Animal Cruelty and Human Violence
Animal cruelty includes an assortment of different behaviors harmful to animals, from neglect to more serious malicious action, and even various forms of brutal killing. Studies indicate that animal cruelty may also be followed by more serious forms of crime, such as drug use, inappropriate violent outbursts, and even in some cases homicide. Many studies in psychology, sociology, and criminology have addressed the issues involving animal cruelty and human violence and have demonstrated that violent offenders frequently have childhood and adolescent histories of serious and repeated incidents of animal cruelty (Henderson, Hensley and Tallichet). Violence directed at animals by young people is a sign that something is erroneous in their behavioral patterns, and often acts as a predictor of future violence, even homicides against other humans.
One way to prevent such occurrences is through regulation and enforcement. Since the early 1960s, Congress has enacted over eighty animal protection statutes, such as the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).1 States have also passed a wide variety of prohibitions and regulations on animal cruelty, animal fighting, Internet hunting, and puppy mills (Ritter). Although such policy initiatives are useful and just, it is not always the case that local enforcement actively pursues such perpetrators or enforces the regulations at all.
Another method of addressing the situation is through education including ethics and humane education. Humane education teaches people how to accept and fulfill their responsibility to companion animals, such as cats and dogs, and all forms of animal life. It explains the consequences of irresponsible behavior and encourages people to see the value of all living things (The National Humane Education Society). This not only helps people to understand the implications of violent effects on animals but also, in many cases, provides individuals positive examples of how to treat animals. Is often the case that people, especially children, often witness the more inappropriate ways to treat animals and learn through social situations…… [Read More]
If anything else, most animals on this planet have evolved thousands or millions of years before human beings. They are the inheritors of this planet as much as any human being. The principle of Ethology and anthropology have shown us that animals act in many ways just like humans, they protect their young, operate within groups and show the structure and the formalities just as complex as human society. Therefore, it is wrong for philosophers to assert their inhumaneness as a qualifier for their abuse. It is evident from modern understanding that animals are just as sophisticated and entitled to their existence as humanity.
Animals not only are sophisticated creatures within their own right, they also play a fundamental role within our environment and our world. Ecology and the study of the environment have revealed that the ecosystem is not only very fragile, but that every animal as a unique and specific purpose within this world. Without any particular animal, the consequences on this world may be disastrous. Therefore, animals play a part in making our world work the way its suppose to, without even a single animal species, this world could take a disastrous turn. Since they have such an important place not only within history, but also in the fundamental nature of our world, this is an important reason for why it is completely necessary that they are accorded rights that allows humanities and animals to operate harmoniously and co-exist.
Why don?€ t people think of animals as equals? I don?€ t know [How can you not know? Doesn't Cohen tell you? Doesn't Kant tell you?] but I do know that they should be treated as equals. They display many of the… [Read More]
A study by the Chicago Police Department found that persons who had been arrested for animal cruelty often had a history of other crimes as well (Chicago Police Department 2008). These offenses included homicides, narcotics charges, battery, firearms charges, sex crimes, and gang related activities (Chicago Police Department 2008).
A similar study found that animal cruelty was more common among incarcerated individuals with aggressive tendencies, then for non-aggressive individuals (Keller and Felthous 1985). The study found nine distinct motivations for animal cruelty. It also found a higher incidence of family violence, particularly paternal abuse, and alcoholism (Keller and Felthous 1985). Merz-Perex, Heide, and Silverman, (2001) also found a relationship between childhood animal cruelty and later violence towards other human beings.
The graduation hypothesis contends that children who are cruel to animals progress, or "graduate," to more serious crimes towards humans (Wright and Hensley, 2003). This theory contends that animal cruelty is a link that set eventual serial killers apart from the rest of society (Wright and Hensley, 2003). That is not to say the all that are cruel to animals will become serial killers. It is just to say the serial killers have a tendency towards animal cruelty as a child or adolescent.
