Animal Rights and Surrounding Issues

Introduction

Some people believe that keeping animals in laboratories may be justified when, for example, experiments on them to stop suffering or disease in humans. However, I believe that animal testing is a cruel way of discovering new medicines. I believe that there are quicker, more efficient ways of finding cures for humans, and that animal experimentation should be banned.

Today, there are laws in many countries to reduce the suffering of animals in all types of experimentation in laboratories. I believe this is not enough! I think that animals should not be used in any type of experimentation, especially those used for beauty products. There are now several corporations that produce their products without the use of animal testing, for example, the body shop; although there is still a larger proportion of tested products than there are non-tested products.

For those who believe that animal that is kept in cages is justifiable, when for example they help protect humans from disease, should be aware that experiments, in the past, involving animals has given dangerously misleading results. “In June 1989 a patient suffering from Cholera was given a new course of anti-biotic, which had been tested on animals but not on humans, was nearly killed because the drug reacted with an acid in the stomach producing deadly bacteria. The acid, which caused this, was not present in the species in which the drug was tested upon. However this was reported to be one of few drugs that have gone wrong in the past and all of these experiments were carried out before the ninety’s.” (Peter, 127)

Another reason I believe animal testing should be banned is that many of the experiments carried out these days are only slight variations of experiments that have already been tested before, in the past. And many of these experiments are the same as other experiments that have already been carried out before, in the past. For example, sleep deprivation, where an animal, usually a cat, is not allowed to sleep for up to seven days.

This experiment has been carried out many times over the past twenty years. “Alternative forms of consultation are used whenever they can provide the required information”. (Gary, 44-50) This is what many scientists seem to be saying every time they are accused of animal cruelty when certain experiments that have been tested before are being tested again. Nevertheless, there is more and more evidence being found every day that this cannot be further from the truth. Animal experimentation is pointless, this seems to be the most popular belief in the opinion polls and it is also my belief. Why it is that man considers animals as the inferior species? And when it comes to their rights there is a definite fine line between our needs and our taking advantage of them.

It is inhuman to condone and continue with these experiments. To this day animal experimentation is the worst type of torture one can imagine. It is beyond us to imagine humans being used in the place of animals. Animal rights activists believe that animals suffer as humans do and that all creatures are entitled to be free from torture and pain. (Peter, 130)

There have been close to no cures found despite millions of animals being sacrificed to experimentation every day. In America scientists use between 3 and 4 million animals per year, American scientists use around 17 to 22 million animals a year, and this is only for medical research. The cosmetic industry also uses around another million or so animals. Worldwide wide the number of animals used in experimentation is probably in the region of 250 million. (Karen, 85-91) As there is no point in these animal experiments why are they continued?

There are alternatives, and what are these alternatives? Why is animal testing still used when there are so many alternatives available? The main reason non-animal methods are not being used in industries is the failure to validate them. Validation is through examination, testing of methods leading to official acceptance by the scientific community and government agencies. If only non-animal testing methods were validated manufactures would use them more widely as an alternative to animal testing. (Hester, 92)

What are the alternatives? Instead of painful tests on animals manufacturers could firstly expose their product to a complex mixture of chemicals, based on chemical reaction scientists can predict whether or not the product will be irritating or dangerous to human beings. Eyetex, skin tex and corrosive are some of the better know tests of this type. (Hester, 95) Secondly, human cells are grown in culture and products tested on them. This type of testing has shown great promise. Computer technology has expanded the ability to predict the toxicity of chemicals using structural analysis. TOPKAT is one of the computer programs with vast data on chemical activity and can predict reactions based upon their structure. (Hester, 96)

Millions of pounds are spent each year by scientists who perform outdated and inaccurate tests. These tests are proven to be of no benefit to man or animals. This money would be better spent on our health service i.e. hospitals or education or even on the world crisis such as tsunami relief or world famine.

It is a proven fact that humans and animals react differently, for example, chimpanzees despite having 99% of the same genetic makeup as we do are not susceptible to many human diseases an example being aids, nor do they have the same reaction to drugs and procedures as humans. Again I ask, why do these pointless experiments and the endless torture continue? What is the purpose?

Research involving animals is controlled by the most comprehensive legalization in the world and a scientist needs confirmation from a judge before being allowed to carry out an experiment involving an animal. (Karen, 85-91) However, in the past, there have been scientists caught giving false test preparations to a judge and carrying out a different procedure to the one they said to their judge. This makes me believe that if some people have done it and got caught, how can people have done it and got away with it.

Animal liberationists break the law to prove that scientists are lying to judges and that they are carrying out illegal procedures. Although they are finding criminal’s animal liberationists can still get sent to jail because they are breaking the law. (Gary, 44-50) Due to this, there are fewer liberationists, which means that once again scientists are getting away with breaking the law.

Conclusion

To conclude, I feel that I have outlined some of the main issues with animal testing and have weighed out both for and against it equally. I think that animal testing should only be used in extreme cases and that there is someone in the legal trade watching all aspects of the procedure. Anyone caught breaking the law should be severely dealt with and fined.

References

Gary Kowalski, Tom Regan, John Robbins. (2007) The Souls of Animals. New World Library.

Hester, R. E. and Harrison, R. M. (2006) Alternatives to Animal Testing (Issues in Environmental Science and Technology) Royal Society of Chemistry.

Karen, Judson. (2006) Animal Testing (Open for Debate). Benchmark Books.

Peter, Singer. (2005) In Defense of Animals: The Second Wave. Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell.