But on the other side of the coin, critics are also pushing their reasons why the practice should not be continued, with animal suffering and ethical issues as their biggest concerns.
After all, it cannot be denied that the conditions of these test subjects are truly monotonous, unnatural and stressful, causing them to feel uncomfortable, suffer and even die. Basically, whether this practice is good or bad really depends on who you are asking.
To come up with a well-informed opinion, let us take a look at the pros and cons of animal experimentation. It contributes to cures and treatments that save human lives. Proponents claim that most medical breakthroughs in the last century were direct results of animal experimentation. For example, insulin was discovered through a test where dogs had their pancreases removed. The Anderson Cancer Center also associated the hepatitis B vaccine with tests that were conducted on chimpanzees.
Without these experimentations, these people say that thousands, if not millions, of hepatitis B and diabetic patients would have died each year. It provides an ethical alternative solution to testing.
It is widely believed that it is unethical to use humans for invasive experiments, especially when it could result in death. Human lives should not be put at risks by letting them volunteer for testing medicines for potential toxicity or side effects, as well as for manipulating genes.
To prevent unfavorable consequences, animal testing is done to precede human trials. It allows researchers to study test subjects for an entire life span.
Considering that human beings can live up to 80 years or more, scientists who are conducting tests would be dead before they can gather results. On the other hand, laboratory animals, particularly rats, can only live for 2 to 3 years, which give researchers the opportunity to study the effects of treatments and genetic manipulation over an entire lifetime.
In other cases, they can even continue to conduct experiments across several generations, which is why lab animals have been used for long-term research on cancer. It uses animals that are identical to humans in some way.
As you can see, people and animals are biologically similar, having the same set of organs, central nervous system and bloodstream, which is why both are affected by virtually the same health conditions and diseases. Considering these facts, animals are being accepted as appropriate research subjects. It provides benefits to the animals themselves.
If vaccines were not tested on animals, a lot of them could have died from diseases and health conditions, such as hepatitis, rabies, leukemia, anthrax, parvo, hip dysplasia, glaucoma, etc. Aside from this, animal experimentation helped keep some endangered species from becoming extinct.
This is the reason of the American Veterinary Medical Association to endorse this practice. It uses cruel and inhumane treatment. Generally, testing protocols are often painful to the animal test subjects, where they are deprived of food and water, force-fed, physically restrained in long periods, inflicted with pain and wounds to test for healing process effects and remedies, and even purposely killed as part of the process. After all, they are below humans in the natural chain of things.
But, as English philosopher and social reformer Jeremy Bentham puts it, it is not a question of whether they can talk or reason, but whether or not they suffer. Considering that animals cry and show discomfort, it is safe to conclude that they feel something. Unfortunately, vivisection, or the practice of animal experimentation, is perfectly acceptable and legal. It is the worst form of animal abuse that is institutionalized and sanctioned by our society.
Despite the fact that the conditions of animals in labs are monotonous, stressful, and very unnatural for them, invasive experimentation persists, and even when the endpoint is death. Whether animal experimentation is good or bad really depends on who you are asking. But, if it is condone by society, then there must be some advantages to it, even if the benefits are at the expense of animal lives.
Contributes to many cures and treatments that save many human lives The majority of the medical breakthroughs that have happened in the last years were direct results from animal research and experimentation, according to the California Biomedical Research Association. Insulin, for example, was discovered through an experiment where dogs have their pancreases removed. The Anderson Cancer Center animal research also associated the vaccine for Hepatitis B with experimentation on chimpanzees.
Without these experimentations, thousands, if not millions, of diabetic patients and those with hepatitis B would have been killed every year. Provides adequate living, whole body system test subject No other living thing in this planet has the closest anatomical structure as humans than animals. A human body is extremely complex that cell cultures in a petri dish cannot provide sufficient test results or proof that a cure or product is effective.
Testing a drug for side effects, for example, requires a circulatory system that will carry the drug to different organs. Studying interrelated processes is also best done in subjects with endocrine system, immune system, and central nervous system, something humans and animals have. What about the use of computer models? They would require accurate information that is gathered from animal research. Humans and animals are also biologically similar, having the same set of organs, bloodstream and central nervous system, which is why they are affected with the same diseases and health conditions.
