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Animal Experimentation

For many centuries, animals have been used in scientific experiments and
research. These experiments were and still are the main cause of discovering a lot of
drugs, vaccines, therapies, antibiotics and medical tools. Almost every drug, medical
device and scientific theory should be tested on animals before it can be used on
humans in order to protect their lives. Animals, having similar organisms as humans,
are able to save peoples’ health and lives. That’s why scientists insist on testing
everything before using it on people. In fact, regardless of what animal rights
supporters think, animal experimentation is a brutal necessity that guarantees our
health and thus, it should be always justified.

First of all, animal experiments are a major guarantee that safeguards and
protects humanity. Indeed, any drug or vaccine should be put in tests before we can
use it on humans. Scientists should make sure that these new medicines are not
harmful and do not hurt people in any way. This cannot be done without animal
testing since only animals have almost the same organism structure as humans. They
can show us if this drug or that is safe enough to be used. In fact, according to Paul,
E.F and Paul, J (2001) “the law requires such testing to reveal unanticipated dangers
that otherwise would afflict human trial subjects.” This shows the high importance
that animals have in the process of discovering new drugs without taking any risk in
losing any human life. When a vaccine or a new medical compound is found, it’s
absolutely should not be tested on a person in order to save his life since new vaccines
can be highly dangerous. Everyone, sick or healthy, has somehow benefited from the
use of animals in medical research. (Hurley 1999). It’s very indispensable that we
admit how much animals are useful to our health and to our existence on earth. In
fact, it’s the only way to go from the theory to the practical and from a compound to a
medicine without any doubts or risks. We, humans, need such assurance which gives
us confidence in any new vaccine or research. Without it, we won’t be able to trust
any new scientific discovery.

What makes animals experimentation more and more essential in our lives is
the fact that there are no substitutes that can give us the same result and assurance.
Actually, during the last years, many alternatives for animals use were found but none
of them can really replace it. Let’s take a deeper look: animal rights supporters
suggest that scientists should start using different ways in their research such as tissue
samples, in-vitro testing and computer based tests. In the first place, the use of tissue
samples instead of whole animals is not that useful since it does not give us a clear
idea about how the chemical substances are interacting inside a whole body. It does
not show us the dangerous effects that can only be discovered in the living body and
its complicated network related to each organ (Cohen, C. 2005). Computer operations
and graphical tests are also unable to give us a wide idea about what is really
happening inside a live body. We need animals so we can witness second by second
what is going on, how the body is responding, how the cells are reacting and how
each individual organ is performing. All these actions should be observed attentively
to make sure that there are no harmful effects on human beings. In addition, many
vaccines and drugs can be really dangerous and toxic especially when they get inside
the human body. We cannot base the use of vaccines and medicines on a large scale
on what the computer shows us or on what a simple tissue sample test tells us. We
need to be 100% sure of the safety of the compound and this cannot be done without
animal experiments. David Hubel, the 1981 Nobel Prize winner in medicine, quoted
by Hurley (1999) states “You can’t train a heart surgeon on a computer, and to study a
Animal Experimentation

brain, you need a brain; a man-made machine is so substitute.” Many drugs did not
show any harmful effect during an in-vitro test, nut turned to be very dangerous to
animals and humans. In addition, a lot of antibacterial drugs and vaccines did not
show any successful result on the bacteria in vitro, while it worked perfectly within an
active animal body. For example, Gerhard Domagk who was working on an
antibacterial substance, sulfanilamide proved that this active antibacterial was
extremely potent in mice when it had no effect on bacteria in vitro. Domagk won the
1939 Nobel Prize for his work. (Botling and Morrison 2004).
Another story can confirm this fact: In 1929, Alexander Fleming, who did not use
mice to test the results of his culture of penicillin, could not prove the efficacy of
penicillin as an antibiotic. This verification was delayed till 1940, when it was
discovered via mouse protection test. (Botling and Morrison 2004).

No one can ever deny the major role played by animal experiments through
the years in the history of medicine. Many drugs and vaccines could not be discovered
without animals. Let’s go back to the 19th century, when Louis Pasteur, the famous
chemist, was able to prove that an organism is able to produce a resistance without
risk of sickness. Pasteur was doing some tests on chickens suffering from cholera
when he found that the body can for immunity against bacteria and diseases if we
inject a small culture of the disease itself. Pasteur proved the capability of creating a
resistance. And this is how the vaccine was found: via animal testing. More recently,
new studies on a vaccine against Hemophilus influenza type B (Hib) were developed.
After testing the vaccine on rabbits, pigs and mice, scientists put it in use. Today,
statistics show a 70% decrease in the number of brain damage, caused by Hib.
(Botling and Morrison 2004). Another deadly disease was eliminated thanks to animal
experiments: the polio. Indeed, before the discovery of the polio vaccine, thousand of
people, especially children, suffered from polio. A polio patient would spend his
whole life inside an iron lung. Albert Sabin was able to end this tragedy when he
introduced the polio vaccine after long studies and experiments on monkeys. This led
to a decrease in the numbers of patients (Hurley 1999). A major disease is still
threading our lives today. We urgently need a treatment, prevention or a vaccine for
Malaria. In fact, studies show that more than 2 million person die every year because
of malaria, among them a huge number of children. Many studies were made in order
to discover the malaria vaccine but unfortunately, none of them was effective enough
to be used on people and children. Indeed, if these vaccines had been tried on
children, all of them would have died. That’s why scientists use animals to save
human. Lately, however, a serious development was made in this field: a new vaccine
for malaria was proved to be 100% effective and successful against it in mice. No
evidence that it will have the same results on humans has appeared yet. But it’s a very
good step that makes us closer to find the perfect cure (Cohen 2005). Actually, drugs
and vaccines discovered via animal experiments are countless and keep on increasing
day after day. Until today, according to Botling and Morrison 2004 (1999), animal
helped us to introduce vaccines for “diphtheria, tetanus, tuberculosis, polio, measles,
mumps and rubella”, in addition to insulin for diabetes, antibiotics and painkillers. All
these would not have been revealed without the use of animals. Without them, human
health would be in major danger.

