Should Animals be Used for Experiments & Testing?

EmeraldHike

Member
  • #1
I'll be taking the affirmative position for this debate. This isn't to say that I actually agree with animal testing or that I don't agree with it. This is the position I chose to take for the sake of getting the conversation started. If you would like to offer your own position, whether you be for this motion or against it, please join in down below.

My position for the sake of argument is that, yes, we should be using animals for experimentation and testing. Live animals have been used in this regard for thousands of years and have proven to be an invaluable resource in regards to finding cures for disease and for developing vaccines. There truly is no substitute. In this debate, I'll be arguing the many reasons live animals should be used in experiments and for testing purposes. I'll explain how they're beneficial for discovering cures for disease, how they've benefited both humans and other animals when it comes to testing the safety of vaccines, how there really is no realistic alternative to a living being for testing, how animals are strikingly similar to humans, which makes them ideal subjects for experimentation, how animals are more suitable for experimentation purposes than humans are due to ethical concerns, how mistreatment of animals is avoided due to very strict government regulation, how animals are actually more suitable for experimentation because of their shorter lives, how the treatment of animals is of the utmost concern for the scientist because of how experiments are carried out, and some other smaller reasons it's beneficial to use animals in this way.

I'll make all of my arguments in this post and I hope to see additional arguments both for and against down below.

Want Cures & Treatments? Test on Animals

Did you know that the testing on animals over the past one hundred years has led to almost every single medical advancement to date? Yes, it's true. Don't my word for it. Take the California Biomedical Research Association's. They're the ones who made this claim. By conducting research on animals, we've been able to develop treatments for the most devastating of diseases, from various types of cancers, to brain injuries, leukemia, tuberculosis, autoimmune disorders, multiple sclerosis, skin disorders, and more. Medical testing on live animals has also led to breakthroughs in treatment and recovery devices such as the pacemaker, artificial heart valves, and different types of anesthesia.

Testing Vaccines on Animals Saves More Lives Than Not

Let's take current events into account for a moment. Have you ever heard of Covid 19? I'm sure you have. It's the coronavirus that's been racing around the world killing people. As you most likely already know, scientists have been racing to find a vaccine that will help treat this terrible disease. While they're making good headway, one of the primary aspects of creating this vaccine is making sure any vaccine that is created doesn't actually make the virus worse in some people. That's where live animal testing comes into play. By making genetic modifications to mice, scientists are able to test both the efficacy and danger of any treatment. According to both professors and lab workers from around the world, testing for dangers in vaccine production is an absolute necessity. Basically, by testing vaccines in animals, you can see if any candidates make matters worse or better. Without this type of activity for almost all vaccine production for many different types of disease, countless lives may have been lost due to avoidable error.

There is No Substitute

Sometimes for some diseases, testing needs to be done to determine the effects of a treatment on the entire body, not just closely related cells. It's for this reason testing on live animals needs to be conducted. If a scientist is attempting to develop a treatment for a toenail fungus, there's no way to know if the ultimate medication will have a negative effect on the patient's liver without testing that on an animal.

Animals are Similar to Humans in Many Ways

The entire reason animals were chosen for testing and experimentation in the first place is because of the fact that they're closely related to human beings. Take chimpanzees for example. Their DNA is 99% similar to ours. And mice? 98%. Because of mammals being so similar to humans in many ways, there are just too many opportunities for experimentation to pass up.

Ethics Gets in the Way

There's this thing out there called the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki that says that any human trials should be first preceded by testing on animals. Whether it testing for toxicity, negative effects, or long term detriment, according to the powers that be, it would be unethical to allow humans to take certain medications without first seeing how animals react to it.

Animals are Saved Just as Much as Humans Are

This isn't a one sided debate. It's not all about humans testing on animals for purely human benefit. By testing and experimenting on animals, countless animal lives have been saved as well. Every time you bring your dog or cat to the vet, they're likely given shots and inoculations to treat distemper, parvo, feline leukemia, and more. And beyond that, think about how many endangered species have been saved from extinction. Different types of ferret, birds, and other animals have been brought back from the brink by life and species saving medicines.

