By Kevin Hile
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Extra info for Animal Rights (Point Counterpoint)
Noting one animal rights protester’s admonition that all animals should be free, Conniff responds: I wondered if making every creature on Earth free meant that the speaker intended to restrain the copper-colored fly known as Bufolucilia silvarum, which deposits its eggs in the nostrils of toads and frogs. When the larvae hatch, they blind their hosts and devour them. In the interest of preventing needless slaughter, would she speak sternly to the great horned owl, which may decapitate fifteen adult common terns but eat just one?
Do animals feel loneliness? Masson offers the example of beavers that, if not provided with a mate, will sometimes refuse to eat or move until they die. Can animals mourn the death of another? Masson describes an incident involving elephants: An observer once came across a band of African elephants surrounding a dying matriarch as she swayed and fell. The other elephants clustered around her and tried mightily to get her up. A young male tried to raise her with his tusks, put food into her mouth, and even tried sexually mounting her, all in vain.
Wound Labs: The Department of Defense has operated “wound labs” since 1957. At these sites, conscious or semiconscious animals are suspended from slings and shot with high-powered weapons to inflict battle-like injuries for military surgical practice. In 1983, in response to public pressure, Congress limited the use of dogs in these labs, but countless goats, pigs, and sheep are still being shot, and at least one laboratory continues to shoot cats. At the Army’s Fort Sam Houston “Goat Lab,” goats are hung upside down and shot in their hind legs.
Animal Rights (Point Counterpoint) by Kevin Hile