Debates have roared in the medical fraternity related to animal research since ages. Have we achieved milestones in curing diseases by testing and killing meek animals? Are such medical breakthroughs worth their lives? If animals can’t speak, does it mean that we can use them as we wish, just because we’re powerful? This article throws light on these various issues.
Vivisection is a social evil because if it advances human knowledge, it does so at the cost of human character. ~ George Bernard Shaw
When I look into the eyes of an animal, I don’t see an animal. I see another living being. I see another soul like me. I see a friend ~ Unknown
Of late, the debate on animal research has been a highly sensitive topic in the media. While animal testing by scientists has been fraught with controversy, it’s still a fact that animals are captured for experiments. This often rages heated debates between animal lovers and those who support such experiments. Discover both sides of the coin in this write up.
The Pros and Cons
Rats share certain similarities with the human biology. Their hard luck, it seems. This has made them one of the most used animals in experiments and laboratory testing. Consequently, numerous tests on animals have led to path breaking discoveries in medical science. On the contrary, animal research ethics and the integrity and morality of such tests have been questioned by environmentalists.
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) supporters will stand in unison against the support of animal testing. However, when we view various animal testing pros, we realize that there are several positive aspects to it as well.
- Various dangerous diseases like herpes simplex, hepatitis B, polio, rabies, malaria, and mumps have been treated owing to medications developed from tests on animals.
- Results through medical research on animals have led to improvement in medical procedures like blood measurement, lung disease diagnosis, heart disease diagnosis, and various pacemaker technologies.
- One of the most important techniques in medical surgery, anesthesia, has been developed after it has been tested on animals.
- Animal research has also been able to benefit cats and dogs in certain ailments. Moreover, the nutrition of cats and dogs has been improved after repeated animal tests.
Animal testing statistics are alarming. To discover new medicines and vaccinations, millions of animals are killed every year all across the globe. Animal rights are lost in oblivion when it comes to animal testing ethics. In this part, we focus on the demerits.
- Animals go through severe pain during the tests. Most testers claim they use anesthesia to conduct the tests. However, can pricking needles and using chemicals on animals be painless? Who knows if they use anesthesia safely. Just because animals can’t speak, it is not morally correct to subject them to such treatments.
- Months of torture leads to loss of eyesight, organ failure, and many more dangerous consequences on the animals’ health. Just to see the effects of chemicals, animals are imprisoned and observed over a certain period of time. Meanwhile, they go through hell and eventually die. A majority of animals are killed in the process.
- Animal testing in the cosmetic industry is another issue that has raised serious concerns over animal safety. Why there is a need to kill animals for enhancing beauty that is often harmful for skin is still not known. It is always better to adopt natural means for beauty.
- Animals have been forced to mutate and produce cross springs. Embryos of different animals are injected into a different animal’s body.
- Animal cloning is another phenomena that has been tried several times. Why reduce the dignity of animal lives? Mostly, hybrid animals and cloned ones are either diseased, malformed, or even dead.
- Animal cruelty has risen to peaks after stem cell and tissue culture has become popular. Scientists are suggesting to find a cure for cancer by trying all experiments on animals. How ethical is it?
- A study suggests that less than 2% of illnesses that affect humans are ever found in animals. Even rodents (rats), that are mostly used in cancer research, rarely have human form of cancer (lung cancer etc). Why are they still used in such researches?
This topic will always be debated among scholars, animal lovers, and scientists. Humanity has always been caught in dualities. While there is a positive side to one aspect, the negative side also exists. Animal research through animal experimentation has been an integral part of medical research. Yes, this system is inhuman, unethical, and simply morally wrong, but always remember, we all agree to disagree.