Animal Testing- A Necessary Evil?

Animal testing has become a controversial topic lately raising animal rights issues in bio-medical and animal testing labs across the world. Since 500 BC, humans have utilized animals of all species for their medical experiments which allowed for the discovery of medical knowledge not known before. Animals have been the “guinea pigs” in many experiments which would test vaccinations, the effects of chemicals, surgeries, cloning, medicines, and many more procedures. In the United States alone, 26 million animals are tested on every year for commercial and scientific use; however, this number does not account for certain species which includes reptiles and birds. According to PETA, an animal rights activist group, over 100 million animals of all species are used solely in the United States. Animal testing has been debated about for centuries but it always seemed like humans were superior to animals and would take advantage of the animals’ genetic and physical similarities in order to make medicines safer for themselves. Without animal testing, there would be extremely limited ways of finding out whether certain chemicals are harmful to the human body or not; yet, are we making the right decision by carrying out experiments on animals which we would never do on humans?

The Positive Factors of Animal Testing

Undoubtedly, in the last hundreds of years that animal experimentation has been utilized, animals have indirectly contributed for the survival of thousands of humans who have fallen ill to diseases that range from diabetes to polio. In fact, the California Biomedical Research Association has stated that in the last 100 years, roughly all of the major breakthroughs in medicine and science have been linked to animal testing. The list of diseases that have allowed thousands of humans to celebrate more birthdays includes childhood leukemia, hepatitis B, insulin, and the polio vaccine. It also allowed for the understanding and treatment of breast cancer, brain injury, and malaria, along with many others, which will hopefully lead to a cure. In addition to trying to find a cure for diseases, multiple medicines are tested on animals which allow humans to live healthier lifestyles and are also tested for discovering the effects of machines and intangibles like sounds and sights. In addition, procedures and surgeries are performed on the animals to be used on humans later. The World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki has stated that animals are to be tested on before humans as it is “unethical” to test an unknown chemical on a human before an inferior creature like primates. In the end, animal testing has led to many significant breakthroughs in science that allowed for the extension of human life.

The Negative Factors of Animal Testing

Animal testing has frequently been referred to as “animal cruelty” and this poses a problem for the biomedical scientists looking for a cure to the most deadly illness. Animal rights activists such as PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, have advocated for animal rights for years and have created a conflict between those who are looking for a cure and those who are attempting to free animals. PETA calls animal testing a “wasteful and unreliable” act and believes that animals should be treated the way humans are. During the experimental process, animals are stored in cages, completely isolated and detached from their home environment which takes a heavy toll on the animal’s health. Apart from that, the raw truth is that animals are tortured and treated inhumanely using procedures and chemicals that will never be used on humans. Millions of animals are killed after their testing and never go home, almost like being sent to a concentration camp in Nazi Germany. Furthermore, animals are often ignored when they experience pain and are rarely ever given anesthesia for their pain. After all of the testing is over, the result and the pain that the animals went through occasionally goes to waste as those medicines and products are sometimes never used and is replaced by another formula. In what world is this humane and why is it so commonly used? The unfortunate truth is that animal experimentation is used in our world to benefit us.

Summary

To conclude, animal testing has its flaws and its benefits and results in helping humans while harming animals. Animal advocates claim that this act is extremely inhumane and unjust to animals; yet, are we doing the right thing? Are humans so much more important than animals? Is an animal’s life worth less than a human’s? These are all questions we will have to ask ourselves when we take our next vaccine or medicinal product.

 

What do you think? Is animal testing a necessary evil? Comment below and share your opinion and have your voice heard. You may remain anonymous by creating a false name, if necessary.

 

Bibliography

 

“Animal Testing – ProCon.org.” ProConorg Headlines. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Aug. 2014. <http://animal-testing.procon.org/#background&gt;.
“Will we ever… eliminate animal experimentation?.” BBC Future. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Aug. 2014. <http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20130609-will-we-ever-end-animal-testing&gt;.
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3 thoughts on “Animal Testing- A Necessary Evil?”

  1. Experimentation on animals seems inhumane, but are there really no better solutions? I do wonder how the successes compare to the failures. Also, have the experiments been used to benefit the animals themselves? For all the procedures that have been performed on the animals, are they only for human use and interest? Animals live with humans too, and they need the same help and benefits humans seek.

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