Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Animal Testing: An Open Discussion

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?


Anonymous said...

I really do feel that animal testing is okay within reason. If we are going to test beuaty/personal care products on animals really whats the point. Just buy animal free testing products, which most moderately priced items now are. But yes if a brillant scientist somewhere figures out how to cure cancer by using a test group of 80 mice then so be it. I also feel that if all those mice die and he fails at curing cancer then really is that such a bad thing. I am pretty sure that modern medicine would not be where it is today without some animal testing here and there. Quite possibly some of the diseases that are no longer around might have been from testing animals. Im obviously making an educated guess at that, but I feel like it is true.

I do not think that animals should be poked and prodded so that I can have a nice looking head of hair. I do think that if it is for the greater good of the human exsistence then YES by all means test animals in the safest possible way.

As far as what would God do? I dont really care and that personifies God way too much for me and makes the whole man in the sky thing even more less believable. Oh man maybe I am an atheiest???

Jesse Hearts said...

While I understand what you guys mean, and agree with it to a point, but the fact is that only 2% of the animal testing ever done has gone to curing a disease, mostly in the 60's and 70's. other than that it has been scientifically proven that testing on animals in search of cures for diseases is not accurate.
More and more scientists have recently switched to more highly effective testing methods which don't use animal testing.

I guess my stand point comes from a anti-specieism stand point. I totally agree with Ray, I would completely and without question lay down my life if it meant it would cure AIDS. Don't get me wrong, I am all for furthering the better health of human kind, but not with the use of enslaving animals for your beauty products, food, or alcohol. And the fact that they have now come up with more effective and more humane ways for curing diseases, that doesn't include animals, just blows my mind why certain companies would still choose to test on animals.

A little fact for thought:

Did you know they used to test on African-American slaves, mentally-challenged children, and in certain parts of the world, women. Now all of which are highly illegal.

Whats the diffrence between The animals listed above, and the animals who can't speak?

Mike said...

Here come my comments!

My feeling on animal testing/rights/etc. goes like this!

1. Animal testing is bad... but we have little control over who does testing and who does not. The only control we have is to use products that are clearly marked "Not Tested on Animals"! Animal testing for human development/curing diseases/etc. is arrogant and rude! Now i'll back off from that and say we would not have the level of health without it, but it is still arrogant for humans to think animals are beneath us! That sort of goes back to a Christian value that everything, everything is put on the Earth for us to use (mind you, it is lead up to interpretation). All animals, trees, plants, resources, etc. are here for humans for use and use and use again, right!!!!??? That is a very Christian thought! Plus more people need to die, this coming from a person who will most likely die from cancer, but I also have no delusions to my purpose on this Earth... um, to be!

For food... I do not eat beef or pork. I only eat chicken and fish! Two (actually three) reasons health and the killing process of cows and pigs (it's awful). The third reason is I know I could kill a chicken, but they are evil (if you know my fear of chickens). For fish, because Kurt Cobain said, "It's okay to eat fish, 'Cause they don't have any feelings!"

If you haven't seen Earthlings it's eye-opening.

So. People need to die and disease is one of the many way they do. But, domination is domination! And, I tend to believe that is another one of those hidden Christian values (the word value used loosely)!

Get what I mean?

Reese said...

oh... where to start...
first off, ray i have been reading the blog since i got back from bangor... i have considered posting comments a few times, but balked because i didnt want to sign up (personal issues with signing up for lots of crap and being so "in" the system... u kno that semi hippie shit) but alas, here i am...

just so everyone knows, i was babtised and raised roman catholic. took first communion at age 6 and confirmed (considered an adult in the eyes of the church) at age 10, at a time when you had to be 14 or 15... i was a great student of my religion and others at that age, my knowledge would end up being how i lost my faith but i wont tell that story here... today, i still hold a lot of values (people cant deny that most values taught in religion good) of my religion but i dont practice in the slightest way...

so animal testing... part of me says who really cares??? or should care anyway... but, i am a hunter and conservationist and i do love animals... so in all actuality, i do care...
i also want to say that wouldnt give my life to cure anything... accept maybe some animal disease... haha... my reasoning in this: people have been dying for, well... forever... for the most part they die of some sort of sickness. todays common cold or flu used to kill people, now it doesnt... so there is SARS and cancer, AIDS, etc... like mike said, i know i will most likely die of some aweful sickness, but thats why i smoke, cuz every cigarette is 7 mins less i will have to live with tat sickness:)
(did you like that ray?)
my point here is that if i gave my life to save some disease, another would come along... then i died for nothing...
kaleena, not to be an asshole... but modern medicine wouldnt be where it is today without Hitler... as awful as it was, the HUMAN testing done during the holacaust, advanced modern civil and battlefield medicine by a century or more according to some guesstimates... im not saying its right, but its the truth...
on that same subject, why not test humans??? willing humans that is... im sure that there are 80 people with a disease that would be more than willing be test subjects for a cure... since they are going to die anyways, atleast its "for the cause." this is actually the one way i would give my life to cure a disease...

