Animal experimentation is the use of non-human animals in experiments or researches in the field of medical, science and psychology. It is also known as animal testing or animal research. For many centuries researchers and scientists are using non-human animals for their experiments and researches. Animal experimentation or animal testing is a controversial phrase in our society about which most people have heard at some point and have some ideas. In our society, the term animal experimentation is interpreted in different ways and it depends on the person's personal view. One might view animal experimentation as a form of abusing animals with no other room for additional definition while other might take it as a medium of drug development for humans and animals. For some people it is a valuable asset in the field of research but for others it is unethical. As a matter of fact there is a great deal of bias behind the term animal experimentation.
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There are many purposes behind animal experimentation. The main purpose of the animal experimentation is scientific research. It is considered as one of the most reliable means regarding the effectiveness and the side effects of a medicine or a chemical. Animals share the same basic physiology with humans and because of that most of the drugs are tested on animals before tested on humans to justify its effectiveness and harmfulness.
Animals are also used in psychological research to determine behaviors of animals towards certain conditions to seek answers regarding human behavior. Not only this, animals are being used to test various cosmetics to ensure that they will not cause irritation and hypersensitivity reactions in humans. Toxicology testing is another purpose of animal experimentation. To determine the safety and toxicity data of many products like pesticides, food additives, and household products researcher and scientists have done various animal experimentation. This type of experimentation is not done directly for curing any disease. But sometimes medication involved in an animal experiment may use for curing both humans and animals.
Depending on the purpose of the research and the intended audience, animal experimentation can take place in various locations such as private facilities, government laboratories, non-profit facilities, and university laboratories. Today, animal testing has been involved in almost every available medical treatment to some point. The animals themselves may be bred specifically for experimentation or they may be captured in the wild. There are also commercial establishments that sell animals specifically for use in animal experimentation facilities.
Animal experimentation is a controversial subject in the society and for many years people are debating on this to seek an end of it. Scientist and researcher are using animals to test different product ranging from household goods to life saving drugs and gain success. On the other hand for some people animal experimentation is cruel and immoral. According to them researcher should use alternatives to do their experiments. The biases that exist on either side create a controversial environment and the debate is still going on.
It is true that animals are victims of researchers for many years. According to PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment for Animals) more than 100 million animals every year suffer and die because of different chemical, drug, food and cosmetic tests. Animals are also used in schools to teach biology lessons in practical and doing medical training exercises. Curiosity-driven medical experiments are another example of cruelty towards innocent animals. If I am not wrong, at this moment there are millions of animals are locked as a victim of different experiments in laboratories inside cold, barren cages. They suffer in pain and loneliness. But they do not have the ability to oppose against these cruel and painful experiments. They cannot raise their voice or fight with the researchers. They have nothing to do, expect sit quietly and wait in terror to tolerate the horrifying and painful experiment. The experiment does not limit only in medical field. "Not only does animal experimentation cover the practices of drugging, infecting, addicting, freezing and burning, radiating, shooting, surgical mutilation of healthy animals in the name of medical research, product testing, the aerospace industry and education, it also relates to other areas such as psychological experiments which often involve deprivation of the basic requirements of life" (Carryer, Animal Experimentation). Since the animals cannot protest, they are forced to be the part of the research; which is not required by law. Thus thousands of animals die because of inaccurate and misleading results. Using millions of animals is not only harming animals but also human being. The good news is there are alternative. "There are already numerous alternatives to the harmful use of animals in research and teaching such as computer imaging and in vitro cell and tissue culture and in the United States the National Cancer Institute has replaced laboratory mice with human cancer cell lines for the testing of chemical anti-cancer agents in vitro. The Food and Drug Administration also has developed a 'test bed' of human muscle tissue cells which can be reliably used to test anti-cancer drugs" (Carryer, Animal Experimentation).
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It is true that there are alternatives to animal experiment but there are some experiments which has no alternatives and must be done either with animals or humans. When it comes between human and animal my doubt is, are animals superior to human? If researchers stop animal experimenting that they have to use human for their experiment, which is worst. I am not against that animal testing is cruel and it cause pain to them. But a great majority of people on this world eat meat of different animals. People are killing animals to make different leather stuffs like clothes, shoes, bags and many other products. Why no one feel guilt at that time? Moreover, animals clearly do not feel the same way as humans, and scientists are careful to minimize stress in the animals, since this would damage their research.
