Most people believe animal testing is essential to drug and vaccine research. Which is true, in a sense, because scientist have come up with a lot of vaccines for certain viruses. However, during the process, animals are treated poorly and their cages are in awful conditions.
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Most of the chemicals being administered into these patients are not safe for them, which sometimes results in death. Not only that, animals cannot comprehend what humans can. They cannot speak for themselves. These animals grow up thinking cruelty is the way of life. Animal testing should be for animal benefit only, not humans. Animal testing for human research is cruel, unnecessary, and most importantly it should be illegal.
Here is a little history about animal testing and where it originated. Animal testing is used to assess the safety and effectiveness of everything from medication to cosmetics, as well as understanding how the human body works. Animal testing has been going on since Aristotle’s time period. However, animal testing became a more wide known research when Charles Darwin created his theory of evolution that opened the doors for animal experiments, to help learn more about the human body. In 1876, England passed an Act called, the British Cruelty to Animals Act, which, persuaded ordinary folks that physiological research would be conductedin a responsible andpainless manner (Conn 43). However, the Act was ignored, to an extent, because society could still not understand why it was immoral. Mainly due to that fact that all anyone knew was that animals were vital for human research and treatment of disease, but the act was passed. Society did realize that the animals should not be treated poorly and the regulations were a perfect idea. In the 19th and 20th centuries, animal experimentation became a wider spread research, because the Medicines Act, created in 1968, which provided a clearer guide to the use of animals in safety testing (HistoryofAnimalResearch). By this time, the animals being used rose to about 5.5 million. Unfortunately, the Cruelty to Animals Act was the last animal activist law to regulate experimentation until 1966, when Life magazine published a story about the living conditions of a facility of an animal dealer who gave dogs to a research institutions (Conn 44). Finally Congress started to respond and passed the Animal Welfare Act that had specific humane regulations, governing the sale, treatment, and use of laboratory animals (Conn 44). The Act became the law of the land. It still allowed experimentation, but more strict regulations. Which to this day, is still not being followed as much as it should.
Testing on animals for human benefit shows that people really believe that animals’ lives are more insignificant than humans. Probably because, nobody realizes the conditions of these animals and how they are treated. Scientist not only cause unnecessary fear and stress into these animals, but they also harm them. They are treated unfairly and left in awful conditions, for example, unclean cages, starvation and many other cruelties. they are acquired almost casually, housed abysmally, and denied anything remotely like a life (Newkirk 2). In one case, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) came across a laboratory in Silver Spring, Maryland, where they found monkeys with open festering wounds, no hair, and emaciated. The worst part is that the reason they did not have any hair, is not because of the scientist, but because the monkeys themselves would rip it out due to the fact they were so frustrated and miserable. Because of the poor conditions they were left in on top of dirty and broken kennels. Scientist could care less what these monkeys felt, they just wanted answers. It was so gruesome in this laboratory that, the monkeys would injure their deadened limbs, sometimes catching and then tearing off their fingers on the jagged, broken, and rusted wires that protruded from their cages (Newkirk 1). People still try to say that animal experimentation has been the future for medications and vaccines, but if animal experimentation was against the law then people would go into an outrage because researchers would have to experiment on people in order to get any further with medications and vaccines. These people are probably uneducated about the whole process. Which is the problem with today’s society.
Throughout time animal research has helped scientist find ways to prevent and treat diseases. Like heart diseases, diabetes, obesity, neurological diseases, cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, and gastrointestinal diseases. One of the main reasons that animals are used for research is because it would be, wrong to deliberately expose human beings to health risks (AmericanPhysiologicalSociety). Another reason being because they have a shorter life span. Which makes it easier for scientists to study throughout their whole life span and through several generations. The American Physiological Society, APS, recently did a study by using curry spice, which is an Indian seasoning, on mice with heart failure. They used curcumin, which is a chemical found in the turmeric plant. This chemical is used in Asia to treat gastrointestinal disease and skin wounds. What led the scientist to begin the study was that in the curcumin it has a compound that, may prevent or limit muscle wasting associated with a number of health conditions, including heart failure (AmericanPhysiologicalSociety). To begin the scientists tested how much the mice, with and without heart failure, could exercise before wearing out both before the curcumin and after. The study showed an increase in their exercising ability in both mice. They have not preformed any study on a human yet, but it did make a difference in the mice. Another method of animal research is vivisection, which is where scientists preform operations on live animals. Because there is no law requiring researchers to sedate or give any pain meds to their patients. The vivisection industry will perform ‘surgeries’ on animals that are fully awake. When this first began people deemed animals as objects with no personality or soul. Which gave them no rights over their own bodies. In these studies researchers have stated that they have found cures for gastrointestinal diseases and also vaccines for polio and other older sicknesses that had no cure before. The sad thing is that, One in twenty prospective cancer cures used in human tests reaches the market (Gardiner217). These animals undergo so many tests just for most of the studies to fail. Which goes back to the point that animal testing for human benefit is unnecessary.
In conclusion, animal research for human benefit is unnecessary. No animal is the same and no human is the same. Which is why animal research should only be done if it will be benefiting the animal population and human research should be done on humans. To make matters worse no drug is allowed to be sold until it under goes multiple tests on animals. Most of these drugs and vaccines tested never make it to the market, because, for example, most mouse tumors come from different types of tissue than a human. If most vaccines and medications fail during animal testing then it would make sense to try a new route completely. Scientist have discovered how to make some drugs by using alternative research. They are not pushing hard enough to make it possible to research all new drugs alternatively. Scientist can say all day long that they care about the well-being of these animals, but almost every book, article and journal entry about animal research has shown animal cruelty in each laboratory that has been turned in. The sad thing is that society is not educated enough to really understand how cruel and unnecessary animal testing is. Most people believe in animal research for human benefit just by what they have been told. That it is vital and it cannot be done any other way, but in this day and age there is clinical trials. A person could volunteer to be the ‘guinea pig’ and get paid. Although these trials are not conducted before being tested on animals, but at this point we already have the ball rolling. People already volunteer, why not cut out the beginning process and just start with the human clinical trials. If a person volunteers they have read and hopefully understood the risks and sign an agreement. If scientist can put an innocent life that has no way to defend itself or even understand what is going on, then why not do the same to humans, because at least we can sign a consent form. It takes a different type of person to be able to go to bed at night after torturing an innocent animal for their own benefit. No life is more important than the next; it does not matter if you are a human or an animal.
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