Animal Experimentation Essay

Animal experimentation is both unreliable and unnecessary. Many animals are used in scientific and medical research whereby these experimental animals go through cruel experiences of testing. They often suffer and agonize greatly in the hands of researchers and scientists. The results obtained from animal experimentation are intended to be used on human beings however, this has not been achieved since animals are so different from human beings something which renders animal experimentation unreliable and unnecessary. Many advances in health are attributed to human studies and not animal experimentation key among them being: the breakthrough of the connection between cholesterol and cardiovascular diseases, link between smoking and cancer. The development of anesthesia, the stethoscope, morphine, radium, penicillin, artificial respiration: x-rays, and antiseptics not forgetting the development of CAT, MRI and PET scans (Cohen, M.J. 1991). But results from animal experimentation have always been inconclusive, unreliable and dangerous. Medical historians on the other have argue that good nutrition, improved hygienic standards as well as behavioral and environmental factors and not the knowledge gained from animal experimentation are responsible for the reduction if human deaths. They further argue that the use of drugs and medicine has little or no effect on the life expectancy of human of animals.

            Animal experimenters argue that the use animals have led to testing of new drugs on people but their opponents feel that since the physiology of animals are so different from that of humans then animal tests are unreliable and hence their trials are  puts  human lives at risk. A larger percentage of these drugs are removed from the market because they have adverse effects on human beings. In august 2004, the food and drug association (FDA) revealed that 92% of those drugs that pass animal tests were found to be unsafe or ineffective to human and only 8% were effective.

            Most of the animals used in experimentation are kept in cages inside laboratories where they display a serious psychological distress and even the experimenters agree that the use of these stressed animals jeopardizes the validity of the results (Glanelli, M.A, 1985). Not even humans living in unnatural and stressed conditions would be suitable models in research of human diseases occurring in natural world and from these observations it is unnecessary to continue with animal experimentation.

                        Since the research on cancer in 1971 Americans have spent nearly $200 billion but more than 500,000 American die of the same disease every year. The death rate due to cancer rises by 73% since the war began. Richard Klausner, who headed the National Cancer Institute (NCI) once, observed that the war against cancer was only worn on mice since the mice have been cured for a long time whereas humans continue dieing.  In addition, World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that cancer is a lifestyle disease which can be prevented by behavioral change of humans, yet most cancer focused organizations spend very little on cancer prevention programs like public education. WHO also says that most cancers are caused by smoking, high fat diet, high animal proteins and artificial colors as well as additives on food.

The proponents of animal experimentation justify it by saying that this process is not painful to animals. We realize that there is a lot of suffering that animals undergo from the time they are captured, transported, and confined in unnatural conditions (in cages and laboratories). All these cause both physical as well as physiological stresses whose magnitude cannot be measured. These places do not provide social interactions, or family groups, companions, grooming possibilities, nests or surfaces softer than metal. All these occur prior to experimentation and during the real process these animals suffer in hands of the researcher where most of them are infected with diseases from which they do not recover from at the expense of humans. This is violation of animal rights and action, which is unethical and uncalled for.

[Alternatives to animal experimentation]

            The animal’s experimenters argue that there are no viable options other than animal experimentation in scientific research. However, clinical and epidemiological studies have proved be  better alternatives that are not only reliable but are also morally and ethically right since they do not subject animals to unnecessary trauma,  the use of cadavers, and computer simulations provide a more reliable, more precise, less expensive and more humane alternatives than the animal tests. Those researchers opposed to animal experimentation have used human brain cells in developing a model “micro brain” which they use in studying brain tumors, they have also developed artificial skin and bone marrow and thus down playing the advantages of animal experimentation (Dolan, Kevin. 1999).

            Ethics demand that the value of each life in and of itself cannot be replaced by its potential value to any one else. Experimenters claim a “right” to inflict pain on animals based on animal’s inability to complain or protect themselves and if these are the reasons why is the use of infants or children in experimentation unacceptable. Animals are not ours they are God’s creation and thus we do not have a right to inflict pain, suffering or agony at the expense of our greed for power, money or fame.

Glanelli, M.A. 1985, Three Blind Mice, See how they run, a critique of behavioral

Research with animals in Fox.MW, Mickley LD (eds). Advances in Animal Welfare Science. Washington DC, Humane Society of the United States.

Cohen, M.J. 1991, the irrelevance of animal experimentation in modern psychiatry and

Psychology in Cohen MS, Natelson N (eds). Facing the challenge. Alexandria

VA, Concern for helping animals in Israel

Dolan, Kevin. 1999. Ethics, Animals, and Science. Oxford: Blackwell Science,