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How animals are like us and should stop being abused.

Updated on September 1, 2012
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A follow up article with more details will be posted soon. This will include genetic relations, and mirror neurons.

© Copyright 2012

This article has to do with medicine because it describes how animals are entitled to the same level of humane treatment due to the similarities between us.

More than 25 million animals are used in research every year. After the experiments conclude, the survivors are killed. These animals are treated with no rights because they are considered inferior things to play with. That they are not as evolved as we are but we wouldn’t exploit the mentally slow, yet we feel it is ok to do this to animals. Animal rights are a movement that intends to keep all animals from basically anything that causes them suffering and being subject to torture and exploitation. There are so many ways that animals are mistreated, whether it is as a puppet in circuses or for human entertainment, or murdered for something of value on them, or for the prevalent purpose of medical or cosmetic experimentation. We humans are given rights based on the concept that we are simply the most evolved and we can think and feel. And animals are inferior but this is wrong. While it is true we humans have a part of the brain called the neocortex which is about higher cognitive reasons that separates us from animals, animals are also able to think and feel emotions and pain, and animals are far more alike us humans than anyone realizes.

The notions that animals have feelings just like us have proven many times, once in an experiment by a team at Cambridge. A group of cows was fenced in where there was a lever. If the animals pushed on it, they would get lead to a field of food. After the cows comprehended what was to be done, the scientists observed that their heart frequencies and level of satisfaction went up.

"The idea that nonhuman animals have unique personalities stems from the evolutionary continuity that exists between humans and other species. Unfortunately, there is no unified body of research on animal personality. Some of the early pioneers of psychology studied personality in animals, and then the subject disappeared. I suspect that psychologists thought it didn't sound very scientific. Scientists have been reluctant to ascribe personality traits, thoughts, and emotions to animals, even though they readily accept that the anatomy and physiology of humans is similar to animals.”

Animals can feel pain just as we can. We cannot directly observe a human’s pain, it is a state of being. It is not possible to feel another’s pain so who are we to deny than an animal cannot feel it either. External signs are what lead us to infer pain in humans just like animals. The obvious signs are using your facial expression to show it, screaming, crying, and actions of that nature. Anyone who has watched those ASPCA commercials have seen the tears rolling down the animal’s faces. These animals have the same nervous system and experience the same biological response to pain as we do. They have their blood pressure rise, sweating, dilated pupils and other signs that would occur if you would hurt them, just like us.

Animals are much more alike to us humans than anyone realizes. They feel the same emotions as we do; this was especially noted in dogs. Dogs have the same part of the brain as we do for processing emotions, the amygdala. Robert Defranco, the director of the Animal Behavior Center in Queens New York has said that “Animals do have emotions such as fear and anger and even love and jealousy.” He even states that dogs could feel more emotions that we humans could because of their larger amygdala. Mike Malloy, who works as a dog whisperer in Long Island has the same views. His proof comes from the fact that his whole job comes from reading their emotions and they are capable of missing someone, feeling hurt, all just like us humans. Animals such as monkey respond and have their moods influenced to music just like us. In another study, it was shown how monkeys use their temporal lobes(sound, emotion, and memory.) A psychologist and a musician created music based on the pitch, tone and tempo of tamarin calls, and then saw that the monkey did respond the same way as if us humans heard a song we liked, or disliked. The two specific composed music, along with different types of human music were played for 14 monkeys and it was noted that the monkeys became calmer after listening to Of Wolf and Man” by Metallica. The “monkey music” however triggered a significant response from one piece made from fearful monkey sounds and one of a relaxed one. The fearful piece caused emotional feelings such as being anxious as well as urination and increased physical activity. The calm piece causes the monkeys to become more social. Another interesting fact is that Teie, a cellist in the National Symphony Orchestra contacted psychologist Charles Snowdon to acquire some more monkey music pieces and realized there are components of monkey communication that are like the musical features found in our voice patterns.

Countless animals are abused and not treated the way they should be because of people’s ignorance. People assume that just because animals do not talk or think like us, they do not deserve rights like we do but this is wrong. Animals think like us and are alike us in many ways such as exhibiting the same emotions or ability to think and no one would experiment on a baby or mentally disabled person because they were not able to speak or fend for themselves, so animals do not deserve the mistreatment either.

Works Cited

"AGAINST CRUELTY IN INHUMAN SLAUGHTERHOUSES!" The Petition Site. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Sept. 2012. <http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/against-cruelty-and-inhuman-slaughterhouses-and-livestock-transportation/>.

"Animals Have Personalities, Emotions and Thoughts, Just as Humans Do, UT Austin Psychologist Says." Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Sept. 2012. <http://www.utexas.edu/news/2001/08/01/nr_gosling/>.

Cooper, Marc Damien, David Richard Arney, and Clive Julian Christie Phillips. "The Motivation of High- and Low-yielding Dairy Cows to Obtain Supplementary Concentrate Feed." Journalvetbehavior.com. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, Mar. 2010. Web. 1 Sept. 2012. <http://www.journalvetbehavior.com/article/S1558-7878(09)00339-6/abstract>.

Lin, Doris. "Top Eight Arguments Against Animal Rights." About.com Animal Rights. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Sept. 2012. <http://animalrights.about.com/od/animalrights101/tp/ArgumentsAgainstAR.htm>.

"Questions and Answers About Biomedical Research : The Humane Society of the United States." Questions and Answers About Biomedical Research : The Humane Society of the United States. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Sept. 2012. <http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/biomedical_research/qa/questions_answers.html>.

"The Science of Animal Emotions." ABC News. ABC News Network, 06 Nov. 0000. Web. 01 Sept. 2012. <http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=90169>.

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    • sshouse18 profile image
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      Simran Singh 4 years ago from East coast US

      Thank you!

    • K Kiss profile image

      K Kiss 4 years ago from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

      a very well written hub..on an important topic..keep it up

    • sshouse18 profile image
      Author

      Simran Singh 4 years ago from East coast US

      Thanks for the kind words Jaye! It is terrible when they turn the other cheek to feign ignorance even though they themselves know it is wrong. It's a shame that the petitions are not having any effect. That's a good point about him coming back as a lab animal, I'm a Libra so justice really rings a bell with me hahaha. Sadly, yes it is unbelievable how many animals are tortured and killed just for the sake of our aesthetic appearances. I will research some links and add them to my article, thanks for that idea!

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

      This is an excellent hub on a very important topic. There are universities (including one in my city) that use animals for testing, which is fatal, even though there is a successful alternative to the use of animals. I've signed petitions, but the head of that program refuses to change his practice. If I believed in reincarnation, I'd hope he came back as one of the animals his lab uses! Since I don't subscribe to the reincarnation theory, but do think karma exists, I can only hope he gets what he deserves sooner or later. (I often think of the book ANIMAL FARM when he comes to mind.)

      The Humane Society, PETA and some other organizations available on the Internet list universities and companies that test using animals, usually resulting in pain and death to those lab animals.

      It's horrible to me that animals are sacrificed for materialistic items such as cosmetics and toiletries. I make it a point of checking on the brands I purchase (there are a few) that do not use lab animals for testing their products. Everyone who cares about animals should check on these companies and boycott those who practice animal cruelty. Hitting them on the "bottom line" is the only way to get their attention.