i dont know, i guess the way most people think about it and justify is the "consumer capitalist" thought, aka neo-cons... does it PERSONALLY affect me? and what is VALUE of it to me... to most people, 80 dead mice is does not have the value of great hair, and the dead mice in a lab certainly doesnt personally affect them either... sorry, had to bring some good old business education into the mix...

but here is my question to people on the matter testing and curing disease... why do people want to play "god"???? i understand no one wants to loose loved ones, i sure dont... but its going to happen... and if we cure all the diseases something else will come up... "cuz thats how god intended"... lol... actually, maybe we should all pray for the cure of diseases... or cure them ourselves... then maybe god will send another flood to kill all the sinners... lmfao...

sorry about the long post... i just couldnt stop typing... im not even sure what it all says now...

Mike said...

Reese brings up a good point! Once again the bit from ole George (I know its long):

Take a fuckin' chance bunch of goddamn pussies.Besides, what d'ya think you have an immune system for? It's for killing germs! But it needs practice, it needs germs to practice on. So if you kill all the germs around you, and live a completely sterile life, then when germs do come along, you're not gonna be prepared. And never mind ordinary germs, what are you gonna do when some super virus comes along that turns your vital organs into liquid shit?! I'll tell you what your gonna do ... you're gonna get sick. You're gonna die and your gonna deserve it because you're fucking weak and you got a fuckin' weak immune system!

Let me tell you a true story about immunization ok. When I was a little boy in New York city in the nineteen-forties, we swam in the Hudson river. And it was filled with raw sewage! OK? We swam in raw sewage, you know, to cool off. And at that time the big fear was polio. Thousands of kids died from polio every year. But you know something? In my neighborhood no one ever got polio. No one! EVER! You know why? Cause WE SWAM IN RAW SEWAGE! It strengthened our immune system, the polio never had a prayer. We were tempered in raw shit!

So personally I never take any precautions against germs. I don't shy away from people who sneeze and cough. I don't wipe off the telephone, I don't cover the toilet seat, and if I drop food on the floor I pick it up and eat it!Even if I'm at side walk cafe! IN CALCUTTA! THE POOR SECTION! ON NEW YEARS MORNING DURING A SOCCER RIOT! And you know something? In spite of all the so called "risky behavior ".... I never get infections. I don't get em. I don't get colds, I don't get flu, I don't get headaches, I don't get upset stomach, And you know why? Cause I got a good strong immune system! And it gets a lot of practice!

My immune system is equipped with the biological equivalent of fully automatic military assault rifles, with night vision and laser scopes. And we have recently acquired phosphorous grenades, cluster bombs and anti personnel fragmentation mines.

So, when my white blood cells are on patrol reconnoitering my blood stream seeking out strangers and other undesirables, and if they see any, ANY, suspicious looking germs of any kind, THEY DON'T. FUCK. AROUND. They whip out the weapons, they wax the motherfucker and deposit the unlucky fellow directly into my colon! Into my colon. There's no nonsense! There's no miranda warning, there's none of that three strikes and your out bullshit. First defense, BAM! Into the colon you go!

-- George Carlin

Ray said...

I'm glad to see some of you are taking my invitation to discuss this seriously! I was expecting one hippie to chime in and that would be about it. (I'm talking to you, Jesse)

Reese! Glad to see you've been reading the blog, I hope you enjoy it. As for what you were saying, I want to point out that Humans ARE tested on. They have volunteers that take experimental medicine and get paid about 3oo bucks for a weekend of testing and monitoring. There are also clinical trials, in which patients with certain diseases can "beta test" drugs for that disease. So humans are tested on all the time.

I also wanted to say, I was talking to someone about this and they started getting so upset and saying they would choose the life of a kitten over the life of a human being. My first question would be if you chose kitten, you can't use a full grown human being, they're not cute enough. What if it were a baby?

Secondly, I can't stand that mentality. Being upset about it is one thing, mad at the particular people that mistreat animals, is fine. But when you decide to turn against ALL humans because of one set of principals that aren't followed by all is ridiculous.

Not too mention, it's completely unnatural to "go against your species". I don't know, it bothers me.