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Topics Homepage> Animal testing does more good than harm

Animal testing does more good than harm

PRO (9 assertions)

Links to more research:

"Myths and Facts"

This website is run by RDS (an organization in the United Kingdom) that advocates for the use of animal testing and experimentation in medical research. Using the navigation bar at the top of the site, you can look at animal research facts, medical benefits, animal welfare, hot topics,and more.

"The benefits of animal research"

This website will be helpful to the proposition side. The organization Seriously Ill for Medical Research advocates for animal experimentation. This page gives examples of diseases for which animal testing is helpful for research and treatment. Follow the links at the bottom of the page to get examples for different diseases.



Good than harm- as in what we should do to benefit the human race. Why only human? Because what are we, judge? Humans. Exactly.

1. Assertion: Humans have an evolutionary right to uphold self-interests by testing animals

Reasoning: Humans are creatures of evolution. In evolution, the natural order is to uphold the self-interests of the individual and the species. Therefore, exploiting other animals to advance human self-interests is consistent with the natural order of evolution, and thus ethical. It is only unethical to damage the interests of one's own species.

2. Assertion: It is a misconception that all animal testing involves pain

Reasoning: Most forms of animal testing do not inflict any pain on the animal. They may simply study the effects of a mild drug on an animal or simply test brain activity without cutting or harming an animal in any way. In consideration of this fact, it is inappropriate to call for abandoning all forms of animal testing. Certainly, there is no need to abandon the forms of animal testing that do no harm to animals.

3. Assertion: It is more humane to perform tests on animals than on humans

Reasoning: Testing substances on humans without being aware of the potential dangers would be more unethical than testing animals. And, yet, we must perform tests on animals or on humans to advance life-saving medicines. Given a choice between testing humans and animals, it is better to choose to test animals.

4. Assertion: Animal testing has significantly improved human welfare

Reasoning: Past experience has shown what invaluable advances can be made in medicine by experimenting on animals, and that live animals are the most reliable subjects for testing medicines and other products for toxicity. In many countries (e.g. the US and the UK) all prescription drugs must be tested on animals before they are allowed onto the market. To ban animal experiments would be to paralyze modern medicine, to perpetuate human suffering, and to endanger human health by allowing products such as insecticides onto the market before testing them for toxicity.

Evidence: Joseph E. Murray, MD, 1990 Nobel Laureate and professor emeritus, Harvard Medical School. "Animal experimentation has been essential to the development of all cardiac surgery, transplantation surgery, joint replacement and all vaccinations.”

Assertions #5, 6, 7, 8, 9

CON (8 assertions)

Links to more CON research:

"Animals in scientific research"

This article is from the National Anti-Vivisection Society, an organization devoted to ending experimentation on animals. There are some tough scientific concepts in the article, but most students should be able to figure them out. If you have trouble understanding what parts of the article mean, ask a science teacher at your school. For information about drug testing, follow the link on the left side of the page.

"Animals used in experimentation FAQ"

This article is from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), an organization that opposes animal testing. There is a lot of useful information on this website; however, you should be aware that some of the videos contained on the site may be disturbing.


The Plan


Assertion: There are adequate alternatives to animal experimentation

Reasoning: There are plenty of alternatives to animal experimentation for achieving the desired end of aiding humans and fighting human suffering. These use of these alternatives should be more aggressively pursued, and a greater cost should be associated with animal experimentation relatively speaking. Alternative techniques include:

· Testing human cell cultures is an alternative to animal testing
· Using computer models
· Studying human volunteers
· Using epidemiological studies

1. Assertion: Animals are independent creatures that don't exist to serve humans

Reasoning: The other animals humans eat, use in science, hunt, trap, and exploit in a variety of ways, have a life of their own that is of importance to them apart from their utility to us. They are not only in the world, they are aware of it. What happens to them matters to them. By insisting upon and justifying the independent value and rights of other animals, it gives scientifically informed and morally impartial reasons for denying that these animals exist to serve us.

Evidence: Tom Regan. "The Philosophy of Animal Rights". Retrieved May 6th, 2008 - "THE PHILOSOPHY OF ANIMAL RIGHTS

2. Assertion: Human

Reasoning: Even if we apply the notion of "dominion", and if we deprive animals of rights, the principle of "dominion" should be applied in a way that requires humans to see themselves as "stewards" of animals. As outlined by Matthew Scully in Dominion, humans should apply the principle of mercy to animals, which requires that they inflict no pain or suffering on them. He writes, "We are called to treat them with kindness, not because they have rights or power or some claim to equality but...because they stand unequal and powerless before us.” Part of the significance of this argument is that even if we conclude animals should not have rights, we can still conclude (via the principle of mercy) that animals should not be subjected to pain, suffering, and testing.

Evidence: Dominion by Matthew Scully

3. Assertion: Animals deserve the same basic rights that humans enjoy

Reasoning: Animal testing generally occurs as a result of developing a cost-benefit model. Basically, if the benefit of the research (to humans) looks high, then it is seen as being worth the costs (to animals). For instance it is seen that if animal research is likely to save the lives of many humans that it is worthwhile. However, it can be argued that all sentient beings have the same rights, and that costs to animals are as important as costs to humans. There is no moral basis for elevating the interests of one species over another this is specieism.

Evidence: James Herriot, English Veterinarian and Author - "I hope to make people realize how totally helpless animals are, how dependent on us, trusting as a child must that we will be kind and take care of their needs

4. Assertion: Animal tests too infrequently lead to scientific advancements

Reasoning: While it is undeniable that scientific advancements have been made on account of animal experimentation, these advancements have been too rare to justify animal testing. The basic problem is that there is never any guarantee that any instance of animal testing will lead to any advancement in science. There is always a significant risk that an entire line of study that involves killing thousands of animals will lead to no substantive scientific benefits. This makes it highly inconsistent that the ethical trade-off is "worth it", if it ever is. This inconsistency means that a large portion of tested animals will not meet the ethical criteria of being "worth it", and could thus be called ethically wrong.

Assertions #5, 6, 7, 8