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Animal experimentation- should it be stopped?

A small, shivering cat is kept awake for 43 hours by the ever-present shocks delivered directly to her brain. Sleep-deprived and dazed with pain, she tries to moan in pain but is unable to, as her vocal cords were cut so as not to disturb the scientists. All she can do is shake and hope it ends soon which, fortunately, it will. Tomorrow, the scientists will decapacitate her and remove her brain to study the effects of their experiment. I wish I could say that this was all made up, untrue, false. But this is a real thing, happening worldwide. 100 to 300 million animals die in laboratory experiments each day. It is thus argued that animal experimentation is morally unjustifiable as animals have a right to not be exploited. It is wrong to inflict injury and diseases, that would otherwise not be experienced by animals, for our own purposes and using countless animal lives as a means to an end is unethical.

However, on the other hand, it is argued that animal experimentation is morally justifiable as it leads to cures for diseases. Scientific experiments that resulted in the protection of millions of human beings from diphtheria, hepatitis, measles, rabies, rubella and tetanus all used animals. Scientific experiments that are now in progress to combat AIDS, lyme disease, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and cancer are all using animals. Indeed, animal research has contributed to 70% of the Nobel prizes for physiology or medicine; many award-winning scientists say they could not have made their discoveries without animals. Polio would still be claiming hundreds of lives a year in Britain if it was not for animal research by the Nobel laureate Albert Sabin. To quote him, ‘There could have been no oral polio vaccine without the use of innumerable animals’.

The arguments for and against animal experimentation have been voiced time and time again. But it is still difficult to conclusively state whether animal experimentation is morally justifiable or morally unjustifiable and thus whether it should be stopped. I believe that this is due to the fact that man is, by nature, primarily self-centered. People do almost everything to suit their own purposes and though they would feel bad for the animals that are undergoing excruciating pain, they find it hard to condemn the research that has the potential to bring their family, friends and themselves cures for diseases that were otherwise deemed incurable. As such, I believe that the argument as to whether animal experimentation should be stopped will never reach any definitive conclusion until another alternative, which is feasible and can replace all the merits that animal experimentation can provide, is found.

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Link: http://listverse.com/2008/11/20/10-extreme-examples-of-gender-inequality/

This is a great list of ten extreme examples of gender inequality and highlights very important issues of gender-specific human rights violations.

We should note, though, that only female inequality is included as it is usually, if not always, the girls who would be treated unfairly and not the guys.

There are some very hard hitting emotional stories included, like how 15 girls were forbidden from leaving a burning building by the Saudi Arabian religious police because their heads weren’t properly veiled which resulted in all of them dying. It is truly makes hard to believe that such inequalities still exist and it disgusts me to find that in China, girls can be strangled by their own umbilical cord after being born because their parents want a male child.

The examples of gender inequality given above are the most extreme cases, as mentioned by it’s title, but there are many other smaller cases of gender inequality existing even in western societies,. Women can get smaller salaries than men on average and the majority of top level management posts ate filled by men. The situation is improving though, and I can only hope that in the future the divide narrows further.

Jokes constantly go around about women’s incompetencies in certain things like driving. I, myself, have encountered cases where whenever a bad driver is seen, it is assumed to be a female. Even though, many times they do happen to be females, I am sure that there are many male drivers who are incompetent and female drivers who are incompetent. It pains me to see such stereotyping.

Furthermore, there are always jokes about how women should simply stay in the kitchen, the most recent of which is a trend for guys to say ‘Go make me a sandwich’ to girls. Below is a great example of such jokes circulating the internet.

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I am a guy, but I am uncertain if it is too much to hope that someday the entire world will accord rights fairly to both genders.

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