Tom Regan Animal Rights Analysis

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In Tom Regan’s The Case for Animal Rights, he delivers a harsh criticism of humans and their treatment of animals as their resources rather than beings of equal moral value. He not only condemns the system as a whole which humans use to justify their treatment of animals, but also raises an alternative view justifying his beliefs. In this essay, I will begin by discussing Regan’s portrayal of the moral status of animals and the view that I previously alluded to. Then I will explain Carl Cohen’s basis for his utilitarian justification of animal research followed by Regan’s refutation of utilitarian logic as a whole. That rebuttal, when combined with my opinion of Regan’s best defense against Cohen will lead me to conclude that although Regan…show more content…
In his opinion, we must weigh all the short-term and long-term consequences of use and nonuse of animals in medical testing (Cohen 5). This includes all achievements made possible through medical testing on animals. So every vaccine, pain reliever, or prosthetic limb ever developed in some part due to the experimentation of animals would be eliminated from medical practice. Additionally, we must take into account the vast number of humans who would be harmed taking any medications that has not undergone any extensive testing on live organisms. Cohen also argues that the medical field would be forced to use human test subjects for medications or release potentially dangerous drugs to the public with little knowledge of the side-effects or potentially-deadly results (Cohen 5-6). When I consider the vast extent of past, present, and future cured diseases, pain relief, and increased longevity, it is nearly impossible to dispute the utilitarian value of using animals for medical…show more content…
Specifically, Regan points out the difficulty in physically adding up every single positive and negative effect of a single choice and the resulting moral quandary if that final determination does not result in a favorable situation for the decision-maker (Regan 5). He expands on this point to explain that a favorable outcome does not justify an evil means of achieving that outcome, even though the action would be approved through utilitarianism. Regan continues to break down utilitarianism to show that all individuals have an equal, inherent value, but similarly to his previous arguments, he uses human examples and equates them with the animals whose rights he is arguing for (Regan

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