What’s the Price
Animal rights is based on the belief that non-human animals have rights similar and equal to humans. However testing is clearly split down the middle. Today animals are used in the development of all kinds of things, such as medical research by the use of animal experimentation. Animal testing provides some people with hope for potential cures for viruses but testing on live animals is not necessary. Today, advanced technology takes care of that for us. By using models, we can replicate things that animals can’t.
You may ask yourself so what’s the big problem? Well the problem is these animals are cruelly mistreated and most likely will lead to death. These animals are born with defects and experimented on. Animal testing should be banned because it’s cruel, unnecessary and not effective. Animal testing is not only down right wrong, it’s also unjust in today’s society.
Animal experimentation is vital to the development and the future of the human race. Scientists believe that animal research saves thousands of lives worldwide and is reasonably safe. Scientists rely on animal models to learn how diseases process and work on developing potential treatments. Animal experimentation is saving the lives of people who had little hope for survival and without recent developments these cures would not be possible. In order for scientists to look for cures, they have to use animals as test patients to see how a disease continually progresses in a living body (Trull 2).
Scientists can’t just have any species. They have to have species that is close to a human’s genome, such as mice or even primates. Mice are particularly known as the most common model for disease research. Infact, mice share over 92% genetic similarity to us humans (Trull 2). Over the past century, animal research has proved to be vital to stamp out several major epidemics of infectious disease. Most notable is the cure of smallpox. By testing on cows, scientists were able to develop a vaccination for the disease. Also, decades of long research with monkeys, dogs, and mice gave us a cure to get rid of polio.
These non-human primates have also contributed to the research and the development of drugs that fight cancer, malaria, HIV/Aids and many more diseases (Animal Testing 1). Research and experimentation has allowed us to increase the U.S. survival rate of cancer by more than 60% between 2001-2007. (Trull 1). All because of animal experimentation, those numbers were possible. Also, more recently, animal research has helped stop potential international threats, such as Avian Flu and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome or also known as SARS (Animal Testing 2).
Animal Research has helped researchers better understand these diseases and how they spread. As a result, we can contain and avert these global pandemics. Recently, the polio virus is another example of how valuable animals are to us. An anti- Ebola serum has showed remarkable success when tested in Rhesus monkeys. Since then, the serum has been credited with saving the lives of two Americans infected with the virus (?Trull 2). The serum is so successful that the FDA has offered 42 million to the company, who developed the treatment known as, ZMapp. Furthermore just last September, a Japanese women became the first person to undergo experimental stem-cell treatment for blindness (Trull 3).
Animal research has allowed us to get that much closer in restoring vision. While this research is helpful to humans, it’s also helpful to other animals. Wild primates are also susceptible to Ebola especially gorillas. They are so susceptible, they have a mortality rate of 95% when affected with the disease (Trull 2). One-third of the world’s primates have been killed off in the past few decades in Central Africa. A cure would save the lives of animals and humans. The greatest medical contribution may still lie in the future but it’s going to be tackled because of animal experimentation and research.
Animals have a lot more in common with us humans than you may think. Recent breakthroughs in technology, show we have a better understanding of how animals feel pain and suffering just like we do. Some animals like primates are not only biologically similar with humans, but they are also similar in neurologically. What most people don’t see is that these animals have mental lives comparable to ours. The animals can not only feel sensitivities, but they can also feel pain and deprivation (Jeory 2). We as humans definitely differ in our physical appearance, but we have a lot more in common with them then appearance. Animals in labs are cruelly mistreated and are intentionally injured for various of reasons.
Lab animals on a daily basis are intentionally infected with diseases, force fed chemicals, blinded burned, mutilated, and left to suffer without veterinary care for treatment (Moore 1). How cruel is that! Imagine you and your family being put in small cages and treated inhumanly. No one could imagine that happening to them and their families so why do we think it’s ok to do these actions against living animals. We may have to test on the experimenters to get them to see the point that it’s not ok. Test against humans would not only affect us physically, but mentally as well and that’s what we are doing to animals.
According to Dr. Jane Goodall, a famous primatologist and peace keeper, animal testing is inhumane and morally wrong (Moore 2). She said, I and my team have studied chimpanzees, our closest living relative for over 50 years. I can state categorically that they have a similar capacity for suffering, both mental and physical, and show similar emotions to ours. She also said, there’s no doubt other animals that they have studied can not feel fear, depression, anxiety frustration and so on. To put them into cases in labs are also morally wrong in her opinion. Coming from a women that has physically interacted and studied animals for over 50 years has to know what’s she’s talking about. Her entire life is dedicated to these animals who have no voice. Experimentation is not only morally wrong but it’s painful to all animals affected. We need to come together as a world and end testing for once and for all.
Change is upon us and we can go away from these actions by recent technology, but for some reason were not. Animal experimentation is wrong especially when you know that we don’t have to do it in today’s society. Today, we can now replicate human organs on microchips to test the potential impacts of drugs, diseases, and more. Not only can we replicate organs, but we can also simulate diseases progressing in the human body by using computer modeling (Moore 3). Modeling accurately predicts the ways in which the new drugs will react in the human body. Also brain-imaging techniques allow the human brain to be studied safely in very effective methods.
We now have the capabilities to study the human brain all the way down to a single neuron. That’s incredible! (Jeory 3). Technology can replace the use of animals in exploratory research and many standard drug tests. During experiments, animals are intentionally brain damaged and with this technology, we can replace their crude behavior. We should continue to develop even more advanced alternatives so maybe scientists can see that technology is better than actual testing and it has more capabilities than animals would give us.
Finally, animal experimentation is bad science and time and time again experiments show high failure rates. Not only does animal experiments waste the lives of animals, but it also wastes human lives. Numerous of methodical reviews have even documented the enormous failure rates of experiments on animals to benefit humans in the areas of neurodegenerative disease, neuropsychiatric disorders, cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer and many more areas (Gluck 4). Nine out of ten experimental drugs that pass animal studies, fail in humans and that’s why you see loss of human life.
The few drugs that are even re-labeled or pulled from the store shelves have already put their effects on humans that purchased them. Many people get sick or die before there is ever a chance to fix it. Decades of HIV and Aids experiments have failed to produce effective vaccines for humans even though at least 85 were successful in primate studies. Even John Loannidis, Professor of Medicine and Health Research at Stanford University says, it’s impossible to rely on animal data to predict the benefit and risk ratio in human subjects.
Animal experimentation is an easy change but there’s one issue with the change and that’s money. At the end of the day, corporations and universities are not making changes because current advanced technology cost more money than testing on animals. As you can see, animal testing is very twisted and cruel. Depending on what side you are on, you may not see it that way. People believe animal testing is a necessity in today’s society but it’s not. Through my research, I discovered there are many different solutions but to end testing, both sides are going to have to come together to make compromises to make difference in the world.