December 3, 2012
Animal Testing in Research : It’s Personal Choice
Animal testing has become a big subject of discussion and the controversy about this topic has been always “hot” between scientists and animal protection activists since animal testing had been used in research officially and commonly. No matter what anyone thinks about this, the fact remains that most animal testing is done for several important reasons and has its benefits, contributions and drawbacks. It's just a matter of whether or not the pro's outweigh the cons. Animal testing is a type of research that has been going on for hundreds of years dating back to the ancient Greeks. It is used in many different ways, but the major purpose is to protect human from diseases. The prevention of human morbidity and mortality sounds great and required, but why are there quite many people that are against animal testing? This testing is used in several research fields. The three main fields are fundamental scientific research (pure research), drug evaluation, and the testing of cosmetics. Basic or pure research aims to investigate knowledge about the way organisms behave, develop, and function biologically. It focuses on many topics including memory, social behavior, evolution, genetics, and how animals develop normally and abnormally. Moreover, drug testing is another aspect; animals are used to evaluate pharmacology of drugs, its toxicity and appropriate dose for using before the drugs are commerce. On the other hand, animal testing in cosmetic production industry is used to checked chemical compounds containing in products’ ("Areas of research"). This testing is the most controversial and is banned in Europe.
We cannot denied that in the research history, animal testing brought many useful results such as the development of penicillin, organ transplants, and was used in the creation of a vaccine for poliovirus ("Where do medicines come from"). Despite all these good medical contribution, people are still opposed it due to ethic problems.
However, the people who against the testing of animals have their own reasons either. They question how ethical it is, the treatment on animals, the actual experiments, and the different reasons for which the research is conducted. The ethical argument is the major of the oppositions. They argue that if humans are not willing to undergo the testing, how can they force animals to take their place? Even animals are not as smart as human but they have their own life and it could not be controlled by another species, particularly human. Initially people didn't think that animals were able to feel pain so this argument didn't exist. But, they now realize that animals are able to feel painful; thus, it becomes a valid argument. Additionally animals even feel pain as much as humans because they also have similar central nervous system, and similar neurons receptors, non-human subject suffer less due to their incapability to remember and anticipate pain ("Controversy of Animal Testing"). In contrast, many people think animals such as dogs, cats and hamsters are their friends (pets) and believe that animals that are used for scientific experiments are treated under a harsh condition and abused undesirably. Several undercover investigations have proved that abuse occurred. Some animal researches don't really bring benefits to human. The phrase of "bad science" is a big and concerned term. They argue that sometimes when the testing is done by the experiments that were performed to get a desired outcome and that some drugs have different effects on humans than on non-human subjects. They also believe that people can use alternative methods instead of this kind of cruel testing. Some alternatives include "in vitro cell culture and human clinical tests (based on volunteer patients)". The in vitro cells that are maintained under laboratory condition and in media predicted from human body...
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