Battered Pets: Battered Family
The above referenced literature demonstrates a strong connection between animal cruelty as children and those that are incarcerated as adults. However, one must be careful in the assumption that one automatically leads to the other. Individual circumstances differ, as do motivations. Just because someone abuses an animal does not automatically mean that they will eventually batter someone as an adult. However, the connections between the number of battered women and children who seek assistance through shelter and whose partners had threatened or attacked the family pet are astounding. This special area of literature requires attention.
Nearly 75% of domestic violence victims indicated that their partners had threatened or killed family pets at some time before the incidents of violence towards them or their children began (Faver and Strand 2003; Loring and Bolden-Hines 2004). Women often will…… [Read More]
4). Singer references the essay in the book by Richard Ryder, who criticizes (with great justification) animal experiments ("now a large industry"). Of course there have been laws passed in the U.S. Congress subsequent to when this book was published, laws that provide guidelines for any animal research, but Ryder provides Singer with some gruesome experiments on animals and Singer reports them in his essay.
How moral is a company or organization or university when it injects chemicals into the brains of cats? At the National Institute for Medical Research in London they did just that, and while it is doubtful they could get away with such cruelty in 2011, they certainly did then. The injection into the brain of a cat with a large does of "Tubocuraine" caused the cat to jump into its cage and start calling "noisily whilst moving about restlessly and jerkily… jerking in rapid clonic movements" like an epileptic convulsion, and dying 35 minutes after the injection (Singer, p. 5).
Springer noted that notwithstanding the fact that these kinds of hideously cruel experiments are taking place "on university campuses throughout the country" there has not been "the slightest protest from the student movement" (p. 5). He is wondering in this essay why students protest against discrimination when it has to do with race or sex, or the military and big corporations, but when it comes to animals, the students tend to see them as "statistics rather than sentient beings with interests that warrant consideration" (p. 5).
Conclusion -- What are Americans' Values and Morals vis-a-vis Animals?
When Springer alludes to the essay by Ruth Harrison ("On Factory Farming") he hits home with the most egregious practice in the West when it comes to food production. When veal calves are kept in narrow stalls, to narrow for the poor calf to turn around, that is immoral, and it paints an…… [Read More]
In another instance, scientist and primate researcher Anne Engh collected fecal samples from baboons in the African country of Botswana; Engh gathered those fecal samples following the killing of a baboon by a predator (Moss, p. 2).
Those samples were tested for "…increased levels of glucocorticoid (GC) stress markers" and Engh discovered that the stress in those baboons was elevated for nearly a month after the one baboon had been brutally attacked and killed (Moss, p. 2). The baboon feces that tested out for the highest amount of stress were from those baboons that had either family or other close ties to the baboon that had been killed. Hence, it is reasonable to assume that the baboons were hurt emotionally by the killing and they showed that through their stress following the death.
Meanwhile there is a growing movement of citizens worldwide who believe that animals have feelings and that they should not be abused especially when it comes to the entertainment and amusement of the public. There are ongoing protests about zoos and about displaying wild animals in public places; for example students at Somerville College, Oxford, are planning to boycott a college party / ball if the plans go ahead to display "…a live shark in a tank as entertainment" (Rustin, 2013). The event is billed as "…one night of decadence, debauchery and indulgence," and history graduate Matthew Hawkins objects to having a huge tank at a ball with a shark in it for entertainment (Rustin, p. 2).
"It's worrying that a leading educational institution such as Oxford college would allow that view of nature to be perpetuated, of animals as an extravagant, gaudy show." He went on to say that many students are trying in their everyday lives to "…do our little bit to save the planet" and meanwhile the college they attend is "…going in the opposite…… [Read More]
Meat in our culture is an indulgence, an unhealthy food product, extremely cruel to animals, and produced by a system which inevitably teaches apathy and sadism to our children. Therefore it is not a part of the proper relationship between humans and animals for people to eat meat in America.
