Comparing Life-Altering Decisions in Shooting an Elephant and Dog Lab
“Moral values are the standards of good and evil, which govern an individual’s behavior and choices. Individual’s morals may derive from society and government, religion, or self” (AllAboutPhilosophy.org). Every individual has their own morals of what they believe is right or wrong. Due to the individuality of their morals some decisions a person could make another person may believe are very wrong and they should not commit the certain actions they do. In some point of your life there will come a situation that will need a decision to be made.
You may find yourself stuck between what is right and wrong. You may start to question your character as well as the people around you. A big controversy talked about now days is if they should be able to use animals for testing or trophies. In the essays “Shooting An Elephant” by George Orwell and “Dog Lab” by Claire McCarthy explore the theme of right and wrong when it comes to making decisions that could alter their life.
The essay “Shooting an Elephant” Orwell describes this poor elephant as running free ruining peoples homes, livestock and killing a man. People of the town wanted the police officer to kill the elephant but Orwell did not want to kill the elephant. He was then pressured into making that decision about the elephant. Orwell states “When I pulled the trigger I did not hear the bang or feel the kick, one never does when a shot goes home, but I heard the devilish roar of glee that went up from the crowd” (Orwell 462). Throughout the story as the elephant is running through the town the community members are chasing the officer saying he needs to kill the elephant. In reality the author is thinking in his head I will try and get him home safely and only use my rifle it the elephant attacks.
The author Claire McCarthy had a similar situation in her essay “Dog Lab” which was she was a medical student and her sophomore year heard the term “Dog Lab” and did not understand what it meant for her physiology class. While she is sitting in class the instructor begins to speak about “Dog Lab” and what the exercise really meant. He states “The point of exercise, he explained, was to study the heart and blood vessels in vivo to learn the effects of different conditions and chemicals by seeing them rather than just reading about them.
The dogs would be sedated and the changes in their heart rates, respiratory rates and blood pressure would be monitored with each experiment. As the last part of the exercise the sleeping dogs chest would be cut open so we could actually watch heart and lungs in action, and then the dogs will be killed, humanely” (McCarthy 480). In Orwell’s situation he had the similar choice if he should kill or let the elephant live.
As a society we have come to the assumption that doing animal testing deserves to be advertised as okay. We say the benefits are because we can make humans live longer by seeing the inside of healthy animal compared to one that is potentially sick. When hear out these acts we tend to just put it off saying “Oh it is for a good cause” but in reality we need to look at the consequences from it those animals are put in so much distress and physically hurt.
It is hard to minkic the human body and the disease from it but still to this day we use dogs, rabbits, mice and other animals. We also view it is okay to harm and kill an animal if it has done harm to our society. To put this in perspective if an animal has become loose in a town and has done harm our society has come to the assumption that killing it is the only way that we will stay safe. There are many different other options we have like sdatation or even trapping and caging it. The essays “Shooting an Elephant” and “Dog Lab” displays these acts and society influence their choices of killing animals for testing or protection means.
Animals should not be used for trophies or testing but in both these stories both the authors had a choice but moral they believed they made the right choice. Even though they bounced there choice back and forth they let everyday factors affect their decision and decided everybody wants me to or everybody doing it it must be okay. They let outside factors and peer pressure make their decision for them. In their certain situation they found themselves stuck and morally were thinking about it. If you were in their situation what would you have done differently? To answer this I do not think many people would have different morals in today’s society we see animal as object were we are able to do these different testing and see what the outcomes are. Whereas there are other people who would seen this as inhumane which means they believe if we want things to morally right we need to let animals have rights and let them be free from society.
As a society we need to come to a different assumption about how we view animals and their importance to the world. Animals provide stability to the ecosystem and dogs now days provide stability to humans with disabilities or even emotional support. Yes providing cure is good for our society but there are so many animals being killed and cures are not coming more know as many animals are being killed. If we start to create disease in labs and do testing that way we are able save animals and find cures without doing any harm.
In conclusion, the two stories have very similar circumstances when it comes to animal abuse. In the one story the officer kills the elephant due to the rest of society wants him to and the other one deals with how they used live sedated dogs to learn and do testing and then kill them after. Animal abuse is a topic that is seen not very important due we have hunting rights, they used them to further medicine and etc. Morals are a very touchy subject when it comes to right and wrong, with that the individual and unique of people’s morals suggest a type of person you are and your beliefs. There are many factors that play into morals like beliefs, religion, government and mostly society. If you had to make the same decision as the authors would you have made the same choice as them?