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Animal testing in a majority of medical instances has been proven beneficial in that the experiment done on animals help to save human lives. Human life is of a higher form as compared to that of animals. When medicines are produced or made, they need to be tested before they are brought out for human consumption and that they are properly tested to be less toxic and not dangerous to the human life (Guerrini, 2003). This testing should be done on animals first before they are proven free to be used by humans. Animal experimenting can be helpful in understanding humans that is to be able to understand the effects drug use and drug addiction.
The biology and metabolism of animals is enough to detect toxicity in many drugs. It is therefore ethical and moral to run animal tests for the sake of human life. We use animals for the betterment of human life on daily basis like for instance; we use animals for food, or even for labor like pulling of ploughs so there is nothing wrong in using the same animals for running tests and experiments (Carbone, 2004).
Vaccines for diphtheria, smallpox and measles were first tested on mice and rats. Organ transplants of vital organs, blood transfusions, were also first done to animals. In this animal testing, not only humans benefit but the animals themselves also benefit with the new development of treatments for rabies, distemper, anthrax, and many other types of diseases of animals.
Neurobiologists are also experimenting on mice and rats to find ways of trying to repair the nerve tissues and also restore movement due to injuries to the spinal cord. Alzheimer’s disease and AIDS (Acquired Immuno deficiency Syndrome) which are diseases that are causing threat to the human population scientists are using animals to try and find cures to these diseases.
Arguments against animal testing
Animals like any human feel emotions and also they feel pain therefore running tests and experiments on animals is more of torture and it should not be encouraged or allowed at all. If the scientists and doctors tried to fit into the shoes of the animals, then they would not even think of doing it. There is no human who would wish to have experiments done on him. These animals that have to be experimented are locked up in cages, their freedom is minimized and the only time that they are let out is when the tests are done to them. These animals undergo a lot of pain and some even die in the process. Once the scientists are done with the animals, they then kill the animals which become very unfair to the animal life.
Small animals like rats and guinea pigs are tortured to justify helping human life which is very unethical. There are so many ways of running tests and experiment in the laboratories which would avoid these mistreatments these innocent animals have to undergo. Animals in this case have no choice since they cannot talk or express their feelings so humans are so selfish into not letting these animals live their own lives in their own natural environments other than living in locked cages.
Animal research failed to show bacteria as the root cause of ulcers therefore, there was a delay in the treating of ulcers using antibiotics. An arthritis medication, flosint, was tested on dogs, monkeys and rats and it worked well however, in humans, it caused deaths. This shows that how medication reacts in animals may be very different in humans since it can have a positive reaction in animals but trigger a negative reaction life leading to death and other complications like kidney or heart failures (Bowlby, 1991). Many observers of today are doubtful on whether the results that are got by the scientists in the laboratories out of testing animals on whether they are valid and true since in most cases they act in the reverse. This is where the drug the scientists come up with may respond well to the animals but may be toxic when it comes to humans. Human life in this case is considered not to be equal to that of the animals.
Animal rights activists completely support the ban on these animal experiments and support the modern and alternatives. Animals are helpless and defenseless and they need to be protected. They cannot give consent to have their bodies used for scientific research as humans do give a consent. A scientist cannot just decide to use a person’s body for scientific purposes without the will of the individual, so animals also have a right to live not to be used as tools when one is through with, damps or kills them at will (Rudacille, 2000).
Opponents and observers argue that these research animals due to captivity experience pain and may be injured or may even become distressed. They term this testing and experimenting as being ineffective. The stress that these animals may suffer from may hinder the biological process. The humane society of the United States carried out a study which showed that 92% of the many drugs that were tested through the laboratories and pass the tests often fail in the trials on the humans it was intended for.
Injecting a virus like the virus for HIV forcefully in animals to understand the effects it will have to humans is actually unethical. An animal cannot be able to express suffering and pain and in this case, the humans take advantage of the animal by performing these dangerous tests on the innocent animals. It is not easy to make a comparison on the importance of the life of a human over the life of an animal. Scientists tend to think and believe that animals don’t really possess significant relationships so they get them for running these cruel tests on them.
Animal testing in most cases is always unsafe and misleading and fallacious. There is believed to be other alternatives like computer models, working on isolated cell cultures and tissues which can still produce good results as the law demands. Running tests on animals in most cases is rather expensive and time consuming and yet on the other hand, it is still termed as one of the best ways into discovering safe and effective new treatments and the causes of some diseases.
The Animal Welfare Act of the United States sets minimum requirements for the treatment of animals in the laboratories. It protects rats and mice which make up about 95% of the animals that are used to run tests. Some diseases like smoking related cancer and other types of cancers are very difficult to be reproduced in these lab animals which make it very difficult to control and treat thus making many people to die out of the continued smoking. Animal experimenting and research is brutal, cruel and unnecessary. In conclusion, it is unethical to test on animals, even if the testing helps save human lives.