Animals have long been used for experimentation of medical procedures, and there is a general opinion among the public that this is a necessity in order to save human life. However, when defining the relationship between humans and animals in this aspect of society, it is necessary to remember that not long ago it was considered acceptable to experiment on the mentally ill housed in asylums in order to save the lives of "complete" humans. Does this seem like an appropriate relationship between special needs people and the rest of society? Most people feel that the answer is a resounding no. By the same logic that makes it not okay for doctors to perform lobotomies on children with Down Syndrome, and by the same logic that makes it unacceptable for Nazis to perform medical experiments on Jews and homosexuals, it is also not appropriate for humans to perform experiments on animals. Animals can feel pain, and animals can suffer, therefore it is our responsibility to not inflict unnecessary pain or suffering onto any living creature. However, for those who still insist that animal experimentation is a necessary evil, it is vital to understand that experiments performed on animals to determine the safety or effectiveness of products or medications intended for human use are inaccurate and put human lives at risk. It is therefore the responsibility of humans to find alternate testing methods, of which many already exist, for the sake of animals and people alike.
Finally, humans must clarify the relationship they have with companion animals, and recognize the rights and responsibilities associated with that relationship. Humans have been domesticating animals for thousands of years, and it is a…… [Read More]
Animal Abuse and Violent Criminal Behavior
In the peer reviewed article and literary review of Patterson-Kane and Piper's article from 2010 they did an article after researching and investigating whether there are alleged disagreements involving animals that are physically mistreated and people who are aggressive and carry out unlawful actions. Within the review of Patterson-Kane and Piper, they did a research using independent and dependent variables, and the independent ones are the ones that are used in an experimentation which is being maneuvered in the research in categorizing to the outcome on the dependent variable which is the response variable which is also looked after in the study that the independent ones causes the dependent one to change to help of the experiment. The survey was conducted to determine if there was perhaps violent intentions in criminals first begins with cruelty to animals and possibly also lead to them also harming their significant other and their own children, and was there also a possibility that this violence toward sadistic scandalous people was carried down to their own children.
The summary does have concepts because it contains information that has sound punctuality that goes further than the understandable motivations for the abstract because there is a lot of statements included that certain authors either stated or quoted about this particular topic. The questionnaires that were given also reflected on further analysis that may associate aggressive behavior toward abuse because the professionals that were included in the article also talked about the different opinions of different experts and there hypothesis on what kind of or what is the reasons for linking animal cruelty to people with violent behavior. These concepts are explained very clearly, for example, the author explains that public organizations like the American Humane Society encouraged others that there was definitely a connection between brutal criminals and the mistreatment of animals that also corresponds to communal influence yet to the degree of rationalizing the elimination of broods in situations where the mistreatment of animals is obvious. Finally, three notions are discussed when the review mentions that these perceptions need to be considered when looking and investigating this subject which is describing the…… [Read More]
Animal Advocacy Organizations
There are many local, national, and international organizations that advocate for the rights and welfare of animals, domestic and wild. Two of those organisations are PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). In this paper, the two will be compared and contrasted.
PETA & ASPCA
The ASPCA was the very first humane society to exist in North America, according to their website. Henry Bergh founded the ASPCA in 1866, who believed that animals have the right to be respected by humans, and to be treated kindly, and to be protected under the law. In fact the ASPCA was the first humane organization that has been granted "legal authority to investigate and make arrests for crimes against animals… [although the ASPCA] fulfills its mission through nonviolent approaches" (ASPCA).
PETA was founded in 1980, and their mission statement explains, "…animals have rights and deserve to have their best interests taken into consideration" (PETA). PETA is far more aggressive in its philosophy than the ASPCA, and PETA takes the position that animals "…are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment." PETA firmly believes that all beings (human and animal) "…deserve to be free from harm" and deserve to have their best interests taken into account "regardless of whether they are useful to humans" or not (PETA).
The ASPCA was actually incorporated by the New York State Legislature in 1866, and today has three key areas of interest and action: a) "caring for pet parents and pets"; b) "providing positive outcomes for at-risk animals"; and c) serving victims of animal cruelty" (ASPCA).
