The issue of treating animals as equal to humans is one of the most controversial questions related to ethics and morality. Scientists use animals in experiments because this practice can contribute significantly to improving the quality of the people’s life and to developing lifesaving therapies. However, the people’s opinions on the ethical context of the issue are rather different. From this point, animal experimentation cannot be discussed only from one perspective, and the evaluation of different visions is necessary.
In spite of the fact that it is possible to find the arguments to support the idea of using animals in experiments, animal experimentation cannot be discussed as the ethical procedure because animals have the right to avoid sufferings as any other creatures without references to the idea that humans’ interests in the case are of the higher priority.
Those animals which are used in experiments have to feel pain and suffer for the benefit of humanity because this procedure is important for scientists to find the new ways of overcoming certain diseases and health problems. Nevertheless, people do not have ethical rights to cause animals’ sufferings in order to satisfy their needs.
Animals also have definite needs, and their rights should be taken into account. It is stated that animals can feel pain and pleasure as well as humans. Thus, using animals in experiments, people work to affect animals’ sufferings, and they become feeling pain. Although it is inappropriate to treat animals and people equally, it is important to pay attention to the fact that people are more persistent while discussing the problem of pain and sufferings in relation to humans.
As a result, the consequences of false morality are observed, and thousands of animals are used in experiments because they are discussed as belonging to the lower species. Furthermore, it is also immoral to distinguish between animals according to their species, size, and abilities because all of them belong to living creatures who can suffer as humans do.
A man has achieved significant results in developing technologies and science. Today, it is possible to find the relevant methods to assess medicines and procedures or to learn the necessary information on diseases without involving animals in experiments which can be harmful for them.
If this problem was more controversial decades ago because of the level of the scientific progress, nowadays this question is more associated with the aspects of morality and ethical treatment of animals. The reasons to discuss the experience of animal experimentation as immoral are connected with the idea that animals live not to satisfy the people’s needs, but to respond to their own needs which can seem insignificant for people.
In spite of the fact that people can see animals’ needs and interests as insignificant, humans cannot reject the fact that animals are born to live a pleasant and painless life as any other living creature. While using animals in experiments, people become torturers for those creatures who cannot protect themselves from the stronger humans.
Focusing on the idea that animals feel pleasure and pain as people do, it is important to discuss the ethical issue of using animals in experiments from the Utilitarian perspective. Utilitarianism is based on the idea that the action can be discussed as moral only after evaluating its consequences for the humanity because of the focus on the greatest happiness.
Two main concepts operated by the Utilitarian philosophers are pleasure and pain. Thus, people should concentrate on actions which result in pleasure and happiness for many people, and they should avoid those actions which can result in pain.
These actions are considered as immoral in their nature. Answering the discussed questions from the Utilitarian perspective, it is important to pay attention to the fact that the classical vision of Utilitarianism differs from modern interpretations of this theory. Thus, following the discussions by Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, it is possible to conclude that the usage of animals in experiments has the positive and moral consequences for the mankind as well as the use of animals for clothing and food.
The goal of greater happiness can be easily achieved, if these experiments contribute to relieving the people’s pain and sufferings. However, Peter Singer concentrates on the fact that in their interests and needs animals are close to people regarding their rights to be protected from pain. Causing pain and sufferings during the experiments, people act immorally because important purposes cannot justify the acts of discrimination directed toward animals because of their species.
Thus, having chosen the Utilitarian approach to discussion of the issue, it is necessary to pay attention to rather opposite opinions of the classical and modern Utilitarian philosophers on the problem. The variety of interpretations can be discussed as the weakness of the approach.
Nevertheless, people can agree that concentrating on the greater happiness as the positive consequence which can justify people’s actions, it is also significant to take into consideration the interests of animals as living creatures in relation to the process. In this case, the universal happiness proclaimed by the Utilitarian philosophers can be achieved completely.