Animal testing should be banned
The debate on animal testing has remained a controversial one on the public domain. Opponents of the practice assert that animals have a life and thus feel pain and happiness. Therefore, just like mankind demand for life, the right of animals to enjoy their natural lives should be respected by man. Also claimed is that animals and human beings are different in their genetic makeup as well as in their responsiveness to external stimuli (Alper, 2008). This has the implication that animal testing to qualify the safety of products developed for human being is quite unreliable. Still, given the modern technological advancements, alternative testing techniques should be employed as failure to do so negate the meaning of scientific developments in the human community.
On the other hand, proponents of animal testing claim that it is the only practical way of ensuring quality and safe products for mankind. Some proponents assert that the world is structured in a hierarchal manner with man being at the top. Such has the implication of animals being of less value and thus can be used by mankind for his own good. For the proponents of animal testing therefore, failing to testing scientific products on animals is compromising the dignity of mankind (Shumake & Engman, 1993). Nevertheless, given the fact that animals have a life, they have unalienable right to live their natural lives justly without harm by mankind. Therefore, animals testing should be banned as such negates the meaning of the gift of life.
First, animal testing finds no qualified and logical reasoning. True to the word, animal testing is conducted for products which are tailored for use by mankind. According to available scientific facts, the genetic characteristics of human beings are quite different from that of other animals (Shumake & Engman, 1993). Even the non-human primates like chimpanzees, which are found to have genes quite similar to those of human, boast of irreconcilable genetic differences with mankind. Based on this reasoning, animals cannot be a valid proof to qualify the effectiveness and safety of a product that is meant for use by man. A good example on this is the failure of HIV/AIDS vaccine whose testing was conducted on chimpanzees (Alper, 2008). Although the experimental procedure proved substantial effectiveness of the vaccine, not even one of the eight thousand people used in the clinical testing stage showed immunity to the HIV virus.
Another reason for banning animal testing is that it is a cruel act. Animals have life, just like human being. This has the implication that animals are subject to pain and happiness. However, animal testing negates these fundamental facts by subjecting animal into pain in the pursuit of promoting the interests of mankind. It has been sufficiently established that most animals which are used for testing drugs and other products sustain with permanent defects or even death in the process (Alper, 2008). Just to underscore here, assume a lab animal being cut without any form of pain killers for the purposes of studying its internal body structure. This can only be equated to torture. Still, animals deserve freedom of natural existence and association with other (Shumake & Engman, 1993). Despite this reason, animal testing practices lead to the capturing and isolation of such animals from their other members and locking it in a cage. Such deprives the animal of its fundamental right of free existence.
Some forms of animal testing are not necessary. According to available information, researchers on cosmetics are the most common users of animals for testing the safety of the products for use by human beings (Balls, Harrison, & Hester, 2006). Most proponents of animal tests assert their importance in promoting the wellbeing of the human community. The question here is how are cosmetics promoting the wellbeing of the community? Just to be appreciated is the fact that such tests usually involve the pouring of the cosmetic products to the skin of the animal to detect any form of irritation (Alper, 2008). Lab animals are observed for many days with these chemicals put in their eyes. Why should animals be torture for the development of luxurious products for human use? Still to be stated is the fact that, despite the claimed safety of this products, there use has evidently lead to numerous side effects.
Animal testing should be banned as there are numerous alternatives to use in qualifying the safety of research products. The modern society is marked with remarkable technological advancements. In fact, it is nowadays quite possible for medical practitioners to study the miniature structures of the human brain using high-tech machines (Alper, 2008). This implies that it is also possible to use such technologies to more precisely qualify the effectiveness and safety of a research product. During the ancient times, animal testing was typically used for providing an insight about the structure of the human body and the information is quite present in the modern society. Based on this reason, by using the modern lab technology, it is possible to mix chemicals based on predetermined propositions and study the resulting structure which is then compared with the dictates of the human body (Shumake & Engman, 1993). Failure by researchers to appreciate this plain fact negates the ultimate essence of technology in the human community.
Still, it has been evidently established that the modern society is definitely obsessed with technology. Indeed, technology is increasingly dominating almost all aspects of our lives. This is indicative of the level of trust we have on technology. For example, most intensive care units are current run by intelligence system software which monitors the progress of the patient (Balls, Harrison, & Hester, 2006). If technology can be trusted to provide reliable information of the health condition of a critically sick patient, why cannot it be used to qualify the safety of research products for use by mankind? It is worth noting at this point that not even one of the technological developments since the beginning of history was tested on animals. This gives the simply conclusion that animals are not the only source of quality assurance for human safety. Indeed, the continued use of animals for testing pharmacological products is compromising the preciseness and safety that can be guaranteed by technology (Balls, Harrison, & Hester, 2006).
Psychological evidence claims that character and behaviour of an individual is modelled by their surrounding environmental and human factors. In addition, scientific principles assert that any active force will be compelled by an equally reactive force. If these statements qualify to be true, and indeed they are, then the practice of animal testing will only continue to nurture inhuman behaviours in the community (Alper, 2008). Happiness is gained from the quality of social and moral life we lead rather than from the economic advantage we enjoy. According to many critics of animal testing, the practice instils a poor mentality of negating the importance of life by the perpetuators. Just to be appreciated here is that, most of the experimental research conducted using animals are meant for medical purposes. With the above being true, then animal testing can be claimed to compromise the caring attitude that medical practitioners are bound to have for their patients (Shumake & Engman, 1993). Therefore, the problem of animal testing should be perceived as a potential social disability which threatens the cultural values, norms, beliefs, and expectations. Thus, it should be banned to safe the future of the society.
There is a contradiction on the concept of respect for animals and that of animal testing. It is a common practice in our nation for individuals to be subjected to the law for mistreating animals. Just as an example, running over a dog while driving is defined as a crime that is subject to charges in the justice system (Balls, Harrison, & Hester, 2006). Still, an act of mistreating a personal animal which could otherwise by regarded as personal property remains a criminal offence under the animal rights law. Nevertheless, animal testing seems to have limited if any regulating laws. Researchers can kill, inflict torture, and even impair the animals’ ability to lead a free and sustainable life but are never questioned. Let the law apply equally and effectively to all in the society, otherwise it could remain a discriminative law which contradicts the provisions of our constitution of equal protection.
In conclusion, the debate on animal testing has been marked with self-made righteous crusaders who believe that human beings are placed at the top in the hierarchal structure of order in the world. They claim that animal are of lesser value compared to man and can thus be treated by man as a property or natural resource for his sustainable development (Balls, Harrison, & Hester, 2006). However, animals have life and are thus entailed to some fundamental rights. Claiming that animals should be used for testing cosmetics is in particularly illogical since such have no connection with the wellbeing of the human community. There are other available alternatives to animal testing such as the high-level state of the art technology we boast of in the community. Based on all these therefore, animal testing should be banned.
Alper, T. (2008). Anesthetizing the Public Conscience: Lethal Injection and Animal Euthanasia. Fordham Urban Journal, 35, 12-21.
Balls, M., Harrison, R., & Hester, R. (2006). Alternatives to Animal Testing. Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry.
Shumake, S., & Engeman, R. (1993). Animal Welfare and the Statistical Consultant. The American Statistician, 47, 34-54.