PETA, as mentioned, is far more aggressive in its approach to public relations and to direct action that protects animals. For example, PETA carries out undercover investigations in certain animal testing laboratories. One of PETA's biggest…… [Read More]
ANIMAL RIGHTS- SHOULD ANIMALS BE TREATED WITH MORE KINDNESS?
Animal rights or animal-human relationship is as controversial a subject as abortion and genetic research. This is because despite endless debates, several philosophical theories, numerous viewpoints and research findings, there appears to be no end in sight for this issue. How should be treat animals? Do they deserve our love and mercy? Can they be used for human consumption and benefit? How legal or morally justified is the use of animals in medical and cosmetic research? These are just some of the questions that arise when we discuss the ever-controversial subject of animal rights. The emergence of animal rights movement in late twentieth century sparked a huge controversy about treatment of animals and whether or not they deserved to be treated with the same respect we assign a human being.
We condemn totally the infliction of suffering upon our brother animals, and the curtailment of their enjoyment, unless it be necessary for their own individual benefit. We declare our belief that all sentient creatures have rights to life, liberty, and the quest for happiness."('A Declaration Against Speciesism', Cambridge University, 1977) See Reference 1
Many philosophers and their writings were then discussed and their point-of-view on animals scanned carefully to reach some conclusive answer to the many important questions that this movement gave birth to. In this paper, we shall discuss some philosophical viewpoints and see how people have discussed the issue so far to understand why it is important to treat animals more humanely even if they are not granted the same rights as human beings.
It might sound strange to some, but few aggressive proponents of humane treatment of animals believe that human beings are also animals even if they fall higher on the specie ladder and therefore if they are treated with respect and kindness, non-human animals must also be accorded the same respect and must be treated with dignity. To say that animals should be given similar rights as human beings is a taking the discussion a little too far where it almost becomes unreasonable and impractical.…… [Read More]
Animals & Their Place Inside the Fast Food Nation
Animals and Their Place inside the Fast Food Nation
The 1950's were a time of elegance, charm, and were truly the apex of American power. When one listens to music from this era or looks at photographs, one can almost feel the happiness that people felt during that time, especially after the war-torn decade preceding the 1950's. However, when looking at old photographs of family, one will also notice very thin, even fit young men and women laying on beaches and smiling up at the sun without, seemingly, a care in the world. Now, however, when on a beach in the United States, most often, one will notice the contentment of people all around, but will also see quite a few sunbathers who are not at all fit, and perhaps a small percentage of overweight beach-goers. This is an independent statement, of course, but it is made after years of observation, and the statistics presented below will agree with this simple truth. Our nation and many other nations in the developed world are experiencing a phenomenon that has heretofore been unknown to humankind: obesity due to over abundance of food, which is often chemically treated and cheaply produced.
The Creation of the Fast Food Nation
One could say that the 1950's, a decade of such glamour, started the obesity craze, for this is when restaurants that served 'fast food,' as we know it today, became widely known. This is, in part, correct. However, fast food started way back in Greek and Roman times, but for the purposes of this paper, the focus will start with White Castle, a restaurant that survives today and one that opened in1921 in Kansas, according to the History of Fast Food. Before White Castle, people considered burgers to be of inferior quality, as many thought that hamburgers…… [Read More]
Cruelty and Kindness in Halfbreed
Halfbreed by Maria Campbell is an autobiography where Campbell describes the struggles of her life. Campbell's struggles center around her being a halfbreed, a half-Indian and half-white person, rejected by both the Indian and the white people. Cruelty and kindness are important themes of Campbell's story. Firstly, there is the human cruelty of discrimination, represented by the acts of the people. Secondly, there is the cruelty of society, where society oppresses people. Finally, it is a belief in human kindness that allows Campbell to overcome the struggles, with the writing of the autobiography an act of reaching out to the people who have discriminated against her and offering them the opportunity to understand the cruelty of their ways and choose to change these ways.
