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I've learned that to effectively speak up for animals a person must learn to deliver potent arguments. From the course I took at Edx.org about climate change denial, I've found out how to present better arguments.[0]


The main issue with vaccines is animal cruelty and testing. An animal rights advocate must focus on the strongest part of the argument holding the moral high ground. Yet, some people still hold onto much weaker arguments.

We must discard the weakest links in the anti-vaccine debate. That is autism and disease. I've done a lot of research and at first I believed that vaccines caused autism. Yet, I am a fallible human being. I was using a form of cognitive bias called conformation bias. I wanted vaccines to cause autism because I am an animal right advocate. Nevertheless, I came to a conclusion first and then looked for evidence to back up my conclusion. A true skeptic or scientist performs the opposite, weighting the evidence and then forming a conclusion.

After weighting the evidence I've come to the conclusion that vaccines do not cause autism and overall do more good than harm in regards to humans. Vaccines save human lives, but at the cost of animal lives. That being said, when making an argument you must decide if you want to take the abolitionist or the animal welfare approach.

An abolitionist approach would be to ban animal testing in the research and development of vaccines. An animal welfare approach would be to lessen the suffering inflicted upon animals in the name of vaccine testing.


Why not throw everything in but the kitchen sink?

There will always be some doubt on any major scientific issue, creationism, climate change, and vaccines. So, why not use vaccine deniers' arguments? Here's the problem, humans don't think logically. If you give someone a thousand dollars in scenario A versus giving a person a thousand dollars and a 5 cent off coupon for tissues in scenario B, the person will value scenario A over B.

The same goes with applicants. Applicant X is a person who got perfect SAT scores. Applicant Y also got perfect SAT scores and also worked as a McDonald's cashier for a week. Applicant X will win, because the much less impressive quality diminishes the impressive achievement.

 I'm sure there is some fancy scientific term for what I am describing, I will try to look up the term later. Furthermore, by throwing in the autism argument against vaccines we are effectively incriminating the wrong cause. This allows the real cause of the increase in autism to go unchecked. The real cause of autism increases is air pollution from traffic and broader detection.

"Being exposed to high levels of air pollution from traffic may raise the risk of autism, researchers say."
Kathleen Doheny WebMd [1]

"

It was developed a few years ago to detect broader signs of language or developmental delays." nbcsandiego.com [2]

To continue to blame vaccines for autism not only weakens your argument but is immoral because it allows the real culprit to go free. Yes, the evidence is leaning towards the fossil fuel industry not vaccines. Furthermore, some of the test done to promote the alleged link between autism and vaccines are cruel to animals. Yes, that's right by stubbornly reinforcing this link, you are causing additional suffering to animals. This is the opposite of vegan.

Below is a quote about how mice are abused due to anti-vaccine research, having technical difficulties the quote might not show.


"

Torturing mice, data, and figures in the name of antivaccine pseudoscience" [3] David Gorski on October 30, 2017 sciencebasedmedicine.org

"

Three dozen dead monkeys later, vaccines still don’t cause autism" [4] David Gorski on October 5, 2015


To make matters even worse when arguing against vaccines incorrectly, vaccines save human lives.

"

Vaccines given to infants and young children over the past two decades will prevent 322 million illnesses, 21 million hospitalizations and 732,000 deaths over the course of their lifetimes, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Vaccines also will have saved $295 billion in direct costs, such as medical expenses, and a total of more than $1.3 trillion in societal costs over that time," [5]

Liz Szabo, USA TODAY Published 1:00 p.m. ET April 24, 2014 | Updated 6:53 p.m. ET April 24, 2014


Arguing against animal testing in vaccines

The correct and most effective way to argue against vaccines is the animal testing that is involved. This is the weakest point of the pro-vaccine argument. We have a finite amount of time on this Earth, and we cannot afford to waste time on ineffective arguments.

"

Around 5 million animals including mice, rats, fish, chickens, rabbits, dogs and primates are used across the EU for this purpose each year. " [6]

"

As well as pain and distress from the scientific procedures used, animals will suffer from the symptoms of the disease or condition that is being studied. Healthy animals are also then used to assess the safety of any treatments developed before trials are done on humans or on farm or pet animals. Animals are usually killed at the end of the tests. " [6]

"

According to a report in the British newspaper The Independent, one conclusion from the failed study was that “testing HIV vaccines on monkeys before they are used on humans, does not in fact work.”(11)

These are not anomalies. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has stated, “Currently, nine out of ten experimental drugs fail in clinical studies because we cannot accurately predict how they will behave in people based on laboratory and animal studies.”(12)" [7]

As you can read above, animal testing is the giant in the room.

Conclusions

In conclusion, vaccines save human lives at the cost of animal lives. Autism is most likely caused by air pollution from traffic and broader detection in lieu of vaccines. Continuing to spread the rumor of the connection between autism and vaccines empowers a community that hurts animals more with redundant animal testing as well as weakening your argument. Much animal testing of drugs and procedures does not equate to adequate testing, because humans are different than non-human animals.

Instead, we need to focus on drawing attention to the cruelty and ineffectiveness of animal testing. Whether you personally decide to go for animal welfare, reducing pain to animals in animal testing or abolitionist, calling for the complete end to animal testing is a personal choice, both are needed and should work together for the benefit of animals. Ideally, we would find a solution like lab grown meat to test vaccines that would eliminate the suffering of animals. At the same time, we would reap the benefits of vaccines.

Personally, I've debated the vaccine issue and found I turn more heads when I talk about the animal cruelty of vaccines and only inspire ire when I talk about the autism side.

Sources
0. https://www.edx.org/course/making-sense-of-climate-science-denial
1. https://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/news/20121121/air-pollution-auti...
2. https://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/health/24-Questions-Could-Detect-A...
3. https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/torturing-mice-data-and-figures-in...
4. https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/antivaccine-activists-fund-a-study...
5. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/04/24/cdc-vaccine-b...
6. https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/laboratory/medicinesandva...
7. https://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-experimentation/animal...

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