Nothings Nothing Essay

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Experiments on animals should be considered on a case-by-case basis. The proper principle to apply, however, is that the reduction of human suffering is our first priority and the prevention of animal suffering or death is secondary to that (although still important). So that if there is a decent chance that an experiment will result in an important medical breakthrough that will reduce human suffering and death then it is justifiable to allow animal suffering. Animal experimentation is the (sometimes distasteful) means to much greater ends. Animals have the right to be treated as beings of value in themselves, not as the means to human ends; this principle must be applies in order to guarantee the end of cruelty to animals. The application of this principle means that animals should never be experimented upon whatever the potential gain for humanity. To infect monkeys with the AIDS virus or to expose rodents to toxic chemicals and radiation is simply not acceptable, whatever the supposed benefits. Although in principle it is more important to reduce human suffering that to prevent animal suffering, in practice it is possible (and absolutely right) to keep animal suffering to an absolute minimum. Animal experimenters should aspire to the highest levels of animal welfare in their laboratories, using anaesthetics wherever possible and keeping animals in clean, comfortable, and healthy conditions. In short, it is possible to experiment on animals without being cruel to animals. In practice, as everyone knows, animals are not routinely treated well by animal experimenters. Apart from the fact that millions of animals die each year in experiments, others are often not adequately anaesthetised and are abused by handlers and experimenters. It is idealistic to suppose that this will ever stop as long as society endorses vivisection. Past experience has

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