Animals should not be punished for being innocent

May 27, 2010 — by Izzy Albert

When women across the world apply their crimson red lipstick every morning, or when children fall asleep enveloped in the warmth of their down comforter, or even when families attend the circus, the last thing running through their minds is the fact that they’re tacitly promoting animal cruelty.

Humans have managed to coexist with animals for thousands of years just the way we both should coexist, in peace and as equals. In fact, humans are not that removed from animals in the first place. So what about humans’ desire for fashion or advances in modern medicine makes it all right for humans to abuse their power over animals? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Animal testing is far from human. For example, when testing lipstick on animals, scientists don’t just simply apply it to the animal’s lips. Instead, scientists force animals to swallow the lipstick to test whether or not the product is poisonous. Also, take the feathers used in down comforters. Although many believe that the feathers used in down comforters are plucked from dead geese and duck, in many cases, these birds are actually plucked alive, forced to bear inexplicable pain for our comfort. Circus animals, as happy and talented as they come off to be, are often physically abused by their trainers to achieve the perfect performance. All of these forms of animal cruelty are unseen and mostly unheard of simply because of our ignorance and pure selfishness.

Each year in the United States, as many as 115 million animals are hurt or killed in the name of science, according to StopAnimalTests.com. These animals, ranging from mice to fish, are completely innocent creatures with the inability to speak up for their rights. According to the Animal Procedures Committee (APC), roughly half of the testing performed on animals is not necessary and another third of testing done could be performed using human tissue rather than animals. In addition, only five to 20 percent of the diseases found in humans are also found in animals.

While animal testing has helped scientists find cures for a few diseases, many scientists seem to be blind to the fine line between animal testing and animal rights, especially when there are alternative measures that could be taken.

Several efforts have been made by animal rights activists to educate the public on what really goes on, such as trying to get the message out through all types of media, from blog websites to nationwide protests. However, these efforts are virtually useless, seeing as we are self-centered beings who tend to ignore common ethics and only care about what we are legally required to do. The only thing that could possibly help stop these cruel acts is if the government steps in and creates laws outlawing animal testing and recognizing the animals’ rights.

The situation isn’t particularly anyone’s fault, but rather the lack of determination displayed by society to take action. All we need is one passionate member in Congress to start a bill, or one outraged scientist in the laboratory to figure out a new way to test products, or even one determined sales representative for a company that sells fox fur coats, and the lives of many innocent animals can be saved.

Animals are unable to speak, unable to fight back and completely innocent. We are destroying our natural bond with animals, deserving less and less to improve our quality of life while making them undergo hell. As a society, we need to figure out newer, safer and better ways to improve medicine, and for the sake of preserving common morals, wear clothing items made from nonliving things. In the end, while animals may be innocent, humans are definitely not.

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