Animal intelligence has been widely underestimated, says primatologist Frans de Waal – The Washington Post
I spent many of my formative years feeling confused and frustrated at the way most humans appeared to categorise all other animals as “dumb”. They somehow use this assumed lesser or non-existent intellect to justify using and abusing other species (think: farm animals, think: lab animals). I still feel confused and frustrated; but this article and new research gives us hope that we can finally comprehend some of the understanding, awareness and ‘intelligence’ of other animals, and then learn to respect and honour it.
I cringe at how much laboratory animals must suffer at our violent, arrogant hands.
Remember: the animal rights movement is a social justice movement. If you believe in freedom of speech, the right to a peaceful life without the threat of violence and war, protecting the young and innocent from violence and abuse, if you believe in protecting and defending female rights and control over their own reproductive system, if you believe in absolute equality, liberty and justice as a whole, then why aren’t you also defending all non-human animals’ rights? We are all animals. Respect for life is respect for life, regardless of the species that life belongs to.
Speech by Philip Wollen. Art by Jo Frederiks.
Are you vegan yet?
Lab research is a moral and ethical minefield. Many will correctly argue that, without using animals in research, we would not have discovered many of the cures and treatment methods we have now. However, that presumes we would not have found alternative/better treatments using other (non-animal research-based) methods. Many of our greatest medicines are either originally naturally sourced (plants, minerals etc.) or were discovered through observation of natural phenomena in a non-experimental setting. We now disregard too many natural sources, and have destroyed others before they could ever be discovered.
I think most would agree that pharmaceutical companies are trillion dollar conglomerates with far too much power and influence. They now control our lives when we are sick, and can dictate life or death by how much we are willing/can afford to pay to live.
And, of course, the bottom line is that – long ago – we abused our power and presumed to have control over all other animals’ lives, and we still presume that power. I don’t belive that we have the right to inflict suffering on other species for our benefit. Who are we to torture, abuse and painfully take innocent lives? The mentality that this behaviour is acceptable is the mentality of psychopaths.
We should support and heavily fund all new non-animal research-based methods of finding new medicines. There are plenty of good organisations and research bodies looking at and using new methods. The Dr. Hadwen Trust is one of these and is well worth supporting.
Shame it’s just Nevada, and not the entire world. In fact, skip that. How about we stop using animals in research?
If you’re vegan you’ve probably already heard this speech. You’ve probably also seen the anti-Yourofsky propaganda. As with all things, use your intellect and make up your own mind. Either way, great lecture.
Truth. Justice. Compassion. Equality. Freedom.