Would it be selfish for humans to see themselves as superior to others, enough to value the life of another human over that of an animal? I can understand that it is Human Nature to see one's species is superior to another, and even a feeling of superiority within the species, subdivided by race. To avoid giving my view an overly-sensationalist touch to it, I wish to know why it is that the life of a human is more important than the life of an animal.
Why is it that testing on animals is justifiable yet testing other humans is seen as wrong and immoral? After all, if the testing is meant to improve the life of other human beings, why not just test on another human? As much as I know that it would be idiotic to think that a view on testing can change anything, and knowing that it probably will never stop as long as there are diseases and vaccines to test, suggestion would be to limit testing to volunteer Humans and non-human primates. I do not see the testing on non-human primates as right or ethical, however it would be a compromise.
On to the Euthanasia of Animals compared to assisted suicide of humans:
Why is it that animals are 'put down' because they can not find owners to take care of them, while those with terminal illnesses and those who suffer from chronic pain disorders are forced to suffer? I do not envy either side, as one remains alive to experience the constant horrors and suffering so the 'loved ones' can delay the inevitable and watch the sufferer just... suffer. Many people believe that religion is a valid reason to stop this, however I will not accept it as a viable answer. Religion is a highly debatable topic and I would rather keep it out of this debate, but my reason is that not everyone shares the same views, and thus one person who does not should be held to suffer because the 'loved one' believes it is a sin, or that their deity is testing them by putting them in such an agonizing position anyway.
I also do not envy the Animals that are put down either... is it not cruel to kill an animal because no one will accept it, yet to have orphanages and foster homes for human children to be adopted? Compare the orphanage to an animal shelter if you will; if a child is not adopted by a certain age, they go to a foster home and are taken care of until someone will adopt them, otherwise they just turn an adult and go on with their life (I have not done much research on the adoption process, correct me if I am wrong). However, for an animal, one that will not be adopted in a couple of weeks, and since majority of the ones adopted at the ones that are kittens and those with previous owners that just abandon them or are unable to take care of them, or worse, are rescued from abusive owners (next issue discussed) are all put to sleep because no one wants them. They are killed because no human wants to own one. Why is this justifiable? Overpopulation maybe? (Another topic I will discuss). A compromise would be something similar to foster homes for domestic animals, or some way to prolong the ticking clock that counts down their inevitable death; to be 'put-down' because they become an 'inconvenience,' but when a human is in massive pain and wishes to end it, their death would be an 'inconvenience' to the 'loved ones' which, pardon me for saying, is rather selfish.
On to animal abuse and crimes for doing it:
Killing another human being is consider wrong by society unless it is in self defense, and even then it is debated upon whether or not killing an attacker is actually 'self defense' or just murder. The jail time is normally around... what, 25 to life? Life in jail for just killing a human... and I say 'just' because killing an animal can land you from 2 to 5 years in prison... and even then, if you have a good lawyer and make it seem like an 'accident' then you won't even have to worry about it. Those whom are caught abusing animals, or worse, killing them, get minor time, while killing a human can land you in jail for the rest of your life. If someone is abusing an animal and the animal retaliates, the animal is the one that is 'put to sleep' and the one who is abusing the animals gets away or with minor jail time. Although, I do not deny that there are cases where an abused animal does win in a case against an abuser, the cases are to few and far between, and the court favors humanity.
Another thing, on the road if you do not make an active attempt to miss a person in the middle of the road for whatever stupid reason, you get charged with either murder or manslaughter. However, hit an animal? Keep going, just roadkill, nothing to see here. Matter of fact, if you did try to swerve out of the way of an animal (unless it's a deer, which is killer, literally, to you and your car) you would be ridiculed for doing so and possibly even arrested for endangering other drivers. If one has to endanger the lives of others by swerving out of the way due to some person's stupidity, why not the same for animals? If you do not for animals, then why do you have to for Humans? After all, the Human (assuming not suffering from mental retardation) should know that it is wrong to cross the street in the middle of an intersection or Highway, right? Compromise: Raise the jail time for killing an animal intentionally to 10 years per animal. If the person is a child under the age of 13, have them admitted to a psychiatrist. No laws on roadkill, but discourage it, arrest those who go out of their way to kill an animal, but do not punish those who at least not make an attempt to miss it.
There are over 8 Billion humans in this world. That is a LOT of humans out there. In fact, there are so many that a certain country, China, was it? Had the highly controversial "One-Child" policy. It has had many pros and very few cons, but one of the cons was that it infringed "Human rights and forced abortion" which is much more humane than, say, killing X amount of Y should stop Z from happening... why not apply this to humans as well? The One-Child policy has had positive effects economically and increased the overall health (No more lack of resources, ain't that grand?). Why not just limit all humans to have an X amount of children? Or, like they do animals, euthanize them? Start with the sick and elderly, eh? Or perhaps the young? Or, not even differentiate and kill at random until there are an ideal amount of humans alive, right guys? Guys? Guys? Compromise? Have a One-Child policy all over the world and enforce it, that way it would definitely cut back on the resource problem we are experience, especially since we are not the only ones using the resources y'know, animals do too (talking about forests, food, water, etc.)
Last but not least, the value in and of itself:
Why is it that Humans value the life of another human over an animal, perhaps even a pet of their own? I have asked quite a few people I know who they would choose to save, their beloved pet, or a stranger. Majority of them said they would save a human in an instant, but could never explain why, at least not logically, just that they felt it was right. There were few that said that they would hesitate and have to think it over and would depend on the "context" although I already explained the hypothetical situation to them. I however, would not hesitate to save the life of my cat over the life of a stranger. However, I do not value the life of an Animal above that of a Human, but rather I view all life as equal and my choice would be based on sentimental attachment. I would choose my mother over my cat in a heartbeat, but my cat comes above the lives of many, including other cats. I would save both, however, if possible.
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