Given these circumstances, animals used in experimentation do serve as appropriate research subjects. Provides an ethical alternative for testing Most people would say that it is unethical to use humans for invasive experimental procedures, especially when it can result in death. The lives of human volunteers must not be endangered when testing medicines for side effects or potential toxicity.
Ethical consideration must also be made when genetic manipulation would be involved. Human trials must be preceded by animal testing, as stated by the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki. But, if animals could talk, they would probably demand the same ethical considerations. Offer benefits to animals themselves Animal experimentation is not only beneficial to humans but animals as well. If the vaccines were not tested on them, a lot of them could have died from rabies, infectious hepatitis virus, anthrax, feline leukemia, and canine parvovirus.
Remedies for hip dysplasia and glaucoma were also discovered through animal testing. But the real highlight is that vivisection helped kept endangered species, such as the California condor, the tamarins of Brazil, and the black-footed ferret, from becoming extinct. This is why animal testing is endorsed by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Allow researchers to study a test subject for a whole life span Humans can live up to 80 years or more, which means some scientists would be dead before others results will be gathered.
Laboratory mice, on the other hand, only live for 2 to 3 years, giving researchers an opportunity to study effects of genetic manipulation or treatments over an entire lifetime.
In some cases, they can continue to study across several generations. This is why mice and rats have been used for long-term cancer research. Animals are protected from abuse and mistreatment Contrary to what most opponents believe, animal research is highly regulated, with laws enacted to protect animals.
Since , the federal Animal Welfare Act have been regulating animal experimentation. Fewer animals are used in research than as food for humans Compared to the amount of chicken, cattle, sheep and pigs that humans eat, relatively few of them are used in experimentation. With consideration to the medical progress and advancement such tests provided, it is a small price to pay.
To illustrate, for every chicken used in research, an equivalent of are used as food. Cruel and inhumane treatment Protocols in animal testing are often painful to the test subjects. They are forced fed, deprived of food and water, restrained physically for prolonged periods, inflicted with burns, wounds and pain to test for healing process effects and remedies, and even killed through neck-breaking or asphyxiation. This is according to the Humane Society International.
The clips usually stay on for days, and to ensure the rabbits stay in place, they are incapacitated. Some experimentation also involves using lethal doses of certain chemicals to determine how much can kill animals. Animals make poor test subjects This statement is a direct contradiction from what proponents believe about how closely related animals and humans are anatomically and biologically, because of the many metabolic, cellular, and anatomical differences between the two species.
Using rats for toxicity, for example, must not be accepted as reliable since humans are nowhere close to being kilogram rats, according to Thomas Hartung, professor of evidence-based toxicology at Johns Hopkins University. This is further supported by the study in the Archives of Toxicology that states that the lack of direct comparison of human data versus that of a mouse makes the usefulness of research data dubious.
Success in animal experimentation does not equate to human safety When the sleeping pill thalidomide was tested on pregnant rats, mice, cats and guinea pigs, there were no incidence of birth defects, except when administered at extremely high doses.
Cons of Animal Research Using animals in research is a costly methodology. Often it is not even possible without the companies or organizations asking for outside funding from third parties.
The pros and cons of animal research will always be controversial. Testing animals to see if a product is safe may be better than testing humans first, but that also means the life of an animal is devalued.
Cons of Animal Testing. Animal Welfare Act Is Bypassed The Animal Welfare Act, or AWA, was signed in in order to protect certain animals from cruel treatment. The animals that are chosen for testing are not covered in this act. This is because they carefully choose animals whose rights do not fall under the jurisdiction of the AWA. Jun 13, · Animal testing is a process that has been going on for centuries for numerous reasons, such as developing medical treatments, determining the toxicity of certain medications, confirming the safety of a product designed for humans, and other health care ovaren.cf: April Klazema.
Moreover, the nutrition of cats and dogs has been improved after repeated animal tests. Cons Animal testing statistics are alarming. To discover new medicines and vaccinations, millions of animals are killed every year all across the globe. Animal rights are lost in oblivion when it comes to animal testing ethics. In this part, we focus on the demerits. Fewer animals are used in research than as food for humans Compared to the amount of chicken, cattle, sheep and pigs that humans eat, relatively few of them are used in experimentation. With consideration to the medical progress and advancement such tests provided, it is a small price to pay.