Animal Research: Ethical or Not?

Animal testing has become a norm with regards to research. Instead of testing products or pharmaceuticals on humans as the products are intended for, the option for using animals for testing is becoming heavily relied upon. While there are some benefits, such as less costly, animals are provided with many luxuries they couldn’t have in their natural environment, and we can gather some useful information about bodily functions, the risks associated with animal testing outweigh the benefits. According to Teal Burrell (2013), “treatments often seem promising when tested in animals, encouraging pharmaceutical companies to start clinical trials that test safety and efficacy in human patients.” If researchers cannot adequately translate their results from animal testing to human trails, then what was the purpose of having animal research testing to begin with?

Another point I’d like to make with regards to animal testing is that animals are conscious beings. They feel pain, experience emotions, and run the risk of losing their livelihood each day they spent in a testing environment. Many advocates for animal testing believe that the animals being tested achieve a less-risk and higher living capacity due to their access to food, water, veterinarians, and the ability to live in an environment in which they are not being hunted. While these points may be true, there is also plenty of facts to disprove this. One major argument I came across in my research, found on ProCon.org, was as follows: “95% of animals used in experiments are not protected by the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA), which excludes birds, rats and mice bred for research, and cold-blooded animals such as reptiles and most fish.” With the lack of legal protection these animals face, there is no ethical or moral way to justify animal research. If we could find alternative research methods for animals, we could potentially lessen their pain and potential for life-threatening conditions brought about from research testing. Either way, animal research methods are unethical and their results do not easily carry over unto human test trials.

Burrell, T. (2013, August 7). Can We Eliminate Animals from Medical Research? Retrieved September 21, 2015, from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/next/body/eliminating-animal-models/

Animal Testing — ProCon.org. (2015, August 27). Retrieved September 19, 2015, from http://animal-testing.procon.org/#background



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