The first cruelty is that of the people, the people who discriminate against Campbell and treat her as an outcast. It is seen how both the Indians and the whites reject her and her people, leaving Campbell feeling like she does not belong anywhere. The outcome of this treatment is that the halfbreeds live in extreme poverty. Examples of this discrimination are presented throughout the book to show how discrimination was a part of life for the halfbreed and something they could never escape from. This begins in her childhood where she is treated as a social outcast at school. It continues to where her family are driven out of the church. Campbell also describes how people assumed the halfbreeds would steal, always watching them when they entered stores. Their living conditions are also cruel, where they are forced to live in shacks along the road. This is human cruelty against the halfbreeds by a society that does not accept them as valuable. They are essentially treated not as people, but as animals, not worthy of a life like everyone else.…… [Read More]
Indictment of the Moral Offense of Animal Cruelty
Animals think. Animals feel emotion. Animals experience pain. Yet there are members of our human society that find these facts irrelevant. In fact there are many people that have no problem disregarding these facts entirely as long as they are able to reap some type of personal reward or benefit from an animal. Whether that benefit is in the form of food, clothing, or testing the latest new lipstick, it is always at the expense of the animal's well-being. In this paper I argue that the abuse of animals is morally wrong and therefore animals ought to be afforded rights which place the same consideration on their sentience as is placed on human beings.
Sentience is a term used to describe the fact that animals feel pain and emotions in much the same fashion as human beings. It is also used as a philosophical argument in favor of animal rights and the concern for how animals are treated in our society. Animal rights positions vary from the desire to give animals all of the same rights as humans, to the avoidance of the unnecessary infliction of pain or suffering upon animals. It is the latter stance that I advocate for because I do believe that animals are necessary for human survival in many instances. However it is one thing for a native tribe to feed their families with the meat of a wild animal, and it is quite another to hurt or kill an animal so that you can wear a pretty fur coat or hang its head on the wall as a trophy. As such, a major part of the moral argument regarding animals rights is based on need and purpose.
Animal rights activist Priscilla Cohn explains her reasoning on the issue of need and purpose as follows: "Recreational hunting is killing for fun, and I am opposed to killing in all forms, unless it is clearly a rationally established matter of self-defense. Most people, I believe, desire to be treated justly…Most people understand what justice is, and most agree that inflicting pain and suffering on another living, sentient being without some important purpose is improper…… [Read More]
Arguments For: In response to those allegations, Bill Mattos, the president of the California Poultry Federation, said that he had invited California Senate representatives to visit poultry farms -- and to see for themselves that allegations of inhumane treatment are not true -- but his offer was declined (Fitzenberger). "To me, it's propaganda disguised as research," Mattos said in response to the report the California state Senate Office of Research produced.
Essayist Bart Gruzalski (Ethics and Animals, p. 253) writes that "the use of animals for food can be justified on utilitarian grounds even if we take into account only the pleasures and pains of the animals involved." Gruzalski quotes pig farmer James Cargile, who buys "several pigs" every year "from a neighboring hog farm"; Cargile raises them "to slaughter for food" but sees no meanness because the pigs "are given lots of room and food, everything a pig could want for a good life but a short one" (Gruzalski, p. 253). Cargile states that his pigs "…are getting the best deal people are willing to give them" because their "good, short lives are better than no life at all" (Gruzalski, p. 253).
Arguments Against: Writing in The Well-being of farm animals: challenges and solutions, David Fraser and Daniel M. Weary assert that a pig in hot weather "will normally wallow in mud" to cool down (p. 41). But if an "overheated pig is confined in a pen where wallowing is impossible," Fraser et al. continues (p. 41), "its quality of life is arguable affected according to three criteria: the natural behavior is prevented; the animal is likely to undergo a heat-stress reaction" (involving reduced growth and reproduction); and three, the pig "is likely to feel uncomfortably hot."
