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A Comparison of Tom Regan and Stephen Rose

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Philosophy
Wordcount: 1605 words Published: 18th Sep 2017

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Brianna Still

People often use animals for a lot of experiments even though most people think that is it wrong. People make up countless excuses to why it’s okay to do this. But it is not okay. Animal researchers and such agree with my opinion that using animals for tests that we as humans would never want to do, is bad and very hypocritical, yet unfortunately there are just as many scientists who say that it is completely fine and that there isn’t really much harm brought to the animals. Mind you, these scientists have apparently never owned a beloved pet close to their heart. The two essays, “Animal Rights, Human Wrongs” by Tom Regan and “Proud to be Speciesist” by Stephen Rose, talk about the issue of animal rights, but are written on completely opposing sides. They both talk about animals that are used for human benefits but in two completely different ways. Regan’s essay is much wider in my opinion. Rose’s essay looks at a detailed and personal view in this subject matter. Regans’ argument is that animal usage should be stopped because animal experiments for humans is not justified. But, Rose challenges Regan’s idea saying that the safety of mankind is more important than the “rights” that we would like animals to have. He says that using animals for research is perfectly fine. Regan is better at explaining the subject and has more credibility with actual examples to give a whole image of the subject matter. Rose doesn’t do so good because his material is only built from science and research. Regan just appears more logical and fair on the issue matter.

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According to Regan animals have ethical rights, so he states that he thinks that they should be treated with respect by sane humans. He talks about how a man’s description about the whaling process to show how few rational humans killed a whale for their ravenousness (336). Regan happens to be a philosophy instructor, therefore the arguments and viewpoints that he makes are more trustworthy. For a long time, he’s been quarreling for the rights of animals, thus his statements are supported with very sturdy reasoning and they are sourced from all types of fields from things like people, knowledge and science. He states that butchering animals for pleasure, luxury and experiments is not at all right or vindicated, so it shouldn’t be practiced. Regan claims that if it cannot be justified, then it shouldn’t be done. Of course most people and organizations that do these type of things cannot come up with a moral enough reason as to why what there doing is actually justifiable, hence he probes them to stop using these creatures unless they can deliver a fitting justification.

On the opposing side, Rose discusses the prominence (and therefore, importunateness) of animals when it comes to research and exploration for the physical wellbeing and survival of people. He quotes Alzheimer’s as an example (342) from his own particular experience to illuminate the role that animals play in human research to find treatments for it. Rose’s arguments about animal’s rank in research are undisputable because these claims are backed up completely by logic and science. Rose, himself is a biology instructor and a researcher on the side, so his arguments are very much reliable, usable and logical. He says, “The first statement is plain wrong; the second, the claim that animal have “rights”, is sheer can’t” (342, 343). Moreover, he speaks about “speciesism” and states that “animal activists are speciesists too; they just prefer animals to humans.” Though his arguments are solid, his credibility is weakened because his aims and examples are only from science. Also, his biasedness can be taken into consideration, because he is a researcher, not an activist. He doesn’t care as much about the moral rights. Even though the practice of these beasts in research is essential, his opinions and arguments are weak because of the narrow space of his research.

Regan has carried on about how science constantly ignores animal’s rights. He declares that the research on animals are just not justified sufficiently, and he thinks that using animals for our welfares is ridiculous. Regan talked about a rabbit in stock (337) to show how a rabbit is put through many pains just to find out the feasibility of cosmetics and such on people. Yet this example of the rabbit supports his idea, it doesn’t shield the entire idea of research. Some researches about deadly diseases are unavoidable because they are vital to the survival of human life. Regan’s argument is still weak since he isn’t able to describe exactly why this research can’t be avoided. In total, Regan sounds pretty convincing, and his philosophies are pretty much effective regardless of occasional drawbacks.

Rose clarifies how scientists have been able to find cures for things like Epilepsy, Parkinson’s, diabetes, and such (343), and he talks about how fundamental animals are in that research. He says, “How far the concept of right can be extended-to not swatting a mosquito that is sucking your blood? To prevent your cat from hunting and killing a rat? Does an ant have as many rights as a gorilla?” (343). Rose additionally indicates that some species of are more privileged than others if that species is more important than the other one. He talks about the rights of animals being only relative, meaning that if animals are in a greater proximity with human than they have more rights and vice versa; if we are in more proximity than we are the ones with more rights. He feels that activists of animal are Speciesist themselves, so he it’s not wrong if its vice versa as anti-activists are speciesist too. He says, “Just because we are humans, any discussion of rights must begin with human rights.” (343). Rose is proud to be a speciesist in favor of humans since he thinks we should privilege humans over animals and he, himself is a human. Rose’s urgings and examples are pretty convincing and full of facts, but they keep being weakened by doubt about his limitation. Rose’s reasoning and good logic can also be flawed by arguments that are from every other field except actual science. Hence, Rose’s idea gives room for some doubt although his reasoning, facts and ideas about the research are very waterproof.

Regan’s tactic for the topic is fair. He started somewhat aggressive, but then considerate and lastly suggestive. He says, “Possibly the rights of animals must sometimes give a way to human interests” (339). He knows that usage of animals for the happiness of humans, from time to time, cannot be completely rejected, but all he asks for is a legit, logical reason. He states that all cruel things done to animals should be justifiable, otherwise they shouldn’t even be considered valid. Then, he suggests a relative approach of how a deed can be justified with an example of “racism and sexism” (339). He asked people to reduce animal use as much as they possibly can, and justify it every time they kill an animal. His hint of relative approach pleases the reader’s conscience and is able to leave an impact on reader’s mind.

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Rose, conversely, says that there are not any rights that are not as privileged as humans. His awareness of our human rights alongside animal rights calls the integrity of the readers. He mentions that animal activists are speciesist too, so we too can be speciesist of humans. Rose says that animal activists are the kind of people who take medicine for Parkinson’s disease, for example, or insulin for their diabetes, and such although they know that those drugs or treatments were experimented on animals. Rose’s reasons are faultless, but overlooks that it is a normal human behavior to aid an illness with prescriptions and medicine. Any rational thinking being would do anything for the certainty of their survival, so his argument can be questioned if you put it in that light. Rose talks about “Declaration of Animals in Medical Research” (344) that is only signed by specialists and doctors, and not by other fields of people. That’s why, while Rose’s opinions about “speciesism” in favor of humans are reasonable, sound and considerable, his notions are weak because he is so narrow and bias.

Regan effectively presented his notions, reinforced by legit factual evidence, lecturing all likely parts, whereas Rose built his thoughts on facts and examples solely from research and science and that made him that much less credible and it made his arguments narrow. Rose’s statements and ideas can be effortlessly weakened rather than Regan’s arguments, because there are definitely potential doubts about his biasedness, and also his arguments are just really narrow. Though Rose made some very solid points in his essay, he could have been a lot more effective, and Regan’s essay contains just about everything and talks about the obvious wrongs that the rest of us cannot and should not ignore.

Works Cited

Regan, Tom. Animal Rights Human Wrongs: An Introduction to Moral Philosophy. Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2003.

Rose, Stephen. Proud To be A Speciesist.


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