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Animal 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. 
          Animal 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 creatures?
          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 Animal Experimentation”).
          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). 

  

Works Cited 

“Alternatives to Animal Experimentation.”  Americans For Medical Advancement. 28 
          October 2002 <http://www.curedisease.com/Altern1.html>.
“Alternatives to Animal Experiments (Three R’s).”  The Netherlands Centre 
          Alternatives to Animal Use. 4 November 2002 < http://www.
          nca-nl.org/alternatives.htm>.
Klepacz, Robert J.  “Animal Experimentation.”  28 October 2002 <http://www.
          ee.cua.edu/~bme_des/srd/srd_br_animal-exp.html>.

This page was last updated on 06 June 2013
Copyright Randy Rambo