Animals deserve the same rights as humans and shouldn't be used by humans for food or research

A group of people believes that animals deserve the same rights as humans and shouldn't be used by humans for food or research while others think that it is OK to employ animals for research or other human requirements. Discuss the statement analytically from both points of views. Also, take a stand on the topic.

Animal exploitation refers to a treatment which causes suffering or harm to animals. Depending upon the intensity of treatment, it can be referred to as cruelty also. Though there are lots of organizations in India and world which aim to prevent animal exploitation, but their intentions and success has always been in question.

This is due to the fact that animal protection is not just a matter of enforcement of laws and regulations but more of mentality change and scratching a person's conscience to enhance sensitivity towards animals. Cruelty to animals is one of the biggest moral issues. While giving them same rights as humans may not seem very practical in terms of implementation but surely things can be and should be done to prevent/reduce their exploitation.

But before addressing the issue of animal exploitation, it is important to understand the reasons for which animals are exploited. Animal testing alone accounts for billions of animal deaths every year. Cruelty towards animals is of two types - passive and active. Passive cruelty refers to abuse that happens due to neglect or lack of action towards their protection and care. Starvation, dehydration, lack of shelter and medical care etc belong to this category.

Active cruelty is due to mal - intentions of people towards the animals. It is exercised by purposely inflicting harm on an animal in order to feel more powerful and gain control. Also, for one's own selfish needs. Like, leather business is a very profitable business but it also involves animal exploitation and killing of highest order.

It is true that lot of animals are used in research. For example, humans share 95% of their genes with that of a mouse. Hence, mouse becomes a very suitable model for conducting research related to human body. At the same time, without animal research even the basic vaccines like tetanus, penicillin and insulin would never have been developed. Hence, it is fictitious to say that animal research can be completely banned but sure it can be monitored to avoid its misuse.

The animal protection laws should be vigilant enough to distinguish whether the exploitation was done for a valid research - a research which aims to discover or invent a medicine/treatment for enhancement of life and environment or the one which is done to satisfy selfish need of the business thriving on animal husbandry. Those found guilty of animal exploitation without a license from a specified agency should be penalised heavily. This will ensure a proper balance is maintained between animal exploitation, research and future discoveries.


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