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Experimentation: Right or Wrong?
What would it take for you to agree or disagree that a mouse or monkey
should suffer pain, or even die to cure leukemia? To
understand why some people are hard of hearing? Or are there no
scientific gains to justify the animal’s suffering? These
questions ought to be pivotal in any debate over the ethics of animal
experimentation. The Animal Welfare Act and the Health Research Extension
Act are two federal laws that protect the rights of animal
experimentation. Animals are used in a wide variety of
experimentations; these tests include the treatments for cancer,
antibiotics and vaccines, and heart transplants research (Klepacz).
Products should not be tested on animals to secure the health and safety
of humans. These animals should not have to suffer to save other’s
health. As many people know the testing of products on animals has
been a big aspect in securing people’s health, but is the suffering
these animals go through fair?
Some scientists are
developing and testing new drugs to reduce pain, or developing new
treatments for life-threatening diseases such as leukemia and AIDS. By
conducting experiments on live animals, scientists believe they can make
more rapid progress than would otherwise have been possible. In 1996
study of the pain inflicted on animals of research, “88.3% of the
animals experienced to pain, 55.3% were not exposed to or involved in any
painful procedures and 35% of the cases the animals received anesthesia or
pain relieving drugs” (Klepacz). Another startling fact I found on
Klepacz’s website was that, “over 41 Nobel Prizes have been awarded on
the basis of animal research” (Klepacz). Almost everything used in
everyday lives in America is a product tested on animals. Many
people agree that these products should be tested on animals first to
secure the health and safety of humans.
experimentation has misled researchers for centuries, confusing our
understanding of the human body and the diseases that plague it. Not
only does it switch limited resources away from valid science, but also by
delaying improvement, therapies and cure, it prolongs suffering and
increases morality. Misleading data regarding medications, collected
through animal experimentation, leads to injury and death. The
medical research establishment, pharmacies, other industries, and a
considerable public relations machine keep alive the belief that
experiments on animals are necessary, which these experiments are not.
The belief that animal experiments are necessary is kept animate
“because lab animal study safeguards industry against legal
responsibility and is hugely profitable, from a financial point of view
only” (“Alternatives to Animal Experimentation”). Seventeen
million to twenty-two million vertebrate animals, 150,000 dogs, and 50,000
cats are used each year for human research (Klepacz). Will humankind
ever find peace and widen our circle of compassion to include all living
The testing of
animals for human research is against anything even partially humane.
Animals are a part of this world just as humans are a part of the world.
Animals should not have to suffer to satisfy every human’s life.
There are other alternatives to the testing of products. Some
alternatives to animal experimentation are “Three R’s stand for
Replacement, Reduction and Refinement of the use of laboratory animal,
thereby avoiding the misleading term alternatives” (Alternatives to
Animal Experiments”). With many alternatives to take into
consideration, why make animals suffer? The advancement of science
would grow if animal experimentation stopped, because “these more
rewarding techniques would gather strength under augmented effort and
increased funding. It is entirely likely that we would then find
cure for today’s most challenging illnesses” (“Alternatives to
This essay has
explained the pros and cons to animal experimentation in today’s world.
It has also given my viewpoint on the situation. Those concerned
about the treatment of animals and who want to research to be relevant to
human health are unlikely to find the claims about animal experiments
comforting. A wide range of charities, businesses, and other
institutions meet their research needs with exclusively nonanimal methods.
Many feel more comfortable supporting these organizations instead of those
that continue to fund animal experiments. People can clearly weigh the
pros and cons of animal experimentation. It’s time for those who want a
peaceful debate to seize the initiative. Although it may take a long time
for these issues to be settled, there are still many efforts being taken
to decrease the number of animal experiments (Alternatives to Animal
Experiments (Three R’s).
to Animal Experimentation.” Americans For Medical Advancement. 28
to Animal Experiments (Three R’s).” The Netherlands Centre
Alternatives to Animal Use. 4 November 2002 <
Robert J. “Animal Experimentation.” 28 October 2002