The Use of Animals in Scientific Experiments
The Use of Animals in Scientific Experiments
One of the most contentious issues in contemporary society is the use of animals in scientific medical experiments. Some people believe that conducting scientific experiments on animals is okay because it has more benefits for humans. Other people, however, hold a robust ethical intuition that using animals in scientific experiments is morally wrong because of the pain it inflicts on the animals (Eggel & Grimm, 2018). This paper holds that the benefits of using animals in scientific experiments outweigh the harm caused; hence animals should continue to be used in scientific experiments until there is a viable alternative.
Animals provide strategic importance for use in scientific experiments because they share a high percentage of DNA material with humans. Mice are most preferred in scientific experiments because their DNA material matches about 98% of human beings. Also, animals such as mice may suffer from medical conditions like humans, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer (Stanford Medicine, n.d.). Therefore, the development of drugs and vaccines that work successfully on mice provides confidence that the drugs or vaccines can also work on humans. Before beginning human drug or vaccine trials, many animals are used to ensure that the drugs or vaccines are safe for human use. Therefore, the use of animals in scientific research has contributed to yielding greater good for all humans. Almost all drugs and vaccines used by humans today were tested on animals at one point during their development (Stanford Medicine, n.d.). Therefore, through the use of animals in scientific experiments, human beings have been able to find a cure for diseases that would have otherwise ended human existence on earth.
Opponents of the use of animals in scientific experiments hold that testing on animals should stop. The opponents provide many reasons why the use of animals is not appropriate in scientific experiments. For instance, they believe that the process is cruel and inflicts a lot of pain on the animals. Also, the opponents of the idea indicate that millions of animals lose lives in scientific experiments, which is morally unacceptable. Scientific experiments inflict pain on animals, yet those animals can feel pain as humans do. Unfortunately, animals cannot complain about their pain during scientific experiments. Scientific research has proved that animals can feel pain (Herzog, 2010). The experiments, therefore, subject the animals to a lot of unnecessary pain that human beings cannot stand. Also, subjecting animals to scientific research that causes them to die denies them an opportunity to live. All organisms have the right to live, and animals used in experiments should not be exempt.
A rebuttal to the counterargument is that most of the opponents of using animals in scientific experiments are alive today because of drugs and vaccines created from animal tests. Human beings receive vaccinations from different dangerous diseases such as measles, tuberculosis, typhoid, and Covid-19 in a lifetime. Were it not for the use of animals in experimentation, those vaccines would not have materialized (Herzog, 2010). Lack of vaccines means that people would succumb to those deadly diseases significantly. Also, some people who argue against the use of animals in research experiments eat animal meat. It is ironic to advocate not to use animals in investigations only to eat them or use vaccines created from their use in scientific experiments for protection against diseases.
In conclusion, there is contention regarding the use of animals in scientific experiments. This paper argues that animals should continue being used in scientific experiments until there is a viable alternative. The position, however, is opposed by the idea that animals also feel pain, experimentation on animals is cruel, and animals deserve to live. The opposition position’s rebuttal is that most people are alive today because of the benefits of using animals in experiments. Therefore, animals should continue being used in experiments while research explores alternative means for testing scientific drugs and vaccines.
Eggel, M., & Grimm, H. (2018). Necessary, but not sufficient. The benefit concept in the project evaluation of animal research in the context of directive 2010/63/EU. Animals, 8(34), 2-14. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8030034
Herzog, H. (2010). Some we love, some we hate, some we eat: Why it’s so hard to think straight about animals. HarperCollins.
Stanford Medicine. (n.d.). Why animal research? edu/animalresearch/why-animal-research.html”>https://med.stanford.edu/animalresearch/why-animal-research.html