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Tom Regan Animal Rights Summary

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In his work, Tom Regan establishes the rights of animals used in scientific research. He argues that when animals are used as objects of experiment, they are not respected and their inherent value is not acknowledged. Having inherent value, as defined by Regan, is a state, in which a being is not just a vessel, but a being with a complex mental life. All who have inherent value are to have it equally. It does not come in degrees and is not dependent on the being’s experiences and usefulness. Regan argues that if something has inherent value, it has rights and therefore deserves respect. An animal’s value is no less than a human’s, even when we fail to find an alternative in pursuing our goals. Our chosen goals should never be associated with…show more content…
He says that in order to be viewed as a subject of life, one must attain a degree of physical maturity as well. This is why the use of newly born mammalian animals should stand outside the scope of scientific research. Humans should not do as they please to infant mammalian animals despite them being vulnerable and animals incapable of escaping human authority. Regan uses the Kantian view in saying that human beings have no obligation to animals nor do we have control over them. Allowing the use of animals promotes thinking that they are just objects of experiment. Because a subject of life has value, their value should be recognized. It is stated that humans are very ignorant when it comes to a matter filled with moral…show more content…
In this time and age, countless advances in technology have been made, including ones that respond to Regan’s point. These modern methods include sophisticated tests using human cells and tissues, advanced computer-modeling techniques, and studies with human volunteers. These may even lead to more accurate results. I argue that animal testing is wasteful because it prolongs the suffering of humans waiting for results of misleading experiments. Not all tests done to animals apply to humans, for our genetic makeup and composition differ from each other. Given that there are several alternatives at present, there is no logical reason for humans to violate animal rights in laboratory experiments. The use of traditional animal testing today shows an irrational, unjust, cruel act of human selfishness. Although I acknowledge most of Regan’s claims, I do not agree with his statement “…if that means that there are some things we cannot learn, then so be it. There are also some things we cannot learn by using humans, if we respect their rights”. Opposing this claim, humans strive to search for new knowledge. It is in our nature to diligently try to discover new things, new ideas and new solutions to our problems. Only when rights are violated is when we should give up on what we are searching for if an alternative is not
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