Animals Save Lives

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Animals Save Lives

Suppose a family member was suffering from a disease and the doctor announced that thanks to animal research they are coming close to finding a cure. Would it then be acceptable to experiment new drugs and treatments on animals, even if it meant death for the animal? This is a controversial issue, which has many divided as to whether animal testing is a good or bad thing. The vast majority of animal research is; however, devoted to finding curse for human disease. Obviously, in animal research the animals are subjected to many tests, which may cause pain and even have long lasting negative effects. Moreover, animal research is vital to the medical field.

Through animal research many cures for humans have been discovered. Animal research became widespread in the late 1800’s and has continued up into today (RDS). Because of this research dozens of vaccines and antibiotics have been discovered and new advancements such as open-heart surgery have been perfected. Animals are used in research and testing when it is necessary to see what happens in the whole living body, where the use of human subjects would not be ethically acceptable (Biomedical Models). Most often animal research is very important in discovering new treatments for diseases and cannot be replaced by computer generated models. One of the best-known medical discoveries is that of insulin, which saves almost 500,000 American, lives each year (Chang). Many more discoveries have been made thanks to animal research and testing.

There have also been many breakthroughs and advancements within the psychology field, because of animal research. Psychologists do research on animals in this field to study the animal’s behavior and central nervous system. Through understanding how the nervous system works doctors can then begin to understand more about the complex behaviors humans may exhibit (APA). According the American Psychological Association, “Animal research has been the major contributor to the knowledge of the basic learning processes and motivational systems, such as hunger, thirst, and reproduction. Also animal research has provided critical information about the sensory processes of vision, taste, hearing, and pain perception.

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” With all of this information taken into consideration animal research has helped to developed an understanding of everything from stress to the genetic vulnerability of drug dependence.

Animal research has also improved the health and well being of pets and the productivity of farm animals. Animal research has produced many vaccines for animals. In fact, “…millions animals that would have died from anthrax, distemper, canine parvovirus, feline leukemia, rabies and more than 200 other diseases have been saved thanks to animal research,” says The Americans for Medical Progress. Moreover, more than 80 percent of medicines developed for humans are used to treat pets, farm animals, and wildlife (RDS).

There are many valid points to be made about how animal testing is cruel and unnecessary. Many argue that animals have rights too. The animals are put through harsh endless testing. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture about 1,345,739 warm-blooded animals such as cats, dogs, monkeys, and rabbits were used last year in testing. This number does not include rats and mice, which makes up about 85 percent of lab animals. However, Peter Danilo, a senior researcher at Columbia University in New York says, “No researcher enjoys using animals.” But most scientist and researchers believe animal testing is essential to finding new cures and treatments for diseases.

Most importantly, animal research increases the human life span and improves the quality of life. Major changes in medical care have occurred as a result of animal research. Because of animal research and testing millions of human and animal lives are saved each year. There are many people who think animal testing is cruel and it should be put an end. But without animal research it would be very difficult to discover new cures and treatments. Animals, especially mammals, are very similar to humans, which makes it a great match for scientists and researchers to work with. According to Jack Botting, animals and humans “…control their internal biochemistry by releasing endocrine hormones that are all essentially the same; both humans and laboratory animals send out similar chemical transmitters from nerve cells in the central and peripheral nervous systems, and both react in the same way to infection or tissue injury.” Alternatives to animal research, such as computer models, cannot truly give the same full effect as living animals can. Overall, most doctors, scientists and researchers would state that there is no way to get around it, animal testing is still vital to discovering new medical advancements.

Works Cited

Americans for Medical Progress Educational Foundation. Animal Research. 1999.
October 2, 2001. http://www.ampef.org/

American Psychological Association, Animal Research Advance Animal and Human Welfare. October 3, 2001. http://www.apa.org

Jack Botting, Animal Research is Vital to Medicine. October 3, 2001. Scientific America, http://www.sciam.com

Chang, Maria L., Animal Research- Right or Wrong? March 23, 1998, magazine article
of Science World.

Committee of New and Emerging Models in Biomedical and Behavioral Research Institute for Laboratory Animal Research Commissions of Life Science National Council. Biomedical Models and Resources. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 1998.

Research Defense Society. Facts at a Glance. 2001, October 2, 2001.
http://www.rds-online.org.uk


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