Human Superiority Over Animals

5358 words (21 pages) Essay in Sociology

01/06/17 Sociology Reference this

Disclaimer: This work has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work produced by our Essay Writing Service. You can view samples of our professional work here.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UK Essays.

“Superior” is a relative term. Humans are capable of doing advanced things, which set us apart from other species on earth, such as using tools. We have the physical advantage of using our hands, which due to our opposable thumb makes it much easier for humans to use tools compared to a bird, or a four-legged animal. Hands also allow the human race to compensate for their inherent lack of anti-predator adaptations, such as camouflage, venom, claws and general muscle mass by building weapons and protective shelter. Humans consider these adaptations to be far superior to any other species on earth, and this certainly goes a long way to the feelings of dominance over animals. Most people would agree that humans differ from other animals in terms of intelligence; however, biologically speaking humans are classified as animals. (2010) describes an animal to be ‘A multicellular organism of the kingdom Animalia, differing from plants in certain typical characteristics such as capacity for locomotion, nonphotosynthetic metabolism, pronounced response to stimuli, restricted growth, and fixed bodily structure.’

Get Help With Your Essay

If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!

Find out more

All of these qualities apply to humans and other animals alike. As plain as it is to see the similarities between humans and chimpanzees, with which we share 98% of our genetic information (Science Museum, 2010), there is no doubt that humans have pedestaled themselves above the animal kingdom. We generally use the term “animal” to describe a creature that is not human. For example, you would never see RSPCA(EH) ‘Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Excluding Humans)’.


Humans have hunted wild animals since the beginning of the Homo genus 2.5 million years ago, long before civilizations were formed (Holzman, 2003). From hunting solely for survival, ensuring that every part of the captured animal was put to good use, to trapping live prey to sell and ultimately becoming a sport, hunting’s role in society has changed and evolved dramatically throughout history (Lewis, 2009: 49). Hunting with horses and dogs is emblematic of how hunts in modern Britain are typically perceived, but this has not always been the case. Horses and sometimes dogs were an important part of our food chain long before they were partnered with man (Lewis, 2009:50). Although it is unclear when man started to work along side the original wolf descendents of the 10.5 million estimated canine pets in the UK alone (Browne et al., 2010), it appears that they developed their relationship around 20,000 years ago (Serpell, 1995: 7). The domestication of wolves was a natural and logical step in improving early mankinds’ hunting development.

Wolves have a strict natural order in their packs identifying one leader that they will all follow, a position that was taken by Late Stone Age man (Lewis, 2009: 54). Wolves’ superior senses were hugely beneficial to humans. Smell, sight and hearing coupled with their instinctual need for protecting their pack would have provided man with excellent added protection from carnivores and hostile groups of other humans. Apart from the advantages these senses would give humans during a hunt, all of these reasons helped to form the foundations of their symbiotic relationship. There are many possible processes that may have lead to the domestication of the wolf with the most popular theory having a basis in natural selection (Serpell, 1995: 7-21). This hypothesis maintains that wolves ventured into human communities to feed from their left over food waste. Over many generations these wolves would have become more comfortable and less fearful of humans resulting in greater sustenance. Natural selection would favour the wolves less inclined to flee the humans, and this lack of fear would have been learned by the wolf cubs. This process would have eventually led to the domestication and introduction of dogs. Once these dog ancestors were inducted into communities, humans would have begun to breed the animals selectively to produce traits specialized in hunting local prey. Selective breeding from early prehistory was the basis of the huge variations in dog breeds that we see today. As hunting became a sport rather than a life duty, the role of dogs continued to evolve and certain groups of dogs were specifically bred developing strong bloodlines (see Appendix one)

There are two main types of hunts typically associated with Britain. The most popular is fox hunting which is an activity that involves tracking, chasing, and sometimes killing of a (traditionally red) fox. A group of followers are led to the fox on horseback or on foot by the trained scent hounds. Deer hunting is also enjoyed by many and either involves the chasing and killing of deer with a pack of hounds or deer stalking and shooting. This is usually done just with human participation as dogs can cause too much of a disturbance (Bateson and Bradshaw, 2000). Bow hunting deer is also a recreational sport that can be seen all over the globe. Although 10,000 deer per annum are thought to be killed by this method in the EU alone, the UK is one of two countries worldwide (the second being Senegal) where the practice is illegal due to welfare implications (Gregory, 2005).

Hunting has long been a fashionable British pastime for royal and rural society. William the Conqueror was a keen huntsman who supposedly loved red deer as much ‘as if he were their father’ (Griffin, 2007: 15). He realised that in order to maintain a huntable population of red deer in this country he needed to ensure their protection and conservation. He introduced control over when and where hunting was acceptable, which included the prevention of deer hunting during their mating season. This ensured a new generation of the animals to replace those killed. He established ‘royal forests’ for the preservation of deer, which consisted not just of woodland, but also common land, arable land, moors and heaths. These ‘royal forests’ lay outside of common law and became subject to ‘forest law’, placing them directly under the personal rule of the king. This action caused new ideas concerning ownership of the wild animals to come to life. Where it had once been the case that the hunted deer belonged to whomever’s land they lived on, William I declared that only he had the right to hunt wild deer as they belonged solely to him (Griffin, 2007: 20). Ultimately the king’s laws made it very difficult for all those living in woodland areas. He prohibited hunting of all animals so as not to disturb his royal game and ruled that all dogs living in or around woodlands must be mutilated in order to prevent them chasing his deer. The necessary toe-removing procedure was known as ‘lawing’, and was later described by an authority as follows:

“The mastive being brought to set one of his forefoot upon a piece of wood eight inches thick and a foot square, then one with a mallet, setting a chisel two inches broad upon the three claws of his forefoot, at one blow doth smite them cleane off” (Griffin, 2007:18)

Hunting animals for food is often seen to be much more acceptable than hunting purely for the sake of killing (Lewis, 2009: 181). Foxes are largely thought of as vermin and for generations farmers had regularly killed them as a form of pest control. It wasn’t until a decline in the UK’s deer population in the eighteenth century that foxhunting evolved into its modern incarnation and was considered a sport in its own right (Craig, no date given). The activity grew in popularity with dogs being bred specifically for their scent tracking abilities, speed and stamina. The specialized breeding of the dogs resulted in longer, more exciting hunts, which were more attractive to those involved. The expansion of the British Empire under the reign of Queen Victoria spread fox hunting to far reaches of the globe. The European fox was introduced into Australia during the nineteenth century solely for recreational hunting (Dickman and Glen, 2005). Fox hunting in Britain continued to grow in popularity well into the twentieth century despite the sport being banned in other European countries such as Germany (BBC, 1999a). In recent years however, the sport has undergone much controversy and has been involved in a great deal of debate between those who support the activity and those who oppose it. Many believe that fox hunting, in particular with mounted hunters and dogs, is cruel and outdated (BBC, 1999b). Foxes are considered to be vermin by some farmers and country folk who experience/fear loss of livestock due to these wild animals (Baker et al., 2000). Foxes are also known to kill many animals but only take one for feeding, which does not help improve farmers’ opinions of them when they are faced with so much unnecessary waste of livestock. Because of this, it is common practice for some farmers to shoot a fox on sight. This can have further consequences, such as the case of Edward Tibbs, a farmer who works in Essex. He was arrested on the grounds of attempted murder in August 2010 as he shot two human trespassers with a shotgun after mistaking them for a fox. His gun licence has since been removed as the police consider him a danger to ‘public safety and peace’ (Twomey, 2010) (See appendix 2 for full article). The argument that mounted fox hunting is performing an important role in the British countryside by helping to control huge numbers of foxes is an idea that sits uneasily for many people. It has been suggested that the method of this process is more uncomfortable than the principle of killing (Baker et al., 2003). Commonly a pack of dogs is used to chase a fox through the countryside, until it is either caught, manages to escape the scenting abilities of the hounds or until it reaches its den (but even then it can be flushed out and shot). It is argued that by using dogs, the hunt is made fairer by giving the fox the opportunity to escape rather than been located by humans and shot outright. Another justification behind this method is that the healthier the fox is, the more likely it is to out run the hounds, therefore only the elderly and infirmed foxes are captured which helps to maintain a healthy population (Support Fox Hunting, 2010).

