Argument Paper

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Animal Testing is Beneficial 1
Jessica Martinez
English 105: Critical Reading and Writing
Animal Testing Is Beneficial
Tatiana Nekrasova
November 29, 2006
Animal Testing is Beneficial 2
Animal testing has been around for hundreds of years. It is used for a number of
reasons, including finding cures and vaccines, testing the effects different chemicals have
on organisms and possible humans, scientific research on understanding how the body
and chemical reactions within the body work, and testing commercial products for
humans. Whatever the cause of testing and research it has all prevented death and led to
many medicinal discoveries. The use of animals in product testing was not made public
until 1938 when the Food and Drug Administration passed the Food, Drug and Cosmetic
Act of 1938 (http://www.allforanimals.com). This law required that all cosmetics be first
tested on animals before being approved for human use. This was brought about shortly
after a woman had a reaction to her mascara and went blind. She eventually died
(http://www.allforanimals.com). At this time many animal rights groups began to form
and the controversy over animal testing has grown steadily stronger ever since. Animal
rights groups began starting around the 1950’s as the experimentation of products on
animals became known to the public and as more companies began resorting to animal
testing. Those that are opposed to it argue that it is cruel and immoral and that it can not
provide good information that is applicable to humans. Animal testing is necessary and
extremely beneficial because it has saved the lives of millions of people all around the
world. Animal testing has not only saved the lives of humans, but has also led to
vaccines and treatments that protect the lives of fellow animals every day.
Those individuals and organizations that are anti-animal testing and
experimenting strongly believe that no beneficial information can be taken from it and
Animal Testing is Beneficial 3
applied to humans (http://www.animalliberationfront.com). However, they are wrong.
Over the years animal testing has led to the pioneering of many life saving cures and
vaccines that are now used all over the world. Doctors and scientists recognize this and
understand the necessity of using animals in research and how beneficial it truly is. The
California Veterinary Medical Association declares that “nearly every major medical
breakthrough in the last 100 years has been achieved by research with animals
(http://www.cvma.net).” Aside from curing diseases, animal testing and experimentation
has also led to countless other scientific breakthroughs concerning the anatomy of
organisms, how the body’s systems work and interact, and about the different chemical
reactions that take place within the body (Greaves, Williams, Eve Nature Reviews Drug
Discovery vol. 3). Currently testing is going on in an attempt to find the cause and a
preventative to age-related mascular degeneration (AMD), which is an eye condition that
causes blindness (Lashkari Medical Therapy Testing).
Organizations and individuals that speak out against animal testing are aware of
the breakthroughs that have been made from using animal testing. However, they refuse
to acknowledge it. The of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Mary
Sweetland, is a diabetic (). She like millions of other people around the world must give
herself insulin injections in order to stay alive. What she is also aware of and has been
questioned about is the fact that insulin was discovered and created by information
gained from animal testing that took place in a lab. She exclaims, "I'm an insulindependent diabetic. Twice a day I take synthetically manufactured insulin that still
contains some animal products--and I have no qualms about it (http://www.repo)." The
Animal Testing is Beneficial 4
same testing that saves her life on a daily basis is the testing that she is so strongly
against.
Animal testing not only benefits humans, but has also been used to save the lives
of other animals. Through the years animal research has led to cures and vaccines of over
200 diseases, poisons, and other health conditions. A list of a few of these cures, include
anthrax, rabies, parvo, distemper, and feline leukemia (http://www.cvma.net). All of
which were mentioned are fatal if contracted, but through vaccinations are preventable
today. Animal testing is also being used to save the lives of other animals, animal
research that has been done and that is being done currently saves the lives of thousands
of animals. Every time a dog is given vaccinations for rabies or booster shots it can all be
attributed to the animal testing that took place several years before.
Another argument is that animals should not be used in testing and research
because their make up is different than humans and their reactions to substances are also
therefore different (http://www.animalliberationfront.com). In the past there has been
some animal testing that was passed and approved to be moved on to human trials, but
ended horribly. An example of this can be seen when a new drug, which was
successfully tested on animal subjects, was then taken to human trials in Europe. The
result was organ failure in six of the human subjects which nearly killed them (Economist
vol. 379).
