Saturday, March 7, 2009

So. Animal rights, eh?

I've been running around my future graduate school this weekend for an open house, so forgive me for not posting.

I'm being a slacker today, but I still don't generally have time to post. So I'll just reproduce a comment I wrote on a (vegan, animal-rights-supporter) friend's facebook.

Hai there!

There's some cool stuff on http://scienceblogs.com/ right now about animal rights/welfare/testing, because some animal rights supporter wrote an article for huffpo about "Why I Take Animal-Tested Drugs". There's some good links, so I figured I'd link you up to the discussion, and maybe chat about it.

Original article: http://www.... Read Morehttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/simon-chaitowitz/an-animal-advocate-explai_b_171845.html

A couple Scienceblogs responses (in case they're off the front page by the time you get this):

The gentlest response:
http://scienceblogs.com/ethicsandscience/2009/03/animal_rights_activist_takes_d.php

Discussion of the many and varied rules/committes etc. for animal research:
http://scienceblogs.com/drugmonkey/2009/03/animals_in_research_mice_and_r.php

Good writing, but somewhat... insolent. ;)
http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2009/03/the_hypocrisy_of_animal_rights_activists.php
http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/03/bad_scientific_arguments_in_the_service.php
I honestly think DM's post is the most important of all of them, because of comments like this one, wherein someone says (quoting an earlier commenter),
If animals have the same rights as people, then they should also have the same responsibilities, right? After all, we don't give underage children full legal rights and we don't expect them to bear the same responsibility as an adult.

We do give children a minimal right not to be murdered or tortured. And we do not impose responsibilities in return.

Scientists do not -murder- or -torture- animals. Hokay? Look, in fact, there's lots and lots of controls to make sure we're not -murdering- or -torturing- animals.

We do kill animals, sometimes. (Many labs use the term "sacrifice" which is truly more like what we do.) Dr. Free-Ride's post helps to explain why it's ethically acceptable to kill these animals. In my humble opinion, a comfortable life followed by a swift, painless death is pretty much the best that any vertebrate can hope for.

And maybe, with continued research (yes, even animal research) we can figure out enough stuff so that we can make the lives of people and other animals better than ever.

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