The following is a response to an article in the Sunday Business post by Patricia Casey, on 9/7/06, relating to scientific experimental genetics.
I found Patricia Casey’s article on the ethical question of whether life that is developed in a test tube should be treated with the same “respect” as other forms of human life, interesting and thought provoking.However, I could not but be moved to progress the discussion further, as I feel the article touches on another area of ethical concern to humanity, this being our treatment of animals.
Patricia says “Depriving the voiceless of their rights as humans and classifying them as non- persons is the same mind-set of superiority that allowed Africans to be slaves, and women as chattels of men.” This is correct, as the dehumanization of a people/group in order to better facilitate their control and exploitation is a common tool used for centuries.The Nazi’s perfected similar techniques to facilitate genocide. I wish to suggest that we do the same to animals and that animal life should added to that list. To me, it seems like a logical inclusion. Why should we cut animals out of this “circle of compassion? I wish also to suggest that mankind will continue in a state of stultified distemper until we learn to extend our compassion to animals.
I frankly find the myopia of civilized society frightening; we have sanitized our mindless slaughter of millions of animals with bubble wrap, funky tunes and smiling clowns. The reality is one of terrible pain and needless suffering. Worse is done in laboratories in the name of medicine. In my opinion, it is a profit fueled scam, where the losers are innocent animals and vulnerable sick people who are being peddled hope by greedy amoral pharmaceutical companies.
Merely viewing animals as an empty genetic accident easily faciliates our expoitation of them.
It is my personal belief, that the soul that resides in my body is the same that animates the cow, the dog or ant. That the soul is therefore qualitively the same, but in a state of evolution. We then have a responsibility to not abuse the power we have as humans over animals.
To conclude, the relationship mankind has with animals is one of guardianship, and should be harmonious. If we can learn this, maybe there will be peace in our world.