If you’re an animal activist or a researcher trying to combat diseases, you’re sure to get into a heated conversation when disputing a certain topic… This has been going on for centuries (since around 500 BC), and the chances of each side agreeing on one decision are slim to none. Whether or not animals should be used for biomedical research is and will forever remain a controversial topic, so you might as well pick a side now. Even though there is no set definition for an animal activist, one can presume it is someone campaigning to see a change in the treatment of animals. They believe in animal rights, “animals, like humans, have interests that cannot be sacrificed or traded away just because it might benefit others(PETA).” This means that they are not ours to use, especially for experimentation, they are protected from cruelty that has been inflicted on them.
This social reform movement is a slowly growing. A well-known organization, for example, is PETA, which stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. It is the largest animals rights organization in the world as of today, with over six and a half millions members.
“Aided thorough investigative work, consumer protests, and international media coverage, PETA brings together members of the scientific, corporate, and legislative communities to achieve large-scale, long-term changes that improve animals’ quality of life and prevent their deaths (PETA).” Just like many other organizations that bring animal activists together, they attack mainly on the use of animals in laboratories, clothing trade, and in the food industry. They emphasize the similarities between animals and human being exemplifying the lack of differences and rights mankind has to abuse another kind. “Biomedical researchers investigate how the human body works with the aim of finding new ways to improve health (80000hours).” Making life easier and better is the whole purpose whether it’s discovering a cream that helps ease pain or an anecdote to a life-threatening disease that is killing millions to improve and advance human health. Animals are used to understand basic biology, modeling in a way for the study of human biology and diseases, and as testing subjects for the development and trying out of drugs, vaccines, and other biologicals, for example, antibodies, hormones, ingredients in vaccines, etc.
Everything that has been put on one’s local store shelves has been tested multiple times to make sure that it is safe to come in contact with mankind and that it actually resolves the issue, and one way to do this is by using animals. This method is expected to continue for a while, benefiting society along the way.It all started off with early Greek physician-scientists such as Aristotle, who was around 384- 322 BC, and Erasistratus, 304-258 BC.
They would perform experiments on living animals as they made an effort to figure and understand everything. Same goes for Galen, 129-199/217 AD, another Greek physician who did is work in Rome, becoming a well-known name in the history books of medicine. He conducted experiments on animals to further the understanding of pathology anatomy, physiology, and many more. It was until the twelfth century an Arab physician, Ibn Zuhr, before doing anything on human patients, established experimental methods for testing surgical procedures using animals Drug testing using animals became important in the twentieth century. ” In 1937, a pharmaceutical company in the USA created a preparation of sulfanilamide, using diethylene glycol (DEG) as a solvent, and called the preparation ‘Elixir Sulfanilamide’ (NCBI).
” DEG, now known today, is very harmful when in contact with humans but was not known at the time due to lack of animal testing, the pharmacist and the chemist had no idea. They added raspberry flavoring for taste and begin to retail the item. Over a 100 people have died due to the poisonous. This caused the public to stir and lead to the passing of the 1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requiring “safety testing of drugs on animals before they could be marketed. (NCBI)”This same act caused cosmetic companies to now have to make sure their products are safe. ” After a woman used the brand, Lash Lure Mascara. The mascara she was using had not been previously tested for public safety and in turn the makeup caused her eyes to become irritated and burn, and in the end, she went blind (Cosmetic Testing on Animals).
” By 1944, a newer circumstance had arisen, Draize eye and skin irritancy tests. Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act allows the federal government the responsibility to oversee the safety of products that are meant for the public, this includes food, drugs, and cosmetics. The argument of many who are for animals being used for medical research is that ‘we are trying to prevent a tragedy’. All the past incidents that occurred because the item was not tested before it was put on the shelves resulted in a negative ending and that it shouldn’t happen again. The use of animals in medical research has led to many cures to diseases that without it, we wouldn’t have advanced as far as we did and with the strict regulations, the animals are not beings ‘abused’. These regulations are called the 3 R’s, replacement, reduction, and refinement. Replacement is, instead of using a living animal try to substitute it for something harmless. One example would be image structures which incorporates technology as it further evolves and creates 3D life structures.
Reduction is putting a limit on how many animals one uses to make the number of animals less and less. Lastly refinement of animal use, allowing the animals to suffer as little as possible. Giving them better-living conditions and less pain is beneficial to both teams as it causes the animals to be less stress and less hurt. Signs up in the streets have brought up some questionable thoughts and complicating the debate even more but siding with them for it, “who would you rather see live, animals or our kids?” This quote exemplifies the seriousness and needs of biomedical research on animals. Appealing to pathos, it speaks on behalf of the sacrifice that will have to be made.
Claude Bernard, known as the father of physiology, stated that “experiments on animals are entirely conclusive for the toxicology and hygiene of man. The effects of these substances are the same on man as on animals, save for differences in degree”. This to alarm the people who are against this process to fully understand that the animals may be suffering yes, but if not them than us, this will cause an outcry and mankind would die off, not eligible to live for a long time. However, there are both sides to a story.
Many contend to the idea of using animals in biomedical research, all the benefits that mankind may receive cannot justify the pain animals go through. This strong feeling amongst a small group has turned into an organization of millions fighting, for this reason, it is unfair. Many factors play to the illegitimacy of operating on animals according to the animal activists. Facts such as animals being inferior to humans cause them to be rather different than same disproving all the results and that it is plain cruel and inhumane. If it is manslaughter to torture and kill a human, a living thing that is part of the animal kingdom, why is it ok to do the same to a rabbit, that belongs to the animal kingdom as well? There are alternative methods that permit the use of getting the same results without hurting anyone for example, In Vitro Testing, which are human cells growing in a cell, and using human volunteers. This leads to the opposing side reinforcer, this is solely for the benefit of mankind and is no secret that it is morally wrong.
Mahatma Gandhi himself said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” This goes to say how America is not truly great for the country enslaves its own animals. A former U.S. National Institutes of Health director pointed out himself, at a government meeting that experimenting on animals isn’t working and is just becoming a failure, “The problem is that animal testing hasn’t worked, and it’s time we stopped dancing around the problem. … We need to refocus and adapt new methodologies for use in humans to understand disease biology in humans.” A credible source has simply said it’s time for a change, so maybe it is? To conclude, Whether or not animals should be used for biomedical research is and will forever remain a controversial topic. It is both a need and also inhumane, using them will lead to the discovery of cures and continuation of the repercussion being taken but it could be thrown out and replaced with a morally just method.
I, personally believe that they should be used. If we limit the amount and follow the three R’s strictly, causing less harm as possible it would not be as gruesome. Only using it as a last resort is the best option rather than using them constantly or experimenting on living beings.