AN ARGUMENT OPPOSING MEDICAL AND OTHER SCIENTIFIC EXPERIMENTATION INVOLVING THE USE OF NON HUMAN ANIMALS
Proponents of medical and other scientific experimentation involving the use of non human animals contend that prohibitions or restrictions on the use of such animals in medical and other experimentation will impede the development of new medicines, retard the refinement of surgical techniques and the training of surgeons, and increase the costs of medical care for human beings (Hay 8; Hoffheimer and Downey 3437; Wyatt 1415). Proponents of medical and other scientific experimentation further justify the use of animals in such activities on the ground that the use of human beings for such purposes is unthinkable. The former justification for the use of animals in medical and other scientific experiments is based on a utilitarian philosophy that in effect holds that the ends justify the means. The latter justification is a reflection of a specie centric outlook based on JudeoChristian religious beliefs that facilitate the acceptance of the utilitarian justification for the use of animals in medical and other scientific experiments. This paper argues that utilitaritarian philosophy does not justify the use of animals in medical and other scientific experimentation.
Background on Animal Rightsand Animal Welfare
As is true of so many social phenomena in the United States, the animal rights movement appeared to most Americans to develop out of thin air in the 1980s (Burke 132139). As is also true of most social phenomena in the country, however, the animal rights movement is not new. Animal protection organizations have existed in the United States for more than 100 years (Alperson 2630), and the animal welfare movement has even earlier origins in Englandthe Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was founded in 1824 (Zak 6974).
The level of activism and the tactics employed in the pursuit of anima...