By Kevin Hile
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Additional resources for Animal Rights (Point Counterpoint)
Point1 1/14/04 6:56 AM Page 39 Animals Are Worthy of Certain Rights about the right to vote or to drive. That would be entirely useless to animals. But simply that we give equal consideration to the needs of animals. . 12 Another term animal rights groups use is anthropocentrism, which is basically the belief that human beings think the world revolves around them and that the world should be interpreted only in human terms. This can be a dangerous philosophy that will harm not only animals but humans as well.
Some studies seem to have shown that at least some animals possess this quality. Chimpanzees and bottlenose dolphins, for instance, are able to recognize themselves in a mirror and distinguish themselves as separate from others of their own kind. In the case of dolphins, self-consciousness was demonstrated in an experiment performed by Diana Reiss at the Wildlife Conservation Society in which the cetaceans’ bodies were drawn on with odorless markers. After they were marked, the dolphins immediately swam to mirrors to check themselves out.
The Silver Spring Monkeys case exposes laboratory conditions. Laboratory conditions are another big concern for animal rights groups. While many researchers keep clean labs and properly feed their animals in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act, this has not always been the case. An infamous example of researcher abuse of animals has come to be known as the Silver Spring Monkey Case. PETA cofounder Alex Pacheco, who in 1981 was studying political science and environmental studies at George Washington University, decided to gain some laboratory experience by volunteering at the Institute for Behavioral Research in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Animal Rights (Point Counterpoint) by Kevin Hile