Writing a Letter to the Editor – Animal Rights

Some students in Year 11 are writing a letters to the editor about animal rights and animal testing. The animal rights debate can get very heated (forgive my flippant illustration!) so I have decided that in this post to talk about how to frame your arguments.

We all have different perspectives and opinions and this can lead to real debate about particular subjects. To discuss animal rights you need to express your ideas in a considerate and intelligent manner.

We all know that scientists use animals for many different purposes. For instance they are used to test to the safety and effectiveness of new drugs before they are prescribed to people. Animals are also used to make sure that foods are safe for human consumption. They are used to test cosmetics and chemicals. But not without costs.

Animals often die during the tests. They also suffer and this is why many people believe that animals should not be used in labs. Is it scientifically and morally wrong to use animals in this way? The argument is of course, should animals have the same rights as humans?

Not everyone opposes animal testing. Many people believe that animals should be used to help humans. They feel that the scientific advances that come from animal testing far outweigh the pain and suffering the animals experience. The argument here is that many feel that the use of animals can be justified because they are lesser creatures. The people who accept animal testing don’t believe that animals share the same right to life as humans.

It is not clear cut for others. Some people believe that animal testing should be used when there is no choice, for example in medical research. However, they don’t want products such as mascara and shampoo tested on animals. Others may argue that animal testing is acceptable if it is done humanely and the animals don’t suffer.

What do you think?

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