Sunday, August 1, 2010

Animal Research: A Necessary Evil

Don't get me wrong.
I absolutely adore animals.
Fur products creep me out.
Puppy mills are terrible.
Animal abuse is awful.

BUT I am realistic... Animals will never get full rights.

For thousands of years, we have relied on animals for food.
No matter how many protests people stage, laws are proposed, and movements are started, we will NEVER become a meat-free society.
Let's face it... Meat and dairy products are delicious and have many health benefits.
I do believe that the treatment of animals in the food industry needs to be closely monitored, however.
We've all seen and heard things about the deplorable conditions that cows, chickens, and other livestock go through from undercover investigations into suppliers for big companies like KFC.
If an animal is going to be killed for our benefit, the least we can do is let them live in good conditions and euthanize them humanely.

Personally, I don't eat red meat. (Except for the occasional bit of bacon)
Though a few vegetarians have gotten angry at me for my seeing things this way, I feel a lot more sympathy for cows and pigs than I do chickens, which are a huge staple in my diet.
My reasoning is that chickens we use as feed are specifically bred to be mutants with large breasts. (And no, I don't mean those kind of breasts. Quit giggling.)
They don't belong in the wild, so they can't be set free. They can't live without our assistance, and the idea of us having huge chicken sanctuaries is ridiculous. We'd have to let them die out.
Also cows and pigs seem to hold a certain level of human-like characteristics.
You can't look into the big watery eyes of a cow and not feel a bit upset at the thought of them being slaughtered.

Animal research is also something that we cannot stop... but we SHOULDN'T stop it.
Research through animals can be cruel, inhumane, and full of suffering, but some of it has benefited us in ways we could have never deemed possible.

There are two types of animal research.
There is cosmetic research, such as the testing of soap, make-up, and other beauty products.
This kind of research disgusts me to no end.
Concealer never saved anyone's life.
Ending the lives of animals just to put a beauty product on the shelf in a pharmacy is pathetic and unnecessary.

Then there is medical research.
Though arguably medical testing on animals can be worse by a mile, countless breakthroughs have been made over the years that have benefited us as a whole.
It isn't until now that I realized how much we have bettered our lives through research.

Yes, we have extended our lives by 23.5 years because of the breakthroughs made by animal research.
Scary, right?

This is why I believe that it is a necessary evil.
Without it, we'd be a lot worse off.

Still, I agree that many changes need to be made when it comes to the treatment of animals across the globe.
So, next time a family member has their 75th+ birthday, you know who to thank... the animals.
Maybe next time, treat them with more respect or understanding.
They go through a lot for us.

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