D. Explain The Position Taken on These Issues
While I do not pass ethical or moral judgment on those who regularly eat red meat, pork or chicken, I do pass judgment on the unethical strategies used in "factory farming" of poultry, pigs and cattle. I find myself eating less of those three animal meats lately. Indeed, the facts brought out in this paper regarding the hideously inhumane conditions that these animals are put through creates a bit more hesitation in me to order a burger at McDonald's, a steak at Chile's or a BLT at Denny's. The solution to…… [Read More]
Wicca Animal Use
Shelley Rabinovitch has asserted that modern Wiccans see themselves as part of a world that includes all living beings in Nature (69), which generally prevents exploitative 'use.' This is not universal, but animal abuse would probably exclude a practitioner from the group "Wiccans." This has not been the case throughout history, and some modern Neo-Pagans include use of animals in ritual they claim falls within the harmonious balance of a non-dualistic participation in Nature (below). The result is a change in modern Wiccan relationship to animals compared to historical relationships as far as the available evidence shows. This requires defining the group "Wiccans," and also 'use' and 'animals,' because some groups typically classified alongside Wicca under the class "Neo-Pagans" are beginning to differentiate themselves through ritual animal use in ways Wiccans may perhaps want to dissociate themselves from.
"The language of self-identification to outsiders differs from that used when discussing religion with insiders," Rabinovitch explains (88). While there are many sub-groups within the modern group "witches," articulated by specific areas of "cosmology and axiology" (77) which Rabinovitch classifies into "Religionist," "Ecopagan," "God/dess Celebrants" or "Eclectic" based on worldviews respectively personal, global, societal and 'overlapping,' some research shows "[i]nformants falling into all classifications indicated they would tell another Neo-Pagan they were a witch (whether initiated or not), but they would use one of the more neutral terms in discussion with the general public" (Rabinovitch 88). In this sense, Wicca along Rabinovitch's taxonomy includes "a subset of Neo-Paganism, followers of a Goddess and a God in what they view as a pre- or non-Christian religion from the British Isles. For the purposes of this chapter, a Neo-Pagan witch is a self-identified believer in a Goddess/God-based religion" (76). Given her reminder "[e]ven the witches themselves do not necessarily agree on what defines a witch" (75), this paper will adopt an operating definition of Wicca as a non-Christian, religious or spiritual view of self as actively participating with and through natural forces beyond materialist science and technology, regardless of adherence to any particular dogma or ideology.
This leaves definition of "use" of "animals" for "magic." While there are undoubtedly many individuals who use animals for some…… [Read More]
Killing Animals for Food Is Not Necessarily Wrong
Over time, vegetarians have presented a wide range of reasons as to why eating meat and/or any other product derived from animals is wrong. In seeking to support their position, most vegetarians cite the need to uphold animal rights. In the recent past, the number of people turning to vegetarian diet has been increasing steadily. However, regardless of this, it is important to note that a careful review of literature clearly demonstrates that the consumption of meat and/or other products derived from animals is not necessarily a bad thing.
In Zacharia's (2012) opinion, "the market for vegan food is booming." This effectively means that the number of those joining the vegetarian bandwagon is steadily increasing. However, a vast majority of the population still believes that there is nothing wrong with eating meat or any animal produce. It could be right.
To begin with, killing animals for food can be viewed as a way of controlling their numbers. This is more so the case for domesticated animals. With that in mind, avoiding animal meat would lead to an unprecedented increase in the population of animals. Killing such animals for food can hence be viewed as a 'necessary evil' aimed at averting a possible catastrophe.
Secondly, humans are inherently omnivorous largely because they are capable of consuming both flesh and plants. Indeed, this argument can be taken further by pointing out that just like carnivores; human beings possess a canine tooth that is relatively sharp. In carnivores, this tooth is specially designed or adapted to tear flesh apart. If human beings were not meant to eat meat, then they would not be equipped with a canine tooth just like other meat eaters.
Although there are many reasons as to why killing animals for food is not necessarily a bad thing, there is a need to identify some dissenting arguments. It can be noted that most vegetarians are convinced that killing…… [Read More]
No animal understands what experimentation is. Therefore, how does one decide whether it is ethical to conduct experiments on them, experiments that involve blatant cruelty and assault?
