Animal Rights and Society
2. Background information
2.1 What is animal testing
Animal testing is different experiments, researches that carried out on the animals. Different animals are used in different test, e.g. mice, rabbits, pigs. Those animals are used to check the safety and assess the effectiveness of the products that for human use, e.g. medicine, food, cosmetics. It’s also used to understand how well the product works on human body. However, all of those tests may harm to animals and cause them physical and psychological distress, or even die during the test. Most of the animals will be killed at the end of the test, and some of them will be re-use in another test.
2.2 Current usage of animal testing
Animal tests are carried out for develop medical treatments, determine the toxicity of medications, check the safety of products destined for human use. Toxicity tests are carried out on the animals e.g. mice, to estimate the safety of products. Irritation tests of different cosmetic products on the face or skin are carried on the rabbit. Each test is based on a human health endpoint and assume the body condition of the animal are same as the human. All of those human health endpoints assess in different types of tests, like eye irritation, skin irritation, skin sensitization, carcinogenicity, genetic toxicity, neurotoxicity, reproductive toxicity and acute oral systemic toxicity.
How it works
3.1 What is utilitarianism
Utilitarianism is an ethical theory that determines rights from wrong by focusing on outcomes. Utilitarianism holds that an act is right if it can produce the greatest good (pleasure or happiness) for the greatest number of people, and think that pleasure or happiness is the only intrinsic good. It also can classify as a consequentialism which claims that the rightness or badness act is based on the goodness or badness of the results. Utilitarians believe that the purpose of morality is to increase the amount of pleasure and happiness in the world and decrease the amount of pain and unhappiness to make a better life. Utilitarianism is the most commonly used method of moral reasoning in business because it can explain costs and benefits.
3.2 What is the principle of Utility
The principle of utility introduced by the Philosopher Jeremy Bentham and Philosopher John Stuart Mill built upon it. The principle of utility holds that the most moral action is the action that can provide the greatest pleasure or happiness for the greatest number of people. The action will be considered wrong if they produce more pain than pleasure to greatest number of people. According to this principle, the pleasure and pain are objective. The level of good is measured by the intensity, duration, certainty or uncertainty, propinquity or remoteness, fecundity or unfruitfulness, purity, extent.
4. What ethical issues brought by animal testing
4.1 Animal Rights
One ethical issue concerned is animal rights, it is based on the ethical and moral philosophy and it is an idea that is the non-human animals are entitled to the possession of their own lives, and prevent suffering from different ills. Animal rights means that no experiments on animals, no breeding or killing animals for food or clothes or medicine, no hunting and no zoos or use of animals in entertainment.??Animal testing are something that hurts the animals, or even depriving their lives. A question raised by Jeremy Bentham ‘The question is not ‘Can they reason?’ nor ‘Can they talk?’ but ‘Can they suffer?”. During the test, animals can feel pain, fear, frustration, loneliness, and all of these things they may not need to suffer original if they live in the nature. Since animals are conscious, they can make conscious choice and they know what is happening to them. Therefore, the animals have their own rights.
Animal testing are depriving animal rights because some test may kill them in an unjustified way or the test may make the them uncomfortable.
4.2 Human rights
Another ethical issue related to animal testing is human rights. Human rights are rights that inherent to all human beings, no matter what nationality, language, religions, sex or other status. However, people can’t deprive animal rights, people can’t take control animal’s life and kill the animal to fulfill their needs.