Using Animals for Testing: Pros Versus Cons
There are many pros and cons to the practice of animal testing. Unfortunately, neither seem to fully tip the scale to a side that pleases everyone – including the general public, government and scientists.
Pros or Postives of Animal Testing1. Helps researchers to find drugs and treatments:
The major pro for animal testing is that it aids researchers in finding drugs and treatments to improve health and medicine. Many medical treatments have been made possible by animal testing, including cancer and HIV drugs, insulin, antibiotics, vaccines and many more.
2. Improves human health:
It is for this reason that animal testing is considered vital for improving human health and it is also why the scientific community and many members of the public support its use. In fact, there are also individuals who are against animal testing for cosmetics but still support animal testing for medicine and the development of new drugs for disease.
3. Helps ensure safety of drugs:
Another important aspect to note is that animal testing helps to ensure the safety of drugs and many other substances humans use or are exposed to regularly. Drugs in particular can carry significant dangers with their use but animal testing allows researchers to initially gauge the safety of drugs prior to commencing trials on humans. This means that human harm is reduced and human lives are saved – not simply from avoidance of the dangers of drugs but because the drugs themselves save lives as well as improve the quality of human life.
4. Alternative methods of testing do not simulate humans in the same way
Scientists typically use animals for testing purposes because they are considered similar to humans. As such, researchers do recognise the limitations and differences but the testing is done on animals because they are thought to be the closest match and best one with regards to applying this data to humans.
Cons or Negatives of Animal Testing1. Animals are killed or kept in captivity:
In animal testing, countless animals are experimented on and then killed after their use. Others are injured and will still live the remainder of their lives in captivity.
2. Some substances tested, may never be used for anything useful:
The unfortunate aspect is that many of these animals received tests for substances that will never actually see approval or public consumption and use. It is this aspect of animal testing that many view as a major negative against the practice, as it seems that the animal died in vain because no direct benefit to humans occurred.
3. It is very expensive:
Another con on the issue of animal testing is the price. Animal testing generally costs an enormous amount of money, as the animals must be fed, housed, cared for and treated with drugs or a similar experimental substance. On top of that, animal testing may occur more than once and over the course of months, which means that additional costs are incurred. The price of animals themselves must also be factored into the equation. There are companies who breed animals specifically for testing and animals can be purchased through them.
4. Animals and humans are never exactly the same:
There is also the argument that the reaction of a drug in an animal's body is quite different from the reaction in a human. The main criticism here is that some believe animal testing is unreliable. Following on that criticism is the premise that because animals are in an unnatural environment, they will be under stress. Therefore, they won't react to the drugs in the same way compared to their potential reaction in a natural environment. This argument further weakens the validity of animal experimentation.
Personal ChoiceWhile there are numerous pros and cons of animal testing, the ethical aspect overshadows both of them, which means that emotion may be the ultimate determining factor in whether a person believes the benefits of animal testing outweigh the problems associated with the practice.
For more information about the ethics of animal testing on this site, read the following features:
1. The controversy of animal testing
2. Medical treatments that have been found as a result of animal testing
3. Medical trials on humans.
External ResourcesRead around the subject at external sites - here are two very good resources:
The BBC education page on animal ethics
The Government legislation relating to animal testing
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Animal Experimentation Pros and Cons Essay examples
1885 Words8 Pages
The first pro to animal testing is that it has helped us create lifesaving cures and treatments. The California Biomedical Research Association released a statement saying almost every single medical breakthrough has resulted in the direct use of animals in the last 100 years. Can you believe this? Taking out dogs pancreases helped us discover insulin, chimpanzees helped us get a vaccine for Hepatitis B, and even the polio vaccine was tested on animals. Animal testing has also helped us treat and understand conditions like brain injury, breast cancer, cystic fibrosis, childhood leukemia, tuberculosis, multiple sclerosis, malaria, and many others. It even helped us develop anesthetics, pacemakers, and cardiac value substitutes. Almost every…show more content…
The first pro to animal testing is that it has helped us create lifesaving cures and treatments. The California Biomedical Research Association released a statement saying almost every single medical breakthrough has resulted in the direct use of animals in the last 100 years. Can you believe this? Taking out dogs pancreases helped us discover insulin, chimpanzees helped us get a vaccine for Hepatitis B, and even the polio vaccine was tested on animals. Animal testing has also helped us treat and understand conditions like brain injury, breast cancer, cystic fibrosis, childhood leukemia, tuberculosis, multiple sclerosis, malaria, and many others. It even helped us develop anesthetics, pacemakers, and cardiac value substitutes. Almost every cure for any condition is due to animal testing. Without animal testing, we may not have been able to find many of these cures and find cures for other conditions in the future. The second pro to animal testing is that there is not an alternative to a whole-body system in humans and animals. The systems of humans and animals are very advanced and studying something like a petri dish will not give the same effect as studying the whole systems in the body of an animal or human. You can’t find side effects for drugs if there is no circulatory system to have the medicine end up at different organs. Also blindness, high blood pressure, and other conditions have to be studied in actual tissue. Computer models can’t be accurate unless there is