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Leonardo Da Vinci once said, “The time will come when men will look at the murder of animals as they now look at the murder of men.” The mistreatment of animals is an undervalued problem because animals are not or mentally like humans. While organizations have improved the safety of many animals over the years, there are still many cases every year concerning animal abuse and undernourishment. The main violations of animal morality include factory farming, animal experimentation, and animals used for entertainment; These problems can be solved by supporting organic farming, conducting experiments on three-dimensional models made from human cells or excised ocular tissue, and setting free the animals that are being mistreated and used for amusement.
Animal rights have been debated for countless of years. Activists seek ways to promote humane methods for the welfare of animals and believe that animals should be free from human interference and exploitation. “Animal rights was first discovered in the early 1850’s and the humane movement took off in the late 1860’s.” Along the way, animal activists were able to create new organizations that target specific violations of animal integrity. The American Society for the Prevention of Animal Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), American Humane Association (AHA) and many others have established laws that protect the rights of animals. These foundations have made regulations such as the Endangered Species Act (ESA), which sets aside land,that humans can’t interact with, for endangered animals and plants. Because of this act, endangered species have become more common.
Speciesism is a term meaning discrimination based on a certain species. It was first used by a British philosopher and psychologist Richard D. Ryder. He argues that humans are not superior to animals and have no moral right to discriminate against them or cause them pain. He concludes that people abuse animals because they’re convinced that humans are more superior compared to other species. In 1975, Animal Liberation, by Peter Singer, was published; it took the issue of animal rights to a new level.With the help of his book, he exposed the abuse of animals in society. This was described as the “starting pistol” for the Animals Rights Movement.
A meat eater that says they don’t support animal farming and animal abuse would be considered a hypocrite. These consumers depend on products that are produced from places like slaughterhouses. Richard Ryder believed that “If we have to kill, we kill. If we have to inflict pain, we’ll inflict pain. But first we have to know if it’s necessary.” Factory farming and slaughterhouses has been one of the main targets for animal activists. Farm animals endure miserable and stressful lives, suffering horrible deaths, and are treated like inanimate objects during the process of getting slaughtered. The farming industry’s main goal is to make the most food/products in the shortest amount of time. Therefore, billions of animals are abused for their eggs, meat, or milk. Flesh factories is an inhumane place where they inflict pain on helpless animals. Creatures such as pigs, chickens and calves are abused; while pigs have their tails chopped off, and are kept in small cramped pens. “Pregnant pigs are kept in stalls made of metal bars and concrete floors. Before the gilt gives birth, they’re put in crates where they only have enough room to sit or stand”. After a week they piglets are born, a butcher would take away the offspring from its mother. Cows also get abused for their milk. Dairy cows give birth at two years old and are impregnated every year to keep producing milk. After three or four years of forced milk production, they’re sent to the slaughterhouses. Animal abuse doesn’t start in the slaughterhouses or factory farms, it starts when the animals are being transferred over. Animals in transit endure cramped conditions for days with no food, water and poor ventilation. Activist have supported the idea of organic and free-range farming systems. Instead of cages and crates, the animals will have spacious enclosures and a healthier diet. They will have access to daylight and the freedom to roam and express their natural behavior. When it’s time to slaughter the farm animals, they will die peacefully. Not only is this good for animals, but it’s also beneficial for humans since organic farming provides healthy meat.
Animals are also abused in laboratories. Millions of animals are used for research to develop effective and safe drugs, find cures to illnesses and diseases, cosmetics products, household cleaning commodities and veterinary drugs. Associations that conduct animal experiments include universities, the military, medical research institutes and pharmaceutical companies. The AAVS claims that “Vivisection (another word for animals experimentation) is not only cruel, but also scientifically unproven and not reliable.” Organizations believe in the “Three R’s Policy; Reduction, Refinement, and Replacement.” By this gradual process, they aim to improve animal welfare and limit the numbers of animals needed for research. Animal vivisection is viewed as “necessary evil.” There’s been many laws passed and organizations established such as the Anti-vivisection society, Animal Welfare institute and the Animal Welfare Act. The Animal Welfare Act was passed to regulate the care and treatment of warm-blooded animals, excluding birds, rodents and farm animals. Biomedical research is a type of experiment where animals are infected with human diseases so scientist can see the symptoms of the illness. The transplantation studies are on primates which are implanted with organs and tissue from different species, they undergo surgical procedures and trials to test new medical equipment. Besides experimentation for the medical field, animals are used for toxic shocks. Most of the time, animals are dosed with drugs, food additives, pesticides, and cosmetics. Anesthetics are not used because scientist believe it might get in the way of results. Types of toxic shocks are the LD50, this is where scientist test substances on a group of animals to find the amount needed to kill 50% of them. The Draize is another type of toxic shock that consist of a constant application of substances to the animal’s eyes or skin to find out the levels of irritation. Unfortunately, every animal that has been tested on is killed or died afterwards. Sadly, the government and research organizations remain convinced that without a reliable alternative, animal experimentation is essential for human health. A solution for animal vivisection, more specifically skin and eye irritation, would be an increase on the usage of the “Vitro Method,” this method uses excess of animal tissue (after they are slaughtered) or three-dimensional human tissue constructs to model a cornea or piece of skin. The Vitro Method is officially accepted by national regulatory agencies. This technique is the best way to go, it’s a lot more accurate (since we are using shedded human tissue and excised animal tissue) and it’s a humane act that requires no living and breathing organisms being tortured or abused.
