The question to be answered in this thread: Is causing disease, damage, or disorder in an animal intrinsically evil? Why?
I’m looking to verify that my moral analysis is correct (short answer: “Yes, because Genesis”), and ascertain whether I have overlooked something. It seems to me that God commanded us to be good stewards of creation. This then is a parallel mission to healthcare, helping the body function as it was designed – we might call it “earthcare”, to help the environment exist as it was designed. There are numerous examples of the parallels we can mention. To name one, just as we seek to avoid toxins in our own body, so regarding pollution.
It seems, then, that just as we ought not to inflict harm deliberately to our own bodies, we ought not to inflict harm on animals (and plants). Killing them for food is an exception for two reasons: One, God explicitly gave us permission, and two, once the animal has died, it does not suffer. We see that even here the principle of good stewardship holds: It is immoral to torture an animal to death prior to eating it, and there is the imperative to kill the animal as painlessly as possible.
The moral analysis, then:
*]God commanded us to be good stewards of creation.
*]By definition, being a good steward of creation means seeking to help nature exist as it was designed, in accordance with its nature, or else to improve it, not in contradiction with its nature.
*]Inflicting harm upon nature is in direct opposition to helping nature exist as it was designed.
*]Inflicting harm upon nature therefore directly contradicts God’s commandment to be good stewards of creation.
*]Thus, inflicting harm upon nature is intrinsically evil.
It seems, then, that common animal experimentation in radiation biology (to lead towards cancer cures) is intrinsically immoral, examples of doing evil that good may come from it, which God has condemned. Examples of experiments on mice and rats include:
*]causing skin damage (radiation burns) on the hind foot to the point where the skin essentially ruptures (causing bodily fluid to leak out)
*]exposure to radiation (to cause cancer, brain damage, or other bodily disorders)
*]inbreeding (to obtain genetically identical specimens or compromised immune systems)
*]life in a cage (from birth to death, either from cancer or euthanasia)
Of course the reasons for these experiments are compelling, but I cannot see how these actions are not intrinsically evil. It seems, then, that morally sound radiation biology cannot proceed from these experiments, and must instead use cell cultures grown in vitro, collect data from patients (human and animal – this could even lead to an increase in veterinary practice and pet care and hence pet quality of life, if embraced in this context), and perhaps other methods. Moreover, we must ultimately accept that God is sovereign and the master of life and death, rather than inflict harm to animals from a desire to extend our own time on earth.
This question is of great importance to me, because I am investigating the effects of charged particle therapy in suppressing metastases after irradiation (metastases account for 9 of 10 cancer deaths): Inbreeding rodents and implanting tumors within them, etc. is basically a standard research protocol, and the most trusted, accurate one since a complete biological system is used, rather than cells floating in a petri dish solution. My research mentor has advised me that others can do the animal experimentation if I am uncomfortable with it, but, obviously, others doing it doesn’t remove the moral objections.
What are your thoughts?