I am continuing my philosophical challenge, and this next question is super complicated. It is actually a question I would not even want to answer. But it’s part of my journey! Please let me know what you think!
Why is animal experimentation morally permissible if experimentation on children is not?
(Please bare in mind that my answer is based on my own opinion, that doesn’t make it true)
The Big Think Book gives an example of a 4-year old girl in a cage, being part of a drug testing experiment. The image of a girl in a cage is awful, I would like to erase that out of my mind. But the image of having a cute monkey in a cage taking from his/her mum is not that much better. Unfortunately, animals are mostly used for testing our drugs, etc.
Why do we value human life over an animal life? The Bible is clear, animals are there for us. So religious people see themselves as a superior species. I believe animals that are being tested on, do feel pain and if something is alive and feels pain, isn’t it inhumane of us to continue animal experimentation? It is a kind of speciesism, discriminating because animals are a different species, which is unfair. It is unfair unless you can justify the difference in treatment based on sex or species. For example, a woman doesn’t have to be screened for prostate cancer.
What are our options instead of using animals in experiments? I have no idea, I am not a scientist. It would not be morally accepted to test on old people that are almost at the end of their lives. It would not be morally allowed to experiment on kids because if something is wrong with the drugs, they might not be able to continue their lives in the same way as before. Animals are just like us, living creatures, they have a mother and father, they feel and think. It is cruel of us to make animals feel all those feelings that we don’t want our kids to feel. Right?
Without scientific research and drug tests, we wouldn’t have been living in such an evolved world. We found ways to cure diseases, to save lives. That is amazing. But how many lives have been taken to get to that result? Is it worth the result? I think animal experimentations are justified because the results of those tests are exactly what people were waiting for. The results help human existence. That is all that matters. An animal’s life does not add that much value to our lives, other than food, experimentations or having a pet that you adore. Now, I’m generalising of course. But I think this is how people justify certain behaviour in their minds.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments!