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The Truth about Animal Experimentation

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According to Aysha Akhtar, certified neurologist and preventive medicine/public health specialist, “Annually, more than 115 million animals are used worldwide in experimentation or to supply the biomedical industry.” Animal experimentation is an animal experiment or test where live animals are forced to undergo something that will most likely cause them pain and suffering. This type of experiment usually leads to distress or lasting harm. According to the Cruelty-Free International program, “Animals used in experiments are usually bred for this purpose by the laboratory or in breeding facilities. It’s a cruel, multi-million dollar industry.” This tells us that many laboratories are not focused on the animals’ safety and are more focused on money. While experimentation is defended by arguments that it is reliable and that its use provides major human health benefits. People need to find an alternative to test products and put a stop to harming animals because it is unreliable, unethical and, often harms humans through misleading safety procedures.

The reliability of an experiment is always important. Reliability is the quality of being trustworthy. This is important to an experiment because it tests if the study fulfills its predicted goals. Since animal tests are so unreliable, they make those human trials all the riskier. According to Theadora Capaldo, the president of the New England Anti-vivisection society “A 2004 study from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found that 92 percent of drugs entering clinical trials following animal testing fail to be approved. Of those approved, half are withdrawn or relabeled due to severe or lethal adverse effects not detected during animal tests.” This information proves to us that animal tests are unreliable and therefore should not be used as a source of research. This is a major issue for the future. If this continues it could produce false research for a study that might have a negative impact on humans. From this information, this tells us that many drugs that appear safe and effective in animals, fail to cause them to get harmed or even death. Capaldo also found that “According to a 2004 study in the journal Stroke, more than 4,000 studies report efficacy of more than 700 treatments of stroke in animal models. Yet none of the approximately 150 of these treatments tested in humans showed clinical benefit, as reported in a 2005 paper in the International Journal of Neuroprotection and Neuroregeneration.”

Most of the studies that are being done are showing negative results. These are not reliable and not beneficial to humans.

Animal experimentation wastes both animals and humans’ lives by trying to infect animals with diseases that would never normally happen. Mice and other animals in the labs are not little people. Animals that have no relation to humans are a waste of time. The whole point of animal experimentation is to test animals instead of humans. The data collected from the experiments are for humans benefit but it is useful if it is not a reliable procedure. The idea of helping humans create safe products is a reasonable argument but why test certain products on animals when its nothing that an animal would not normally use or need, that is just irrational. Capaldo also found that “In 2011, the Institute of Medicine concluded there was no current need for chimpanzees in biomedical research. The NIH responded by retiring 90 percent of its chimpanzees. If humans’ closest relative humans and chimpanzees share up to 98 percent of their genes is not useful for human research, why would any other species be? There are too many variables in anatomy, gene expression, metabolism, immune functioning, etc. among species to safely and predictably extrapolate data.” Regarding the previous information that was stated, chimpanzees are the closest relative to humans and they are not needed, then any other species would just not be sensible or worthy of use for our own benefit. Due to the differences in the other species, they do not share many characteristics with humans. Therefore making this another reason why this is just unreliable or untrustworthy.

As Albert Einstein once said ‘There will come a day when such men as myself will view slaughter of innocent creatures as horrible a crime as the murder of his fellow man- Our task must be to free ourselves- by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature and its beauty.’ Einstein is agreeing that animal testing is unethical. Imagine how the animals must feel having no control over any aspect of their life. They can not choose what they eat and when they eat. They might also wonder if they will have a family. Those animals are most likely taken from their family, lost and confused wondering if their lives will ever be normal again. Animal experiments are unethical, useless, and unnecessary. There are many moral and ethical issues that draw attention to whether animal health and life are worth losing to find the right treatment for humans. An ongoing conflict between the human species is animal cruelty, whether it be scientific experiments, tests, or research. I often wonder, do the individuals performing these atrocious tasks ask themselves if what he/she is doing is ethically correct? I believe that it is not right to treat animals in such an inhumane manner but to treat them as our own kind. These helpless animals cannot defend themselves against abuse. In my opinion, it is morally appropriate to grant the same rights to animals as we human beings acquire and to end, or to minimize, animal cruelty in laboratories. “Although there have been some benefits of animal testing for a medical prospect, and different fields of study like psychology” stated by Geraldine Woods 26. In psychology, Henry Harlow performed experiments on chimpanzees to test attachment theories. Harry Harlow, an American psychologist best known for his maternal-separation, dependency needs, and social isolation experiments on monkeys, which demonstrates the importance of caregiving and companionship to social and cognitive development.

