All Animals Are Equal Essay

1744 Words Nov 19th, 2008 7 Pages
In our world, protests occur each day on the issues of animal cruelty and human rights, but when the issues are put together which will reign over the other? The author Peter Singer of “All Animals are Equal” and “Tools for Research” presents his argument for determining when animal experiments are justified. The author starts his paper with a counter argument, questioning if one would be willing to let thousands of people die if those people could be saved by experimentation on a single animal. The answer is a unanimous no; in our culture we value human life over everything else. The author follows by asking the reader if they would be prepared to carry out their experiments on humans who are mentally retarded or orphaned babies, if that …show more content…
Third, Singer states that, “apes, monkeys, dogs, cats, rats, and other animals are more aware of what is happening to them, more self‐directing, and at least as sensitive to pain as a human infant.”(Page 2, Tools for Research) Singer is quick to assign cognitive motives to observed animal behaviour when it supports his arguments. However, it is in fact difficult to judge the causes for animal distress based on their reaction (i.e. writhing, facial contortions, moaning, and yelping) as these reactions may not be based on a cognitive awareness but on a self‐preservation instinct. Singer and we can only hypothesize what an animal might be feeling, not make categorical arguments as Singer has done.
Peter Singer’s argument for determining when animal experiments are justified is stated in his papers “All Animals are Equal” and “Tools for Research”. His argument in regards to animal experimentation and speciesism is very thought provoking and makes the readers review their own biases regarding human/animal relations. Although some of the ideas the author brings forward, such as using mentally retarded or orphaned babies for experimentation, are radical, they do make one think about the biases we have as a species. Also, his thoughts on mammals and birds ability to feel pain being
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