Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Ya callin' me an anti-humanist or somethin'?

Initial Subject: Re: "Animal rights camp to export terror" (Telegraph, UK)
Stimulus: "I'm all for treating animals well and getting rid of unnecessary torturous experiments, like cosmetics, but the truth is.. we do need animal testing for many medical problems. If you have diabetes, you can thank the chimps who were experimented on to come up with glucose balancing medicine. Ditto for thyroid medication and other medicines many of us take daily and don't think twice about. Yes, maybe we should just die and decrease the surplus population. I already hear your argument, Aurey ;-)"
I never said I was in favour of PETA and similarly-aggressive groups, nor of forcing an end to all animal testing.

Heh....well, my argument is in favour of medical research, but not in
pushing the envelope of life too hard and too greedily....
I'm more in favour of having people lead healthier and more
able/fulfilling lives rather than necessarily longer ones, and I
think that more attention needs to be paid to prenatal (and pre-
procreation at all) health of both parents and child, rather than
having every extreme premature case "rescued" and put on an incubator
no matter how remotely viable. Besides, I'm also all for reducing
the chasm in quality of health care between rich and poor, and I
think that financing/resources are often far better alotted to making
sure that medical advancements and due professional attention are
made available to as many people as possible in all regions, rather
than pushing on constantly ahead on cutting-edge advancements that
will only widen the divide between those who can afford the best in
care (both necessary and elective/cosmetic) and those who can't.
And yeah, I think that PETA is scary. Personally, I don't see why so
many celebrities support/do ads for them, unless there's some sort of
a Scientology-type different angle that they're being fed. I'm
against J-Lo using fur in her fashions (as demand increases
hunting/farming, not to mention that I can't stand J-Lo anyhow),
but I don't deny its virtues as a practical covering if the
climate/weather demands, and I'm not against leather, especially not
so long as there's a meat industry in the first place that results in
hides being harvested.
[And don't try to push veganism on me as an ultimate ideal, 'cause
I'm well aware from my own and my siblings' allergies/sensitivities
that no, soy is
not the answer to everything. Different people
have different needs and issues--deal with it. Personally, I was
born an omnivore.]
I think that there should be more effort in fashion/design to make
faux animal materials look convincing and wear better so that there
is less visual prestige to having 'the real thing'.

Oh, and I hate seeing roadkill on the highways where animals can't
cross any other way, and I think that game hunting these days is
hardly a credible sport, especially as culling "trophy" animals is
against the natural practice of predators. All of which falls under
the general heading of selfishness, hurry and unfair advantage. But
I know that medical research animals are generally treated well and
valued for their (albeit involuntary) contributions...well, make that
more of an "I knew that..."--because scientific research may well
have gotten more callous since its pioneering days, what with
corporate expansion and incentives. But I hardly see them getting
more humane on the whole with having to be on the defensive against
targeted ideological attacks. There needs to be a middle ground, and
neither the radicals (who want a war and are preparing for it) nor
the pharmaceutical companies (who want their profits unhampered by
public controversy) are making use of it.


P.S.--My family's total past and current ecological affiliations
include Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, the World Wildlife Foundation,
the National Wildlife Federation, the Nature Conservancy, the Audubon
Society, the Coalition of Concerned Scientists -- and Brookfield
Zoo. Just to be comprehensive about it.

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