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First and foremost, one of the animal rights issues that can be identified is cosmetic testing on animals. An estimation has been made by the Humane Society International which states that around 100,000 to 200,000 animals go through suffering and die yearly due to cosmetic testing. In these tests, the said animals suffer as they experience a lot of hazardous complications such as skin irritation and eye irritation due to the toxins used in the cosmetic products. For instance, the animals have chemical substances constrained down their throats, into their eyes and even onto their shaved skins in order to analyse the effects of the cosmetic products to guarantee humans’ safety in using these products. These tests will decide whether these cosmetic products will cause any illnesses or health complications such as cancer or birth defects. Most cosmetic companies also conduct lethal dose tests, where the animals are forced to consume large amounts of chemical substances to determine what dose can cause death. As a result, the animals that are tested will experience excruciating pain due to organ damage and seizures. Therefore, it can be concluded that cosmetic testing is seen as extremely inhumane and unnecessary. Death of the animals can cause the animal population to reduce in a rapid rate. More disturbing, perhaps, is the fact that many animals fail to survive the animal testing process and are subsequently disposed of in large numbers. This results in environmental exposure to toxins and diseases. In other words, the disposal process poses potentially hazardous exposure to biohazards, including radioactive materials. Hence, this can cause irreparable damage to the ecosystem that leads to disruption of the food chain when the apex predators become extinct.
Secondly, another animal rights issue that can be identified is animals being held captive at zoos. The American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AWA) has certified 233 zoos and aquariums. The U.S. Division of Agriculture has also offered licenses to approximately 2,400 ‘animal exhibitors.’ These animal exhibitors utilize their licenses to conduct roadside zoos and petting zoos, which are both famous for animal abuse. Zoos take part in animal abuse by benefitting from attention from the visitors and also conservation grants they garner while keeping the animals captive with poor quality of life. Since the year 1995, American zoos have used antidepressants and antipsychotic medical drugs to treat depression and aggressive behaviour among the zoo animals across the country. Other than that, zoos also instil trauma amongst the animals. For instance, the zoos are usually only interested in the baby chimpanzees and not the adult ones. Thus, only baby chimpanzees are captured from the wild and when captured, these baby chimpanzees experience trauma since the adult chimpanzees are usually shot to death in front of them. Numerous baby chimpanzees have been injured while being captured and some even die before arriving to their respective zoos. Additionally, zoos also take interests in capturing the major predators of the wildlife such as lions and tigers. According to Oregon State University that has conducted over 42 studies over the past 50 years, it is found that the loss of major predators in forest ecosystems has allowed the population of the quarry animals to drastically increase and thus, destroying biodiversity. When the number of the captured animals increase, this contributes to high possibility of deforestation. This then results in less carbon sequestration which contributes to climate change.
Lastly, the final animal rights issue that can be identified is whale hunting. Today, modern whaling is conducted primarily for meat and in some cases, whales are also being killed to be used as bait in fishing. Nevertheless, whales are vital in sustaining a healthy marine life as they play an important role in the energy flow and biological pump of the overall marine life. For instance, the whales’ faeces serve an important role to the ecosystem. The nutrients contained inside of the faeces help to stimulate the reproduction and growth of Phytoplankton which are small and discrete organisms that help to consume carbon dioxide from the air and thus, providing a cleaner and healthier air for all the marine life to breathe in. According to the United Nations’ Environment Programme, these Phytoplankton capture about 37 billion tones worth of carbon dioxide which is approximately the size of four Amazon forests. When over-whaling occurs, the whale population will drastically decrease and thus, the amount of carbon dioxide in the air will increase. This high amount of carbon dioxide in the air can cause the biological oxygen demand in the sea to increase. When the biological oxygen demand is high, the amount of dissolved oxygen in the ocean will be low and thus, aquatic organisms become stressed, suffocate and die. Therefore, this disrupts the aquatic animals’ population and the marine ecosystem.
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