It is also argued that mounted hunts are not an effective form of population control. The number of foxes killed during hunts are insignificant when compared to those killed in road accidents. The pest control argument has also been discredited by the fact that there have been times when there has been a shortage of foxes in Britain and that they have had to be imported from Europe to maintain a huntable population (May, 2010). Scientific research performed during the nationwide one-year hunting ban in 2001, during the foot-and-mouth disease crisis showed that the ban played no significant impact on fox populations (Baker et al., 2002). With talks of introducing a ban on hunting the Burns inquiry was commissioned in 1999 to establish the facts about fox hunting (Lord Burns, 2000). The report found that there were over 200 active hunting packs in England and Wales and that the number of foxes killed annually was between 21,000 and 25,000, around 6% of the 400,000 foxes estimated to die annually (Leader-Williams et al., 2002). The report also established that there were a high number or foxes being dug out and shot by individual landowners and farmers on top of those being hunted. There are many jobs dependent on fox hunting ranging from kennel workers to clothing industries that make the ‘pinks’ for the huntsmen. The report found there is still a great deal of support for the hunts especially in the rural communities. The hunts provided a very important social function, bringing together vast networks of otherwise isolated people. Although it claimed that hunting with dogs “seriously compromises’ the welfare of foxes, it did not outright support a ban on the activity (Lord Burns, 2000). The government introduced an options bill in 2000, which led to the House of Commons voting for a ban of the sport and the House of Lords voted for self-regulation. In 2004, The Hunting Act was passed to protect foxes (BBC, 1999). As of February 2005 it has been illegal in England and Wales to hunt animals with more than two dogs, which is a step towards giving foxes similar legal protection against cruelty that other, more popular animals have received for generations.

The Hunting Act affected not only hunters and the hunted, but reached contemporary art practice. Scenes of fox hunting have traditionally focused on the aesthetics of the chase. Detail would go into the beautiful countryside, the red coats that the hunters wore, the powerful horses or the groups of hunting dogs. The depiction would be centred on the prestige and glory of the hunters, with nothing for the brutality of the victims’ death (Fig. 1). Generally, they do not show the full truth or the outcome of the hunt.

This is something that animal rights activist and artist Angela Singer feels very strongly about. Her works centre on the violence and pointlessness of the hunt that is rarely seen in art as well as the relationships humans share with animals. We cherish and adore those animals that we choose to share our lives and homes with, yet mass-produce others in predominantly appalling conditions purely for consumption. The majority of the animals are caged indoors for their entire lives and some get so bored and agitated by the intense overpopulation and lack of external stimulation, they fight and ultimately end up eating one another (Channel 4, 2008a,b).

Singer maintains that hunting in modern day western society represents a disgraceful attitude toward animals, which reinforces the idea that these animals are disposable, soulless creatures and promotes human superiority towards them (Duffy, 2009).

In reaction to the thought of the country woman sitting at home, waiting for her hunter husband to return, oblivious to the reality and brutality of the hunt, Singer created a piece of work entitled, ‘Fall’ (Fig. 2). It is a twist on traditional cross-stitch designs. These designs tend to show an idealistic interpretation of what would happen during a hunt. The hunted animal is shown rather ‘content being run down by packs of dogs and men with guns’ (Duffy, 2009). The tapestries would not show blood, massively reducing the evidence of the animals’ violent death experience. Singer’s tapestry depicts a more authentic and genuine representation of a hunted game’s death. It shows a duck that has been shot, falling from the empty sky surrounded by blood red woollen spray. The work is made much more interesting by Singer’s choice of medium. By using cross-stitch she accentuates the different traditional roles of men and women: the hunter man, and supposedly naive cross-stitching woman. Singer doesn’t want her viewers to be like the wife, unaware of the animal’s senseless death. By showing a truthful representation of the killing she is in some way honouring the animal’s death and by the nature of tapestry she is literally bringing home the truth about the hunt. The historic looking frame also highlights the out-dated way humans regard animals.

Singer’s more recent works have focused on using taxidermy to reflect on issues surrounding hunting. Singer lives in New Zealand where hunting for sport is very common and as a result so are hunting trophies (Potts, 2009). She recycles donated hunting souvenirs to challenge the public’s attitudes towards these sports (Baker, 2008). Taxidermists traditionally try to make the animal look alive, all traces of the animal’s death are removed and the creature is placed into a serene pose. Singer’s approach to the frozen animals’ is what she describes to be ‘de-taxidermy’ (Mudie, 2007). She strips back the taxidermist’s work to expose bullet wounds and scars, revealing the evidence of the aggression inflicted upon on the animals. By undoing the taxidermist’s work, Singer forces the viewer to confront their own attitude toward hunting. It can be easy to forget what the animals must have gone through in the name of sport, when they are positioned into these calm poses; this is something Singer wishes to address. She is surprised by how indifferent the majority of people seemed to respond to the presence of hunting trophies being hung in bars and resturants. Singer said that,

Find out how can help you!

