Animal Testing Does More Good Than Harm
PRO (9 arguments)
Links to more research:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
This fits into the notion of "dominion" in important ways. It relates "dominion" to how we have evolved in the animal kingdom: we have become dominant naturally. To deny our dominance is to deny our natural position in the animal kingdom and the nature of the animal kingdom itself. It is also to deny the vary instinct that led to civilization and our ability to reflect on these matters; the instinct to succeed (ie. dominate). We should embrace both our natural dominance and our instincts to remain dominant, and consider them God-given (or Nature-given). This means accepting the notion of our having "dominion" over other animals.
Michael Pollan. "An Animal's Place". The New York Times Magazine. November 10, 2002
Human beings share over 99.4% of their genes with chimpanzees and about 99% with mice. It is instructive to consider that humans also share approximately 90% of their genes with cows. The physiologies of humans and these animals are very similar, with very similar organ and nerve systems. For this reason, it is useful and productive to study these animals as a means of advancing human sciences. The reactions of these creatures are a very good guide to possible reactions of human patients.
"Why do scientists use animals in research?". The American Physiological Society. Retrieved May 3rd, 2008
"Animals make good research subjects for a variety of reasons. Animals are biologically similar to humans. They are susceptible to many of the same health problems, and they have short life-cycles so they can easily be studied throughout their whole life-span or across several generations."
The potential human benefits of a particular animal test are typically weighed against the harms that it will entail for animals. Scientists are not wanton in inflicting tests on animals. Rather, they are often bound to meet specific ethical requirements in the trade-off. The harm of the testing must be thought "worth it" for the benefits that it will produce. animal research is justified because it has reducing human suffering.
“Primates are treated very specially in British law and by British scientists. Their use can be justified by advances to diseases of the brain, for example, but that does not mean any scientist can or should simply say ‘I want to inject something into the brain of a monkey.’" (Prof Nancy Rothwell, brain scientist)
Animals are used as pets and for work in the agriculture and police industries. In all of these cases, they are being exploited for certain human ends, without too much concern for their "rights". It should not be of major concern, therefore, that animals are being exploited experiments for human ends. And, given that the exploitation is aimed at saving human lives, it is possible to argue that the degree of exploitation could be even more sever than in other cases of animal exploitation where the human-interests are less compelling
Millions upon million of cattle are slaughtered every year for fast food restaurants, and there seems to be no problem with that. It's just when it happens in a lab, and when the animal isn't even suffering as much, that people start to complain and wear badges to give themselves an empty purpose in life, to "crusade for the animals!".
No organization can commission animal testing without being sensitive to understandable concerns about the issue in society. However, all responsible businesses have to ensure that their products are safe for their employees, customers, the wider public and the environment. New product developments have delivered many benefits to society, but they must be demonstrated to be safe.
"In the case of oil and chemical products, the use of animals for testing is required where there is no other way of establishing their safety. Although new testing methods have significantly reduced the number of animals used, animals are still needed for some safety testing." - Shell.com
CON (8 arguments)
Links to more CON 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.
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.
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
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.
Tom Regan. "The Philosophy of Animal Rights". Retrieved May 6th, 2008 - "THE PHILOSOPHY OF ANIMAL RIGHTS
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.
Dominion by Matthew Scully
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.
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
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.
There are many situations in which an individual who has rights is unable to respect the rights of others. This is true of infants, young children, and mentally enfeebled and deranged human beings. In their case we do not say that it is perfectly all right to treat them disrespectfully because they do not honor our rights. On the contrary, we recognize that we have a duty to treat them with respect, even though they have no duty to treat us in the same way.
Tom Regan, an American animal right philosopher.
Though we perform testing on animals, and even eat the ones with less fur, we are not cannibals; we do not torture our own. Or do we? A cow has approximately 90 percent of its genes in common with humans. Those genes code for the same proteins, the same nerve tissue, the same basic emotions and pain, that humans can feel. Monkeys have 97 percent of their genes in common with humans, and share even more striking physical, mental and emotional similarities."
Michael Pollan - "My first line of defense was obvious. Animals kill one another all the time. Why treat animals more ethically than they treat one another? (Ben Franklin tried this one long before me: during a fishing trip, he wondered, 'If you eat one another, I don't see why we may not eat you.' He admits, however, that the rationale didn't occur to him until the fish were in the frying pan, smelling 'admirably well.' The advantage of being a 'reasonable creature,' Franklin remarks, is that you can find a reason for whatever you want to do.) To the 'they do it, too' defense, the animal rightist has a devastating reply: do you really want to base your morality on the natural order? Murder and rape are natural, too. Besides, humans don't need to kill other creatures in order to survive; animals do.
Michael Pollan. "An Animal's Place". The New York Times Magazine. November 10, 2002
But even assuming that animals are so very different from us, where does this concept of difference justifying mistreatment come from? Is it supported in the modern ethics of developed countries? It certainly was not the principle justifying our war against Nazism, the better part of a century ago, let alone its more subtle ethical variant of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. A central concept of Civil Rights is to treat different persons as well or better (e.g. affirmative action) than oneself - In short, to ascend to selflessness, cherishing diversity."