Animal rights and the food industry

Essay by dcalaisCollege, UndergraduateA, August 2013

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Ethics 400

Ethical Treatment of Animals

The issue of animal rights is very complex. When referring to the ethical treatment of animals, it seems as though everyone has an opinion. Some people are "meat eaters" and consume meat at nearly every meal. They may argue that this is survival and is justified; they would further argue that animals are not humans and were put on this earth for the benefit of man. Many also believe that it is necessary to use animals in medical research. They believe that testing various substances on animals may lead to finding new medical solutions, medicines, and treatments. There are also those that believe vegetarianism is "in fashion" while fur coats are no longer acceptable. When it comes to the treatment of animals, the range can vary from extreme animal haters to extreme animal lovers. The first group can be very cruel to animals and have no concern for their welfare, while the second group has more of a tendency to treat pets as equals and consider them members of the family.

Things are not just black and white regarding the ethical treatment of animals, as there seems to be many shades of grey depending on the person asked. For example, my stepfather has no problem consuming range fed, antibiotic and hormone free meat products, but is adamantly opposed to the use of animal testing in cosmetic research.

How are animals supposed to be treated? That is a question that has been debated by many. There are those that wonder what is the right and wrong way to treat animals. Should there be animal testing? I personally believe that it comes down to an individual's moral beliefs, and what they feel in their heart of hearts is right or wrong. "Applied ethology has a continuing...