On the University of Florida campus, the animal rights movement has been rekindled. On a weekend in early July, Lisa Grossman and Camille Marino, self-proclaimed animal extremists and members of the group Negotiation Is Over (NIO), were seen handing out fliers offering $100 for the personal information of students who conduct research on animals (see picture below). With this information, NIO seeks to influence students away from animal research by informing them of the consequences of said research: harassment, threats, physical assault, and property damage. Ms. Marino is quick to point out that she is not advocating violence, but is simply warning that it could occur. However, this is merely a smokescreen for Marino to hide behind. She, and others like her throughout the animal rights movement, have embraced violence as a means for discourse in the past for a very simple reason: they feel that animal researchers are immoral, because animals have rights.
Traditionally in philosophy, the justification for animal rights has been their capacity to suffer. Like humans, the animal rights advocates proclaim, animals can suffer and feel pain. Hence, they have the right to live free from that pain. Thus, it is clear to the extremists that researchers who willfully do harm to animals are infringing upon the animals’ rights, and are immoral. And, if there is no legal recourse to answer this immorality (there is not, as properly regulated animal research is quite legal), the extremists turn to intimidation and violence, and are happy to do so. In fact, they feel morally justified in their actions, with the same fervor that any zealot has for his ideals. Of course, that justification is founded on a falsehood: suffering is not the source of rights – reason is.
While every other animal on this planet survives by instinct, man has a nature which is fundamentally different: a man’s means of survival is reason. Instinct will not provide a human the means to start a fire, craft a spear, or synthesize a life-saving drug. Man must be allowed to exercise reason in order to survive, and therefore man has rights which allow him utilize this faculty when dealing with other men. Thus, the concept of a “right” is a moral concept applicable only to human beings in a social context. Animals do not have reason and do not have morality; therefore, they do not have rights. Still, it would be a sick human who would derive pleasure from the needless suffering of other beings, so there are numerous laws and regulations making sure that animal research is conducted responsibly. But, that is not important to the members of NIO, as they are dead-set on the idea that animal research is inherently immoral, and that those who perform should be punished. It is imperative that researchers proclaim the truth, in one voice: we are moral, and our work should be commended.
The value of the sum of knowledge that has been gained due to research on animals, from the lowly fruit fly on up to the rhesus monkey, is incalculable. Basic understanding of the genetics, molecular biology, and immunology of human diseases would be impossible without animal research. Applying that knowledge in an effort to treat or even cure those diseases would likewise be forfeit without animal models on which to generate preliminary data. Additionally, the real, human, benefits of animal research are evident all around us: vaccines which protect from life-threatening viruses, cancer treatments which add years on to a patient’s life, gene therapy for macular degeneration – allowing a person to see again, and a thousand others. This research is not immoral, nor are the people who perform it. To the contrary, these researchers delve into the mysteries of nature searching for understanding, with reason as their sole guide for the journey. And when they return, they apply their knowledge and create something of great value for all of us: extra time to live.
As researchers, we must be proud of our work, and we must defend it as the moral, as the good. These groups think that if we are branded as evil, then their actions will be justified and they can triumph. This is the stance of the NIO, but this is a fight that they cannot win. On their side, they have mere vitriol, fists, and shame. On our side, we have reason, rights, and value – and so long as we have the courage to defend that value, it will not even be close.
Graduate Research Assistant at the University of Florida
25 thoughts on “Animal Rights Threats Not Welcome Here!”
PS-I think NIO is a bunch of loons. But all this government WASTE is even loonier!
The Chinese won’t be giving money to the USA anymore because USA can’t pay back what was already borrowed–President Obunga keep those printing presses rolling and waste more government funds and buy more freaking MONKEYS and lab rats to keep millionaire researches living the life of champagne and caviar at the expense of the working people’s breaking backs!
China scoffs at USA because it doesn’t know how to manage money-and has even put USA on EBAY to thumb their noses at us–and GOOD REASON! USA CAN’T HONOR THE DEBTS ALREADY BORROWED FROM CHINA!!!
“Government sold separately!”
The economy the way it is, it behooves me why the Federal government is spending hundreds of millions of dollars (even on a single research facility) on freaking MONKEYS when we need funds for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and JOBS JOBS JOBS. Most of this research is garbage anyway. But I’m not surprised-everything the government touches turns into waste and mismanagement-the Federal government cannot even manage a convenient store! The Chinese were right: USA is addicted to DEBT but the buck stops there: China doesn’t want to give USA loans anymore because they can’t pay back what was already borrowed! USA is what waste is all about!