Experimentation is Regulated Against Mistreatment

The animal testing field is heavily regulated by not only local municipalities and states, but by the federal government as well. The Animal Welfare Act has been in place since 1966 which dictates various standards for animals that are used for experimentation. Cage size, feeding schedules, room climate, etc...are all covered under this act. And it's not just up to the companies involved to police themselves. Regular inspection is performed by veterinarians.

Animals Live Shorter Lives - That's Why We Use Them

Because the lives of many animals are markedly shorter than those of humans, animal lives are much more well suited for medical experimentation. Can you imagine attempting to test a treatment across generations of humans? That may take up to one hundred years. Given that mice only live for a few years at most, it's entirely feasible to test the effects of a medication across multiple lives, not just one.

Accurate Findings are of the Utmost Concern

Because animal testing is done for a particular purpose, it's critical that the results achieved are as accurate as possible. Can you imagine testing a treatment or device on an animal that's in poor health? The results wouldn't be worth much. Because of the goal of attaining high quality results, animals used in research are well cared for by laboratory staff, veterinarians, husbandry specialists, and animal care technicians. It's even common for those who work in animal experimentation fields to become emotionally attached to the animals in question, which in turn provides for even better care. Frequent exercise breaks, feedings, and rotation programs are in place to maintain a very high quality of life.

Animals Simply Don't Have Rights

It's because animals don't have the same rights as humans that we use them for experimentation. This is nothing new. Animals have been used for testing for thousands of years. And the reason animals don't have rights is partly due to the fact that they can't reason or develop the moral judgement that humans can.

Most Scientists are in Agreement

There isn't much debate here. A large majority of scientists agree that animal testing is worth it. The Pew Research Center claims that 89% of scientists questioned favored the use of animals for testing and experimentation. And beyond this, many high level organizations also favor this type of activity. The American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association are to name a few.

Personal Care Products & Cosmetics Demand Animal Testing

Have you ever thought about how many personal care products you use on a daily basis? These types of products make up some of the largest markets in the world. Can you imaging if thorough testing wasn't done on animals to determine the effectiveness and safety of these products? The results of that could be devastating. And it's not only to protect us from dangerous eyeliner. Animal testing also helps when it comes to hand sanitizer to protect against virus and bacteria, insect repellent that protects us against various diseases, and other products that save lives around the world. There are many conditions and circumstances around the globe that require consideration when it comes to an issue like this.
 

Phoenix1

Member
  • #2
Well, I guess I'll take the negative view of this question, which shouldn't be very difficult since I really am against animal testing. I'll do my best to keep my emotions out of what I write, but you may notice them creep in here or there. I know this is a difficult issue that most people think they're against. When it comes down to a real discussion (or debate) though, most of us come to realize that, while awful to think about, animal testing is sometimes the lesser of a few different evils. I am against it mostly though and I'll explain why down below.

In my rebuttal, I'll make a few different arguments. I'll explain how animal testing is inhumane, how researchers can now test many medicines on humans, how alternatives exist, how animals make poor test subjects, how animal testing isn't really an end all that can claim perfect safety, how test results can sometimes be misleading, how hardly any animals are actually protected by regulation, how animal testing results and human testing results rarely match up, how the public is demanding products that haven't been tested on animals, how the Animal Welfare Act hasn't protected some animals from abuse, and we as humans are certainly able to make medical advancement without the help of animal test subjects and experiments.

As stated above, if anyone has anything else to add, please do so below. I know I won't get to everything.

Animal Experimentation is Cruel

Period. Imagine yourself living in a cage. Then imagine yourself being operated on and used in experiments. This is the life of an animal that's used for research. There's nothing good in it for them. These animals are sacrificial lambs. It's been found that these very animals have been force-fed, deprived of proper nutrition, and have been injured and burned, just to see how well they'd heal under certain circumstances. They've also had bones broken and have had limbs removed all in the name of science. Hundreds of thousands of animals have been involved in pain experiments year over year.

Use Human Test Subjects for Vaccines

People have been volunteering to help out with vaccine research for decades. Use them. They're able to agree to the research, which animals are not. If animals had voices, I can almost guarantee that each and every one of them would not give their consent to be used the way they are. When humans are used during the experimentation process, the results are more accurate and predictive and no animals are needlessly injured or killed. And just to show you that we can do it, keep a close eye on companies that are currently racing to create a coronavirus vaccine today. Some of them are skipping the animal trials altogether and are jumping straight to the human trials. With the technology now used for vaccine creation, this is totally possible.