Our academic experts are ready and waiting to assist with any writing project you may have. From simple essay plans, through to full dissertations, you can guarantee we have a service perfectly matched to your needs.

View our services

“It seems to me very disturbing that an enormous dead animal in a room could be ignored in that way… It gave me the idea to use old hunting trophies to explore the human-animal relationship. I hoped to be able to make the trophy more controversial, it gave it a greater presence and makes it not so easy to ignore” (Pacheco, 2009)

One of her works titled ‘Brand New Wilderness’ shows just how powerful using taxidermy can be (Fig. 3). There is one image of a rabbit included in the work that is particularly disturbing to look at. The rabbit’s formerly concealed wounds have been reopened and adorned with red beads and buttons symbolizing the blood and suffering the animal went through in its death. When first looking at the piece, the viewer instantly feels disgust and then guilt; the audience is forced to question how and why the animal was killed. After the initial shock has worn off the viewer then has the opportunity to see the beauty and care that has gone into creating the work. There is a huge contrast between the aesthetics of the beads, which are traditionally used to make jewelry and other ‘attractive’ objects, and the morbid nature of the work which confronts the observer to deal with creutly involved. Singer is also inspired by the way in which the animal has been killed to influence her work. For example, her piece entitled ‘Sore’ (an archaic name for a fallow deer (Baker, 2009)) shows a stag trophy head covered in blood like red wax (Fig. 4) (Aloi, 2008).The piece relates to the history of the stag’s death. When the hunter had originally killed the deer and sawn off its antlers, both he and the deer would have become covered in blood. Antlers contain a blood reservoir so naturally when cut blood pours out. The resultant work is alarming and hard to look at. The stag’s gaze creates unease in the viewer as it glares accusingly. This is undoubtedly not a piece of subtle, serenely posed taxidermy. Sore certainly makes the observer question the morality of hunting and forces them to think about their own feelings and relationships toward animals.

Polly Morgan is another artist who uses dead animal bodies as her raw material. Her work is much more focused on preserving the animals in death, compared to Angela singer, whose work is a celebration of the animal’s life. Singer uses recycled taxidermy to create her pieces, whereas Morgan taxidermys her animals freshly after they have died. Unlike Singer, Polly Morgan does not want to make political comments on animal welfare through her artwork. She is interested in how the animals look when they are brought to her, not in what sort of life they might have lived, nor how the animals came to die (Pengilley, 2010). Morgan admits to not being sentimental regarding the animals that she uses:

“I confess I think less about their souls the more I handle them. I prefer live animals but I have this selfish overbearing urge to hold them and examine them and just generally do all the things they hate. Dead, I can spend as long as I like looking” (Morgan, 2010: 89).

Polly Morgan recently put on her first solo show, titled ‘Psychopomps’ at the Haunch of Venison gallery (Eyre, 2010). One piece of work that she exhibited was a large birdcage suspended from the ceiling, seemingly being held up by an array of orange finches and canaries. The birds are attached to a burnt cage-like flying contraption inspired by an old Victorian image (Fig. 5) (Morgan, 2010: 7). The birds, in various stages of flight are tethered to the contraption, supposedly flying it through the gallery space. ‘Systemic Inflammation’ (Fig. 6) is a re-visioning of an earlier, larger work titled, ‘Departures’ (Morgan, 2010: 39). The idea of the artworks is that the space inside the cage is large enough for a man to fit. The man can be transported around by the birds but he is himself trapped inside the cage, while the birds have the real freedom of flight despite the fact that they are bound to the structure. The charred and distressed human cage, coupled with the birds dyed various shades of orange (Fig. 7) creates a surreal and slightly nightmarish atmosphere in the gallery. This piece coupled with the two suspended spheres, each made of 60 right wings, makes the space feel fantastical, yet very macabre. This feeling is clearly her intention; all of the pieces shown in the exhibition are named after deadly afflictions or illnesses. ‘Blue fever’ (Fig. 8) the first hanging orb is made entirely of pigeon wings and ‘Black fever’ (Fig. 9) crow. In both objects the wings are positioned in different stages of flight, causing the work to feel organic, as though it has a pulse. By discarding most of the birds’ bodies and only using the right wings, Morgan helps the viewer to detach from their feelings and emotions regarding the animal as a whole [Collinge, 2010]. By only seeing an explosion of wings, the audience is less distracted by what the work is made of allowing them to appreciate the animals as the objects they become in death.

