Not just a Jungle VIP


Whom among us hasn’t fed fruit to a child?

A scientist on the radio this morning carefully explained why animals in general and primates in particular must be used in development of pharmaceuticals. His calm reassurance almost had me persuaded; it was just the words which clanged.

While vivisection deserves a balanced argument for which I am perfectly ill-qualified, it seems a pertinent moment to think about our treatment of creatures.

Catholicism mandated animals lack a soul; from which cascaded centuries of denial of dignity to most … OK, practically all animals.

If the essential quality of life is LIFE, an unstoppable, irrepressible force which barges its way into existence, then the notion it grades itself depending on the casing it inhabits seems far-fetched. Life just wants to live.

It is true, alas, I’ll never grasp the enormity of universe. Equally, I shall never be able to catch the trace of an aroma belonging to a particular thing left weeks since. Nor see in the dark, nor know a Tsunami qua earth event is on its way. Neither communicate through thousands of miles of ocean nor at sub-sonic level. Nor wheel n deal to reap from my institution millions before it goes under. My sentience lacks those sophistications.

That every living creature has innate or instinctive prowess pertinent to its species is a plain fact. Sense of fear and pain are separate from intellect. Is this not a ready indication that every living creature possesses such heightened sensitivities as to make living its life balanced and genial?

The life force or mind or soul or faculty by which we know we’re alive, this thing enshrines the integrity and dignity of its owner allowing each to reach the very summit of its limitations. [Further reading]

It seems inconceivable, therefore, that subjecting an animal to wild, fierce torture can be excused as an expedience for medical research. Strapping a monkey to a chair and placing electrodes onto its brain is exactly akin to strapping a child to a chair and placing electrodes onto its brain. Both will feel the pain and fear, neither will comprehend the cruelty.