The concept that we are all born with inherent rights, such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, is fundamental to our society, particularly to the ideas expressed in the United States Constitution. However, humanity thoughtlessly demeans this principle by denying that animals share these rights. Animals are just as entitled to the rights of living, avoiding pain, and pursuing happiness as humans are. Yet still we exploit and abuse them mercilessly, most often without a second thought. Vivisection, or the use of animals in biomedical research, dissection, testing and education, deprives animals of their natural rights and is a great injustice. I believe that this is completely unacceptable, and we should find more humane as well as more effective alternatives immediately.
Despite the wide use of animal testing, the research obtained from it is not even of much help to us. The chemicals and medicines we test on animals reacts differently on every species. In fact, it has been proven that no two species even metabolize any given drug in the same way. Results gained from animal testing can be incorrect and misleading. In many cases, not only are the results wrong, but the opposite can be true for humans; a drug may cure a disease in lab animals but have an adverse effect when used in treating people for the same symptoms. Thus, such research is not only irrelevant when applied to humans, but can also be dangerous by providing a false sense of security. Only the study of human patients will ultimately lead to valid research.
Vivisection reduces sentient beings to the status of tools, to be used for the benefit of others and disposed of. Animal testing is also incomprehensibly cruel, which cannot be justified by the results gained through its use, no matter how valuable. Furthermore, the tests done on animals are seldom of any real benefit; results are almost characteristically useless or even misleading when applied to humans. There is no excuse to perpetuate the cruelty we submit our animal subjects to. Continuing such experimentation has no point and is completely unnecessary.
Unfortunately, many institutions which commit violations of animal rights appear to have no conscience or concern for their wrongdoings. It seems that the only option is to force them to stop their cruelty. Legislation outlawing vivisection will be vital in solving this problem. Bills concerning animal research should be introduced to Congress as soon as possible. This is the only way to ensure that this tragedy will be ended, or at least contained.
In the meantime, individuals can also help this problem by reducing or eliminating actions that contribute to the exploitation and abuse of animals. By becoming informed, you can stop supporting animal testing by not purchasing products which are tested on animals. Getting involved in local animal rights organizations and writing letters in protest to your congressmen is another way to contribute to the solution instead of the problem.
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