Is animal testing beneficial?

Today, animals are used for human research all over the world every single day. The animals play an important role in medical developments and their data is relied on heavily by doctors. Ninety-five percent of human genes are shared with animals, such as mice, making them an effective model for the human body. The animals are used to develop medical treatments, determine the toxicity of medications, check the safety of products used for humans, and other healthcare uses. Animals and humans share the same organ system that perform the same tasks and animals suffer from similar diseases as humans, such as cancer or the flu. Many people believe animal testing is beneficial for science, others believe it is simply cruel and inhumane.

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During animal testing, the animals often see other animals being killed right in front of them. No animal is safe from the experiment and many of the animals used for tests are monkeys, dogs, rats, mice, rabbits, pigs, fish, and cats. However, while many other animals are used, those are just a few examples. Animals can be used for everyday human products such as makeup. With each test performed, the animals are at risk for diseases, poisons, burns, brain damage and blindness. The procedure can cause long-term isolation, electric shocks, lack of give food or water, or repeated breeding and separation of infants from mothers.  

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Those that believe the use of animals for testing is not beneficial, believe that the animals used in experiments are subjected to force feeding, forced inhalation, food and water deprivation, and painful burns to study the healing process. Cosmetic companies that evaluate irritation caused by shampoos, involve rabbits being deprived of strength and power with their eyelids being held open by clips for multiple days so they are not able to blink away the products being tested. The LD50 (lethal dose 50) test finds out which dose of a chemical will kill fifty percent of the experimented animals. The US Department of Agriculture reported that 71,370 animals suffered pain during the experiments. Non-believers believe there are alternative methods that can replace the need for animals.

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Those that believe the use of animals for testing is beneficial, believe that the animals being used in the experiments have helped create many life-saving treatments. Every medical development that has came within the past 100 years has resulted from the use of animals. The experiment in which dogs had their pancreas removed, led to the development of insulin for diabetics. The polio vaccine which was first tested on animals, reduced the frequency of diseases from 350,000 cases to 27 cases in the span of 28 years. Animal research has also contributed to treatments for major health issues such as breast cancer, leukemia, cystic fibrosis and tuberculosis. They believe testing on animals is appropriate because of their similarity to humans and because animals and humans are so similar and susceptible of the same conditions, they will help the most when it comes to treatments.

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Antibiotics, vaccines, blood transfusion, dialysis, organ transplants, chemotherapy, bypass therapy and joint replacements are all scientific advances that came directly from animal testing. Many diseases that were once deadly, are now used for prevention and treating of those diseases. Survival rates are at an all-time high because of the discovery of new drugs and the design of medical devices and surgical procedures. The average human life-span in the United States has increased by 30 years since 1990. Lab animals have played roles in Nobel Prize winning medical discoveries.

Out of a total of 116 votes from students at West Clermont High School, 35% agree that animal testing is beneficial and 65% agree that it is not beneficial. In the general public, 52% of people favor the practice of animals on products while 43% of people opposed it. College graduates who studied science in college, typically show more support than those with less education. Those with more knowledge about science are more likely to favor animal testing than those with less knowledge. Ninety-two percent of experimental drugs that are effective in animals fail in human clinical trials because they are dangerous and don’t work. Up to ninety percent of animals used in U.S. labs are not counted in the statistics of animals tested. Europe, Israel and India have banned animal testing for cosmetics and the import of newly-tested beauty products.

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In conclusion, the use of animals for human products has its benefits while having its doubts. The harm that is committed against animals should not be minimized because they are not considered humans. Animal testing should be eliminated because it violates animals rights and causes them pain and suffering. Many of the animals used are animals you could have as pets and there are many other ways of testing product toxicity.

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