Injections OR Protection Although testing on animals seems the only way to further advance our medicine, technologies, and prevent products from harming people, it doesn't necessarily make it right. I think we can all agree that injecting defenseless animals with dangerous chemicals resulting in serious side effects or possible death is cruel and unusual. Coincidently, in the U. S. we consider such acts as illegal forms of punishment. Yet in the case of animals, it's called science.

Which leads to the question, what rights do animals have? Aren't animals and humans different which therefore lead to a different set of rules? So what exactly separates the two species? The answer might lie in searching for the differences between man and beast. Let us test the senses in order to see a difference there. Sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste are all common characteristics that both species share, except for a few instances in certain animals and certain disabled humans. Moving on, both are able to sense danger, evade danger, feel pain, sense positive and negative emotions, display affection and dislike.

The fact that we even test on animals is an admittance of the distinct similarities between the two. If man and animal were so different, there would be no gain in knowledge due to experimentation. This supports my claim that animals share the same intrinsic rights as humans. Therefore, animal rights should be protected somewhere in our nations constitution. Is it something so minute as having less legs, a set of thumbs and the ability to walk upright? Some would argue that animals are soulless beasts that walk the earth and exist only to serve man's purpose.

So why would there be such a thing as wild and untamed animals? They do not exist for the purpose of man and are able to carry on their lives self sufficiently. It is now obvious that animals can exist and thrive without human intervention. This refutes the possibility that animals are here only to serve under and function for the betterment of man. It is only through our intervention that we have dominated and controlled animal nature. Through our own perceived superiority, man has decided that animals are expendable for the greater good. As necessary as it may be to preserve human life, I don't think it's ethical to use animals as the testing ground for vanity products.

When I say vanity products I'm referring to hair, body, and make-up accessories. These things are not essential to our survival, in the hunter / gather sense of the word. So why will we maim and sacrifice animals for our own vanity? In a recent case study concerning toothpaste tests on animals, 200 baby rabbits are hooked up to "medieval stereotaxis devices are clamped onto animals' heads so that chemicals can be smeared on to their teeth." (web ) In other cases, it seem that through testing, we have discovered things like insulin that have served as important breakthroughs in medicine. Although we have discovered great things, how many little critters had to be put through severe psychological, physical pain and death in order to get to the end result. It is only a matter of time after reading this that one would pose the question; "what other way is there without testing on animals?" . To this, I think that if these advances in medicine are so necessary, why not use humans? Why should we exempt ourselves from the test process and use hundreds of animals in order to decide that the drug is OK for human use? It is an obvious example of a stronger species enslaving and dominating a weaker species.

A major step in rousing the awareness of people in the area of animal testing happened in 1976. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) started to consider alternative methods, not something thought of at the time. A paper that was presented contained the "three R's" which would later as the basis for much reform. These were replacement, reduction, and refinement The "3 R's" laid the groundwork for animal rights interest and activist groups to put together a few pieces of legislation. Three bills actually reached debate on the floor and this later led to several grants to develop alternative methods of animal testing. As almost anyone will agree, testing harsh chemicals and conducting genetic research on little bunny rabbits is cruel.

What we do in order to advance science and medicine comes at the cost of animal's well being and more importantly their lives. We, as a society, think that the ends justify the means as long as human lives are spared. Perhaps, like other areas of science, we may be able to use computers models for research data. This would allow us to gain knowledge of chemicals and their effects without actually harming the animal. Thus allowing us to maximize scientific knowledge and minimize the negatives of testing. My contention is that animals are unable to fight for their rights and that is the role of the people to fight for them.

As responsible and caring individuals, we must observe the intrinsic rights of animals.