Since 1876, human beings have experimented on our “lesser” friends - animals. What I seek to find out is whether it is necessary, or if the other options are potentially better.
In my opinion, like a milking stool, the argument rests on three legs. Firstly, this argument begs the question: Do animals really have emotions? Next, we need to find out what alternatives there are. Finally, we ask ourselves: Are these alternatives as good as animal testing, and do they guarantee the same, accurate results?
A lot of research had been done into the question of animals’ feelings, and the subject has come on leaps and bounds over the past 30 years. For example, I can easily tell the mood of my dog by the way he wags his tail or the was he barks. The science is complimentary to this, and professor Gregory Berns of Emory university in Atlanta has carried our research to conclude that dogs use the same area of the brain as humans do to feel. This would make animal testing cruel and completely unfair. However, this begs a larger question. Do smaller, less appreciated animals (for example rats) work in the same way. Nobody in their right mind experiments on dogs, so why experiment on rats? 95 percent of all lab animals are rats and mice, so surely there must be a reason why they are better than all other animals for experimentation. Firstly, mice and rats closely resemble humans genetic, biological and behavioral characteristics. Secondly, mice and rats are rather cheap, and can be bought in bulk for a relatively low price. Their anatomy is well understood by scientists, thus giving more in depth results.
Finally, mice and rats are convenient animals, small, easy to manage and they reproduce fast. On the other hand, a study published in 2012 in science magazine showed that “untrained lab rats will free restrained companions, and this helping is triggered by empathy. The rats studied would even free other rats rather than feast on chocolate!” Surely it isn’t...