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Excused Crime? ABSOLUTELY NOT!
Imagine the life of the tiny rat, which lives in the dark laboratory of UC Davis Medical Center and is not considered important enough to name. The only purpose that rat serves is to be the subject of the numerous experiments performed that test the boundaries of life. It will be born among many other rats in filthy and cramped space, live a life full of torture, then die of vivisection one day. Experimentation has been done for ages to make advancements in science. In fact, humans learn from their mistakes and experiments offer a way to learn from the little mistakes made in order to advance research on diseases and bring safe products to market. However, animal experimentation is using animals as subjects in those experiments, and many times, the animals die because of the spoiled conditions or are purposely killed in vivisection, which is dissecting the animal itself. Animal experimentation is a horrendous act, as it inflicts unbearable pain and suffering on the animal, keeps the animal in harsh and inhumane conditions, and often produces inaccurate results; therefore, the use of lab animals must be replaced by computerized technology which can follow the mode of human function and response.
To start with, experimentation on animals inflicts unbearable pain on the animal and causes them to suffer. One statistic explains that “every six seconds, a laboratory animal dies” (Garcia). This shows that animals are being murdered on a large scale, all because of humans and their experiments with such a high failure rate. So many animals are being murdered every minute; however, the number of medical products launched in the market is not even close to the number of animals killed for that product. This obviously shows that something is wrong in that the value of animals is not being recognized as all of these animals are easily being slaughtered. In addition, “no pain relievers or anesthetics of any kind are used [on the small animals such as rats]. The extreme pain often causes them to struggle so severely that they break their own backs-dying in agony needlessly” (Delzer). Delzer argues that the animals are dying on their own because the pain is unbearable, showing how medical science causes animals to suffer all the way until their end of lives. When humans go through any medical procedure, safety precautions are taken but such precautions are not seen as worth the trouble for the animals. Because using animals for experimentation is so widespread and common, the animals are not seen as individuals worth the anesthetics. The value of the animals is crucial to be recognized because “despite obvious differences between humans and nonhuman animals, we share with them a capacity to suffer, and this means that they, like us, have interests” (Wright and Hoagland). Humans are also considered animals, and nonhuman animals are not much different in that both have the ability to feel pain and have desires. This quote points in that animals also have the ability to suffer and if humans react against pain, animals react against it in a similar way. Why are only humans entitled to inalienable right to life, while animals are being murdered, recognizing that those animals also have interests and feelings? It is important to recognize each animal as a living individual and entitle the animals to at least safer and better conditions.
In addition, during experimentation, the laboratory animals are kept in harsh and inhumane conditions. For example, some of those conditions are “livers swollen, shampoo dropped into their eyes, or being in a cage so small they can't stand up” (Garcia). This illustrates the conditions while testing to be inhumane as the animals are seen as being only unimportant instruments instead of lives. Shampoo is dropped in their eyes to test how humans would react, and if it is dangerous, the animals could be blinded, not to mention the amount of burning and irritation in the eyes. The animals in testing environments are cramped into small cages, with numerous animals, each just part of the large crowd, from which insanitary conditions are surely to arise. An example of such a condition is seen in the image of “Lab Rat” by Getty, seen on page 6, of a trapped laboratory rat between two walls (Getty). In the image, a contrast of light and dark can be seen. The light signifies the positive aspect of experimentation, meaning possible scientific advancements. On the other hand, the dark signifies the blood of the laboratory animals spilled for the sake of scientific data, both being centered around a rat. This image shows how many people are unaware of the real story behind how their drugs are in the market. In addition, this image conjures up the feeling of being trapped, having the reader sympathize with the rat. What has the rat done to deserve a life in such a jail? Such an act is not necessary, because “even if they are going to be slaughtered, animals should be able to live their short lives in a humane way” (Garcia). Humans one day will die, as well as all living things, but if humans have the right to live their life in a suitable condition, this right should be extended to other nonhuman animals. If animal were used in any purpose, they deserve to be at least treated with respect and dignity, just like humans are given this right. Anyhow, having animals in cramped and unsanitary conditions would be worthless in that the results will be inaccurate anyways.
