My friend, Jesse over at A Wild Change has recently posted a very interesting piece on animal testing sparked by my March of Dimes post.
I can completely see where he stands on the subject and feel inclined to agree. However, I need to state up front and honestly, that (in the words of Penn and Teller, not verbatim, but close) I would personally choke a Gorilla to death if it meant curing Cancer.
I think that in the world of testing, some cases call for a re-examination of our values; Where does our desire to protect animals come from and when does it interfere with our need to protect Humans? This, while cold sounding, is an important question to raise when considering a possible cure being found for any number of diseases that may not be found otherwise. To inherently adhere to an ethic is one thing, but to blindly adhere is another.
Now, don't get me wrong, I absolutely agree with Jesse's position that animal testing for frivolous reasons is abjectly disgusting. When it comes to self-serving products (read: ANY "Product") it is nothing more than a horrible, and consuming glutton that allows an animal to be used.
BUT, when it comes to the all-too-hard to define, "Greater Good" (and I use that term hesitantly as it is mostly used by a person wishing to control you) it is harder to know when the suffering of an animal is malign. I would gladly lay down my life if it meant the cure of AIDS. I say that with all the possible truth and genuine meaning I can. And so it is with that thought that I approach the subject of animal testing with a question; How much is too much? To that question, I have no answer. But like T.S. Eliot, I'm not concerned with offering any facile solution to such a complex problem.
I encourage anyone who reads this to chime in on the comment area. I would love to see a discussion started. Any viewpoint is welcome.
I look forward to reading!
Oh, and if you need to relate this to Atheism: What would God do?