The arguments of those who support animal testing are understandable in certain situations, and, in these situation the views are valid and their views ought to be respected. And although there are downsides to animal testing and experimenting there’s upsides as well. At the cost of an animal’s life or comfortably humans lives will be saved or given an increased quality of life.
In the nineteenth century, physicians could do very little to treat heart disease, because there was no way to repair the heart in living patients (‘Science, Medicine, and Animals’). During these times pharmaceuticals and medicines we can now walk to our daily corner store for were unavailable. And due to hereditary conditions and lack of sanitation regulations heart disease was a massive problem, there was no way to treat babies born with malfunctioning valves or protocol to properly help someone having a heart attack. But around the turn of the century surgeons began operating on hearts of dogs and other animals, looking for procedures that could be used to directly work on the heart during open heart surgery and such. And indeed some lives were lost amongst the way but at the time it was seen as the ends justifying the means. But the National Academies Press states Today, heart surgery has extended and improved the lives of many people. More than 80 percent of the infants born with congenital heart defects can be treated surgically and lead normal lives. Some 3 million people undergo various kinds of cardiovascular operations and procedures in the United States each year (‘Science, Medicine, and Animals’). So without these cruel and inhumane experiments the loss of life would’ve been much more exponential by this time. These tests ran on animals are done to develop a better understanding anatomically and to actually help preserve life.
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Not only is animal testing used to find important data that can be used in medical practices but it’s led to behavioral breakthroughs as well. Research using animals has contributed immensely to our understanding of drug abuse and its consequences, prevention, and treatment (Young-Wilson). And of course everyone has seen the impact drug abuse and addiction has had on our society and anyone who’s experienced addiction or been close to someone who’s had problem and can understand it would say such experiments shouldn’t be ran on humans. Drug addiction is a hard disorder to get over and ruins lives but more specifically, Addiction is a human disease (Young-Wilson). But animal studies showed that if monkeys were given a choice of receiving cocaine or food, they would administer cocaine to themselves to the point of starvation. Clearly they were addicted to cocaine, but the addiction was behavioral, not physical (Young-Wilson). Since humans and animals share a lot of similarities in basic behavioral traits testing on animals in such a situation allows for proper treatments to be made as well as avoiding the complications of trying to unravel a human test subjects portrayed traits of addiction. But addiction tests being ran on animals holds the primary advantage of being able to more plainly observe primal actions and behavioral traits which humans fall back into, losing rational reasoning skills and logical thinking, upon becoming an addict. And considering how influential drug addiction is around the world treatments are highly called for and as it turns out animal testing is actually more efficient than testing on humans.
In conclusion animal testing might seem somewhat inhumane but once it’s thought about as an excuse to cure the human world of ailments and to increase the quality of life amongst suffering people it should be seen as positive way to say the ends justify the means when the goal is to preserve the life many more.
Read ‘Science, Medicine, and Animals’ at NAP.edu. National Academies Press: OpenBook Young-Wilson, Sue. Animal Experiments in Addiction Science. NIDA Archives, 1 Apr. 2006
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