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Argumentative Essay against Animal Testing

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Animal testing has been a controversy for over a century since the Cruelty to Animal Act of 1876, the first law in the world aiming to regulate the use of animals in research, was passed. For example, in Korea, 4.14 million animals were reportedly mobilized and victimized in animal experiments in 2020, according to the Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency, moreover, the figures have increased every year. While public awareness of animal rights has heightened so far, there has still been no legal framework for animal protection from experimental uses, as the relevant bills were proposed but are still pending at the National Assembly. Under the circumstances, it needs to be reconsidered why it should be legislative to ban animal testing in scientific research.

To begin with, animal testing is cruel. Animals also have the rights to be treated against cruelty because all living existences should be respected based on the ethics of respect for life. American biologist and former professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, Marc Bekoff, who has pursued his research in animal behavior and behavioral ecology, argued that human beings should treat animals with care and respect because non-human animals exhibit thought processes similar to humans as well as emotions that could be compared to human emotions, such as grief, fear, love, and compassion. Bekoff claimed that “non-human animals are extremely smart and demonstrate emotional and moral intelligence”. As he has proved in his numerous studies, animals can feel the same emotions that humans do, so animal testing can cause terrifying pain that animals can feel as much as humans. This suggests animal experiments can be cruel to animals, and they are completely against animal rights as well as the ethics of respect for life.

Furthermore, animal experiments are not accurate at an optimum level any longer when researchers and scientists use the results of the study and apply them to human cases. It is undeniable that human beings and animals have anatomical and biological similarities in their bodies, so the fact has lied at the root of justifying animal testing in history. However, the situation in science and medicine has changed over the past decades due to rapid scientific advancements. The scientific and medical technologies have become far more sophisticated than before, so subtle genetic differences between humans and animals can critically affect the experimental results. For example, the thalidomide tragedy is one of the best-known cases of animal testing failure. Thalidomide, developed in Germany in the 1950s as a sedative, had passed safety after more than 600 times of animal testing; however, it was later proved to be extremely dangerous to pregnant women after thousands of deformed children were born. In this regard, animal testing can lead to experimental failures and errors, which can ultimately result in harmful effects on human bodies.

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Some scholars in opposing views claim that there are several reasons why animal experiments continuously should be carried out despite their detrimental effects. They argue that animal testing has proven itself to be effective and reliable in scientific experiments so far, also, especially animal experiments have generated tremendous life-saving medical advancements. In history, numerous infectious diseases (e.g., typhoid, diphtheria, measles, smallpox, etc.) have been treated by vaccinations. Those vaccines would not be possible to be invented without animal testing because inventing new medications, such as vaccines, requires a great number of experimental living organisms. For that reason, among non-human existences, there is no other effective experimental subject except for animals. In this regard, the researchers on the opposite side assert that animal testing should be allowed in specific cases, directly related to human health issues under strict conditions.

Granted, it may seem reasonable that animal testing may be allowed to a certain degree because of no adequate alternative to animals as experimental subjects. However, the argument cannot be accepted because there have been several experimental alternatives being developed. Owing to advancements in scientific technologies, non-animal testing methods have been invented. For example, researchers can use isolated humane cells and tissues instead of living animals, and they can also replace animals with computers and mathematics to model biological processes and expect the effects of chemicals and drugs. In addition, experts can conduct experiments on human volunteers and they can explore new advanced technologies such as robotics, molecular techniques, tissue engineering, and ‘organs-on-microchips’. Some of the aforementioned methods have gained high credibility and great accuracy to be widely used in practice. Therefore, it should not be allowed to experiment with animals under the pretext of no alternatives to them in research.

In conclusion, I strongly oppose animal testing and believe it has no place in today's scientific world, and pending bills should be passed as soon as possible. Thankfully, the atmosphere surrounding animal rights has become friendly compared to the past, and there is currently a social consensus that animals should be protected and respected as a part of our society. In this environment, there have been 17 revised bills on animal rights proposed at the National Assembly in 2021, and a good number of activists and civic groups are continuously raising the issues on animal rights. Even though there are a number of implementation barriers to legally banning animal testing, this is why the situation is not so hopeless.

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Argumentative Essay against Animal Testing. (2023, September 19). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 8, 2023, from
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