Animal testing is a process of using animals in conducting scientific experiments (Christopher 14). The practice is also widely referred to as animal research or animal experimentation. In efforts to understand how the human body reacts and behaves in different conditions, animals are used as an experimental substitute in finding or establishing relevant solutions related to items or substances that humans use on a day to day basis such as cosmetics, household merchandise, food preservatives, industrial chemicals, supplements, and medication (Hackman 92). The tests that involve animals largely take place in medical schools, establishments of military defense, Universities, laboratories and in biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Most animals used by scientists in conducting different tests or researches are mostly reared for these reasons in laboratories (Christopher). Supplementary animal acquisition methods include capturing the animals from the wild or buying them from companies that bred animals specifically for furthering or facilitating experimental procedures.
As any other field, we have people, groups, and nations that support the argument for animal testing and those that are against the concept of animal testing. The supporters of this concept argue that computers can be unreliable in giving accurate results or information on issues related to cells, environment or molecules (Christopher 17). Animal testing has therefore been used to give very reliable and substantial scientific information in the last century. On the other hand, opponents or individuals who challenge the concept of animal experimentation argue that animals, like humans, feel and experience pain and should not be subjected to unnecessary pain and suffering. Furthermore, they posit that animals used for research are often subjected to cruel and traumatizing conditions, therefore, negating fundamental animal rights. Moreover, other arguments indicate that animals should be respected because they have natural rights just like all other beings (Hackman 101).
Virtually 3.9 million experiments are performed yearly involving animals such macaque monkeys and guinea pigs. This overlooks the fact that macaque monkeys are very intelligent and social creatures that share most attributes present in human beings (Christopher 29). It is sad that the government has failed in controlling this experiments or even bringing them to a stop yet so many vices are associated with the process. Some of the negativities are animals tolerate extreme stress hence possibilities in affecting the end results making the results null and void, there is the presence and availability of successful alternatives to animal testing, and it is expensive to use animals in experiments. Moreover, there are also time consuming, animals are widely killed with cruelty after these experiments, this method has limited scientific support, and animals are largely used in testing cleaning products that are not very important to humanity than surgery and medicine (Hackman 113).
Let us start by looking at the scientific limitations to using animal experiments. Despite the fact that the scientific world continues to embrace the use of animal testing, many scientists consider this act barbaric and ruthless (Food and Drug Administration 34). They go ahead to argue that the reliability and validity of this method are significantly questionable because to use an animal to predict how a certain product will react to human beings has a lot of uncertainty. In addition to that, some drugs may work excellently in animals and terribly fail in human beings. A good example is Thalidomide in Germany in the 1970s, which had been tested on a number of animals in their thousands and was declared safe for human use and released in the market in 1950s. It was a highly rated sedative for breastfeeding and pregnant mothers because the scientists involved argued that it affects neither the mother nor the child (Hackman 123). Never the less, most children whose mothers had embraced the use of Thalidomide were born with extreme deformation across the world. Another good example on how unreliable animal experiments are is Clioquinol. This drug was declared safe in stopping or controlling diarrhea in 1970s in Japan. Ironically, this drug was a catalyst in causing diarrhea and as a result many people died in thousands and many others remained blind. In addition to the examples above, the medical journal in Britain evaluated a number of scientific reviews concerning the influence of animal experiments in clinical research in 2004 (Food and Drug Administration 37). Many tactics used to conduct these studies were found to the underprivileged because sometimes they caused use samples in small portions than what is required and sometimes they could engage in human testing when the program is not complete. In many occasions, the research results could lead to a conclusion that a certain drug is dangerous yet the scientists still went ahead in using them in human beings. This illustrates that they did not regard the animal studies imperative. Indeed, drugs that work in animals are not an assurance that they will work in humans.
Cruelty is another major factor cited by individuals who are against the use of animals for conducting experiments (Christopher 39). The use of animals subjects them to a lot of psychological and physical pain. A good example is the LD50 test where animals are injected with a certain drug in different dosage just to determine which one will kill them faster (Food and Drug Administration 41). Hospitals and colleges also use animals as items that can be Manipulated or influenced at will. Animals feel despair, horror, pain, and torture despite the fact that they are not human. It is therefore arrogant, barbaric and reckless regarding moral standards to subject these animals through what we term as inhuman practices yet we do not even own them. This is subjecting a creature to a lot of pain against their will. To make the condition of this practice worse, this experiments are not only used to find medical solutions that can save human lives but they are widely used in cosmetics testing (Food and Drug Administration 47). These animals are then killed ruthlessly after they are used in conducting this research and others are always reared to keep the process going.
We cannot overlook the factor that this process of using animals in experiments against their will subject them to a lot of stress hence the results may not be accurate thus unreliability. Besides, there are very many biological variations between human and animal species. A good example is the current menace HIV virus (Food and Drug Administration 52). Non-human creatures cannot contract the HIV virus yet it is considered deadly in humans. A medication that appeared promising in treating rhesus macaques in animals was also ineffective in humans.
Animal experiments should stop because alternatives have been widely discovered (Christopher 40). In addition to this, scientists have developed a lot more in the campaign to terminate use of animals in experiments (Hackmann 40). Plastic models and computers can effectively substitute use of animals in experiments. In vitro examination: IC50 assesses how much chemicals can be to cells hence can replace LC50 examination that oversees a chemical given to a number of animals to determine what amount is able to kill more than half of the all population of the animals. Another method is the FDA, which is a technique that provides credible information on how humans can be widely affected by new drugs (Food and Drug Administration 77).
Despite the many negative effects of animal experiments mentioned above, the proponents of this method argue that there have been very many breakthroughs in medicine because of this technique. Consequently, humans well being is the primary reason hence animals concern come in as secondary priority. No one will want to give birth to a child who lives in extreme pain everyday when a solution could be found hence giving a try in finding solutions is good enough. They also advocate that they try to minimize the pain this animals go through as much as possible when conducting this experiments and use the most painless way when they have to kill them after experiments. Moreover, the genes resemblance between human beings and chimpanzees stand at 99 percent, which is a little fewer to other monkeys (Food and Drug Administration 81). How these creatures react to different components is therefore a lead to potential reactions of human beings. In addition to this, many animals share the physical attributes with human beings. Furthermore, it is morally unaccepted to risk the life of human beings when a procedure or medicine could be tested on animals, which are non-human. Lastly, these experiments benefit the animals themselves with veterinary medicine. This is therefore in the interest of both animals and humans they argue.
In conclusion, animal testing or experimentation is a concept that refers to the use of non-human animals in conducting various scientific experiments and procedures aimed at developing products and medicines that are beneficial to humans. The proponents of animal testing reiterate that it has played a very crucial role in developing numerous medications and treating various medical conditions. On the other hand, those against animal testing posit that it is extremely cruel because it subjects animals to a lot of pain and ends up killing not only animals but humans as well, especially when the experiments do not work as intended. Animal testing also cost a huge amount of resources and money considering that the animals must be fed, treated, housed etc for a certain period, which is relatively long. We should not forget that in most cases this drugs may react differently in humans and animals body hence rendering animal testing unreliable. Animals used for experimentation purposes are often caged or kept in enclosed surroundings and this automatically generate stress for the animals thus their reaction to the medicine cannot be compared to the reaction they could have in their natural environment. While I have mentioned a number of cons and pros to animal testing, I strongly believe that the results and solutions found through animal testing will never be precise. There is completely no relation between human physical conditions and those of animals. Besides, we have alternative methods to substitute the procedure of animal testing.