Animal Testing

As well as using animals for sport we have for a long time used them for scientific purposes. Physiological research has been common on animals for centuries, but the event that is considered by many to have sparked the British debate on the subject came in the 19th century. In 1874 a French scientist Eugene Magnan gave a lecture to the British Medical Association which culminated with a demonstration where he induced epileptic seizures in a dog by injecting it with Absinthe. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Creulty to Animals (formed 50 years previously (RSPCA, 2010)) brought legal charges against Dr Magnon who fled prosecution by returning to France (Matfield, 2002a). The press ran the story with enthusiasm and the worlds first anti-vivisection group was formed in London a year later, The National Anti-Vivisection Society (Matfield, 2002b). With the wars of the 20th century the issue was put on the backburner, as the general public became more understanding towards military development and had more pressing welfare issues of their own (Matfield, 1991). The public backlash returned with greater force than ever before in the 1970’s and reached it’s peak at the end of the millennium. In 1997 peaceful protests lost their media coverage in favour of a few extremist acts (Matfield, 2002a). Consort, a laboratory dog breeder ceased trading following continuous harrassment and attacks of staff members, as did Hillgrove farm, a cat supplier, Regal Rabbits and other animal breeders (Davies, 1999). In 2000 animal rights extremists focused their attention on Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS), the company that has since become synonymous with this issue. Several videos, filmed by hidden cameras were released which severely dented the companies reputation (see supplementary CD for examples). The extremism continued to escalate until, amongst other illegal activites, activists almost blinded HLS’s marketing director and broke several ribs of the companies managing director (Anon., 2001). These actions were interpreted in the media as a step too far, and damaged the fight against animal testing. Along with greater police powers to crack down on extremists (Abbott, 2010a) and counter campaigns set out by the lobby group Understanding Animal Research in 2005 (Campbell, 2010), the British public seems to be rather more neutral towards the subject. In 2010, Lord Drayson, the UK’s science minister who was the chief executive of a biotechnology company at the height of the violence, said about animal testing and the British public’s opinion: ‘The picture is much better now… I think we have made and won the argument, but we have to continue to make the argument’ (Gray, 2010). However around the world, scientists still clash with politicians on the content of ethical laws. For example, in 2008, Switzerland banned the use of macaque brains in research as the fundamental understanding gained had no immediate advantages. The Swiss courts consider this to be unconstitutional as the benefit to society is not worth the burden placed upon the animals. Kevan Martin, a leading Swiss researcher in the area argues that ‘We need to understand the basic biology of our brains in order to be able to successfully treat brain diseases such as Parkinson’s’ (Abbott, 2008). EU laws on the issue are constantly being redrafted to varying degrees of strictness. Currently the proposed laws allow moderate pain to the animals and have recently scraped the condition that animals must be destroyed immediately after a single procedure. It also introduces benefits to lab animals such as minimum cage sizes for all species (Abbott, 2010b).