The above discussion highlights the importance of our understanding of animal cognition to have a sound basis to assess the moral status of living beings. As our understanding of animal minds changes so will moral boundaries. Thus, any discussion about the ethical treatment of animals must start with a factual understanding of animal cognition. If we fail to agree on these facts, it is unlikely any discussion will be meaningful. For example, when an animal rights opponent opens with the assertion that “animals value their lives the same way that humans do” that has no basis in science. In fact, there is much to suggest this is not the case at all.
“I will ask you as I have asked Derek. How do you know (what) animals are self aware?”
You are setting the stage for a reductionist argument which will end by you proclaiming that amoebas and cows are indistinguishable. Including the beings killed en masse in oceans, over a trillion non-human animals are killed each year by humans. All of them are self aware in some sense and most of them in ways similar to human animals.
“But I’m not sure if you understand what Derek is saying, which is about forming concepts and using them in the future. What you seem to be arguing is that animals can learn, and animals can plan for the future which can be observed from their behaviour. But how about whether they *understand*. Learning and planning do not need understanding.”
I view this as a specious argument used to justify the conclusion you want to reach. One does not learn and plan without a level of understanding. In fact, many non-human animals are gifted with sensory and cognitive abilities humans do not possess and thus can understand things we do not. Why judge other beings by human standards?
“About DNA… yes, there are the great apes to consider which is different to considering dogs or mice.”
They are all important to consider and all deserve the same consideration for their lives as we have for our own. There should not be a scale used to judge them based on how close they are to humans. Dogs and mice are worthy of respect as well.
“Btw, animal welfare is extremely important to most researchers, like the general public because we know that animals have feelings. Simple as that. But not rights.”
If we agree that animals have feelings that should be a first step for you to get past the tens of thousand of years of ingrained cultural traditions that cause most people to reject the logical conclusion to that awareness. It is true that our society does not assign rights.to non-human animals, but that does not make it right or in any way morally defensible.
As for animal welfare being extremely important to most researchers, if the reality wasn’t so tragic, I might find that humorous.
“They certainly can perceive, and can process that information, but their perceptions are merely of-the-moment, as they are not capable of generalizing these perceptions into a concept for use in the future.”
Derek, all you need do is think about those animals, perhaps a dog or cat, that you got to know. What they learn changes the way they act in the future. Nature documentaries also illustrate this capacity to understand, react and learn for the future. There are a number of animal behaviorists who clearly show the complexity of thoughts, feelings and reasoning capacity possessed by our non-human cousins. Unfortunately, you ignore this by hiding behind circular philosophical jargon, which merely rationalizes existing biases.
I ask you how is it that humans can be the only species who meet your standards for deserving rights? We are all related, share the same organs, bodily systems, DNA and evolutionary heritage. Nothing we possess appeared out of a vacuum. Any capacities which we developed, gradually evolved from a series of ancestors with similar capacities.
What is truly telling is your unwillingness to acknowledge what is obvious from common sense observations and increasingly confirmed by scientific evidence. Other animals have feelings and thoughts similar to ours. They love life as much as we do and fight with poignant fury in a vain effort to save themselves, as evidenced by the many horrific videos of these unfortunate beings enduring abusive deaths. The catastrophe we perpetrate on these close relatives of ours is unconscionable! Please reconsider and don’t be a part of it. There are better ways to contribute to scientific progress that don’t involve causing misery and death.
I will ask you as I have asked Derek. How do you know (what) animals are self aware?
But I’m not sure if you understand what Derek is saying, which is about forming concepts and using them in the future.
What you seem to be arguing is that animals can learn, and animals can plan for the future which can be observed from their behaviour. But how about whether they *understand*. Learning and planning do not need understanding.
About DNA… yes, there are the great apes to consider which is different to considering dogs or mice.
Btw, animal welfare is extremely important to most researchers, like the general public because we know that animals have feelings. Simple as that. But not rights.
All of you are so right, it would make MUCH MORE SENSE to do our initial testing directly on humans… how could I not see that before?
