Environmentalists claimed that aging water from the delta would limit the breeding grounds for the salmon; therefore it should not be done. The water from the delta would have enabled farmers to produce a large amount of crops, thus feeding the people of California and providing income for the farmers facing increased debt. The action Of the environmentalists poses a highly debated question: Should animals have the same rights that humans do? While animals should not be mistreated or abused, they should not have the same rights as humans, but animal rights activists and environmentalists are trying to push this movement to the extreme.
When considering the basic needs of humans, animals should not be given equal consideration. From the beginning of time, animals were hunted, their pelts used for clothing, their bones used to make tools, and their flesh eaten as a source of food. Then, as technology developed and people became more intelligent, animals were domesticated and kept for their meat, eggs, and milk. Keeping the domesticated animals in one place meant that they could reproduce and there would be a somewhat limitless source of food.
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These practices were not achieved through the cooperation of man and beast, it was accomplished by unmans becoming the top of the food chain and establishing dominance over lesser animals. As populations increased, the demand for food outgrew the small farms and pastures of earlier times. In our not so distant past, animals were kept in less than desirable conditions. While animal rights activists may dwell on this scenario, at that time more concern was directed towards the conditions of the people of poorer and lower classes than of the livestock.
Today, the treatment of livestock is regulated more than at any other time in history, and most farmers have realized that animals that are treated better re healthier. Consumers think more highly of products that have labels such as “free range” and “grass fed” because it gives them the impression that these animals were treated well and therefore are healthier and of a higher quality. However, consumers must also consider their own economic limitations and therefore farmers must do the same.
Sadly, the idea of each chicken having its own quarter acre of land to peck and scratch upon is a fantasy due to the exorbitant amount of money that it would cost farmers and the limitations Of available land. Animal rights activists have many pinions about what we should not do to animals, but have no feasible alternative solutions to our dependence on animals as a food source. Animals must not be given equal consideration at the expense of human need. In the last century, medical research on animals was abundantly common and very little thought was given to comfort of laboratory animals that were experimented upon.
This was partially because animals were not given the status of humans in the scientific world and partially due to the fact that researchers needed to see the exact effects of whatever drug or product was being tested. Again, activists dwell on these practices, some which were avoidable and unnecessary, however today most scientific research practices do take into account the comfort of the lab animals, and every precaution is taken to minimize the suffering weatherboarding’s the research. Robert Irvine, writer of “Bioethics and Nonhuman Animals”, says that “…
Scientist and philosophers struggle to agree as to what constitutes pain, suffering, and thereby, claims as to the nature and importance of [animals] (Irvine 437). ” Animal rights activists believe that no medical testing on animals is justifiable, even though animal research has played an important part in almost every medical breakthrough. All modern vaccines and medicines were first tested on lab animals and no country has allowed direct testing with humans before medicines or procedures were first tested on animals.
Activists argue that the pain and suffering of the animals is unjustifiable, even if it means advances in procedures and medicines that could saves the lives of children, as well as other human beings. Animal testing has played an important role in the research for the cure and treatment of many diseases, such as cystic fibrosis. A majority of research for this disease is carried out on cell samples, but scientists cannot verify the effectiveness of the treatment unless tested on lab animals. Very few humans would choose to watch their own loved one suffer, just to spare a laboratory rat.
We humans must constantly continue to seek new therapies for the newly emerging diseases as well as age-old afflictions that are still life threatening. In regards to the discoveries of new treatments, one must make the simple decision as to spare human lives or animal lives. The Endangered Species Act of 1973 was put into place to help prevent the intended decrease in population of certain animals. This act has brought many animals back from the brink of extinction and brought about changes in practices that have improved the overall environment and the lives of humans as a side benefit.
As noble as this act is, its overzealous misuse by animal activists have cost humans millions of dollars each year. According to Mark Eddie, writer of Losing Ground: American Environmentalism at the Close of the Twentieth Century, “Cite latest group of environmentalists], like indigenous peoples around the world, believe that to protect human life, all fife must be protected; to protect human health, all life must be healthy (Eddie 255). ” If a landowner discovers that an endangered species is on his or her land, then the land is no longer allowed to be used.
Even if there are only signs that an endangered species was once in the area but no longer are there, the land is rendered useless due to the slight chance that the animal might return. Many court cases have prevented land owners from using land due to signs of endangered animal activity. They also must be financially responsible for periodic inspections and research on their land. They virtually cannot sell the land either, because nobody wants to buy land that is not viable for development. Laws put into place to help the survival of animals are causing humans to suffer, but animal rights activists feel that is justifiable.
They would rather see a small, useless, endangered mouse species continue to survive, at human expenses, than let the worthless mice disappear. Pets have been kept since the earliest ages as companions and hunting partners. These animals have become more and more domesticated over time, to the point where they would not be able to survive without the care of unman beings. For many, our pets have become members of the family and they are treated as such and are considered when making decisions that will affect them.
However, they are still just animals. In times of extreme emergency situations, these family members are rightfully moved to the bottom of the list of family concerns. Activists may think it horrible but pets are not accepted at emergency shelters during floods and are not part Of the rescue plan during disasters. We must put our own species first, because to choose an animal over a human life would be inhumane. According to John Phillips, writer of the article Activism and Trust: Animal Rights vs… Animal Welfare in the Food Supply Chain, “… Animal rights activists believe that animals should possess the same rights as human beings and should not be utilized by humans whatsoever (Phillips 94). ” Animals do not have the same levels of intelligence and comprehension that humans have, and therefore cannot be relied upon to make logical decisions and the right choices. If they did, then animals would not be living on farms and depending upon humans for everything they need. If they truly believe this, then activists also believe that animals should have the right to go to restaurants and eat from the same tables that we do.
This also means that animals should have healthcare, euthanasia would be considered murder, and if an animal is hit by a car it would be considered vehicular homicide. Animal activists seem to forget the human part of the equation. Traced Taylor, a professor quoted in Losing Ground: American Environmentalism at the Close of the Twentieth Century, says that “If it discovered that birds have lost their nesting sites, environmentalists go to great expense to erect nesting boxes ND find alternative breeding sites for them…
But we have yet to see an environmental group champion human homelessness or joblessness as issues on which they will spend vast resources (Eddie 126). ” We should be good stewards of our land, but remember that we are the ones created in God’s image and that our needs must be considered. Protecting wildlife should not be an afterthought, but nor should we be made to go to extremes to protect non-essential animals. Forcing a human to shoulder the burden of financial ruin to save a few more of a creature that no one will miss is an excess no one should demand another to take.
Humans are the dominant species. Animals can be considered family members, admired for their beauty and gracefulness, loved for their abilities and skills, but they are not our equals and we must be careful not to mistake them as such. We must continue to feed ourselves and our families. We should do whatever is necessary to keep our own species from extinction through diseases, even if that means continuing testing on laboratory animals. Landowners should have rights to use of their land or be compensated if regulation denies that right to do so.