The controversial issue of animal testing
Animal testing is categorized into three main groups which are chemical testing, medical testing and research testing. Using non-human animals for such tests is a controversial issue that may lead several opinions whether on experts and non-expert views. Experts might say it is beneficial to human because without the non-human animals, where would science be now? Aristotle (384-322 BCE) and Erasistratus (304-258 BCE) were among the first to perform experiments on living animals. The physician operates and testing surgical procedures on to the animals before implementing on to human. Long ago, research in animal testing had helped people in curing their illness and seemed like the animals died for a good cause. On the other hand, people who stand up for animal rights would see this as cruel and injustice act for the animals. They claimed that animals have feelings and they can feel pain too. The pros and cons are still in consideration by most animal-testing industry in order to keep the consumer needs. But, is it morally acceptable to experiment on non-human animals to develop products and medicines that benefit human beings? No, it is morally unacceptable.
In Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary 5th edition, moral is based on one’s sense of what is right and just, not on legal rights and obligation; able to understand the differences between right and wrong. Billions of animals have died to advance science. To test one chemical whether or not it is carcinogenic which means any substance that produces cancer,
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it takes 500 to 1000 animals to be tested and to make sure that the chemical is free from cancer –causal. We rather let the animals die because of expected cancer from the chemicals just to satisfy human needs in cosmetics, household compound and pharmacy. Not that on the other hand it meant that we rather see human died because the chemicals are not tested but logically, the scientists should have known the cause of cancer, why would they put the chemicals in the product at first place? If science is advance enough, why use the innocent animals? Humanity should speak by itself.
From the definition itself and the question asked, the answers would be a definite no because it is wrong to experiment on animals because animals are living things that have emotions. Animals do not just suffer from physical pain but also mental pain. We can notice a person’s emotions without him saying anything because of non-verbal language or body language he expressed. If we can examine body language in human, then we are also able to observe non-verbal language of animals. Love an animal, it will love you, hurt the animal, it will hurt you. Pictures of vivisections of animals (Appendix 1), their eyes were filled with pain and innocent faces are enough to upset us human. When we experiencing on animals, it is likely to experience on humans, the difference is just animals do not speak human and we cannot understand them. We might as well pictured the animals being tortured, in great pains, yelling for help and trying their very hard to escape from that ‘evil’ experiment. Experiment is what we called a scientific test done carefully in order to study what happens and to gain new knowledge, quoted from the dictionary. Any side effects will result in failure and poor animals, another hundreds or thousands of them will be used in the experiment to get better results. Consider yourself being experimented by another form of species and they treat you the same way as human did to non-human animals (Appendix 2). Allegedly, there is ‘animal
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euthanasia’ which means the act of unpainful killing. How can we ever know that it is not painful? How can we know that the animals used in so-called painless death tests died peacefully? Before a new aftermath shown in your local stores, the goods have gone through a complicated and long process which leaves millions of tested animals damaged, poisoned, undergo mutation, and other unnecessary tests. Animal testing is cruelty to them, forcing them to endure the frightful side effects just so a new product can be released.
Chemical testing on animals are not 100% accurate because animals do not respond the same as human does. In reality, animal research and scientists never guarantee that medication, cosmetics and other products will be safe and effective for human. There are products that have been pulled out of the market because of consumer complaints of irritancy on skins and some were severe illness and death but were previously tested on animals. Although the tests on medicine seemed safe for consumer use, “two million Americans become seriously ill and approximately 100,000 people die every year because of reactions to medicines they were prescribed” extracted from Nexus Magazine, Volume 8, Number 2. The statistics occurred because of the inaccurate animal experimentation which results inadequate evaluation the effects of chemicals on humans. Different animals have different body system and it reacts differently. Animals and human obviously have different condition of body system and it is the entire issue of the failure. Biologically speaking, different body system would result in different drug metabolism and thus dissimilar effects take place. Innumerous animals have been sacrificed and suffering from animal abuse during medicine testing. This situation is very unfair. While humans are cured, animals are slaughtered.
The alternatives would be computer simulations and modeling which have the entire database from previous animal testing subjects. Millions of animals were used onto the same
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type of product. Researchers should file the report of the experiment and if it is proven safe to human, other industry that wants to do the same product, they should use the same chemicals or whatever materials they required but not the animals testing. The software can be used in major research centre to do such test with any chemical involve in creating a product that benefit human. Such synthetic skin would be great to test products on skin. Besides that, government and non-government could create great awareness by advertising such ads that directs the realization to the consumer (Appendix 3). Advertisement that has subtle messages creates no awareness among people because somehow it did not touch their heart. When the main point of the advertisement is being straight-forward, people would realize and immediately take effect.
As for closure, animal testing is an immoral act. Animal suffering is a cruel act. Yes, it benefits humans to be beautiful and healthy but not to kill them in return. The scientists and researchers should have other way that is more humane. Animals are living things create by God and they can respond the same as human do. The effectiveness of the products tested on animals can never be guaranteed 100% because the products still harm the consumer even though it has been proven safe. Even the effects only affect small number of people, still we are putting the humans in danger. There are other possible options as alternatives for animal testing. Any industry can be science-advance without animal testing. If animal-testing is being prolong, will our future generations still be able to learn about the animals? Do you think the animals-tested will extinct?
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Darshini Kandasamy “Animal-testing centre to be set up in Malaysia.”
Malay Mail Friday, April 2nd, 2010
“‘No’ to animal testing lab plan.”
The Star Online Thursday June 10, 2010
Pete Harrison ““Great apes protected as EU restricts animal testing.”
The Star Online Wednesday September 8, 2010
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 16 September 2010
S.O.S at the University of Georgia “Animals used in experiments”
Janet Babin “Taking the animals out of testing”
Thursday, May 24, 2007
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“Animal Testing” June 8, 2010
The National Anti-Vivisection Society “Animals in Product Testing”
“The Human Cost of Animal Experiments”
Nexus Magazine, Volume 8, Number 2
http://www.sourcewatch.org “Animal testing” 7 April 2010
Doris Lin “Why It’s Wrong to Test on Animals”
Haris Amin “Animal Testing: Is Animal Testing Ethically Incorrect”
Haris Amin “Animal Testing: Are there any alternatives”
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BMJ “Where is the evidence that animal research benefits humans?”
28 February, 2004
Oxford advanced learner’s dictionary 5th edition, International Student
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