Should animals be made to work for humans? (Does Sgt.Spot want to reup?) : The Ballad of a Kaleidoscope

Should animals be made to work for humans? (Does Sgt.Spot want to reup?)

by Daniel Vliet on 06/19/13

 “Our Maritime forces are hard at work supporting air operations, maintaining security to the Arabian Gulf for all shipping and completing the difficult task of de-mining Iraqi waters.” Major General Victor Renuart

 It is ethical to use animals for national security, providing they are compensated like humans who are in the armed forces. Animal should only be used if they are given food and shelter and are released after a period of service, and their direct occupation does not lead to their death. The different types of animals used in the military are very diverse. Pigeons are used to detect toxic chemicals; some pigeon die to do their jobs. Dolphins detect land mines underwater. Dogs are used for protection and companionship and also sniff out landmines. Animals have been used since the beginning of time, in cleaning up before and after conflicts.

 Animals were widely used throughout the ages, but in the 20th century many animal saved lives. Cher Ami a Carrier Pigeon served in World War One and saved 200 Americans from the Germans during the Great War, simply by delivering a message. Three horses, who worked with allied forces during The Second World War, made gallant choices much like humans do, to complete the mission rather then run. Olga worked the streets of war torn Tooting, South London. A bomb went off near the horse, the horse continued on; the horse “Sucked it up and drove on”. Upstart the horse completed all assigned duties in professional manner; even under bombardment. Regal the horse remained cool when a bomb hit the horse’s stable. Sadie the Labrador, a dog for the 21st century found stuff in Iraq, Bosnia and Kosovo. Sadie was working in Afghanistan in a United Nation Compound. The dog searched out explosives in an odd place, a metal pressure cooker. The explosives would have been set off by remote control if the explosives were not found; Lance Corporal Yardley was the dog’s handler. The animal in war history did get awards; put did they really get a place of honor equal to humans.

 According to The United States War Dog Association, many dogs never got to come home after most wars. There was too much fear of disease, and other social economic factors. Several million dogs have died in military history. It is believed that 4,900 dogs were used in the Vietnam War, but many of these American heroes were left in Vietnam. Many dogs were lost to mines and abandonment. The United States government trained 10,000 soldiers to be dog handler. Dogs have and are being used to detect land mines and are able to recognize the existence of other life altering tormenting traps. Germans Sheppard, are often used because of their keen sense of smell, above and beyond that of other breeds.

 Research by Ann Goth, Ian G. Mcleon and James Trevelyan shown in How do dogs detect landmines, A Summary of Research. There are several types of different scents the land mines have and the dogs are trained to detect. Some mines are not metal, they are made with plastic or some cases, wood, and this is why a dog’s olfactory skills are important, according to Sandia National Laboratories (2007).

 Dogs have other animals’ allies an insect, a bee. Bees work to fight to restore safe lands back to civilians, and that’s by making honey. Honey bees travel and gather pollen, the also look for TNT a chemical in landmines. Many countries use dogs to get landmines off their lands, these civilizations are aided by honey bees and dogs, and of course humans help a little.

 The ethical question is animals do not know what is at stake; they are doing things to please humans. In the military it is not about who is stronger in a unit. Every member of the unit is green. So if member is green, every one is a volunteer. Dogs and Cats and any other kind of animals needs to be evaluated by doctor and asked” Does Sergeant Spot want to reenlist”. A qualified doctor gets the answer simply by the animal’s attitude and condition. Animals are given training, shelter and food and human bond with their animals they take into harms way.

 The Conclusion of the use of animals in dangerous situation will be debated for years to come. As technology advances the use of animals will get less and less. Robots and other technology may never be sophisticated enough to smell. Robots may have to find things like landmines using magnets or a probe method, similar to how animal find mans desired objects. Humankind expects an animals to do a days work, they surely no one can argue all four legged and winged and finned service member deserve more then to be put to sleep or abandonment after tours of duty, they are American heroes just as their human companions, and deserve equal companions for equal work…

 “The team works in both deep and shallow waters, looking for mines and marking them. Dolphins have been used like this by the U.S. Navy for more than 30 years, and have proved themselves more reliable robots, unlike robots the dolphins neither run out of power nor have problems communicating from the seabed” Pentagon Spokesman




1. Justice ,Dolphins Help Spot Mines in Iraq War,, Mar 25, 2003


2. Harriet Arkell, K-DOG the mine hunter, Evening Standard, 2008


3., Cher Ami (Dear Friend)


4. The United States War Dogs Association, War Dogs, Inc,,2008


5.Ann Goth, Ian G. Mcleon and James Trevelyan , How do dogs detect landmines, A Summary of Research


6. Jerry Bromenshenk ,Sandia National Laboratories, Sandia, University of Montana researchers try training bees to find buried landmines,, April 27, 1999


7. ,The cats and dogs of war get their own VCs at special awards ceremony details/The+cats+and+dogs+of+war+get+their+own+VCs+at+special+awards+ceremony/, Evening Standard, 2008




PETA slams use of dolphins in war


Describes having marine mammals clear underwater mines as 'cruel' ,,March 25, 2003

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