Animal Rights- My Opinion

Animal Rights- My Opinion

Animal Rights. When you hear that, what do you think of? What do you visualize? Do you think of elephants voting, monkeys running for president, or donkeys driving? Maybe, but that is far from what it actually is. Animal rights are the rights believed to belong to any animal to live free from medical research, science experiments, hunting, and any other service to humans. 


Doing science experiments or condoning medical research while using an animal is extremely cruel to animals and is inhumane. The innocent animals are force-fed, forced to inhale toxic chemicals, starved, dehydrated, physically restrained, and most likely have injuries such as burns. They are often killed by neck-breaking, carbon dioxide suffocation, and decapitation. When makeup is tested, scientists use a Draize eye test. This is where an animal, like a bunny, is in a stock with their eyes held open by clips. Sometimes, they are open for a couple of days so the bunnies can’t blink the substance away. More than 50% die during this test. In 2016, 71,370 animals suffered in pain and were not given any anesthesia for comfort. 


More than 38 million Americans hunt. Can you imagine how much forest life has decreased? 13 animal species have gone extinct in the past 200 years just from hunting alone. Now, hunting is more about bragging to people what you shot, rather than necessity. Shooting the animals and missing the “kill-shot” causes them to suffer. The injuries may cause the animal to be rejected by its kind, and later be used as food to the animal kingdom. When they get hurt, they can’t take themselves to hospitals, so they just suffer from their wounds until they die.


Almost everyone has seen the zoo or circus, right? Those trips made up your childhood and they were a blast. But have you ever thought about the stuff that goes on behind the scenes? At the circus, the elephants spend 96% of their lives in chains or in cages. They spend 11 months traveling in the same box cart. When they do get outside, they are hit, poked, and shocked with electrical prods as a means of training them or forcing them to perform. Most of the performance arenas are not inspected by the USDA for animal safety. Zoos keep animals in enclosures that resemble nothing to their natural home. Often times, they are too small and the animals can barely move around. But, no matter how big they make the space, the animals deserve to live where they were meant to live. There are also limited numbers of animals at the zoo. For example, elephants travel in large groups, but oftentimes at zoos, they are in groups of two or three. Animals can also get stressed and pace back and forth, sit motionlessly, or bob their heads a lot. They can also get depression, psychosis, and extreme boredom. Some zoos will give their animals tranquilizers or antidepressants to control their behavior. They are unhappy because they get no exercise, no privacy, and they have no mental stimulation. No animal ever gets used to being held captive. Especially the animals who are born to hunt. Instead of hunting naturally, the zoo gives them a strictly monitored diet. Instead of getting their exercise when they hunt and run, they don’t get any anymore and it isn’t fair to the animals.     


While hunting may be necessary for some regions for species population control, science experiments are needed for new scientific developments, and zoos, as well as circuses, bring about great enjoyment for families, this is at a huge detriment to the lives of the animals who often are negatively affected, if not murdered, by the actions humans have taken for their own needs, wants or desires. Animals should have the right to live freely,  regardless of all human desire for consumption and entertainment. If we’re able to bring dogs and cats into our homes and love them as family, why can’t we extend this same love to all animals? Elephants can’t vote, monkeys can’t run for president, and donkeys can’t drive, but they can all live freely and the circle of life can continue as intended, rather than at the hands of humans.