We Must Put an End to Animal Research, Testing, and Experimentation
Without animal research, cures for such diseases as typhoid, diphtheria, and polio might never have existed. Without animal research, the development of antibiotics and insulin would have been delayed. Without animal research, many human beings would now be dead. However, because of animal testing, 200,000 dogs, 50,000 cats, 60,000 primates, 1.5 million hamsters, and uncounted millions of rats and mice are experimented upon and die each year, as living fodder for the great human scientific machine. Some would say that animal research is an integral part of progress; unfortunately, this is often true. On the whole, animal testing is a necessary evil that should be reduced and eliminated whenever possible.
Since the time of Aristotle, animals have been used to further human progress. When Galen pioneered the study of anatomy or when Harvey discovered the circulation of blood, they used animals as a vital portion of their work. Why? Because at the time there was no alternative short of testing on human beings, an option very few would morally accept then or even now.
Throughout all of human history, the pattern has remained the same—human technological and scientific progress has always involved testing on animals. Without that testing, modern medicine would be a shadow of what it is today. Many modern procedures stem directly from testing with animals. In addition, doctors and surgeons receive much of their training with the living tissues of animals. Computer simulations and other methods simply cannot compete with experience on a living being. For example, the United States Army formerly shot goats to train physician responses to gunshot wounds (Cole 3). There was no other way to train military doctors because shootings are relatively rare in hospitals. In short, without animal testing, it would be difficult for science to advance, or as Dave Weaner, a physics and science teacher at Westerville North High School, said, “Animal testing is valid because it gives us something to compare results against; it is necessary for advancement.” However the question now comes up, “What is necessary and what is merely a waste of a life?” Any testing on a living being is horrible; however, in the case of cancer research, doctor training, drug research, et cetera, it has a weighty purpose—to save future lives. Some animal testing is not only unnecessary, but it is disrespectful to the animals being used. Cosmetic or frivolous consumer goods have no place being tested on animals. Humans have no right to harm another being merely to “look pretty.” Mrs. Whisler, an English teacher, agrees, saying, ì[Cosmetic testing] is disrespectful; never should a life be given for a beauty product....î Luckily, animal testing is in decline on all fronts. New advancements in science have made available options for testing that do not include animals.
For many years, the only alternative to animal...