Ron, I think that Derek is far better placed to assess the scientific value of animal research than you are, and just like the overwhelming majority of medical researchers he has come to the conclusion that it plays a vital role in advancing medicine.
The idea that there are lots of research modalities that are not being funded becaise of animal research is pure nonsense, as animal research only accounts for a fraction of total expendature (about 20%) of the total spend on medical reserch.
Indeed, to those of us who are actually involved in medical research the idea of animal research and non-animal research modalities being somehow seperate and undertaken by different groups of scientists – as many anmal rights campaigners like to suggest – is very odd, as almost every day we read scientific papers and reviews where information from animal studies, clinical research, in vitro studies (and many more approaches) is brought together and analysed in order to understand the processes that underpin many different disease processes (and of course the processes that underpin mormal development and metabolism). The fact that I spend the great majority of my time on clinical and epidemiological research, and don’t currently conduct any animal studies myself, does not mean that I don’t value animal research. Quite the reverse in fact, I rely for much of the data that underpins my own work on that of my colleagues who conduct animal research. Hell, there are plenty of examples of how animal studies (usually alongside other complementary approaches) have enabled, and continue to underpin, many of the most important advances in medical science and practice in recent years on this very blog.
As to Dario Ringach, his work on visual processing may not be the kind of research that gets breathless headlines in the health pages of national newspapers, but it is very highly regarded by those working in that specialized field, and indeed by the neuroscientific community as a whole. If his career is an example of “constant failure” than sign me up for some of that!
Derek, you are desperately searching for new rationalizations to justify the misery and death of feeling, thinking beings. You mischaracterize the essence of modern animal rights theory and create your own justification for unconscionable abuse with a weakly argued theory that the human type of reasoning capacity overrides the multitude of similarities between humans and their non-human animal cousins. False premises and flawed logic are all you present.
Animals deserve basic rights because of their sentience. They understand they are alive and are capable of reacting to their environment by using their cognitive abilities to survive and perpetuate their species. The only right they need is to be left alone by humans. They exist for their own purposes, not those of humans. They should never be viewed as human property. Using them for any purpose, including medical experimentation, is immoral.
While the above alone is sufficient reason to end all animal research, I reject the argument that it is necessary for medical advancement. Animal research creates so many false positives, that huge sums are wasted and siphoned off of modalities that could yield better information far more cheaply. Often, animal research leads to false conclusions which endanger those it is meant to help. It also creates many false negatives. Drugs which are rejected might have provided great benefits to humans, while showing no benefits on other species.
Derek, I urge you to choose a different area of research where you can be creative and blaze your own trail. Join the growing number of researchers and institutions that reject the use of animals, using new techniques that are cheaper, quicker and more efficient. eject the self-serving lies made by veteran vivisectors like Dario Ringach, who only want to continue feeding at the public trough. It is time to end the taxpayer funded gravy train for sadistic researchers, which rewards a career of constant failure.
I thank you for your reasonable discourse. It is clear that not all individuals who comment on these boards have civility in mind, and for being someone who does, I am grateful.
As to your first point, I have not created my own justification for rights, nor have I mis-characterized a major justification that AR activists use. Many AR philosophers use capacity for suffering as the major justification of Animal Rights. A more reasonable criticism would have been that I was incomplete in my criticism, omitting other important justifications given by the AR philosophers. This is fair, as I was intent on focusing on one particular point, but I would be happy to answer this “sentience” argument now.
Most telling, I think, is your use of the phrase, “a human type of reasoning” as a way of describing my position on reason being the foundation of rights. The critical point here is this: that phrase is fraught with redundancy – there is no such thing as non-human reason. As defined in philosophy, reason is solely the capacity of human beings, and only through its use are humans capable of that which distinguishes them from every other animal on this planet: concept-driven consciousness. Humans are able to think in concepts, organize their thoughts, and grasp the NATURE of things, for application in this future. In essence, human consciousness is conceptual. By contrast, animal cannot form concepts, and their consciousness works only at the perceptual level. They certainly can perceive, and can process that information, but their perceptions are merely of-the-moment, as they are not capable of generalizing these perceptions into a concept for use in the future.
Sentience is not the justification for rights – a reasoning mind is. For it is only a reasoning mind that can grasp its own nature, and form concepts such as “reason”, “consciousness”, and “rights” – and be prepared to justify their legitimacy. Animals, being purely instinctual and perception-driven, can do none of these things.
