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Essay about The Controversial Issue of Animal Ethics

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The Controversial Issue of Animal Ethics

The struggle against sickness and disease is not over, yet medical progress is being
threatened by activists who would end the use of laboratory animals in the search for treatment and cures. Their well financed anti-research disinformation campaign is not the only weapon used by animal rights activists.

The more extreme animal rights activists have used tactics of intimidation and terrorism,
for example:
April 26,1997, activists were arrested when they tried to force their way into Yerkes
Regional Primate center during a protest.

July 21,1997, The Animal Liberation Front (ALF) set fire to Cavel West, a horse rendering
plan.

July 5,1998, The ALF broke into a laboratory at Cornell University and released dozens of
woodchucks into the wild. (Americans for Medical Progress 2) These are only a few examples of intimidation and terrorism that activists use to get their point
across. The animals used in those labs were all for ideal laboratory animal research.
They were not being used for cosmetic studies. They were strictly being used for medical purposes. Some things that they were in research for were to study liver cancer, hepatitis, and to get tissues to treat skull born birth defects in children.

In order to decide whether these actions taken by activists are right or appropriate we
need to answer this question: Are the benefits of animal experimentation worth the pain that the laboratory animal experiences? Once this question is answered, the question of whether animal experimentation is ethical or not will also be answered.

The use of animals in the life sciences goes back to ancient Greece and the earliest
medical experiments. To learn about swallowing, ancient physicians cut open the throat of a living pig. To study the heart they cut into its chest. For centuries, physicians and researchers used animals to enhance their knowledge about how the various organs and systems of the body functioned, as well as to improve their surgical skills. As this knowledge grew, new scientific disciplines were born. First physiology, and pharmacology, and much later bacteriology, and immunology evolved as animal experimentation became more widespread. Table 2 depicts the great leaps animal experimentation has provided to the human race. This timeline is proof of
great advances gained from animal tes...


... middle of paper ...


...Benefit From Biomedical Research.”
http:www.pirweb.org/animals_do_benefit.htm(15, Feb. 2000).

Partners in Research. “The History of Biomedical Research.”
http://www.pirweb.org/history.htm (15, Feb. 2000).

Phillips-Conroy, Jane E. “Field Primatology and Biomedical Research.” SCIENCE 284
(1999): 1.

Sabin, Heloisa. “Animal Research Saves Human Lives.” The Wall Street Journal (18,
Oct. 1995).

Scientific American. “Animal Research Is Vital to Medicine.”
http://www.sciam.com/0297/issue/0297botting.html (16, Feb. 2000).

Scientific American. “Animal Research Is Wasteful and Misleading.”
http://www.sciam.com.0297.issue.0297barnard.html (16, Feb. 2000).

Scientific American. “The Numbers of Research Animals.”
http://www.sciam.com/0297issue/0297/trendsbox.html (16, Feb. 2000).

Seachrist, Lisa. “Lab Rats Still Not Animals.” SCIENCE 264 (1994): 1533.

Wadman, Meredith. “Bid to Give Legal Protection to Laboratory Mice In US.” Nature
393 (1998): 6.

Wadman, Meredith. “Legal Bid Could Extend US Animal Welfare Law to Cover Lab Rodents.” Nature 400 (1999): 197- 98.

Wadman, Meredith. “Population Explosion Raises Alarm Over Lab Animal Health.” Nature 391 (1998): 623.


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