Animals in Science

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Animal experimentation has been used in science since long ago. Every year mice, rats, primates, and other animals are being used in experiments that are supposedly necessary for medical and science reasons. Many companies are doing these experiments unethically, and in turn torturing these poor animals. These animals can only sit and wait while these procedures being done on them cause them to have neurotic behaviors, high blood pressure, and other harmful effects. More than 100 million animals every year suffer and die in cruel chemical, drug, food, and cosmetic tests, biology lessons, medical training exercises, and curiosity-driven medical experiments, while there are plenty of alternatives to killing these animals. Animal experimentation has been used in many science experiments that are not always necessary. There are many alternatives that can replace experimentation, and people should be doing more to help these animals.

Vivisection is the experimentation on animals for scientific purposes. These experimental procedures are often done cruelly and inhumanely. In most countries the government requires some animal-based toxicity testing on drugs and vaccines. PETA declares, “Statistics published by government authorities and research-oversight bodies in North America and Europe reveal that the vast majority of the cruelest and most painful animal experiments are conducted to satisfy government-mandated testing requirements.” This is where taxpayers’ money is going—to supporting testing that end up hurting hundreds of thousands of animals while it could be done in other ways. According to a 2009 study conducted by the Humane Society International, 82 percent of the animals being experimented on were done in a cruel manner, and resulted in some form of pain on the animals. Some of the procedures include holes being drilled into monkey’s skulls, sheep and pigs have their skin burned off, and rats have their spinal cords crushed. These tests that are being done can leave the animals with severe viral infection without pain relief, addiction to mega-doses of cocaine, inflamed joints, chronic pain, tumors, and being blinded. These experiments being performed have attributed to the prevention of diseases such as polio, finding vaccines for HIV, and advanced surgery techniques such as open-heart surgery. All of these great things have come out of animal experimentation, but for what? The torture and killing of millions of animals a year? There are many alternatives to testing on animals and our country should start using them.

There are many alternatives to testing on animals. In Defense of Animals points out the belief that “we must experiment on animals is being challenged by a growing number of physicians and scientists who are utilizing many research methods that do not harm or kill animals.” These alternatives include: in vitro research, computer modeling, and the simple reduction in animals being used. In vitro research is conducted in an external, controlled environment, such as a test tube or a petri dish. Because most illnesses do their work at a microscopic level, these experiments make ideal test beds for studying the course of human disease. Not only are in vitro tests more humane than killing animals by exposing them to experiments, but they have been shown to produce more accurate results. Computer modeling and 3D imaging have been used most recently in finding new treatments for breast cancer, AIDS, and high blood pressure. There is a 3D model of breast cancer that has recently been developed that allows scientists and doctors to study the earliest stages of breast cancer. This will allow them to see how the cancer spreads through a human without ever testing on anyone or anything. These alternatives are often less expensive and more reliable than testing on animals. PETA describes that scientists will not consider these alternatives because they want a “disposable research subject who can be manipulated as desired and killed when convenient … Animal experimenters face the unavoidable fact that their artificially created ‘animal model’ can never fully replicate the human condition.” One of the main problems with animal experimentation according to PETA, is that “no animal test in use today has ever been properly scientifically validated according to internationally agreed-upon criteria, a fact that calls into question the reliability, accuracy, and relevance of animal-test results as predictors of possible human-health or environmental hazards.” This is a huge problem because these animals could be dying for no reason at all. There is no proof behind any of these experiments. This is why scientists and doctors should switch to non-animal testing. Countries such as Britain have adopted an act that calls for the reduction in animal experimentation. In a study done by Home Office for the Humane Society International, Britain is still totaling 3.6 million experiments a year; this is showing no decline whatsoever. Companies are not following the act and should be penalized for this.

As a student or a normal everyday person, we feel as though we cannot help these animals. This is not true. There are many ways people can help such as: writing to the heads of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration, the National Toxicology Program, and Health Canada and urge them to stop requiring cruel animal tests for drugs and vaccines and to allow companies to substitute for in vitro tests. You can also become a member of PETA or the Humane Society and volunteer in your community. Things you can do to help in your community are: hold a demonstration and get people rallying, write a letter to the editor of your local paper informing readers that animal experimentation is an ineffective method of finding cures for human diseases, or create a display in your local public library. Most libraries will allow local citizens free space to display leaflets, posters, books and other visual materials showing the cruelty of vivisection. Anyone can help aid in this serious matter of life and death for these animals.

Experimentation on animals is used in research for scientific purpose but there are alternatives to testing on animals that should be considered more. There are many things people can do to help this continually growing problem of animals being tortured and killed for reasons that are not even being validated. The alternatives to animal testing are less expensive and proven to be more accurate. Taxpayer’s money is going to the aid of killing animals and I am sure many of these people did not know this. Society needs to take a more active role in what’s going on in the world. Animals should have just as many rights as humans. They breathe, sleep, and eat like us, and should be treated fairly and humanely. 


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