Homework: Student Voices January 26, 2009

Cody Everett of Fruita Middle School calls for an end to the Iraq war, while Katy Mueller of Mount Garfield Middle School urges careful consumption of gas. Connie Reust and Steven Puckett of West Middle School tackle the debate over animal testing.

•  Iraqi war takes lives, kills economy

As the war in Iraq continues to kill our economy, many are losing their lives. The war takes the lives of not just soldiers, but civilians, too. Men and women of our country are getting shot every day over there. We are the police over there. We are not fighting to win; we’re trying to control their country. Why should we waste our time and people on something that could take years to do?  Clearly, the war in Iraq is killing our economy.
Cody Everett, 13, Fruita Middle School

• Think twice before using gas

We need gas, but we waste so much of it. Our use of gas is tearing up land. We use gas just to go one mile down the road and to mow or lawn, even though it might not need it. How about we ride our bikes that one mile and mow our lawn once a week?  If we do, we’ll be healthier and the ozone will last longer. So, come on!  Let’s use less gas and save the world.

Katy E. Mueller, 13,
Mount Garfield Middle School

• Animal testing is inhumane

  Jeremy Bentham, an English jurist and social reformer, once said, “The question is not ‘Can they reason?’ nor ‘Can they talk?’ but ‘Can they suffer?’ ” Animal testing is inhumane. Animals should have the same basic rights as humans, because animals have feelings, too.
Both humans and animals have the same part of the brain that processes pain. The fact that animals have been studied for pain, depression and anxiety gives evidence that scientists recognize animals are capable of suffering in ways like humans.  There is persuasive evidence that animals have thoughts, memories and frustrations. Animals can be harmed by fear, isolation and confinement.  These are experiences that are unavoidable in laboratories.
There is one simple way to help stop animal testing; don’t buy animal-tested products.

Connie Reust, 14, West Middle School

•  Testing leads to vital medical breakthroughs

  What would you enjoy? Is it better to have many sick, dying or dead people without a critical way to get cured or to have many people helped by animal testing? Animal testing should stay in use, because it leads to medical breakthroughs for animals and people.
  If you have a beloved dog or cat, they have probably taken medication for heartworm disease. This medication exists because of animal testing, which is vital to developing medication for humans, too.  Antibiotics, anesthesia, vaccines, insulin for diabetes, drugs for open heart surgery, kidney dialysis and transplants, as well as treatment for asthma, leukemia and high blood pressure, have been developed through animal testing. 
  So what would you really enjoy better, a billion dead, dying or sick people or a couple of dead or sick animals?  We should thank the animals and sorrow at their deaths, but it is still a lot better with a few of them dead than a billion human beings.

Steven Puckett, 14, West Middle School


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