Respect Animal Life

Even simple contact with laboratory workers is scary for animals. -Jonathan Balcombe Tests on animals are ethically unacceptable. However, in most cases they are just a legal formality. Many unauthorized tests are conducted on these animals to sell potentially dangerous products. The laboratory life of animals involves social isolation, environmental disturbances and lack of stimulating environment. Millions of animals are used every year to assess the potential health hazards of cosmetics, soaps, pesticides etc.

Laboratory research involves use of helpless creatures in cruel and merciless manner. Two of the most common tests conducted on animals are the Draize Test (eye and skin irritancy test) and the Lethal Dose 50(LD50). The Draize test is performed almost exclusively on albino rabbits because they are not equipped with tear ducts and are available in reasonable costs. Its reactions include inflammation, ulceration, and rupture of eyeball, corrosion and bleeding. LD 50 test is used to assess the potency of Botox Cosmetic and similar products. Mice are injected with samples from each batch of toxin that leads to death of almost half of mice used in experiment. Mice experience a wave of paralysis.

Apart from pain and suffering caused by tests, the action should be to take steps to save lives of animals in forests and wildlife parks. In India, one horned Asiatic Rhinoceros are under threat of poaching. Elephants are illegally traded outside the country for its organs. As on June 2001 lions hold only a small fraction of their former habitat. In 2008, the Government of India conceded that there are less than 1,200 tigers left as compared to 1,827 tigers in 1972. The corruption of local authorities and exploitation of local communities are responsible for downfall in numbers of tigers. Though approximately US$ 75 million is spent annually by the Government to ensure survival of Bengal tiger, we are unable to save them. Among the efforts of government, a major step was taken in 1975 when Project Tiger was launched. The survival of Himalayan marmot is under threat as per study conducted by the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI).

All animals seek to protect their own lives, preserve their freedom, seek what gives them pleasure and avoid what gives them displeasure or pain. So, why we human beings are going against their natural instincts and are becoming masters of their lives. Human pride seems to be a major issue, hindering animals from receiving the respect they deserve. We must remember that in their protection lies our own survival. Any practice that fails to respect the rights of animals is wrong, irrespective of human need, context and culture. How can we forget that under Indian culture, animals were treated as symbolizing Gods? The solution lies in abolishing medical research on animals, dissolution of commercial animal agriculture and prohibiting trapping and hunting.

Let’s come forward and believe that right to life of all is universal and inherent in itself

Bhumika Sharma


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