As to your criticisms of the merit of animal research, I stand by my claim that this kind of research has helped countless research projects in one form or another. Eukaryotic genetics would not be possible without studying fruit flies. Many models of human diseases are created in mice, diseases which cannot be studied in humans for various reasons. While false positives and false negatives (specifically with drug development) are possible, intelligent researchers create well-developed drugs and perform well-regulated clinic trials keep those false conclusions from being perpetrated. The fact remains that for some forms of research, knowledge cannot be gained without animal experiments.
Concerning the money: I am right with you. That science is funded through grants under government control (and hence, are based on tax dollars) is a huge problem – but an entirely different one.
Once again, thank you for civility. But I assure you, I am neither desperate for rationalization, nor sadistic with regards to my work. It is a constant source of pride for which I am fully prepared to defend.
” …By contrast, animal cannot form concepts, and their consciousness works only at the perceptual level. They certainly can perceive, and can process that information, but their perceptions are merely of-the-moment, as they are not capable of generalizing these perceptions into a concept for use in the future.”
May I ask, how do you know this? Mind you, this is what I believed as I have been taught that animals are not self aware, but humans are, and some apes may be also. The only evidence I have found for it though is the dot in the mirror test. And it’s also what I believe.
“Animals deserve basic rights because of their sentience. They understand they are alive and are capable of reacting to their environment by using their cognitive abilities to survive and perpetuate their species.”
A single-cell organism will react to the environment to perpetuate its species. Social amoeba will do it in rather interesting ways, even in ways that some characterize as altruistic. Does it mean amoeba deserve the same basic rights as dogs, monkeys, apes, or humans? I don’t think so.
“While the above alone is sufficient reason to end all animal research, I reject the argument that it is necessary for medical advancement.”
Well, it depends what do you mean by “necessary”. If we could do the same invasive experiments in humans we do in animals they wouldn’t be necessary. The necessity is partly the result of the ethical equation above. Nobody is saying that only using mice we can cure human cancer.
“Derek, I urge you to choose a different area of research where you can be creative and blaze your own trail.”
Derek, I urge you to seek an area of research that you feel passionate about. To seek scientific questions that you feel will advance our knowledge and well-being. I urge you to study the secrets of life, for only then will be able to combat what goes wrong in disease. I would also urge you to defend your work — but you are already doing so. You have my admiration for that.
“eject the self-serving lies made by veteran vivisectors like Dario Ringach”
Self-serving? Not really — unless by self-serving you mean that I am defending work that will benefit my children (and yours).
Lies? What lies?
Veteran? Well, I must object here too!
I do want to address this argument here:
“Well, I would disagree. Do you truly believe that you would be flipping a coin between a mouse and a human in the burning house scenario? If so, you would not be alone”
I believe judging the morality of animal research is a little more complex then the points made here. For example “Absolutely 100% [animal research is immoral] it is.” The responses to this show that it’s not. It doesn’t work that way.
But back to the choice between a human and mouse. This type of argument assumes that we can ascribe a measurable ‘moral value’ on each being. Here, human life > mouse life, or for coin flipping, human life= mouse life. For those who agree with human > mouse, how many mice are you willing to include to have a human die. 374874299 mice = 1 human? How about how many dogs per human? Monkeys per human? Or apes per human? This is impossible unless we ascribe some sort of moral value, which the coin flipping argument requires.
When it gets down to research, it’s not as easy as ‘we kill 100 mice and we save 1 human life’. Adding to the complexity, it is not merely lives at stake but also suffering. While experiments generally have death as part of the equation (not as an endpoint of the experiment, but just culling animals who are no longer needed in an experiment which happens most of the time for rodents at least). You can have some rats in a maze type experiment, or you can induce a disease. AR lump them into the same moral value, probably because ‘animals have a right to life and freedom’ which is what experimentation fundamentally breaches. Many AR are also willing to own ‘pets’ who do not have a right to freedom either.
Just curious, how would AR feel about experiments where animals are never killed and their living conditions were to the standard of a ‘decent pet owner’?
Also many AR seem to agree that ‘nature rules’. If animals kill each other, that’s fine because they are not moral agents, but humans are so we are morally obligated to not kill them. This is a reason I guess for the lack of moral obligation for humans to take control of nature and save as many wild animals as we can from suffering.
