Answering Arguments Against Animal Rights
|Part VIII -- Argument Six: Animal rights advocates put animals ahead of people (continued)
But animal experimenters often try to convince us that the natural rights
of humans are given up for the natural rights of non-humans whenever
animal experimentation is curtailed.
I have devoted an hour-long program, entitled Experiments in Ignorance,
to this issue, so I'll be very brief here.
The issue is not really one of "babies or dogs," as the pro-vivisectors
would like us to believe. There has never been an instance where we could say,
"If we kill this dog, your baby will live." There is not a parent in the world
who would hesitate over such a decision. But not even the most ardent
supporter of vivisection would claim that such a situation ever exists.
The strongest claim one could make is that if we kill thousands of
animals, maybe we'll learn something that might be applicable
to human health: then again, it's more likely -- given our track record --
that we won't.
But even if we do find something, there is at best only a fifty-fifty
chance that it will help rather than harm humans. The only accurate test in
reality is to try it out on humans: because the results of tests on one
species give no indication of what the results will be in another species
or even in a different strain of the same species. As surprising as it sounds,
this fact is not disputed by the experimenters. They admit that the results
of their tests are meaningless. And yet they cry out for more funding to
continue their work.
Here again there is no need to abuse animals in this way. Better alternative exist.
Many fine organizations, such as Easter Seals and the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America,
conduct research using modern methods rather than testing on animals.
Though we don't want to stop useful research (as opposed to say: shooting cats
in the head to see what happens)...
...we must keep in mind that thousands of people die every day from a lack
of the most basic health care. Things we already know how to do could save their lives.
Should we be devoting billions of dollars in experiments on animals in faint hopes
of finding cures for rare diseases that few but the rich could afford? Or should
we concentrate on preventing disease and death by providing basic health care for all?
The moral choice is clear.
While experimenters expend billions of our tax dollars and frantically try to
convince us of the value of their work in prolonging human life...
...we march off in droves to lawyers to prevent them from inflicting these
life-prolonging measures on us!
In many cases we don't even want what they're offering.
Most of us accept the natural fact that eventually we shall die.
At what cost are we willing to prolong our lives a little bit longer?
How many others are we willing to torture so that we might have a few more moments of life?