Did you know that there are more than 20 million animals that are used yearly for product, medical and scientific testing? Animals are often used in experimentation of medical treatments and procedures, including testing levels of toxicity in medications, are used in biomedical testing, and for commercial product testing. Animals have been the center of testing for thousands of years. There has long been debates regarding the testing of anything on animals, whether it’s for commercial or medical use, and both sides offer strong points of debate that should be considered carefully and with an open mind. Readers should know that the government has placed stringent laws for the treatment of animals in general, however, there are many who are against the low limits placed by the government.
For years, the main reason given why animals are used in testing is that there are no other suitable candidates for this testing. While there are people who are willing to be the so called guinea pigs for science and medical research, there are not enough willing people for the demand of information, and animals are the next more relied upon source.
A Debate Among the Masses
The two main arguments regarding animal testing is that it is inhumane and abusive to animals, while others feel that because there are not enough willing people that companies need to learn and experiment somehow to better help the world, and thus turn to animals.
Animal experimentation and testing is regulated by the Animal Welfare Act, which defines animal as any warm blooded animal. This excludes birds, fish, rats, cold blood animals and farm animals (regardless of warm or cold blooded) from experimentation and testing. This Act demands for reports as to the testing and treatment of all animals, however, allows for extensive testing that many may feel crosses the line.
The biggest argument in favor of animal testing and experiments is that there have been so many life changing, lifesaving and substantial developments in the field of medical science thanks to the experimentation performed on animals. Studies have shown that over the last 100 years of medical research where major breakthroughs and cures were found were through animal testing (at least 85 percent). If it weren’t for dogs, insulin never would have been created in medical labs for the treatment of diabetes. Without chimpanzees, a vaccine for Hepatitis B never would have been found. There are many other cures and vaccines that have been created and found thanks to animal testing.
The lack of human volunteers and stringent laws about the abuse of a human (regardless of consent) make animals the nest likely source. Animals have many systems that are so very similar to a humans that they are the perfect substitute for a person. Their organs work like a humans do, and many are just smaller in size, making it easier for doctors and scientists to learn and study with. Since many medical studies involve toxicity, it is illegal to put a person’s life in danger for the sake of medical research so animals are used. Ethical considerations are taken into account for each situation.
Animal testing is good for the sustainability of animals as well as people. Without these tests being done, there would never be a cure or vaccine for the illnesses that affect animals. While the body of a dog may work differently than a person, the same idea for treatment remains the same. Without animals to test the vaccine or treatment on, there would be no sure way to find out if it would work for millions of others over the years.
Are Animals Protected?
There are extremely strict laws in place for the treatment of animals that are in research labs and testing facilities. While many people will focus on the labs that go against government regulations and ethical treatment, they overlook that many facilities treat animals with care and compassion, even while in the testing phase and that they are not unnecessarily harmed. Also, most people feel that animals do not have the ability to decipher right from wrong, so morality is not a determining factor in whether or not an animal can be tested on.
The biggest con against animal testing is that it is cruel and inhumane to animals. In some cases, animals are forced to eat excessively, are forced medication, or are forced to do or consume other things. Many animals are bound, incapable of movement, or are otherwise incapacitated during many of these experiments, making it an often cruel experience for the animals. While people will say that animals don’t have souls and therefore this is humane to do, many would say that they can feel pain, register emotion and are capable of feelings more than just that of hunger, tiredness or excitement and that they should not be treated badly.
In many cases, there are now scientific ways of testing medications and other procedures or ideas without the use of animals or people. With the advancement in technology and medical science, animals can be spared and not treated inhumanely for what machines and technology can now do. In so many different ways, animals differ from people, and therefore are seen as bad test subjects. While there are many points where they are often similar, because of their differences, many would suggest that these differences are the defining line between an experiment going right and wrong in a person, and this makes experimentation on animals wrong.
Some drugs, procedures and treatments may work for animals, but this does not mean that they will work for people. Due to the fact that medical science has only come so far, it cannot be guaranteed that all treatments that are given to animals will work for people and this can cause mistreatment of the animals as well as the medical mistreatment to people.
Did you know that 90 percent of animals used in medical and commercial testing are not protected? The vast majority of testing is done on small rodents, such as rats and mice and rabbits, and they are not protected. The welfare of animals, regardless of their size or if they are warm or cold blooded, should be taken into account. They are, after all, living, breathing and can feel emotion and pain.
There are endless arguments for and against animal testing. These are often the most debated however. It is in each of us how we feel towards this topic, and regardless of the information presented, we will often feel strongly. An open mind is always a god thing to have in situations like this, but most people know that an inner emotional feeling will dictate which side you stand on.