Then you have to consider the other side of the equation, benefits to humans. Some research is clear on the benefits, but other (basic) research is not. We know it is beneficial, but you can’t put a number on it again! You cannot say how many human lives were saved and how quality of life was improved by the discovery of DNA. Knowing about DNA itself is meaningless (morally) however it triggered off a lot of other insights and logically we know it is a very important discovery. Most importantly, we do not know the outcome of an experiment when conducting it… that is the point.
So really, we can’t say that research is 100% moral, or 100% immoral. We can’t even say if it’s 76% immoral. Really, all we can do is sit here and qualitatively argue back and forth on it. And it seems to be based on some sort qualitative, not quantitative value we give other species. To think like AR, I think ‘imagine if it was babies’. Would I advocate violence then? (actually the answer to that is… like animal research, it depends!)
My final point after all of this is that I believe we are *truly* not moral agents either. We [as a collective, not as individuals] do not have the *knowledge* on whether or not anything is right or wrong. Otherwise, there would be no debate.
While I appreciate the civil discussion that you have brought to these comments, unfortunately your final point undercuts any legitimacy of any of your previous statements.
Your point is that none of us (collective) cannot know what is moral and what is immoral, which is the same as saying that we cannot know what is right and what is wrong. This is a position known as Moral Relativism, and it is quite prevalent in the history of philosophy.
Such a position, that it is impossible to objectively determine what is moral, renders moot your discussion of the “moral value” of any particular being. Since it is not possible to gauge morality (only to argue various viewpoints, wherever they come from), every moral position holds equal legitimacy. Hence, the animal right’s activists are correct to hold their beliefs, as are the men and women who experiment on animals. There is no moral difference between the doctor saving lives, the researcher determining the innerworkings of nature, the person who bombs an abortion clinic, and the person who commits arson. Why not? Because, according to moral relativism, we cannot objectively determine what is right.
I thank you for your discourse, but this critical flaw in your philosophical system undermines your position horribly.
Thanks for your reply Derek. I’m not sure if I am being very clear with my point of view. Perhaps this is partly to do with my definition of “moral agent”, which I thought was ‘something which has knowledge of what is right and what is wrong’ not what Dario posted.
Now I don’t see how a potential position of ‘moral relativism’ may undermines the legitimacy of my previous arguments. I’m not sure myself that I hold such a position, but my argument is against the opposite of whatever moral relativism may be rather than of moral relativism itself. For example, I don’t believe each moral position holds equal weight (an apparent component of moral relativism. Pardon me if I wrong there as I haven’t studied meta ethics enough to understand all the positions).
Googling it, I find ‘moral absolutism’ which is closest to what I had in mind (to oppose). Or more so, whether or not there are absolute morals (or absolute moral VALUE), this is unknown to all animals, including to humans. We can only have partial knowledge on the matter. Perhaps I can try summing this up as “Humans do not have the capacity to ascribe TRUE moral value on actions’. Perhaps I should soften my conjecture to ‘We only have partial knowledge of what is right and wrong’. Many AR appear to hold such an absolutism position by definition (sentient beings have rights. Moral Truth.)
The ‘partial’ knowledge comes from the idea that we know that ‘reducing suffering is morally correct’. I believe the closest to this is (negative) utilitarianism. This, combined with knowing that humans have the capacity to suffer more than grass, if it came to rescuing a pot of grass of a stranger human from a house fire, you better save the stranger. We cannot put a number on the suffering (eg 879 sufferings for the human 16 for the grass) but there is that qualitative difference. Humans are sentient and self aware, grass is not.
If it was the human and mouse situation, again we pick the human, because it would cause less suffering. But this is where we start to get into trouble. Sometimes, this argument requires us to place that number (maybe it doesn’t, and that is where I have it wrong) if we were to compare it to other situations, such as animal experimentation.
Then we come across another problem. The capacity to suffer is partially based on self awareness. Humans interests should be considered more because they are self aware (understand that you are living being separate from the environment), and therefore they can suffer more than a mouse. Mouse over fly. Fly over grass. However we do not know exactly how ‘un self aware’ animals are. The mirror test? I don’t think that is sufficient evidence. Ironically, we need to do further animal testing to determine that!