Animals used for entertainment is probably the last thought when you think “animal abuse” but unfortunately, it is the most hidden crime. In the spotlight, animals are majestic creatures. However, during training sessions, they’re abused and treated like objects. The forms of entertainment we use animals for today result in the malnourishment of animals on a worldwide scale. Zoo checks are targeted to zoos in Thailand, Spain, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Southeast Asia because of the poor physical state of the animals.
Animal fighting is another horrible crime that is, fortunately, illegal in every state. There’s dogfighting, bullfighting and c***fighting. In dogfights, the owners sharpen the dog's teeth and causes them to get gum problems. American pit bull terriers are most commonly used because of their strong jaws, tendency and aggressiveness. A dog comes out with severe injuries such as blood loss, broken bones, and damaged eyes. C***fighting is also a well-known activity in that activity. The owners bread male birds for fighting and fit the majestic bird with razor blades on their legs. The chickens have to fight to the death; the bird that sadly loses is cooked and consumed by the winner.
A very unexpected place where animals used to be mistreated were during films. Animal actors are praised by many movie fanatics, but these fanatics never knew the truth about what really goes on behind the scenes. In the movie Jesse James, the scene where the horse jumps off a cliff, was a very fatal and dangerous stunt that ended in one death. While shooting that scene, they blindfolded the horse causing him to trip over a wire (set at the edge of the cliff) and fell. The stuntman survived, but the horse broke its back and died. Besides the “accidental deaths,” animals on film were abused by trainees. Animal Organizations passed a law that set up a film-monitoring service to ensure the on-set safety of animals. Sadly, animal abuse is also found in aquariums, rodeos and circuses; the trainers inflict pain as punishment if they mess up.
Rodeos are as dangerous as they seem. The training involved is cruel to the animals and the use of implements such as electric prods, spurs, and flank straps add to their distress. In this activity, animals can end up with broken bones, sometimes, if animals accidentally hurt a person, they are sent to the slaughterhouses.
Aquariums/marine parks use marine animals that are taken from their home at only a few months of age. During practice, they use rakes that cuts the whale or dolphin when they move (and if they can’t move, they drown), trainers don’t feed them and keep them in a small metal containers, and when a female gives birth, the instructor separate the offspring.
Circuses prod, whip and beat the chained animals. The animals are separated from their families and also lack the nutrition they need. In the U.S, a trainer was heard saying “make ‘em scream” while whipping an elephant. In the U.K, trainees abuse their animals with pitchforks and riding crops. On an interview with the American Humane Association, we asked “what could be some psychological effects an animal suffers when it’s taken away from it’s home and kept in captivity?”, they answered that abuse can lead to animals not trusting other humans creating aggressive behavior. This behavior does not allow them to interact with other animals. Animals in captivity develop neurotic disorders causing them to harm themselves. Sometimes, the lack of care for animals is because there are too few inspectors for the number of captive animals. The AHA informed us that in their opinion, the “overpopulation of animals rescued from abusive and neglectful situations, and [animals] on the streets and in shelters” is one of the biggest problems animals suffer. A solution for this can be the promotion of the rescue of cats and dogs rather than buying from breeders. If we are certain that animals are being mistreated in a certain activity, it’s our job to do something. Let the animals that are suffering be free, or at least thank them by giving them what they deserve.
Organizations have slowly impacted the world of animal rights. However, countless of animals die daily due to malnourishment. Organic cultivation might not be economically great, but it is beneficial for animals. Conducting experiments on three-dimensional models that are made of human cells or excised ocular tissue could replace animals in many ways, starting with accurate results. Animals used for entertainment are being mistreated. The question is not, can they reason? nor can they talk? But can they suffer? The time is always right to do what’s right.