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Sometimes animals even have to go without pain medication. These living beings are either left there to suffer or put to sleep. I can’t even begin to imagine how gruesome it must be to look into a pair of terrified eyes, knowing that in a matter of minutes, those same eyes could be blank and lifeless due to an experiment that I had performed. If I were in that position, I would gather all of the animals that I could and smuggle them home to keep them out of harm’s way. I have many pets of my own, and knowing what some people have the audacity to do to those innocent, dependent creatures is disgusting to me. Tell me, can we always rely on the experiments of animals to give us accurate information? Sure, “testing has aided in the development of vaccines for life-threatening diseases, such as polio, rabies, malaria, etc.” stated by Karin Bulliard. However, there have been instances in which animal testing has been unsuccessful and resulted in harm for many people.

Misleading Safety Tests in animals directly hurt humans. According to Akhtar, “In March 2006, six human volunteers were injected with TGN 1412, an experimental therapy created by TeGenero.” She also found that “A highly touted gene therapy that cured dogs of hemophilia was discontinued because it caused liver damage and other problems in humans that were not seen in animal experiments.” We can be pretty confident that the victims of the TGN 1412 disaster will never risk their lives based on animal experiments again. This tells us that they discovered other problems in humans that were not seen in an experiment which is definitely misleading. This is very aggravating because the problems do not occur until you test it. That whole concept is just impossible to avoid. Maybe misleading experiments may cause us to throw away cures. It is hard to understand how many missed opportunities there may have been because of misleading animal experiments. However, there are plenty of examples that demonstrate how lucky we are that researchers did not believe the animal tests. For example, Akhtar found that “An editorial in Nature Reviews Drug Discovery describes how tamoxifen, one of our most effective drugs against certain types of breast cancer, would have been abandoned because it causes liver tumors in rats, a problem that does not carry over to humans.” Also found out about “The leukemia drug Gleevec was almost lost because it causes severe liver toxicity in dogs but not in humans. Fortunately, the manufacturers persisted with the development of this drug because it seemed so promising in human cell culture tests.” Both of these drugs were misleading and could have harmed many if it were not for the discovery of the harmful effects on humans that they have caused. Another interesting fact about misleading tests is that “Of every five to 10,000 potential drugs tested in the lab, only about five pass on to clinical trials. Many don’t pass animal tests because of species-specific results. Yet many of these agents would likely have worked spectacularly and been safe in humans.” The wide range of numbers really scares me but its a relief that on five passes so this means they are putting in the necessary critical observations.

Time and Money wasted on Animal Experiments could have been directed into more fruitful human-based tests. An invalid disease model can lead the industry in the wrong direction, wasting time and invested money. Repeatedly, researchers have been persuaded down the wrong path of investigation because of information collected from animal experiments that later prove to be inaccurate and irrelevant to human biology. On average, “it costs a company more than $1 billion to get one new drug to the market. NIH alone spends almost half of its funding up to 14.5 billion of our tax dollars yearly on animal experiments.” This statistic is very large and extremely sad. How many more people need to suffer and die before we realize that, if we really want to help ourselves, we need to cut out the animal experiments and focus on more effective human-based tests? If the focus is more geared towards effective human-based tests, hopefully, those statistics will lower and humans will have more verifiable results.

Some experiments require the animal to die as part of the test. For example, “regulatory tests for botox, vaccines and some tests for chemical safety are essentially variations of the cruel Lethal Dose 50 test in which 50% of the animals die or are killed very close to death.” Laboratories are no place for any animal. They are typically sterile, indoor environments in which the animals are forced to live in cages and denied complete freedom of movement or control over their lives. Some animals in laboratories are confined on their own, without the companionship of others.

Animal testing is unethical, inhumane and completely unnecessary. In the lives of others, we need to cut out the use of animals altogether. There needs to be a development of much more effective therapies if we use human-based tests instead. Quit focusing on the ‘who’, and focus on what makes more sense. Unlike failures in many other scientific tests, the failure of animal experimentation has a high cost and harms us in crucial ways. Hopefully, scientists will find an alternative experiment or test that will replace the use of animal testing. If scientists find an alternative for animal testing, the world of science will become more ethical.

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The Truth about Animal Experimentation. (2022, Jun 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved August 15, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-truth-about-animal-experimentation/
“The Truth about Animal Experimentation.” Edubirdie, 16 Jun. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/the-truth-about-animal-experimentation/
The Truth about Animal Experimentation. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-truth-about-animal-experimentation/> [Accessed 15 Aug. 2022].
The Truth about Animal Experimentation [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 16 [cited 2022 Aug 15]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-truth-about-animal-experimentation/
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