Many people think that using animals would advance medical science for humans and contribute in launching new studies but this is false because results from experiments on nonhuman animals can not be considered accurate nor reliable to be applied to humans, since each species is unique in its own way. One research study showed that “Of the more than 80 HIV vaccines that have proven safe and efficacious in chimpanzees (as well as other nonhuman primates), all have failed to protect or prove safe in humans in nearly 200 human clinical trials, with one actually increasing a human’s chance of HIV infection” (Delzer). Despite all the trouble researchers went through to create a vaccine, the vaccination was unreliable because humans react differently than animals to different diseases. Using the animals was a waste of time in that researchers directed so much of their resources towards the study on chimpanzees, who are known to be related to the ancestors of humans, meaning with a more similar genome, and the results from those chimpanzees was useless. The reason is that those results described how chimpanzees react, not how humans react, and spending all the money for research on an animal is not going to help since research from one species can't be applied to another. Furthermore, another study found that “Strychnine, for example, kills people but not monkeys, and belladonna is deadly to humans yet harmless to rabbits” (Tatchell). Even animals that are considered to have human related genes portray different results than a human would when exposed to a disease. Strychnine was harmless to monkeys, and if researchers were conducting experiments, it was a waste of all the resources that possibly may have gone into researching and experimenting in a place where the results would have been reliable enough. Such investments could have been made in more reliable technology.
Many people think that animals can be altered to mimic humans, and actually have started to genetically engineer animals that share many human qualities, a much more technologically superior alternative to using animals is available. “Scientists are now able to produce animals that will be born with or develop diseases, such as diabetes, neuromuscular dystrophy, and breast cancer” (Kopp and Camosy). The barrier of differences between the genome of a human and animal can be overcome with this new technology that lets animals mimic the response that a human will portray when exposed to a disease. Animals can potentially develop diseases that are mostly seen in humans and research can be done on those animals in hopes of accurate results, or at least that is what most researchers hope. Whereas investing in altering animals genetically is possible in hopes of better results, researchers can just invest in technologically superior alternatives to animals for experimentation. Delzer informs us of one of the technologies available: “Method of testing is a computer chip that is lined with human cells that can replicate the mechanical and chemical functions of a living organ” (Delzer). Instead of spending the financial resources to engineer a whole different breed of animal, this reuseable technology can mimic the reaction of the way a human will respond to a disease, increasing accuracy significantly, without putting a life on the line. This chip is lined with human cells, and mimics the behavior of a lung. Toxin, hormones, or other substances can be released into the chip, after which the cells respond to it accurately. With this new computer chip, researchers can be promised results that are reliable and safe to trust, and therefore apply on humans. With better technology, advancements in science will be seen frequently. Afterall, advancements on the basis of technology is more likely to be morally right than advancements on the base of an innocent animal’s life itself.
What people need to do is very clear: fight to stop animals from being used as experimental subjects and change the way experimentation works by accepting new computerized technology that accurately models human functions and responses for the good of humans. Animals are innocent beings with no ability to talk but can express love, feelings, and pain; therefore, it is the responsibility of humans to protect and advocate for the gift bestowed upon Earth, instead of killing them in selfish and meaningless experiments. Such an impact can be made by writing to the President of the University of California system Janet Napolitano at firstname.lastname@example.org. Janet Napolitano must be requested by masses of people to ban using animals in experimentation and instead use the computer chips that mimic humans in all UC research. California will this time, like it has for other matters, lead the nation in a change. By changing California, all nations will follow in UC’s footsteps, stop using animals in experiments, and accept computerized technology. A change must be brought because the step in losing the value of life has already been taken. Today, animals are being killed on a large scale as they are being considered too common and therefore acceptable to risk in experiments. One day, it may be that value of life is further lost and humans replace the animals as test subjects, in a world where humans are too common and therefore acceptable to risk in experiments.
Delzer, Becca. "Animal Testing Is Unnecessary." Teen Ink 27.4 (2015): 29. Points of View Reference Center. Web. 4 Feb. 2016.
Garcia, Tyler. "A Cruel Place." Teen Ink Dec. 2006: 19. Points of View Reference Center. Web. 9 Feb. 2016.
Getty. "Lab Rat." Digital Image. Image Collection. 27 May. 1999. Web. 9 Feb. 2016.
Kopp, Susan, and Charles C. Camosy. "Animals 2.0." America 212.18 (2015): 14. Points of View Reference Center. Web. 9 Feb. 2016.
Tatchell, Peter. "Why Animal Research Is Bad Science." New Statesman 133.4700 (2004): 18. Points of View Reference Center. Web. 9 Feb. 2016.
Wright, George, and Steve Hoagland. "Counterpoint: Animal Testing Is Cruel And Immoral Regardless Of The Benefits Associated With It." Points Of View: Animal Experimentation (2015): 3. Points of View Reference Center. Web. 9 Feb. 2016.