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Animal testing - Animals used in medical research

Updated on October 3, 2015

When and how animal testing began

We have come very far from the time when man was thought to be dead when he had a case of the flu, we have progressed from the point where humans had not the slightest clue about bacteria. Man has gone leaps and bounds from the times when surgically curing someone was thought to be unfathomable. We have as a civilization thrived throughout time on the knowledge; humans have researched, learned and discovered this universe so that we may one day be able to understand the vital questions that nag us. From Aristotle’s brilliant work to Einstein’s groundbreaking theories, science has progressed leaps and bounds. This however could in no way have been possible without first testing out these breakthroughs first, that is where ladies and gentlemen animals come in.

From very early on in the time of Aristotle and Galen, animal testing was introduced as a way of scientific research. Many historical records prove to us that Aristotle and Galen performed many tests on both living and dead animals to further their understanding in the fields of medicine, pathology, anatomy and physiology. Even Arab scholars like Al Zuhr used animals as a way to test out surgical procedures before being used properly and safely on humans on a much wider scale. Judging by the works of these great men animal testing has aided in many great breakthroughs that have changed the dynamics of how we view the world now, whether it is a surgeon performing a routine surgery, a physician diagnosing a patient we can without any doubt say that none of this would have been possible without animal testing.

While many animal rights group would argue about the harmful implications that this would have on the animal being tested, it should be dully noted that these tests are essential if we want to progress and prosper as a human race. In a survey that was recently conducted among the top scientists and physiologists linked to animal research it was conclusively proven by them that many of the advancements in science would simply have not been possible without proper animal testing.

Many animal rights activists and group cite animal cruelty as one of their main objections to testing of animals. They argue that humans testing animals are inherently wrong because it clearly shows to them that man has in his mind established himself as a being which is more central then animals. This although on the surface seems something which is shallow and superficial but frankly humans in the course of things hold a much more important role in the functioning of the universe. We humans have sizable brains that aid us in forming social groups, communicating with each other and contributing to the society that we live in. Also it is important to note that humans have social relationships, we have an understanding of ethics, morality and mortality. Due to these reasons humans are deserving of moral consideration, animals on the other hand live a life which is totally dependent on survival. They have no social fiber or understanding, animals are not bestowed with any sense of conscience and they therefore are not worthy of moral consideration, unlike humans. Animals may be given some type of consideration but when compared to a human this argument falls flat, animal life and a humans life cannot be compared to an equal value this is because humans contain some characteristics which are not present in animals, these qualities enable us as humans to go forward in the society and prosper. Therefore, it can be concluded that for the betterment of humanity itself humans should be given a right to animal testing as this behaviour is morally justified unless the animal is subjected to any kind of torture, which it is not.

Some philosophers argue that rights are granted towards people to protect their right of choice; animals cannot be given these rights because they merely act upon their instinct rather then acting on logic. The functions of rights are to protect interests and looking at it from one point is that because animals have no interest that is because they posses no type of language, meaning they have no desires and can have no rights.

Animals have been very important in helping us diagnose and treat many illnesses, whether it is addiction, anxiety or depression animal testing has come in very handy when making drugs. It is not unheard of when a epidemic strikes a certain part of the world, in that time making an accurate drug which can be used on a very large scale is fairly risky business. That is why the testing of animals becomes so important; rats for example share about 99% of their genes with us humans making them an ideal source of testing a drug before it is released into the public. Also with the passage of time human testing has become unpopular and for good reason, poverty stricken and desperate people would sell their bodies to science in order to provide for their families, putting their lives and sanity at great risk. What many of the protesters fail to notice is that proper rights and ground rules have been set up by law for animal testing. Anyone who is not adhering to the rules is punished according to the severity of their offence. With such rules in place it is completely baseless to ban animal testing because the people that are benefiting from it would be at risk.

One of the most important points for animal testing is that because of laws that are already in place animals are treated with the utmost respect and safety They are treated and tested in a well kept environment, only a minute number of experiments involved in animal testing require for the animal to be tortured and killed.

Should animals be used for experimentation?

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    • ananceleste profile image

      Anan Celeste 3 years ago from California

      I have a better idea, Why instead of animals, that have no fault in the course of human technology development, Why not use rapists, murderers and pedophiles ? those are the animals they should use to test diseases and products. Hey if it is so humane, why not do it to them.