It must be remembered that those people who voice their objections to using animals in experimentation fall under two broad categories: animal welfare activists, and animal rights activists. While those who belong to animal welfare groups do agree that animal experimentation must carry on, but that they must be minimized, so that the pain and suffering of the poor creatures is also minimized, those that belong to the animal rights group are more radical with their opinions. These people have often stated that animals too have their rights, in much the same way as human beings do, and that animals must therefore never be used for the purposes of experimentation, as this is extremely cruel, unkind, brutal and unethical. (Bridgstock, 69)
Going back in time, it is true that animals have been used for experiments since time immemorial, although it was comparatively rare before the nineteenth century. One of the earliest records of animals used for experiments was found to be from ancient Rome, when the renowned court physician, 129 to 210 CE Erasistratus supposedly used a pig to show the severance of the different nerves to his audience by cutting them on the hapless pig. In the late middle ages, anatomy was being interestingly investigated, with the help of animals, who were dissected to find out the working of the body. Some of the famous physicians of the time were William Harvey and Andreas Vesalius, who used various kinds of animals in their experiments on anatomy. Harvey was also known to have used deer in his experiments to find out about blood circulation, while Rene Descartes is known to have stated that animals are much like machines, because they do not experience pain at all! Amazingly, this was the view that persisted until the twentieth century: that an animal do not experience pain. It was Francois Magendie and Claude Bernard who made the foundation, during the nineteenth century, for the modern day animal experimentation. (Kuhse; Singer, 399)
However, these two scientists conducted their experiments on fully conscious animals which had been restrained, and they were condemned later for their cruelty and unethical treatment of animals. These protests culminated in the…… [Read More]
This was inexcusable. He got his rifle, and he began to shoot them, one by one. Somehow, though, he couldn't hit the last woodchuck, the wiley one. That night, he dreamed about that woodchuck, the one that got away. He dreamed he shot that woodchuck. Blaming the whole debacle on the woodchucks, he told himself, "If only they'd all consented to die unseen, gassed underground the quiet Nazi way." (Kumin, poemhunter.com)
Non-animal testing methods that are more reliable than animal testing and a lot cheaper have been developed. Some are computer and mathematical models. Others use cell and skin tissue or corneas from eye banks -- providing information from human genes. Some companies simply avoid testing by using all non-toxic ingredients or ingredients that the Cosrmetics, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association has already approved as safe.
According to groups on both sides of the argument, the American public -- particularly the young people -- are becoming more and more opposed to biomedical testing as they learn about it and its abuses to animals. But the proponents are trying to fight back. Recently, a billboard appeared in Inman Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts, that read "GOT LEPROSY? -- a scare tactic. Leprosy is a deadly disease that everyone has heard about, usually from stories of outcast leper colonies, but no one knows anyone who has had it. Leprosy is gone, and the message on the billboard is clear it is gone thanks to animal testing. It made a splash, but didn't get as many converts as hoped.
The big news is that on April 6, 2010, United States and the United Kingdom sued the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in federal court. They accused the FDA of failing to act on the 2007 petition they had submitted. Its purpose was to require the use of scientifically-sound alternatives. This would follow the European Union's direction: for 20 years it has required that animal testing would not be used when non-animal procedures were available. The groups also asked the FDA to issue regulations that would require all FDA-regulated companies to use available non-animal testing methods whenever they needed to demonstrate safety and efficacy.
These groups are demanding sound, humane methods and accurate and validated test procedures. They are also concerned about hazardous drugs that are approved…… [Read More]
Society Feels About Animals
As a first order primate, humans have a natural affinity with animals of all types that has contributed to their mutual relationships throughout history. In fact, animals of different types have been since the time of the ancient Greeks to improve the emotional and functional status of humans (Mccauley, 2006, p. 358). Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) has grown in popularity in recent years based on its proven efficacy in treating a wide range of healthcare and mental health conditions. Although dogs and cats are most commonly used in AAT settings, horses, rabbits and even fish can also be used. For instance, according to Macauley, "The use of animals ranges from companion animals that provide camaraderie and emotional support to assistance animals that provide direct physical-functional support to therapy animals that aid with the habilitation-rehabilitation in physical, occupational, speech-language, and recreation therapy" (2006, p. 358). Moreover, some researchers argue that humans have been forging relationships "since time immemorial" and that animals have served human society three broad capacities ever since: as teachers, as healers, and as companions and friends" (Pattnaik, 2004, p. 95).
