Animal Rights( Re: A few comments to the Devils Advocat

Sat Jul 10 00:22:01 EST 1993

James.F.X.Wellehan wrote:

> In article <CSNET_MQ-101.930706190530.480 at>
> > Now on to the question above. I would answer no based on evidence
> > from recent human history. The ranking of human beings into groups
> > with differing legal statuses has lead to some very horrible things.
> (examples deleted)
> > Thus giving humans differing legal statuses based on inherent traits
> > can be a very dagerous president.
> Agreed.  If not an inherent trait, why should species have different
> legal statuses, then?

They should have differing statuses because legality is a human
construct designed for and by humans. Cows can't debate legality and
are thus unable to take part in any meaningful debate on law within a
human society. No non human organism has shown either the ability or
the potential to develope such an ability. Most retarded humans have
the potential to develope this ability on a low level.

It may be demonstrated that dolfins, gorillas, and chimps have this
capability, at some future date. If so we may have to reconsider how
we treat them.

In the case of lab animals and domestic animals you could argue that
we take care of them and expend resources to take care of them. In
excange for this benefit they repay us with their bodies as food or
research material. In other words a type of contract or complex
preditor prey relationship. Both sides derive some benefit. Although
I will grant you that we have the better part of the deal, but there
are lots of relationships in nature that appear uneven.

> > To a certain extent animals are given legal status based on
> > itellgence and yes cuteness. For instance you can do all sorts of
> > things to frogs and people won't care.
> Wouldn't an AR activist object to doing things to frogs?

Perhaps to appear consistant. In practic their literature and their
public appeals seem to focus almost completely on the plight of

In fact I did talk to an animal rights extreemist a few years ago
who wanted all animal research stoped because " it was evil" who
had no qualms about eating fish because they were so different from
> > Experiment on mamals and
> > people are up in arms.
> Mammals are commonly used in research.  Mice are one of the most common
> systems.
Salimanders, frogs, and fruit flys are also very commonly used. Not
to mention bacteria. Labs that are engaged in this research simply
arn't targets. The AR people no that setting fruitflys free and
saving poor enslaved bacteria just wouldn't get them the possitive
that saving cute little mice  or ( even better) cute little cats or
puppy dogs:).

> > Another example you can step on a fly in front
> > of a large group of people and no one would protest, NOT EVEN AN
> There are extremists who would definitely protest.

Ok name some. In fact I'll bet that if a mosqueto or black fly landed
on them they would try to swat it. I'll bet you a beer on it. Of
course you'll have to come to Guelph to collect :)))

> > > Basically I feel that we should reduce the suffering of animals
> > in labs as much as possible and if we can avoid using them in
> > learning some information we should. This means that some experiments
> > which cause extreem suffering to animals perhaps should not be done.
> > Further we should also try to reduce our dependence on animal
> > research.
> I agree with you.  (That doesn't mean I won't question my own position,
> though.)

I never said you shouldn't.
> > But right now ending animal research would criple medical research
> > and deny hope to millions of suffering people. I for one find the
> > relief of human suffering of the highest priority.
> The highest priority?  Why?  I'd consider continuation of the human
> species more important.
Are these goals mutually exclusive? I would think that any action that
would endanger humanity would automatically increase human suffering.
I can agree that preservation of humanity would be the most important
goal. But thats only because I human.

> > > Also, what if we engineered super-intelligent animals?  If they were
> > > vastly more intelligent than ourselves, would they have a right to
> > > experiment on us?
> >
> > No because we would be there creators and they should respect us more
> > than that for bringing them into being.
> Why should reptiles evolve into mammals?

There is no real reason as far as I know it just happened. Modern
reptiles and mamals are descended from a common ancestor.

>  Should we not experiment on
> any animal that is potentially a human ancestor?

No currently living animal is a human ancestor. Humans and the great
apes evolved from a common ancestor. That doesn't make chimps our
ancestors. So even if I were to say yes to your question that would
not exclude a single living form of animal.

> > Why should we want to creat
> > super-intelligent animals that would rule over us?
> So you think our evolution should stop with  H. sapiens, and we should
> not improve ourselves?

No. But creating a new for of life is not the same as humans evolving
in to something better. Your question seemed to imply creating some
new non-human form of life that was not descended from us, and thus
does not represent a new evolutionary step for humans.

Stephen A. Pluhar
SPLUHAR at CROP.UOGUELPH.CA           Dept. Crop Science  U. of Guelph
Phone: 519-824-4120 Ext. 4865      Guelph, Ontario, Canada. N1G 2W1

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