In the second essay Why Animal Experimentation Matters author Ellen Frankel tries to grab the reader's attention toward the significance of animal experimentation. Because of the blessing of animal experimentation, researchers have been able to do many discoveries that greatly improved the ability to treat disease which saves innumerable lives and provides vital medical treatments. "Breakthroughs in treating spinal cord injuries, like practically all medical advances, depend upon experimentation on animals" (Paul, Why Animal Experimentation Matters). Different discoveries from animal experimentation has led researcher to find ways out for suffers from spinal cord injuries, stroke and multiple sclerosis. Since animals share the same basic physiology with humans and the results are very good, there is no alternative than animal experimentation. If scientists stop doing animal experimentation, human being would face numerous suffering from different disease without. "People afflicted with genetic or communicable diseases, or suffering from catastrophic accidents, would be denied hope of future discoveries that might palliate or remedy their afflictions" (Paul, Why Animal Experimentation Matters). The contribution of animals to human health proves how critical animal experimentation has been to the understanding of biological functions, pathogens, genetic diseases, and their treatment. Researchers have been able to discover new tools for fighting some types of cancers, discoveries involving the pathogenesis of tuberculosis and to understand how the immune system detects cells infected with viruses, they discover penicillin's role in fighting bacterial infections, unraveling the life cycle of malaria. "The recipient in 1964 experimented on rats to understand how our bodies metabolize cholesterol and other fats that clog our arteries and lead to heart attacks, strokes, and coronary diseases that shorten the lives of millions and leave others in a debilitated condition" (Paul, Why Animal Experimentation Matters). organ transplantation techniques, development of the electrocardiogram how nerve transmitters function (the subject of the 1970 prize), how visual information is stored in the brain (1981), and how the brain organizes itself to coordinate internal organs of the body (1949). All these success in medical field would not be possible without the contribution of animal experimentation. Many researchers and scientists have been awarded with Nobel Prize in medicine because of their successful experiment on animals and its contribution to human life. Because of the controversy of animal rights, animal experimentation has decreased. Those who are opposed to animal experimentation are forgetting that Cures for AIDS, Alzheimer's disease, cystic fibrosis, cancer, Parkinson's disease, and countless other devastating conditions are the present targets of researchers, yet activists argue that animal research should be banned or so severely restricted that most experimentation would be brought to an end. Is their case a reasonable one?
Ellen Frankel Paul presents strong reasons behind the issue why animal experimentation matters and why researchers should continue animal experimentation. Several times he mentions that there are no alternatives of animal experimentation. But he forgets that drugs that safe in animals might not be safe for human. There are several drugs which have been banned for human use such as Vioxx, an anti-inflammatory drug that have caused an estimate of 320,000 cardiovascular events and 140,000 deaths worldwide. Another one is Baycol, a cholesterol-lowering drug which was withdrawn in 2001 after causing over 100 deaths from rhabdomyolysis.
After reading the essay of Julia Carryer I believe that animal experimentation should be banned. Animal experimentation creates pain and suffering for innocent animals. Many animals lose their lives during those experiments. Some loses their eyesight, hearing ability or get injured in many other ways because of the experiments. It is a matter of emotion and ethic. Animal rights activists are also against this issue and they have attacked laboratories, threatened scientists, and, in Great Britain, even posted on the Internet a list of ten researchers targeted for assassination. It has become a serious issue in our society. The Humane Society of the United States claims that over 92% of drugs that declare to pass the animal trials fail when tested on humans. Moreover, animal life is more worthy than the experiment of household products or cosmetics. When human are selected for any experiment, they are asked whether or not they would like to sign up legally but animals are never asked for their opinion. There are many alternatives for animal testing. Researcher should use those alternatives and save the animals from being tortured.
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On one side Julia Carryer makes me think about the moral and emotional issue about animal experimentation and I keep thinking is animal experimentation worthwhile. On the other side Ellen Frankel Paul has been successful to realize me the significance of animal experimentation and answers my question. After reading Paul's essay I think animal experimentation is worthwhile and we should not be banned it. Because every single day there is thousands and millions people who are getting a new life by the blessing of powerful medical drugs and treatments. This incredible gift of medicine would not be possible without animal testing. Not only this, researchers are planning to invent cure for life threatening disease like AIDS, cancer and many other. "Cures for AIDS, Alzheimer's disease, cystic fibrosis, cancer, Parkinson's disease, and countless other devastating conditions are the present targets of researchers, yet activists argue that animal research should be banned or so severely restricted that most experimentation would be brought to an end" (Paul, Why Animal Experimentation Matters). In this case is it would be enough reasonable to banned animal experimentation and put human life in jeopardize? It is true that there are alternatives of animal experimentation but the results are not as good as the ones like animal testing. Finally, if human can kill animals to fulfill their hunger and make expensive leather clothing for their business then they should not feel guilty to use animals for researches and experiments.