When comparing opposite views, such as Tom Regan’s who is an animal rights supporter, and those of Carl Cohen who is against animal rights, their reasons for belief go deeper than anyone would imagine. Each speaker has motives to convince non-believers that their opinions are morally and ethically correct.
The starting point of the debate brings about the subject of biomedical research using animals. Carl Cohen discusses how diseases are eliminated, and how vaccines are developed due to experimentation using animals. He believes this idea is great because it helps to save lives of both humans and animals. Cohen pleads that there is no other alternative because testing can only be done on live beings. Testing cannot be conducted on human beings because of their rights. Regan thinks that animals should have rights although they cannot respond or make claims and that they suffer the same pain as a human would if they were to be tested. He also makes the point of children and the mentally retarded not being capable of responding or having the abilities to understand things because of their condition. Although they are humans, they are basicly in the same boat with the animals due to their disabilities. Regan wants to know why animals are treated different. Cohen defends that rights arise and can be defended, but only among beings who actually do, or can make moral claims against one another. Regan one the opposing side says that he has no duty directly to animals but a duty not to hurt them because of the people who care for them. He thinks that the pain and death that animals endure is not wrong if no one cares about them. Regan also pleads that people involved in the animal rights movement are partners in the struggle to secure respect for human rights and that situation is no different than the animal rights movement.