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Human Rights vs. Animal Rights: Is There a Difference?

Liz loves animals. Seeing them ill, hurt, or killed breaks her heart. She advocates for "adopt, don't shop" and TNR programs for feral cats.

All animals have the right to be treated humanely.

All animals have the right to be treated humanely.

Non-Human Animals

"Non-human animals" is the designation given in the California Civil Code under animal laws. The sheer number of laws dealing with animals is mind-boggling. There is some attempt made to ensure humane treatment of every species, from pet animals to livestock.

In the end, however, the lawmakers, as usual, miss the boat and end up with ineffective and half-baked "protections." I cannot cite chapter and verse here; the list is far too long and couched in the excessive wordiness of "legalese." Suffice it to say the laws read more as if to make excuses and exceptions to said laws than offer any real protections. The same is true in virtually every state.

It seems to be a sad truth that many humans, and particularly those in positions of power, still view "non-human animals" as less deserving of safety, compassion and protection. This angers me.

We Are All Animals

There is no excuse for using animals for research of any type. Seriously. While this may be technically legal, the rationale is flawed. While we are all, indeed, animals, (as I point out in a related article), with many traits in common, a dog, rabbit, or guinea pig is not a human, and test results from one species cannot reasonably be extrapolated to the other.

Therefore, all animal testing should cease. We have sufficiently advanced computer technology and knowledge of human physiology and chemistry to be able to analyze initial safety of any given compound prior to starting human tests on volunteers.

Anything in serious doubt at the end of the computer analysis stage should probably be abandoned as unsafe. Goodness knows, in spite of all this so-called "safety testing" on animals, there have been plenty of dangerous drugs and topical potions that seep through. Countless recalls and lawsuits have resulted.

So much for animal testing as a predictor of safety for human use. Some of us are old enough to recall the Thalidomide tragedy. In spite of "testing" in which researchers "...could not find a dose high enough to kill a rat," countless birth defects resulted. No, you don't have to be killed to be adversely affected.

Imagine if this person was waiting to be a scientific experiment. Difficult to comprehend, but this happens to animals all the time.

Imagine if this person was waiting to be a scientific experiment. Difficult to comprehend, but this happens to animals all the time.

How Would You Like It?

What if people were the subjects of these unnecessarily cruel experiments and bogus tests? Would you volunteer for the initial testing procedures, with your brain opened up and wired to a machine?

What if it was your child, or your own pet dog or cat in that laboratory? Human rights/animal rights: it's all one and the same thing.

Sometimes, in the case of small animals such as mice, rats and guinea pigs, they are bred for the purpose. They are born, given new life, only for the purpose of living that life in suffering and to be sacrificed in the name of science. This is just not right.

What these pseudo-scientists do to animals, they are equally capable of doing to humans. It is a mindset, not a job description. Don't you find that a frightening thought?

Remember the movie Planet of the Apes, where the apes did "humane" experiments on humans? Sure, that was a Hollywood fiction, but put yourself in the shoes of the humans in that story. It could just as well have worked out that way. How would you like it?

Cosplayers at Comic-Con reenact humans being subjugated by apes, like the movie Planet of the Apes. In reality, it could have been like this.

Cosplayers at Comic-Con reenact humans being subjugated by apes, like the movie Planet of the Apes. In reality, it could have been like this.

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Faulty Standards

Other products, not intended as medicine or for consumption, are still tested to this day on innocent animals with no voice in their fate.

This melange of products includes everything from gasoline to garden fertilizers. The way they determine toxicity is a nefarious scheme called the LD50 test. Never heard of it? They don't like to publicize it.

Here's how it works: in order to determine the Lethal Dose (the "LD" part of the equation), they administer by various means (ingestion, injection, topical application, inhalation) a specified quantity of the agent being tested. Then they measure how many animals have died. They repeat, increasing the dose level until they have succeeded in slaughtering 50% of the subjects. (There's the "50" part). So the number on the package following the LD50: tells you how much it took to kill half of all those poor animals.

They already know the product is dangerous. That is not research. It's murder.

Unconscionable and Evil

The real problem here is that these are no longer tests! These products have been "tested" to death—literally, as it means the deaths of countless thousands of poor animals. They already know the product is harmful or toxic!

Animal testing makes no more sense than nuclear testing. Once you know something works, does not work, or is dangerous, the testing is finished. Continued repetition is nothing more than abuse.

Why, then, do they keep repeating these same procedures? This is a horrid menace haunting our human race, and destroying our very humanity. If we do not think of our fellow animals as brothers to be protected and nurtured, how can we expect to stop violence between people? We cannot.

Animal "testing" is an evil and outdated practice that must stop. This is the true definition of moral depravity—picking on those who are defenseless. The laws must be changed to protect our brethren lest all hope is lost for ourselves.

So the answer is no: there is no difference between animal and human rights. The oft-quoted "golden rule" applies to all creatures.

Humans need to make a decision: are animals our friends or not?

Humans need to make a decision: are animals our friends or not?

No Soul? Think Again

Of course animals have souls. The organized religions would prefer you did not think so, but they do. Look into the loving, non-judgmental eyes of your dog when you come home from work; see the sublime expression of bliss when you pet your cat and scratch just the right spot.

How many stories of heroism by pet animals have you heard? Hundreds! A being with no soul thinks purely in terms of preservation of self, with no thought to others. The fact that many, many animals live in family groups, care for each other, and can transfer that bond to us humans is soul.

They show emotions--joy, sadness, fear, pain, all properties ascribed to "soul." They are, indeed, our brothers and sisters as we walk this world, and they must not be harmed.

References and Resources for Further Information

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2010 Liz Elias

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