Animals Suffer

In order to tackle any concept in ethics you have to think with an open mind. We as humans need to understand that we don’t stand alone on this planet, animals wander beside us. Once we understand that we share the land and its’ resources then we can make smart ethical choices. In medical ethics we discuss many controversial and highly debated subjects. It is obvious that different people are going to have different opinions, but that is the beauty of it. Everyone has that freedom to think differently, including animals. They do not think like we do, but they still warrant their freedom to continue to think in their own why and live their with out suffering lives. Animals suffer like humans, and should not be exploited for medical reasons.
In instances when animals are used for experimentation there is always a risk. This risk involves the animals life and its right to co-exist with humans. That is the same right that we have to be free and choose our actions. In our past history and even still to this very day risky experiments are done on animals. The thousands of animals put to suffer outweighs any of the research that has been gotten from them. Peter Singer the author of a piece called “Animal Experimentation” in the book Intervention and Reflection displays and evokes the actual suffering of many harmless animals.


“In 1953 R. Soloman, L. Kamin, and L. Wynne, experimenters at Harvard University, placed forty dogs in a device called a ‘shuttle box,’ which consists of a box divided into two compartments, separated by a barrier. Initially the barrier was set at the height of the dog’s back. Hundreds of intense electric shocks were delivered to the dogs’ feet through a grid floor.... they then blocked the passage between the compartments with a piece of plate glass and tested the dog again. The dog ‘jumped forward and smashed his head against the glass.’ The dogs began by showing symptoms such as such as ‘defecation, urination, yelping, and shrieking, trembling, attacking the apparatus.... after ten or twelve days of trials dogs who were prevented from escape shock ceased to resist. The experimenters reported themselves ‘impressed’ by this, and concluded that a combination of the plate glass barrier and foot shocker was “very effective” in eliminating jumping by dogs” (Singer, 400).
Singer argues that “experiments serving no direct and urgent purpose should stop immediately, and in the remaining fields of research, we should whenever possible, seek to replace experiments that involve animals with alternative methods that do not...”(Singer, 399). His argument is strong because it relates to the risk that there always is when you have experiments done on animals. He argues that the knowledge that was gained from the experiments in some cases could have been gained in other ways. I have a slightly different take than Singer. I believe there shouldn’t be any experiments on animals, but in extreme situations where a huge number of peoples lives are in jeopardy an animal my be used for an experiment.
In discussing both sides of the animal rights issue, it is important to understand what is obvious, animals suffer! If aliens were to come to planet earth and force humans to suffer in order to study our behavior or try to experiment on a vaccine, how would we feel? In Singer’s article he presents the term speciesm. Speciesm is “the notion that the interest of non-human animals need not to be considered”(Singer, 398). He claims that specieism is analogous to racism, and I agree it is definitely a form of discrimination. If one argues that the term is ridiculous, than Singer would reply by saying: would experimenters be prepared to carry out their experiments on a human orphan under six months old if that were the only way to save thousands of lives (402)? Infants don’t understand what’s going on around them, they are taught by their elders and by their later experiences. “Human infants possess no morally relevant characteristics to a higher degree than adult non-human animals” (403). Speciesism is just as bad as racism, because it’s the same type unjustified discrimination. “Blatant speciesism leads to painful experiments on other species, defended on the grounds of their contribution to knowledge and possible