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Animal Testing Saves Lives

Essay by   •  February 21, 2011  •  Essay  •  2,191 Words (9 Pages)  •  1,808 Views

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Animal Testing Saves Lives

Animals have been used for testing by scientists for many decades. The research that has been gathered from animals has surpassed anything scientists could hope for. So why would such a highly debatable topic arise from such great accomplishments? Scientists use animals to test a theory and then alter their theories based upon the valuable information gathered from each experiment. Animal rights activists believe that animals are used for pointless tests and suffer tremendously. They tend to look aside from the facts that animals have given millions around the world a new outlook on life, and would rather see only the negative side effects of animal testing which far outweighs the positive things animal testing has contributed to the medical world. They don't realize that the animals they believe are being harmed, have not only impacted their lives in some way, but have impacted their families, friends, and children by providing people with vaccines and antibiotics which are deserving of more accreditation than what they label them. Millions of lives are saved every year because of one animal's, results to either a drug or new form of surgery, and I believe instead of believing that an animal's life was a waste; I view it instead as the next step in bettering people's lives for hundreds of years to come. Animal testing is the most predominant forms of testing used by scientists; the results they yield bring a new outlook on life for millions around the world.

Humans are very complex organisms and to use a human being would be ethically wrong. "The purpose of biomedical research and testing is to understand the living body and what goes wrong in disease, and to develop safe and effective ways of preventing or treating those diseases. Animals are vital in all stages of this undertaking, not just in safety testing" (RDS-net.org 1). No living person could ever want to be subjected to a test with unknowing results. So, as a last resort, animals are used as a way to see how a specific drug or surgical procedures might affect the body as a whole. Before any tests are done on a living thing, the drugs are first put through an extensive screening by test tube methods. If theses tests are deemed acceptable, they are then subjected to animal testing where scientists can then gather even more valuable information about the contraceptives when it is digested. Extensive research and data is gathered about the animal and how the body reacts to the ingested drug. For example, undesired effects like liver damage, raise blood pressure, and nerve damage are all effects that an animal can exhibit to scientists before a drug is used on humans. "Our quality of life has been improved significantly by biological research that sometimes relies on the use of animals in controlled experiments" (Still 1). The results animals can yield can give a strong indication as to what effects it will have on humans. The effects that could be exhibited by humans could possibly injure them or even kill them, so the only way to be sure that a human life will not be lost is to study the closest bodily structure similar to humans, and that is mammals.

In the last century alone animal research has played a key role in major medical advances. Vaccines and antibiotics that every one of us has relied upon to keep us in good health would have not been possible if it wasn't for the animals used to test them first and show that they are safe and effective against the disease or viruses they are developed to fight. "In the past few decades animals have also begun to answer more difficult medical problems such as cancer, heart disease, and depression, and newly emerging infections such as HIV" (RDS-net 2). People who would seek to abolish animal research often claim that animals used in biomedical research are unnecessary because that same information obtained from animals can also be obtained through alternative methods, such as test tubes and computers. These methods are also known as non-animal methods, use tissue culture, computer modeling, and studies of patients. But these studies are rarely enough to know how individual molecules, cells or tissues behave. This is why animal testing is needed because the information gained from them shows more about how the living body interacts and how they are controlled rather than just a few aspects of the body. For example, if a drug is developed to fight the flu virus, many doctors and patients would want to know if there were any possible side effects, so with the testing done on mammals first this would give doctors the best possible decision for their patient." Many human diseases are also found in other animals like heart disease, cancer and asthma (Berlin 1)." When cancer was first researched, 440 people in Britain died in a year from cancer, three of the 440 people were children under the age of fifteen. But through animal research two main advances have increased the chances of survival. The first breakthrough is the development of radiotherapy, which is used to kill the tumor cells without causing much damage to the rest of the body. The second advancement was chemotherapy which is a drug that helps kill the rapidly dividing cancer cells. Neither one of these treatments would have been possible without the help of animals. So for every 700 people in the U.K. with cancer, 500 of them will live for about another five more years because of these medical advances. Still not convinced animal activist believe that animal suffering still does not amount to anything science has discovered. In fact a common disease that millions suffer from every day, diabetes, was eventually found to be treatable with insulin because of the contribution of animal research. Scientists injected extracted pancreatic cells, which contained the hormone insulin into a dog suffering from diabetes and found it to be highly effective. "Given continued research using animals, we can expect further advances in the treatment of diseases such as cancer, cystic fibrosis and crippling joint diseases. It is very difficult to see how we could have such medical advances without animal research" (RDS-net.org 1). From there on the tests were then given to humans, and as a result, millions of diabetics, and cancer sufferers are alive and living healthy lives.

Apart from humans, animal testing is not just used to benefit people, but animals themselves benefit from the research that is gathered. Under the skin animals are very similar to humans, so animals too suffer from many of the same diseases. "Illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, asthma and malaria are suffered by many species and can be treated in much the same way" (RDS-net.org 1). Animals benefit much from treatments and medicines that had been initially developed for humans,

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