I turned vegetarian recently. My main reason for the change was realising that there is nothing about humans that makes us intrinsically better than other animals. Of course, we have all manner of bells and whistles granted us by evolution that make us more advanced mentally, but unless you want to invoke the concept of a soul, or some kind of spirituality, there's nothing you can really point to in humans that isn't simply a better-developed version of something you can find elsewhere in the animal kingdom. So I drew the conclusion that humans don't in fact have any kind of automatic authority over other living creatures.

But then it occurred to me that the same principle can be applied to animal testing, which can often be lethal for the animals involved. Going by what I just said, I should stay consistent and support bringing the practice to an end. Trouble is, my gut reaction to that point is that it's ridiculous. Animal testing is vital to medical research which has saved countless lives. Whenever I encounter animal rights fundamentalists like PETA, who would sooner allow lethal diseases to run rampant through the human population than support animal testing, I want to beat them with occasional furniture. Yet by my own reasoning, I've wound up agreeing with them.

So what should I do? The main thing I'm trying to do is avoid contradiction. I can't possibly deny the intrinsic superiority of human beings while cheerful waving animals into a vivisectionist's lab for the good of my own species. But to stubbornly refuse those same animals access to the lab while people die of aids, cancer and hundreds of other diseases seems just as immoral. It seems that I can either support animals dying in laboratories, or humans (possibly including myself) dying in the streets of disease. But if I accept that both types of life are equally valuable, how do I decide who to side with?

What do you folks think? Am I just being too rigid with my principles? Is there an easy way accept both animal welfare and animal testing that I haven't thought of? I suspect this is a problem which has been debated hundreds of times before, but I have to admit, it's got me stumped.

Tags: Animal rights, PETA, animal testing, animal welfare

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A tiger is WRONG--let me be absolutely clear on this--WRONG--to kill and eat me.

Why is the tiger wrong? If the tiger is hungry, why not?
EO Wilson estimates that up to 50% of the species on earth will be extinct by 2100. I don't consider what we are doing to food and lab animals to hold a candle to the wholesale extermination of half the world's species.Talking about whether it is right or wrong to eat an animal, perform scientific testing on an animal, or even torturing an animal to death does not concern me anywhere near as much as the number of species we are sending to extinction - for fun and profit. My first priority is to the planet and ecosystem.

Human overpopulation is most certainly the largest factor. Yet few dare talk about solutions. I don't have kids.
You aren't a lawyer, are you? Sharks don't eat lawyers. It's a professional courtesy.
Start small. You are destined to fail if you carry too much on your shoulders. Every little bit is a step in the right direction. I have been vegetarian for 23 years and I tried to take on too much in the beginning. Wear out your leather shoes and then replace them with humane footwear, etc. It is great that you have decided to be a vegetarian. Stop there for now. Be pleased with yourself for choosing the humane route in regards to food. You are doing more than most and that is something to celebrate. The scientists do not want to test on animals (unless they are sadistic). They are developing alternatives and I hope to see the end of animal testing in my lifetime. Read this article when you have time: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20227126.800-lungonachip-coul...
If everyone took a small step to eliminate the suffering of animals, the world would be a better place. I congratulate you on your first step.

By the way in response to some of the others: The Humane Myth. An idea being propagated by the animal-using industry and some animal protection organizations that it is possible to use and kill animals in a manner that can be fairly described as respectful or compassionate or humane. http://humanemyth.org/

and plants do not have a central nervous system and are not sentient beings like mammals, fish, birds, etc. Tired and old rationalization that makes no sense...

There are more vegetarians in the UK than anywhere else in the world besides India. You are not alone.
This isn't a topic I'd normally touch, but I feel I should add my two cents.

I, personally, feel a little guilty eating meat solely because I enjoy it at the expense of another being's life.
But I'm not about to go vegetarian, because I even though I am an animal, do other animals not eat each other? I have the teeth of an omnivore and I use them accordingly.

On animal testing, I don't believe I'm versed well enough in it to form an opinion, but I believe testing can be done in humane ways.
If you can, find meat that comes from animals that have been raised on smaller farms, rather than on huge factory farms where they are crammed into tiny cages and horrific abuse is rampant. Whether humans are "superior" to other animals is entirely besides the point. There is NEVER an excuse for animal abuse. The idea that it is okay to mistreat creatures and deny them basic amenities for their mental and physical well being just because "they will be killed for food, anyway," is complete shite.
But you know, other animals eat animals too. It is part of the chain and operates under natural selection and survival. But I understand where you are coming from.

The comparison is mute. We need animal meat in our diet for optimal amounts of protein and energy unless one really as adamant in changing their diets in drastic ways against their nature. Among our most closely related primate relatives in the bonobos, women are also dominant. We are related to same degree to chimpanzees as to bonobos so that point is mute.

Again - I have also struggled with this because I love animals; but I think at the end of the day, we need to understand that we are simply another animal life form and it does not make us cruel or inhumane to consume meat in our diet.

And I agree, there are laws against killing the higher animals and we as the international community must do more to enforce these laws. Saying this - animal testing is vital to the advancement of science and humanity; therefore, those individuals who are against using primates for scientific purposes, are utterly irrational.

The comparison is mute. We need animal meat in our diet for optimal amounts of protein and energy unless one really as adamant in changing their diets in drastic ways against their nature. Among our most closely related primate relatives in the bonobos, women are also dominant. We are related to same degree to chimpanzees as to bonobos so that point is mute.

After reading this I looked up the dietary habits of Bonobos and Chimps.

Bonobos are mostly frugivorous. Bonobo Diet.

Chimps are Omniverous. But prefer to eat fruit. Food. Interesting Experiment.

 

So if we are to change our diet to fit that of the Genus Pan, we should start to eat way more fruit and stop eating meat altogether, except for the occasional B12 craving.

 

we need to understand that we are simply another animal life form and it does not make us cruel or inhumane to consume meat in our diet.

If what you have said is true, is there anything wrong with killing other human beings and eating them?

 

animal testing is vital to the advancement of science and humanity

If this is the case, and humans are just another animal life form, shouldn't we just do all our testing on other humans? 

Even if a certain drug works on a primate, this doesn't guarantee it will work on humans. But if we did all the testing of drugs on humans, the end result would be guaranteed to work on humans. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are not cannibals. If we were, we wouldn't have survived for long. It goes against natural selection and evolutionary processes. And the vast majority of animals are not cannibals and do not eat their own young.

And unfortunately, we can't do all our testing on humans; especially in the early stages of research. While there is no guarantee, scientific experiments on animals has enabled us to continue safe research until it is safe enough to test on humans. Without animal research, we would have never come up with the number of vaccines, treatments, and scientific advancements and breakthroughs we have had both in the medical and psychological arenas.

sassan - there really were tribes that were cannibals - yuck.  one tribe in the Indonesian area (mid 1900's) was almost decimated because they were eating the brains of another tribe which were infected.
I know. :) But they didn't survive or have the chances or surviving due to evolutionary processes. Cannibalism is against human nature.

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