The use of animals for therapeutic applications is referred to as an animal-assisted therapy (AAT) which by definition specifically incorporates animals into the therapeutic process (Chandler & Portrie-Bethke, 2010). The animals that are used in AAT have a human handler who also serves as a counselor or therapist; the human half of the animal-human AAT duo is responsible for the provision of compassionate and stimulating counseling to facilitate the recovery of the participants (Chandler & Portrie-Bethke, 2010). In this regard, Obrusnikova, Bibik and Cavalier report that, "Using therapy dog teams in school and therapeutic settings for children with disabilities is becoming increasingly popular. A therapy dog team consists of a specially trained dog and her or his owner (called a handler)" (2012, p. 37). The animals used in AAT applications typically include counseling, physical therapy, and occupational therapy (Chandler & Portrie-Bethke,…… [Read More]
'There's no question he had a remarkable repertoire with bears and had a remarkable ability for them to tolerate him ... (but) just so people don't get the wrong idea, Tim definitely knew there were bears out there that were bad medicine.'" (Manning, p. 1)
The phrase 'bad medicine' here implies a certain moral proposition in the bear's behavior, attributing a distinctly human way of perceiving the act of killing to its actions. However, as the article shows, this anthropomorphic phrasing may be misplaced, particularly given Treadwell's dangerous intrusion into the territory of his study subjects. This denotes that it may not be entirely rational to project the notion of 'murder' to the killing but that human beings will tend to do so. The notion of a 'bad' bear indicates that there is some moral action which has occurred, a perception which is a departure from the decidedly objective selectivity of nature.
That line between nature's objectivity and the emotional qualities that drive human moral behavior becomes even more difficult to draw as the core traits of certain animals come more to resemble human beings. This is quite well illustrated in the disturbing case of Andrew Oberle, the chimp sanctuary employee who was mauled to a devastating extent by two male chimpanzees. Here, the animals can actually be evaluated according to their emotional disposition, but one must be careful not to conflate this with an act of 'evil' or 'cruelty.' According to the report, "[the chimps] have no anger,' Cussons told Good Morning America. 'This is why we come to the conclusion, as far as our expertise goes, that it was a territorial defense. They directed the violence towards Andrew whom they feel was infringing on their territory.'" (Daily Mail Reporter, p. 1) This denotes that under the circumstances, the animals were acting in accordance with the rules of their society. As these differ so considerably from those of humanity, we can see the danger in anthropomorphizing the implications of violence.
This is the essential principle in play both in Gould's discussion on the Ichneumon family of parasites and in the examples provided here. Animals are capable…… [Read More]
Furthermore, animals are given much more respect within entertainment than otherwise. Animals are viewed with both awe and joy by those who are watching them. They raise the level of awareness we feel for animals and make the audience care more. They would receive no better treatment were they "in the wild" or domesticated. Having animals in entertainment can be equivalent to having a pet at home, both of which is not demeaning as a rule.
Using Animals within entertainment does not hurt animals, on the contrary it helps improve their overall image within audiences, and at the same time they receive special and respectful treatment from their caretakers. It is a win-win situation for both sides.
Anderson, Kay. 1998. Animals, Science and Spectacle in the City, in Jennifer Wolch and Jody Emel (eds) Animal Geographies: Place, Politics, and Identity in the Nature-Culture Borderlands. 27-50. New York: Verso.
Beardsworth, Alan and Alan Bryman. 2001. The wild animal in late modernity: The case of the Disneyization of zoos. Tourist Studies 1(1):83-104.
Bostock, S. 1993. Zoos and Animal Rights. London and New York: Routledge.
Croke, Vicki. 1997. The Modern Ark: The Story of Zoos,…… [Read More]