avoid from purchasing clothes produced from animal fur. Many of us think that one person alone doing this won't have much of an effect, but if all people who feel this way start shopping according to their beliefs, this will have an impact. Every little bit helps.

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