It is true that animals are made up slightly differently than humans. However, due
to modern day technology within the labs, researchers are able to manipulate the genes of
mice and other animals to make them equivalent to those of humans (Economist vol.
Animal Testing is Beneficial 5
379). This allows for a much more accurate test that is also comparable to the reactions a
human would have and not just a possibility of the reaction. While animal testing is not
error proof and is not fail safe, situations such as the one mentioned above are extremely
rare. Animal testing, a majority of the time, is more beneficial than harmful.
Another aspect to the controversy of animal testing is the issue of cruelty and pain
that is caused by it. Those that are against it use this as their strongest argument saying
that it is morally and ethically wrong to subject animals to this treatment
(http://www.animalliberationfront.com). However, animal testing and research is not the
barbarous act that it is made out to be. In fact, a majority of countries around the world
that perform tests on animals have strict laws and guidelines set that the scientists and
researchers must follow in keeping with the ethical treatment of the animal test subjects
(http://www.cvma.net). Labs often times have their own veterinarians on staff. These
vets monitor the animals and ensure that they are not being put through excessive pain or
stress. They will administer drugs as necessary to the test subjects to make them more
comfortable and to ease any pain that they might feel. In doing so, the animal testing is
made more inhumane and is not the cruel practice that many believe it to be. There are
also steps that must be taken before animal may be used in testing. Labs that wish to use
animals must apply for a Project License first. Even if they are given one the researchers
that are doing the testing must also have a special license before they may test on animal
subjects (http://news.bbc.co.uk).
Animal testing is clearly a necessity if mankind is to continue moving forward
and expanding the knowledge of hoe the body works and how to prevent any ailments to
Animal Testing is Beneficial 6
the body. Animal testing has been a major part of all the major medical breakthroughs
within the past 100 years. If it is stopped now doctors and researchers would be at a
standstill as far as further medical progress. Through animal testing, scientists have been
able to pioneer a vast number of cures. These cures do not only deal with viruses, but
also deal with issues such as arthritis and degenerative eye conditions. Animal testing is
also acceptable because precautions are taken and laws made to protect the animals
involved in the testing, making the testing less barbaric than those that are anti-animal
testing make it out to be. Without the use of animals as test subjects millions of people
that are alive today living happy healthy lives would not be here. Scientists and
researchers are learning more and more everyday thanks to the experiments and testing
that is going on in labs around the world. Testing that involves finding a cure for AIDS
and HIV and other deadly diseases such as various types of cancer. Researchers should
work to cut down the number of animal tests that are necessary. However, to stop testing
altogether now would be an injustice to mankind when you take into consideration all the
more lives that will be able to be saved in the future.
Animal Testing is Beneficial 7
Sources
ALL FOR ANIMALS – History of Animal Testing. Retrieved October 15, 2006, from
http://www.allforanimals.com/history-animal-testing.html
Economist (2006). Testing Times Vol. 379 Issue 8481. Retrieved October 17, 2006,
from EbscoHost Research Database.
Boerner, Phil. For Immediate Release: Animal Research: How it Benefits Both Humans
and Animals. Retrieved November 14, 2006, from
http://www.cvms.net/doc.asp?ID=2403
Greaves, Williams, Eve. First Dose of Potential New Medicine to Humans: How Animals
Help. Retrieved November 7, 2006, from EbscoHost Research Database
Quick Guide: Animal Testing – Experiments Involving animals remain an important part
of scientific research in the UK. Retrieved November 14, 2006, from
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/5210460.stm
Animal Testing – Right or Wrong?. Retrieved October 19, 2006, from
http://animalliberationfront.com/Philosophy/Animal%20Testing
Lashkari, Kameran. Animal Models Provide Insight into Exudative AMD. Retrieved
November 11, 2006, from EbscoHost Research Database
Animal Rights in the Words of Its Leaders. Retrieved November 28, 2006, from
http://www.repo-pac.com/petaquot.htm
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