Science Versus Ethics and the Need for more Receptiveness in Animal Experimentations
Animal activists are calling for a ban on animal testing despite the fact that with the development of new treatments, which are tested on animal in treating HIV, cancers, and other epidemics, people who live the day hopelessly in the threat of death from such diseases now can see the hope of being cured. In opposition, many scientists and medical institutions claim that animal right activists are overreacting. The fight between one, who suppose the need for testing on animals, and the other, who are animal right activists, recalls a historical controversial issue, which seems undisputable since Darwin's letter to The Times of 1881 defending animal experimentation and the response to his letter from an anti-vivisectionist, Frances Power Cobbe (Blakemore). In this case, we cannot say who is right and who is wrong. Each side has its own merits and a large number of supporters. However, in recent years, we have to witness a sadly fact that some people are misunderstanding the word “anti-vivisection.” A number of groups even use aggressive, intimidating tactics to attack or threaten scientists who conduct animal testing. Sadly, these activists put a shadow over the other individuals who are against animal testing but show their opinions through peaceful means. It seems that the fight over using animals in experimentations will continue for many years later. In addition, people who stand for animal right should be more open to recognize the role of animal testing before calling for a permanent ban on all use of animals. Animal experimentations are necessary in improving life quality and saving not only human life but also the lives of many other animals.
When it comes to the public, some people may ask what animal testing is. They are perhaps still unsure of exactly what is involved in animal testing, and what the subject around the meaning behind “animal testing” is. Actually, this is the term that is mostly used in biology science. Whether it is called animal testing, animal experimentation, or animal research, it refers to the use of non-human animals such as mice, fish, and bird in laboratory experiments. On May 11, 2007, The Commission of the European Communities announced the report about the statistics on the number of animals used for experimental and other scientific purposes in the member states of the European Union. The report shows the ratio between types of animals that were used in 2005 (in the total of 12.1 million animals used, see figure 1.1 below).
Usually, animal experimentations are not conducted directly for healing purposes although the result may involve medications used for healing both humans and other animals. Instead, healing an animal would be akin to veterinary medicine, which is different from animal testing. It is also important for those who oppose to animal testing to note, as they believe that those experiments mean the torture and suffering of animals. This short sight belief needs to be cleared by the public benefits in the long run because animal testing has undoubtedly contributed to scientific research in many different respects. The major advantage for animal testing is that it aids scientists in pharmaceutical research and in finding treatments to improve health and medicine. Because animals like rats and other laboratory mammals are more consistently like us in genes than are other organisms, they are thought to be the closest match and best one if applying this data to humans. Many medical treatments, which derive from testing medicines on these animals, will give the best result when these treatments are applied on human. New treatments mean a new hope for people who are in the fight against HIV virus, cancer, leukemia, alzheimer, and many other epidemics. Linking to the number of AIDS/HIV cases at Africa, the number is still increasing every minute. It is worth to sacrifice some rats to save...
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