Animal testing is essential in the development of new drugs. Take for example the steps involved in bringing new cancer medicines to market. First a compound has to be designed and synthesized. This process usually involves a trial and error system of slightly changing existing drugs, or making a molecule that will specifically target a part of a cancer cell. This drug will then be incubated with specifically grown cells of different forms of cancer. If it kills a certain proportion of these cells then it will enter clinical trials. Here, animals, most commonly mice, with cancer are exposed to various quantities of the future drug. This plays two essential roles. Firstly, it shows whether the drug actually works in a real biological system or if it kills a large amount of healthy cells as well. Secondly it sets a benchmark for how much of the drug can be administered to a person before serious side effects occur. After this the drug is tested on critically ill human patients, paid ‘volunteers’ and eventually is licensed for prescription by doctors (Nako, 2010). Larger animals, such as dogs and monkeys, are often necessary in the drug development process and after a walk around Parliament Square, London it seems apparent that graphic images of these animals are used more than those of mice in protester art (Fig. 10). According to a chart taken from the HLS website shows that in 2003, mice, fish and birds account for the vast majority of regulated procedures on animals in the UK. (Fig. 11) These animals are generally perceived by the British public as being ‘superior’, or perhaps dogs are seen as pets, and monkeys as too humanoid. Some scientists, having become aware of the role that public opinion can have in their research (Hobson-West, 2010), have embarked on the ‘RETHINK’ project which is designed to help reduce, replace and refine animal testing by using a special breed of pigs called minipigs (Bode et al., 2010a). Pigs have remarkably similar toxicology to humans and until recently slightly altered pig insulin has been given to Type I diabetics (Norman, 2009). Currently over 60,000 pigs are used per annum in the EU alone as they have similar skin, cardiovascular and digestive systems to humans (Svendsen, 2006). The pig is a food animal, bred in their millions for worldwide human food consumption, they hope that the British public will be even more understanding and sympathetic to future research (Bode et al., 2010b). Studies suggest that with further education, public attitudes could change dramatically. 84% of people surveyed in 2000 called themselves ‘conditional acceptors’ of animal research. This means that they would accept the research if there was little burden on the animals and that the experimentation was for a serious purpose. The study also found that the vast majority of those questioned did not realise that these conditions have been met and thoroughly enforced since the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act of 1986 was passed by the UK government(Matfield, 2002b). An assessment of the standard of laboratory mouse welfare in the UK was conducted in 2008 and was considered to be good, with generally good health and often much more living space than legally required. Some units were found to have an excess of negative environmental factors, such as noise and light intensity, but it could be argued that, to some extent, these factors are far from ideal for wild mice living in some parts of the country (Leach, 2008). Another study has shown that due to strict animal testing rules, laboratory animals may get a better standard of welfare on average than pet, farm, or wild animals (Honess and Wolfensohn, 2007). The researchers claim that there are little restrictions placed upon who can keep pets unless the person has already been caught committing an offence, such as Mary Bale, a woman who caused a media storm in 2010 after being caught on CCTV placing a cat in a wheelie bin. (Fig. 12) She was made to pay costs of almost £1,500 and has been banned from keeping pets for 5 years (Cooper, 2010). A pet owner also has no legal commitment to take their pet to a vet when they become ill, no commitment to pay for the necessary treatment and even the most loving and devoted owner may cause welfare issues, for example, overfeeding the animal until it is obese. Farm animals were found to often suffer more discomfort over prolonged periods of time as the welfare of the animals becomes a profit issue.

Although fundamental research may have no immediate advantage for society, animal products are needed in day to day diagnostic techniques. Animal blood is vital in diagnosing many diseases, ranging from the relatively benign to life threatening. According to Elizabeth Nakoneczna (2010), senior microbiologist at St. Thomas’ hospital, London

“Horse blood is used as an essential ingredient in the routine culture of bacteria. Some pathogens such as Neisseria meningitidis, the most dangerous form of meningitis, require blood to grow and many of these require the detection of haemolysis, the break down of red blood cells, for correct diagnosis…I am not sure how the horse blood is obtained… Some diagnostic tests have improved significantly since I was a trainee 25 years ago. For example, to test for TB, microbiologists used to take a sample from the patient and inject it in a rabbit. After a month or so the rabbit would be killed and scientists would look for signs of the disease. Although now the test still takes up to six weeks, specialist culture media is used instead of live animals.”

When asked if she can foresee an end to animal participation in hospitals within her lifetime, she replied “With rapid scientific progression, The use of polymerase chain reactions for the detection of bacteria is already starting to replace the need for blood infused agar. With rapid scientific progression it seems reasonable to imagine a future where animal products are no longer necessary in diagnostic medicine.” (Nakoneczna, 2010)

Scientists try to use computer modeling and other research techniques that exclude animals (Dolgin, 2010), but there are still plenty of studies that need them (Coghlan, 1996). Amongst these are experiments into sheep with human livers. Human bone marrow stem cells are injected into fetal sheep so that when the lamb is born its liver is made up mostly of the human’s cells. The lamb is then sacrificed and its liver transplanted into the human. The body’s immune system quickly eliminates the lambs liver cells resulting in a brand new organ, perfectly matched for the human. Because the liver is made predominantly of the human’s cells, it makes the body much less likely to reject the organ, potentially saving hundreds of human lives, but at the cost of those of hundreds of sheep (Bailey, 2004). Scientists have really begun to obscure boundaries between animals and humans by creating hybrid creatures. In 2005 human cells were successfully fused with rabbit eggs to create the first human-animal chimeras. The resulting embryos were then allowed to develop in a laboratory dish for a number of days before they were destroyed to harvest stem cells (Mott, 2005).

Another artist that q

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Related Services

View all

DMCA / Removal Request

If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have the essay published on the UK Essays website then please:

Related Lectures

Study for free with our range of university lectures!