HIV, the brutal undefeated virus that keeps on taking away thousands of souls
remains the biggest concern today. Every doctor, scientist, researcher, biologist and
patient is looking today for a cure for AIDS. Many treatments have been tried on
Animal Experimentation

animals and humans but all were unsuccessful. After all the unsuccessful treatments,
doctors got disappointed and hopeless to be able to heal Aids patients. But, recently in
1995 Jeff Getty, an AIDS patient underwent an experiment that consists on injecting a
bone marrow cells from a baboon inside his body to help his immunity system to
defend the VIH virus. This caused the loss of the baboon but unfortunately it’s the
only way we got and we must try everything we have in front of us in order to find the
cure. Like all the diseases and viruses I list above, it’s strongly believed that the
nostrum will come through animal experimentation. Getty is following the treatment
in hope to discover anything helpful. Animal activists claim that the loss of the
baboon wasn’t worth since we can’t be 100% sure that it will help us to find the
proper treatment or vaccine. They think that humans don’t have the right to waste
animals’ live, especially when they are not perfectly sure of the efficiency of killing
them. In reality, these people should know that doctor, scientist and everyone on earth
will try everything possible hoping to discover the solution, even if the percentage
was 1%. If it didn’t show us the solution then, at least it will make us closer (Murray
2000)

Animal rights supporters have different reasons to refuse and reject animal
experimentation. They confirm that the use of animals in experiments doesn’t save
human lives. They build their claim on the fact that animals and humans have
different bodies and organisms since they belong to different kinds of species. That
makes drugs and medicines react differently in animals. Some drugs, such as
teratogenic, were tested on animals, but affected only humans. This only results waste
in animals souls. Scientists don’t have the right to kill animals that have the right to
live without suffer. They have can feel that’s why men doesn’t have the right to make
an animal suffer and feel pain. In truth, in basics, there are no big differences between
our physiology and the animal’s. Both organisms are controlled by the same
hormones. Both work in the same way though the nervous system that controls the
whole body and all its reactions against any infection, injection or virus. (Botting and
Morrison, 2004). Animal activists counter any use of animals in experiments and
research. They say that animals deserve to live healthy without suffering or using
them. In fact, most of the animals used in medical research are mice and rats, scientist
rarely use dogs, cats, monkeys and pigs. These are only used when they fit most the
experiment. Rodents used in our experiments are sometimes dangerous, especially
rats and wild mice that transmit Hantavirus, a virus that caused many death in the U.S.
Animal experimentation helps us to get rid of these rodents that live under our cities
and don’t have any interest or importance (Cohen, 2005) . Animal experimentation
opposites refer to the animals that die during the experiments and don’t add any
additional information. They think that it’s an unjustified sacrifice and loss. Indeed,
our existence and our lives are worth every sacrifice in front of us to find cure.
Finally, all the drugs, treatments and vaccines are based on animal tests to
assure their safety. We do not use animals to make them suffer, we use them in order
to protect our health. It’s the only possible way to develop medicine. Until we find a
new solution, we won’t eliminate animal experimentation.
Animal Experimentation

REFERENCE LIST

Botling,J.H & Morrison, A.R. (2004). Animal research is vital to medicine.


Current controversies: the rights of animals. Retrieved April 4th, 2009, from
Opposing viewpoints resource center.

Cohen, C (2005). Animal experimentation is necessary. Contemporary issues


companion: Animal rights. Retrieved April 4th, 2009, from Opposing
viewpoints resource center.

Hurley,J.A (1999). Animal experimentation is always justified. Opposing viewponts


digests: Animal experimentation. Retrieved April 4th, 2009, from Opposing
viewpoints resource center.

Murray,J.E (2000). Animal experimentation benefits AIDS research. At issue:Animal


Experimentation.. Retrieved April 4th, 2009, from Opposing viewpoints
resource center.

Paul,E.F & Paul,J (2001). Why animal experimentation matters, the use of animals in
medical research.p5. New Brunswick (USA). Trasaction
Animal Experimentation