Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Cats and Creationism

"In my humble opinion, non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as is cooperation with good" - Gandi

Evil means: Morally bad or wrong; wicked; Causing ruin, injury, or pain; harmful. Evil is normally accompanied by intention to do wrong or a disregard for doing wrong.

I think that it is inherently wrong (perhaps evil) to conduct experiments on animals and for me, most particularly on cats, although I treat all animals the same.

Cats apparently are used for neurological research. More then 25,000 were used in the USA in year 2000. More than 50% suffered pain and or distress. I refer to animal testing on Safari cats (a tamed wild cat of great distinction and presence) in my website Pictures of Cats on this page. These wonderful cats were "tested to destruction" (as are cars in their manufacture).

I believe that we should do our best to improve the amount of contentment in the world. That means for ourselves as that improves the overall level of world contentment and for others. As I have said by "others" I means all fellow animals including human animals.

A lot of people agree with animal testing. Who are these people? If we know who they are we may be able to understand why they think like that. One thing is for sure, people who condone animal testing must think that humans are "special" or different from animals. This allows them to cause pain on an animal in the interests of the "special" human. In other words if the person causing pain on an animal knows he is causing pain then he must think that it is a reasonable "trade off" in the interests of benefiting mankind.

In other words he decides to impose suffering on a fellow creature on the possibility (and it is only a possibility) of alleviating suffering in humans. In a way he is playing a being a kind of god, with the right to make such a huge decision.

This thought process is dependent somewhat on the evolution of mankind in that as we become more civilised we begin to realise and understand better. Think for example of the kind of punishment handed out to criminals. We used to do terrible things to convicted criminals. They now have rights equal to non-criminals (although some say the pendulum has swung to far).

Think also of modern research about fellow animals. We now know that monkeys have better memories than university undergraduates and can do simple maths calculations better than undergraduates. We are only beginning to understand the cognitive abilities of other animals.

One such group of people who a likely to believe that they are superior to cats and other animals are people who call themselves Creationists. They believe that the earth was created by a god as described in the Bible. In other words they disagree with Darwin's theory of evolution. Why? Because they don't like the idea of being descendants of the apes. It is just too horrible a thought to contemplate.

For me these people are too arrogant and full of themselves to be open to the prospect of being one removed from an ape. There is also a substantial degree of ignorance in many. A toxic combination of arrogance and ignorance (of the emotions and pain caused to animals through animal testing) lead people to do this.

I am not though saying that all Creationists are evil or harm animals; just that these beliefs could lead to the harm of animals if the other conditions are present (ignorance and arrogance)

There is one more driving condition: commercialism. Animal testing is conducted by large companies and it is expedient to test on animals. It would cost more and be slower to test in another way.

Expediency and short-termism is a condition of mankind. Back to the Gandi quotation. We should not buy products from companies that condone animal testing. In that way we exercise peaceful non-cooperation to effect change.

...more to come.

Photographs of pie chart and graph copyright cpurrin1 under creative commons

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