Alternatives Exist - Use Them

In many cases, animals aren't even needed for research anymore. Researchers can now use various types of human cells and tissues that have been grown in the lab. By testing on these grown samples, they would eliminate the need for animals. Don't take my word for it. Take the EPA's. They say that animal testing will be reduced 30% by 2025 and completely by 2035.

Animals Don't Even Make Good Research Subjects

While there are claims out there that say animals are very closely related to humans, they really aren't. While their DNA may be closely related, when it comes to the goal of the test that's being conducted, the differences between animals and humans are stark. They're just too different. The research done on animals isn't as productive as one might think. Animal anatomy, metabolism, and cellular structure make their study for human specific conditions far fetched and sometimes useless.

Just Because it's Safe for Animals Doesn't Mean it's Safe for Us

If you read on a label of a prescription that the drug was tested on rats, so therefore it's been deemed safe for you, would you take it? What if that was all the testing that had been done? Of course you wouldn't take it. We aren't rats and rats aren't us. Sure, testing on animals might be a very first step when trying to determine if a treatment is safe, it certainly isn't the determining factor. Human testing is always needed, so why not just begin there? Again, humans volunteer for this kind of thing every day. Create laws that shield companies from liability and have at it. Plus, history is replete with examples of botched drug tests that have created great harm to human beings. Remember Vioxx? That one was safe for mice, but caused more than 27,000 heart attacks in humans.

Some Drugs May be Good for Humans

Along the same lines as directly above, just because a drug has little or no beneficial effect on animals doesn't mean it won't help humans. Imagine how many potential life saving drugs have been sent to the trash because they didn't have the intended effects in animal studies. Just one small cholesterol lowering drug has the potential to save millions of lives and make billions in profit for drug companies. Can you imagine that medicine not being used because it didn't lower the cholesterol in a mouse? What a waste. Throughout history, there have been plenty of examples of this type of thing. Aspirin, intravenous vitamin C, tacrolimus, to name a few.

95% of Animals Aren't Protected

They like to brag about how well they treat the animals because of regulation. Really? Ask them which animals make up the great majority of testing. I'll tell you which ones. Rats, mice, fish, and birds. Those alone make up 95% of all test subjects. Ask if those animals are protected under the Animal Welfare Act and watch them squirm. They are not covered.

Testing on Animals Isn't a Good Indicator of Results

Have you ever wondered how many drugs, vaccines, treatments, and medicines that have passed the animal testing phase actually make it to market? I'll tell you how many actually make it to the human testing phase. Only 6%. Yes, that's right. Now, there's an indication of how closely animals and humans are related. Not very. Lots of treatments pass animal experimentation. They don't pass human experimentation though and the treatment gets thrown on a shelf someplace.

People Don't Want Cruelty Related Products

You've probably noticed the huge uptick of cruelty-free products that are hitting the shelves in stores and online. These types of things are being created because there's a big market for them. Did you know that a good third of all women only purchase products that are cruelty free? It's true. Countries are banning many types of products that have been tested on animals as are entire continents. Even California is getting on the bandwagon. You can't sell makeup that's been tested on animals there.

In Many Cases, Animal Testing is a Waste

Testing on animals has become so prevalent that it's not even done correctly most of the time. There are major flaws all over the place. As a matter of fact, over 40% of studies had incorrectly stated goals and a plethora of others didn't use proper research methods, invalidating any results they offered. This is a waste of resources, not to mention animal life and well being.

There's Too Much Animal Abuse

I'm sure you've heard the stories of animals being abused in labs. You've heard them because they're true. It exists. Where's the Animal Welfare Act when you need it? Oh yeah, covering that 5% of test subjects. And it doesn't even do that well.

Medical Advancement is Possible Without Animal Testing

There are huge medical and product advancements being made without the aid of animal research. All that needs to be done is to have the same amount of money that goes into animal experimentation go into human experimentation. Once an alternative is committed to, it can flourish.
 
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