Medicine: Animal Testing Essay

1710 words - 7 pages

Without animal testing, many of the medicines humans use today for basic survival such as the insulin used for diabetics would not exist. Basic operations would not be possible and America would never have landed a man on the moon if it were not for the ape we sent there first. Evidence of experiments and dissections done on animals can be seen as far back as 500 BC. Famous scientists such as Aristotle, who is said to be the originator of biological studies, performed experiments on living animals that gave mankind the basis of anatomy. Animals such a pigs and goats were first used to practice surgeries before applying them to humans. From there, humans have begun to test other operations and drugs on both living and nonliving animals. An average of 26 million animals are used every year in the United States alone for experimentation. Over 75% of these experiments take place on mice. Contrary to primary belief, dogs, cats, and primates only account for .02% of overall testing. Primates, because they share 99% of human DNA, are used to study neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer's. Animal testing, although seen as inhumane, should remain a necessary form of experimentation for medical science.
Majority of testing done on animals is done on small feeder mice, the kind people would purchase at a local pet store to feed to a large snake. They are cheap, plentiful, reproduce quickly, and their life cycle is already very short so they can be monitored through entire lifetimes. Many of these experiments only require breeding so scientists may study genetic mutations and one of the most recent medical breakthroughs, cloning. The biggest scare among the people is that the experiments that take place in animal testing labs are inhumane. Many known organizations such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or better known as PETA, stress this in tear jerking videos and photos with articles that can wrench the heart of the steadiest man. The most common tests require animals to be force fed drugs and chemicals different lethal doses until they die. These tests are used to show dosage and toxicity of drugs before they can move to drug trials. In animal testing labs, animals are crammed into small metal cages and sometimes forced fed or starved while the experiments are performed. These conditions are often portrayed in videos and images that just seem like a nightmare to any human being with any kind of emotion. These videos include footage of animals being beaten, shocked, cut up, and housed in flimsy wire cages. These videos are extremely biased. Organizations can spend loads of time and money to find the most horrible images and put them together in a neat little presentation that makes everyone tear up when they hear that sad song. This leaves people looking at science like it is a monster. Scientists have discovered that the stress put on larger animals such as primates, dogs, cats, and rabbits, can alter test results. Because of this...

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