So even though we know that ‘reducing suffering is morally correct’ (and even perhaps other animals might know this) we have difficulty at putting values on that suffering (which is needed when you have to cause suffering to reduce suffering, such as in the case of animal experimentation), and other animals probably even have greater trouble, or cannot do it at all if they are indeed not moral agents.
True, it is not that simple, but we can certainly agree that not all species call for the same level of moral consideration.
If we can cure cancer using mice instead of monkeys, we would prefer the former. If we can cure cancer using worms instead of mice, we would use them. Such “sliding-scale” principle of moral consideration is embedded in NIH regulations — we need to justify animal use clearly and explain the selection of species in each case.
See, for example:
Click to access degrazia_moralstatus2.pdf
You write that “we are not truly moral agents either” as we have no “knowledge of right and wrong”.
This is not what we man by “moral agent”.
Being a moral agent means being able to behave according to a set of established societal rules. Certainly our moral boundaries have shifted over the ages (slavery was morally justifiable at some point in time). Thus, our moral boundaries are certainly dynamic and change. However, at any point in time, we do have a set of rules that we obey. Only humans can behave in such a way and, those that fail to do so, are not allowed to participate in society.
See the arguments brought up by Carl Cohen here:
Click to access cohen.pdf
Dear Derek Jacob Jentsch,
You could not have picked a better place than Speaking of Research to wallow in the intellectual and ethical abyss with your peers.
You said: “And lastly, of course my work is selfish.”
You’re a parasite! Why don’t remind everyone how you’re terrorizing, mutilating, and murdering animals to find a cure for your wife? Why not just experiment on her? Why not experiment on your child or your mother? I only wish that I could put you in a cage and experiment on you. Did you see Bold Native by the way?
You said: “…they [activists] feel that animal researchers are immoral, because animals have rights.”
Irrespective of whether or not you can grasp the simple fact that all living beings have an innate right to exist free from intentional and deliberate harm, the fact that you and your ilk are amoral degenerates is self-evident from every word you utter and every violent act you perpetrate against your innocent victims. (pretentious and sophomoric ramblings about innocence and guilt duly noted)
See ya soon…
And the self-masturbatory blog of Negotations is Over would provide ample wallowing room in the complete lack of ethics and hypocrisy that pervades your movement. One notices that a few of your “choicest” comments have missed notice. Lucky for these kind folk I have saved them.
“and, btw, if i were ever to meet a quadriplegic who would rather volunteer an innocent animal to suffer than volunteer themselves, i would personally throw them out of their wheelchair, kick their arroganct speciesist ass into the gutter, and film them as they lay there helpless in the sewers like the waste of humanity that they are.
then i would upload the video to nio and eat carrot chips with humus as i enjoyed watching them die a slow and torturous death over and over and over again.”
– Camille Marino comments on her post Vivisection Students – Welcome to your new Curriculum (I hearby state that these are the words posted by Camille Marino and are verbatim
You are the parasite, in the very same comment you admitted to utilising medical technology developed on animals to saving your own life. Not to mention you stated that you survived Paraplegia (which I call shenannigans on!)
“i died in a motorcycle accident in 1993. i was resuscitated yet remained comatose for the better part of a month. when i finally regained consciousness, i was a complete quadriplegic — unable to move a pinky or a toe. i was unable to speak or see, and every involuntary motor function was dependent on machines and round the clock nurses to intercede with tubes to do everything from breathe for me to feed me. i was 28 years old and wholly unable to communicate. but my mind remained intact as i listened to the plans being made to have me live out the remainder of my life in an institution.
i was confined to a bed for three solid months, imprisoned in my own body for far longer, and didn’t even begin to walk again for an entire year. i lived with people in every state of injury, sickness, and debilitation. i have NEVER met a single person in a truly desperate and dire situation who would not rather volunteer themselves for experimental treatments than wait decades for some pseudo-scientist to continue to torture innocent animals pretending to be on the verge of some earth-shattering breakthrough for mankind” – Camille Marino
We do experiment on ourselves and our families but only after ensuring the safety of our medications and methods on animals. Because humans don’t have the same value as animals.
Camille, hasn’t grasped the simple fact that even she is as guilty as the same crime that our patients and those who need that research are. Camille didn’t care about the various animals that died for the technology to keep comatose patients alive. She didn’t care about the umpteen amounts of safety features and tests that went into road safety. She didn’t care about the drugs that kept her alive or the training of the personnel that kept her alive.
