Friday, May 22, 2009

Gallup Poll on Fur & Animal Testing

New Poll -- Americans Support Animal Testing, Wearing Fur
By Wesley J. Smith , Senior Fellow in Bioethics - 7 Hours Ago

Human exceptionalism is not only about human rights, but also human duties, including never using human beings as mere objects and the need to treat animals properly and humanely. The new Gallup Poll about what Americans consider morally acceptable behavior is interesting in both regards, and thus worth our pondering. (Part of the poll measured matters beyond our scope here at SHS, and these issues will not be addressed. The poll was also promoted by Gallup as showing Republicans growing increasingly "conservative." We don't do partisan politics here, and moreover, what some call conservative, I think of as liberal--such as opposing assisted suicide. So, let's ignore those matters, too.)

From the poll:Buying and wearing clothing made of animal fur: 61% to 35% think it is morally acceptable--with the "acceptable" figure up from 54% last year

Fur is the most publicly controversial use of animals, what with the seal clubbing and the scent of luxury it implies. I think that animal rights and welfare activists should actually be quite proud that 35% of the people believe that what was once seemed unremarkable is now considered morally unacceptable. But the increase in the "acceptable" category might reflect animal rights exhaustion, that is, people are tired of the preaching:

Medical testing on animals--57% think it is right and 36%wrong. This figure is basically unchanged from last year.

Medical testing is probably the use of animals that provides humans the greatest benefit. That 36% of the people think it is wrong, is an alarming indication that the research community has not done a good job of educating the public of the importance of their work and the lengths to which researchers go to treat the animals in their care humanely.I also think it is notable that the numbers who consider fur and animal research to be morally improper are nearly identical. If this is an increased sensitivity based on animal welfare thinking, I am cool with that, with the understanding that one can have great concern for animals and support research and fur. But if it reflects an acceptance of the ideology, values, and beliefs of "animal rights," it is cause for great concern. Read More

So many times we hear animal rights groups say things that suggest that everyone is against using animals for fur or that no one wants animals to be used for testing. This however is not the case. According to this Gallup poll most Americans support using animals for fur and medical testing. Not only that but the number of people that support it is on the rise. These are interesting numbers to keep in the back of your mind.

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