Does rats have Rights?
Gay rights advocates, feminists, and other civil rights groups have become familiar to most Americans today. But another group, equally militant, is making itself heard, and it promises to become a major force to be recognized: the anti-vivisectionists. They leave wheedled, nagged and sometimes bombed their opponents in the scientific world. Some of these groups have burned down university buildings, broken into labs, flung open cage doors and "liberated" cats, rabbits, rats, juice and dogs being used In heart research. Such actions, while spectacular, have blurred the issues surrounding the use of animals in the search for cures for disease and for the development of new knowledge of the human body. The simple fact is that animal experimentation is necessary for the betterment of mankind. Any qualms over jeopardizing the animals are more than offset by the acquisition of knowledge useful in alleviating human suffering
The anti-vivisectionists’ arguments range from the emotional to the spiritual and philosophical. They argue that experimental surgery causes pain and distress to animals. They maintain that there are alternatives to animal use that are more humane. Some anti-vivisectionists claim that many of the studies conducted on animals could be programmed for computer analysis and thereby reduce or even eliminate the need for experiments on living animals. Still others argue that all forms of life-including animals should be preserved and fostered rather than experimented upon.
At first glance these arguments appear convincing. Why, after all, would anyone want to kill a defenseless cat or dog? Upon closer examination, however, the anti-vivisectionist position is scientifically philosophically, and logically impossible. By their preoccupation with alleged pain and suffering of animals used in medical research, anti-vivisectionist are placing a premium on animal life at the expense of human existence and improvement....
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