What if you were in a burning building and could only save your child or your dog?
It is true that most people would save their child from a burning building before they save a dog. Most people would also save their own child before they save the child of a stranger. These actions are not necessarily immoral. However, this does not imply that it is OK to experiment on other people's children in order to find a cure for your own.
The important thing to remember is that in many cases, there are alternative methods for performing medical research without testing on animals, and that the animals used in these experiments often suffer a fate far worse than death. For example, a common practice for those who use dogs in their research is to remove the dog's vocal cords so that the researchers will not be bothered by the dog's screaming.
However, regardless of what we think about the more controversial aspects of animal rights, such as medical experimentation on animals, we should keep in mind that vegetarianism is not a case of choosing between saving your child or your dog.
Follow up questions:
What are the alternatives to testing on animals?
Do animal rights supporters refrain from using life saving drugs which were developed through animal testing?
Aren't there laws regulating the use of animals in laboratories?
What if the cure to cancer could be produced by a hypothetical experiment on just a single animal?
Isn't it insulting to compare human beings with animals?
Aren't animals also killed during the harvesting of crops and the construction of roads?
How is experimenting on animals any different from other situations where humans kill animals for survival?
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