Free 800 words essay on animal testing : positive and negative for school and college students.
ANIMAL TESTING: THE GOOD AND THE BAD
Historical evidence suggests that animals have been used for research purposes since at least 500 BC. In the United States alone, approximately 26 million animals are used for research purposes each year. Around the world, animals of all kinds- from mammals to marsupials and everything in between are used to test new drugs, new procedures and even new cosmetics. Many of these animals are sacrificed during the process, when a cosmetic turns out to be lethal and a medicine or medical procedure is proven to have terrible side effects. This is what gives rise to the age old debate: how ethical is it to test items for human consumption, often luxury items, on animals who will not stand to benefit anything from the process?
As it turns out, there are quite a few good things about this much-debated topic. So, let us talk about the:
ARGUMENTS FOR ANIMAL TESTING
Positive aspects of animal testing
ANIMALS ARE SIMILAR TO HUMANS
Animals are the best bets we have to understand how external objects react with our bodies, because both humans and animals have complex living systems. It is possible to glean information from single cells studied in a petri dish, but that does not shed light on how the different cells and organs will interact with each other in the presence of a foreign body. Chimpanzees share 99% of their DNA with humans, which means that they will probably react very similarly, and often exactly alike, to medicines and medical procedures as humans will. All mammals share a common ancestor, and share the same organization of organs- heart, kidneys, lungs, and so on. Due to this similarity, humans and other mammals are often susceptible to the same diseases such as cancer and diabetes. So, while testing for new drugs and treatment procedures for such diseases, animal testing gives us the most accurate data.
ANIMALS USED FOR TESTING ARE CARED FOR
Animals that are used in research are usually in excellent hands. Animal welfare laws are in place to ensure that they are not mistreated, and vets and husbandry specialists join the team to ensure that the creatures enjoy maximum comfort and health. The animals are housed in simulated natural environments, both for their sake and the researches.
ANIMAL TESTING HELPS ANIMALS TOO
As mentioned before, animals are very similar to humans, which means that the same drugs and procedures are often administered to them, with different dosages. So, from the results obtained from drugs and procedures tested on them, the animals benefit too. For instance, the new drug for Chlamydia has successfully slowed the process of extinction of the koalas. Drugs and procedures developed from thee researches help thousand of animals all over the world.
All said and done, there are still ample arguments that call for the banning of animal testing, which brings us to:
ARGUMENTS AGAINST ANIMAL TESTING
Negative aspects of animal testing
IT IS INHUMANE
This is the biggest concern about animal testing. Needless to say, researches about pain medication and diabetes involve inducing diseases and inflicting pain first, so a naturally healthy animal is forced to undergo immeasurable pain. Animals are subjected to often brutal deaths in the course of the experiments, including snapped necks and asphyxiation. Drug testing often incurs terrible side effects that lead to an entire life lived in pain, with no euthanasia to release the animal from its misery.
HUMANS ARE DIFFERENT
Despite their similarity, humans are often highly different from animals, which makes it quite difficult to get an accurate reading of how a procedure will act on the human body from its effects on an animal. As a result, drugs that showed little-to-no side effects on lab rats and primates have had devastating effects on humans, often in death and/or debilitation.
AVAILABILITY OF ALTERNATE METHODS
Alternative testing procedures are now available that yield more accurate results and render animal testing quite unnecessary. For instance, the artificial skin that is grown in laboratories from actual human skin cells are very apt for laboratory testing for humans, and in vitro testing is a good way of studying the effects of drugs on human tissue. This does away with the need for extensive animal testing, thanks to the fact that they will produce results that can more accurately be interpreted in terms of humans.
Animal testing has been, and probably will continue to be for some time, quite a controversial issue. Animal rights activists across the globe protest against such procedures, calling them unethical, and it certainly can be called unethical when it comes to the testing of luxury products such as cosmetics on animals. The best bet would probably be to ensure that animals be used for research and testing purposes only when there is no other alternative, and that they are put through as little pain and misery as possible.