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15 January 2008

Military Animals: Suffering or Salvation?

War is the tragedy of humanity. It causes hurt and suffering to all those involved in it. Animals have been used for military purposes for many centuries but it is evident that we cannot support this type of manipulation with taxpayers' money. Humans engage in war for many reasons, mostly egoistical, and we cannot train other species to sacrifice their own lives for the plight of humankind. Animal testing is appalling and other experiments are just deceptive tricks.

In medieval times elephants and horses were quite common in warfare but as times progressed military forces implemented other forms of experimentation with animals. Pigs were no longer set on fire to chase elephants but instead burned in 1959 to test the hypothesis of why soldiers’ thirst for fluids increased after receiving severe burns. In 1991, the U.S put a halt to its 8 year programme of shooting 700 cats dead in the hope of finding a cure for brain wounded soldiers. Cruelty to animals is not only unjustified but it is illegal because no being deserves to be tortured or killed to serve the hypothesis of an experiment.

In the light of this situation, governments have now decided to abide by the ASPCA stance where ‘Military animals should be humanely trained and responsibly maintained, and commitment to the animals’ well-being must extend beyond the period of military service.’ One example is the Dolphin Programme that was started during the Cold War. Military officials explained that the Dolphin Sonar was more advanced than any other Sonar and could be used to detect Soviet ships. Recently, however, dolphins have been equipped with hypodermic needles attached to their snouts so that they can inject into divers in restricted areas. Once injected, an illegal diver’s body would literally turn inside out due to an intake of Carbon Dioxide. Not only does this make a murderer out of an oblivious mammal but it also means a manipulation of dolphin instincts in the name of serving the wreckless causes of humanity.

In earlier decades dogs were most commonly used as war mine sniffers but their services are no longer required due to increasingly high death rates among dogs who were considered ‘too heavy.’ As a solution to such accidents a Belgian company engaged in training African pouch rats to search for food in locations of explosive material. As a result the rats were lighter and they were not harmed due their light body weight. Currently they are being used in Mozambique to clear the landmines left from a civil war. Indeed this is the only project where animals are used to fix the plight of humanity. For the first time rats have cleaned their bad reputation and now serve as saviours of humanity.

Animals should not be trained to contribute in war but to guide us humans into a world of peace and recuperation. Don't you agree?

This article was written by Extrememo from Through the Eyes of Bipolarity. Sources: 1, 2, 3. To submit your thoughts - click here!

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