Companies that develop various products for human use require regular testing of the products to ascertain the safety of use. Due to the uncertainty new products may come with, inventors had to develop a way to ensure that every product is safe for human consumption before being released into the market. Scientists and product inventors turned to animals such as pigs, monkeys, and rats, among others for scientific testing. Such tests may be severe to the extent of causing pain and changing the quality of life to the animals. Some people argue that the experiments are cruel and unethical as supported by the Divine Command Theory and Kantian Theory. However, some argue that the tests are harmless and beneficial to the world using the utilitarian theory.
Objectors of animal experiments argue that they are a form of cruelty mainly because they cause pain and interfere with the ordinary lives of animals. The Divine Command Theory directs that humans are obliged to protect and care for the animals thus proving that animals are supposed to be taken care of and given a healthy life. Similarly, the Kantian theory goes to show that the experiments are not justified just because they benefit humanity (Groves, 2001). One such cruelty is seen in the cosmetic industry where rabbits are used to test if products irritate the eyes, which leaves most rabbits with sore eyes before a harmless product can be identified. The Kantian theory shows that wanting to give humans irritant-free products is not enough to inflict such pain on the animals.
However, some use the utilitarian theory to argue that experiments on animals cannot be termed as cruelty. The theory states that consequences overrule means, where whatever done to animals is considered right if it brings a balanced result of advantages and benefits compared to the range pain animals go through (Blazina, Boyra, & Shen-Miller, 2011). Thus the argument that experimentation and testing are necessary to prevent harm and in some cases death, of humans. The theory, however, fails to identify with the animal’s side and does not put into account the life and feelings of the animals once experimented on. Animals should be handled like other creatures, and the fact that they are unable to voice out complaints should not subject them to harm.
Blazina, C., Boyra, G., & Shen-Miller, D. S. (2011). The psychology of the human-animal bond. New York, NY, USA:: Springer.
Groves, J. M. (2001). Animal rights and the politics of emotion: folk constructs of emotions in the animal rights movement. Passionate politics: Emotions and social movements, 212- 229.