Not once did Camille think about how many animals die to keep her food supply safe, nor did she care about the various plans to keep her living conditions vermin free often by poisoning mice and rats and culling animals like racoon.
That and I must point out that she has threatened to attack paraplegics who dare use science to save their lives while claiming to have survived paraplegia herself (and somehow got better).
Very well said Avicenna, responsible scientists are very careful to evaluate new therapies in animals before testing them on human patients. Indeed we have discussed several examples of groundbreaking research to develope treatments – and ever potential cures – for paralysis on this very blog, for example the following:
Of course the sad reality is that while many scientists and doctors work hard to make sure that their treatments are safe and beneficial to patients, there are far too many unethical quacks operating in poorly regulated countries (stem cells in Costa Rica spring to mind) ready to liberate desperate patients from their money in return for untried, untested, useless and very often unsafe treatments…Camille and her ilk are the kind of useful idiots who make their frauds all the easier.
Marino damns herself with every word she speaks, even vegans at UF can’t stomach her schtick http://www.alligator.org/opinion/letters_to_the_editor/article_083abc92-b34c-11e0-8a69-001cc4c03286.html
As the previous poster has pointed out, the classification of an animal as “innocent” is a contradiction in terms: “innocence” is only applicable to being with moral capacity, or: beings of free will/choice. Animals are none of these things, as they act purely on instinct.
As to two other points: Research on animals does not produce “probable benefits” – it produces REAL benefits. Concrete ones which can be measured by the lengthening of my – and your – life. You may prefer that those vaccines you took not be developed through animal research, just as you may prefer to have your cake and eat it to. Reality doesn’t work that way.
Also, man exists in this world solely through the functioning of his own rational mind. This is the only means we have to survive in a hostile world. It is therefore appropriate to use that rational mind to learn about nature and sculpt it to our benefit, an act which includes using the primary resources available, be they mud and straw to build shelter, or mice and monkeys to cure diseases.
And lastly, of course my work is selfish. I do it for my benefit, not only as self-improvement through education, but also for the exhilaration of discovering new things about the world that we live in.
common animal rights misconception, “The animals in research are innocent”.
Animals (in research or otherwise) are no more innocent than they are guilty. In order to be guilty an entity must have a choice of actions, and, knowing the difference between right and wrong, must choose to act out the immoral (“wrong”) action. Animals do not have the autonomous facilities which would allow them to be morally responsible for their actions. We would not accuse a cat of murder when it kills a mouse, or even when a lion killed another of its own specie. Animals are amoral beings, meaning they stand outside the concept of morality, right and wrong, and thus, rights.
“This research is not immoral”
Absolutely 100% it is. When killing any living sentient being for the “probable” benefit of another species is totally lacking in morality. I am utterly confounded that you cannot see it for what it is… a convenient excuse to allow you to do research… at the suffering of another. How selfish, how ignoble.
Of course I am vaccinated. I have enjoyed the benefits of my species… but I would have rather it did not come at the cost of innocent lives. My life as a human is no more precious than that of a mouse.
Its the whole human-kind is here to use up all the animals and planet resources how ever we wish attitude that has landed us in the largest mass extinction event since we started walking bipedal through the savannah. This sir, this “research” is an outrage and I firmly believe we will come to understand the error of our ways just as I am completely confident that you are in the wrong: regardless your title or letters of degree behind your name.
“Absolutely 100% it is. [immoral]”
It depends what do you mean by “moral”.
I don’t think the research is morally obligatory — as the moral imperative to act if you had a chance of saving a child drowning in a shallow swimming pool. But I think the research is certainly morally permissible, as when deciding to save a child over a dog in a burning house.
“My life as a human is no more precious than that of a mouse.”
Well, I would disagree. Do you truly believe that you would be flipping a coin between a mouse and a human in the burning house scenario? If so, you would not be alone:
“Of course I am vaccinated. I have enjoyed the benefits of my species…”
You have enjoyed the benefits of our research, so have your pets if they are vaccinated as well.
As Jason remarked, the term “animal innocence” is meaningless. I cannot bring a claim against a dog that attacked my child. The dog is neither guilty nor innocent of biting my child. It simply cannot behave as a moral agent in human society.
OMG you’re wrong and I’m right!!! I say so!!!
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