Animal studies are laboratory experiments on live animals that cause them discomfort, anxiety, suffering, or even permanent injury. They are also used by scientists in their quest for vaccines and curative medicines. Animal research has been the topic of many debates over the years. Although some people consider it a necessary evil, others believe it should be scrapped. Although some people consider animals to be pets, others claim they live primarily to help humans succeed in different areas, including medicine. As a consequence, this paper would try to explain the numerous assertions concerning animal research. Is it a necessary procedure? Can it or should it be abolished? These are some of the queries this paper will be trying to answer. Even as calls for the abolishment of animal testing continue to rise, it is worth for people to comprehend the beneficial impacts of the procedures. Therefore, the positive consequences outweigh the negative; hence, animal testing should be allowed to continue.
Importance of Animal Testing
Animal testing offers the researchers with a broader picture of the vital elements to consider while deriving treatment as well as drugs. It is the building block of any form of medication whether for humans or animals. Majority of the treatments offered in various facilities today emanate from animal testing. Furthermore, through the animal experiments, it is easier to provide the safety measures that ought to be undertaken while administering a particular drug. Imagine a situation whereby drugs are administered into the human body without gauging its safety. It may have severe effects on people. As such, animals are used to assess the safety of these drugs among other elements. The procedure primarily prioritizes animal experiments over human testing because of the worth of human life (Ferdowsian).
Animal testing is the only way of conducting experiments. Evidently, there is no other sufficient alternative to testing a living whole-body system. In other words, there is no other way of determining whether a drug is safe or not for human consumption other than animal testing. Assessing the side effects of drugs mandates one to use a circulatory system. In fact, conditions like high blood pressure cannot be examined via tissue cultures. Therefore, animal tests provide the most adequate and accurate means of evaluating medications.
The animals are the most appropriate subjects for research due to their similarity to humans in some ways. For example, chimpanzees have 99 percent similarity to the human DNA while mice are roughly 98 percent similar. All the mammal inclusive of humans have a common ancestry; hence, they share similar organs like the kidneys, lungs, and heart. These organs also function in a similar manner. Due to these seminaries, animals are also vulnerable to conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and heart diseases. Therefore, they are the most suitable subjects from where the medication to these ailments can be found. Instead of using human volunteers, especially while measuring the toxicity of medicines, animals are utilized to establish the same. In other words, human life should be prioritized over the animals. Evidently, humans are superior in numerous ways as compared to the animals. The superiority in human beings leaves the animals as the only vessels that can be used to determine the safety aspects (Lonestar.edu).
Animal tests do not only benefit humans but the animals themselves. In other words, once a cure is established, it is used to treat other animals that suffer from similar ailments. As such, the outcomes of the experiments are also beneficial to the animals. Without these tests on animals, many animals would have died as a result of ailments like rabies, feline leukemia, anthrax, tetanus, distemper, and infectious hepatitis virus among others. Through the tests, some animals have also been saved from becoming extinct, including the tamarins of Brazil, California condor, and the black-footed ferret. It is a procedure that has been endorsed by different bodies including the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) (Hajar).
The opponents of animal testing mainly purport that it violates the animal’s rights. Using them as tools contravenes their rights. Moreover, animals and humans have many things in common such as feeling pain, behaving, and thinking, though with varying degrees. Therefore, subjecting them to these experiments is ethically wrong. They ought to be given similar respect to the humans. In general, it is a violation of animal rights to subject them forcefully to these tests. However, these sentiments are untrue. As elucidated above, both humans and animals benefit from the experiments. Besides, if the opponents of animal testing were all vegetarians, then they would give a stronger case. This is because, people consume animals and their products e.g. chicken, meat, and fish among other animal foods, which are even more harmful. It is also worth to note that stringent measures are instituted to control animal testing. Under controlled measures, they are protected from much harm (Perkel).
Opponents also believe that animal testing does not necessarily mean the drugs are safe. As such, they may provide misleading information that may compel the researchers to ignore the potential treatments. Also, the metabolic, cellular, and anatomic structure of humans differs from the animals. As such, they do not provide adequate vessels to determine the treatments. On the contrary, though the animals do not produce 100 percent outcomes, the results obtained from the experiments are vital for any progress. Even if the subjects are not accurate, information gathered can be used to get more accurate results. Moreover, many treatments have been obtained through these experiments (Conlee).
Animal testing has been a hot topic for many years. The animals are used to determine the safety of products and treatment in various aspects. Even as animal rights activists discourage the procedure implying that it is unethical, inaccurate, and leads to animal suffering, the benefits cannot be ignored. For instance, various treatments have emanated from these tests. The tests also benefit both humans and animals; hence, should be maintained. In general, the advantages of animal experiments far outweigh the detrimental impacts; thus, should be allowed to continue.
Conlee, Kathleen. “Animal Testing Not Effective.” 12 July 2013. huffingtonpost. 21 April 2017.
Ferdowsian, H. and Beck, N. “Ethical and Scientific Considerations Regarding Animal Testing and Research.” 6.9 (2011).
Hajar, Rachel. “Animal Testing and Medicine.” 12.1 (2011): 42.
Lonestar.edu. “Save the Animals: Stop Animal Testing.” 2017. 21 April 2017.
Perkel, Jeffrey M. “Life Science Technologies: Animal-Free Toxicology: Sometimes, in Vitro is Better,” sciencemag.” (2013).