Animal experimentation (animal testing or research) is the kind of experimentation, in which non-human animals are used as subjects of behavioral or biological study. This approach is not the same as the field studies, as far as it implies observing animals in their habitats. This kind of experimentation is conducted in defense establishments, pharmaceutical companies, universities, medical establishments, and other institutions. It is usually deployed either as pure research or applied research, which seeks the solutions for serious issues, including the cure for diseases. The widely spread examples include cosmetics testing, breeding, toxicology testing and others.
Despite the practical importance of the animal experimentation, it is a controversial subject, as far as it includes cruelty against animals. It is evident that the majority of medical achievements in the last century deployed animals in experimentation. It is argued that animal experimentation can be replaced by any other kind of research, as far as other means cannot substitute manipulations with environments, tissues, organisms, cells and others. On the contrary, activists, who support animal rights, as well as organizations, including PETA, argue the need for animal testing. Moreover, the lawfulness of animal experimentation is questioned, as well as its unsatisfactory regulations, unreliability of the results, including the effect on humans, the outdated tests and other issues.
Animal experimentation is an act of cruelty, which does not correlate with animal rights and is simply inhumane. It is widely believed that the development of science and its contributions will replace the animal experimentation and will be even more accurate in providing results and designing solutions. The suggestion concerning this issue is the prohibition of animal experimentation as unnecessary means of cruelty. It is evident that the transition to other ways of experimentation will not happen in a short period of time. However, the prohibition should be gradually applied, using already existing bans for animal testing (the prohibition for testing cosmetics on animals) and marketing (the prohibition for marketing of the products, which were tested on animals) and by deploying other means of prohibition. The refusal from animal experimentation is the step for making the world humane and less violent, as well as a great push for further progress in the area of medicine and other spheres. The prohibition of animal experimentation has a set of supporting arguments. Primarily, this kind of experimentation is cruel. According to Kolar, “the term animal experiment is used beyond biological and semantic specificity.” Hence, animal experimentation commonly uses practices, which cannot be identified as humane. These actions include physical restraint, causing wounds and burns, force feeding, food deprivation, decapitation, causing pain, neck-breaking and other methods. For instance, rabbits, which are used for testing the eye irritation caused by shampoos, are often kept with their eyelids open by force methods, sometimes even for a few days. Another test (Lethal Dose 50 Test) aims at finding out the amount of chemicals, which will kill a half of the animals, which were the part of experimentation. It was reported that in 2010 approximately one hundred thousand animals had to undergo pain during testing without being given drugs for pain relief or anesthesia. This data proves the fact that animals suffer pain and physical restriction during the experiments. The issue of speciesism is also relevant in this case, as far as animals feel pain as much as humans do. Thus, suffering and pain is not appropriate in both cases. Discrimination of animals is based on their inability to talk or judge things. However, it is not the reason for pain, injury, and death infliction.
Another convincing argument suggests that animals are not appropriate subjects for experimentation. It is obvious that animal experimentation is used for testing the products for people in order to study the possible positive or adversary effects on humans. However, human beings are different from animals. Thus, animals cannot be considered to be perfect subjects for the studying due to the differences in anatomic structure. Furthermore, not all drugs and cosmetics, which pass animal experimentation are necessarily safe. For instance, one of the arthritis drugs proved to be effective on mice. However, when people started using it, more than thirty thousand deaths and cardio attacks were caused by the drug. The statistics show that animal experimentation is not reliable. Ninety four percent of products, which successfully passed animal experimentation, failed during human trials. Thus, eighty five percent of HIV drugs, which were tested on animals demonstrated positive results, but did not work well on people. Consequently, this kind of testing is the wasting of lives and investments. In fact, it is more expensive than any other type of experimentation. According to negative results listed above, this method is not worth of killing living creatures and the government spending money on it. In vitro testing accounts for approximately eleven thousand dollars. The same animal testing costs thirty thousand dollars. Furthermore, the majority of the studies have serious defects, which cause ineffective ultimate results. It is interesting to note that only a half of the studies found in various journals state the aim of the study, as well as animal characteristics. This approach is inappropriate for a serious scientific work. As far as the majority of animals die during the medical experiments, it is the act of cruelty and sacrificing lives in favor of amateur study.
Moreover, some chemicals demonstrate significantly different effects on people and animals. Consequently, some experiments may be misleading in its potential effects. Some chemicals, which are dangerous for animals are an effective drug for humans, and vice versa. A number of drugs, which were adversary for animals, were not put into production. However, later they proved to be beneficial for humans. For example, aspirin, which is widely used nowadays, was almost rejected from production after animal experimentation, as far as it is dangerous for animals. It addition, there exist other methods, which can be deployed instead of animal experimentation. In vitro testing can use human cells and, thus, be potentially more effective. Computer models of molecules can be deployed for toxicity tests. The chips, which recreate the organ functioning, are to be advanced in the nearest future. From the moral and religious point of view, it is essential to be merciful to living creatures, animals in particular. However, the terrifying cases of animal abuse and cruelty show that this suggestion is overlooked in most cases. Animals, which are usually used in experiments of this kind are not protected by Animal Welfare Act. These animals include rats, birds, mice and other animals, which remain the most vulnerable in this case. Ultimately, there is no proper evidence for suggestion that the majority of medical achievements involved animals. Moreover, in the contemporary world, it is possible to make medical breakthroughs without using animals as experiment subjects. In case if money was invested in other means of testing, there will be other solutions for the issue. Despite the moral inappropriateness of using animals during experimentation, there are strong arguments for supporting the idea that animal testing is the only adequate way of experimentation in the current status quo. Primarily, there is still no effective alternative for testing. The anatomic structure and the whole body system of animals and humans are complicated enough. The drug testing requires another living body system to assess its effect on different body parts and organs. Thus, the most modern powerful computer models and technologies cannot provide the perfect accuracy in studying organs of a living being. In addition, despite the considerable differences between animals and humans, they are also similar in a great number of ways. Thus, mice display ninety eight percent genetic similarities to humans. Humans and animals have the same organs and body systems, which function in the same way. Moreover, humans, as well as other mammals have the same ancestors. Humans and animals can experience same diseases, which is essential for medical research. Finally, moral and ethical considerations prevent using people as the objects of the same medical experiments. Thus, all the human trials are usually preceded by animal experimentation.
In conclusion, animal experimentation remains a controversial issue. The results of such testing are ineffective and the experiments turn into the wasting of investments and lives. Animal testing is the only way for conducting this kind of experiments on the current stage of the world development. However, the research would be more effective only in case of proper control and thorough studying. According to the information provided in the paper, there is no proper method that can easily substitute animal testing for a number of reasons. From the moral and humane perspective, it is cruel to kill animals for the sake of experiments. Moreover, it tends to be ineffective. On the contrary, nowadays there is no other way for studying drugs, as far as other methods are only on the stage of development. Consequently, the compromise should be found. The animal experimentation should be more controlled. In this way, fewer animals will suffer. Moreover, the animals will be more protected and more investments will be saved and spent on the indeed effective studies. Also, the ethical issues are to be taken into account. In case when it comes to the rights of animals which are mainly guaranteed by the Green Piece organization, any approach of animal experiments go apart with the ethical agreement: animals should not be perceived as the samples for testing, vivisection, and experiments due to the fact that biologically they are alive creature – similarly to humans. Hence, animal experiments should be controlled and – what is better – banned.
In conclusion, animal experimentation remains a controversial issue. The results of such testing are ineffective and the experiments turn into the wasting of investments and lives. Animal testing is the only way for conducting this kind of experiments on the current stage of the world development. However, the research would be more effective only in case of proper control and thorough studying.