The scientific benefits of animal testing are obvious. Numerous life-saving medicines and discoveries have been made because of it. The research ranges from immunology to embryo development to basic research for diseases such as Huntington’s and other illnesses. In 1984, the University of Pennsylvania was engaged in research to study head trauma, a condition which now claims more than 50,000 lives a year (Andre & Velasquez, Santa Clara University). However, the project was guilty of deliberately and methodically inflicting the severe head traumas on the un-anaesthetized chained baboons that the study focused on. Over 20 million animals are similarly experimented on, and killed annually. Three-fourths of the animals are used for medical purposes, and the rest to test various products. An estimated eight million are used in painful experiments, and reports show that at least ten percent of these animals do not receive painkillers (Andre & Velasquez, Santa Clara University).
The role of man’s perceived species superiority plays directly into animal testing, but where does the true distinction between man and beast lie? For a long time, humanity was determined by the utilization of tools. However, when Jane Goodall observed chimpanzees modifying t...
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...n they reason” nor “Can they talk” but “Can they suffer?” (Andre & Velasquez, Santa Clara University). Even in instances that don’t involve pain, we don’t know the kinds of effects humans are having on the world around us. As Herzing says, ““the question is, should we introduce new vocal elements into a wild population? And if we do, are we somehow contaminating their vocal repertoire? It’s a basic philosophical question. (Zimmermann, 33)” This contentiousness is the underlying message in both Hale and Zimmermann’s respective work when it comes to the rest of our planet. If there is alternatives to the more destructive research being done, no matter how justifiable, or curiosity satisfying for the human condition, it should be found and encouraged.
Tim Zimmermann, Talk to Me
Benjamin Hale, The Last Distinction
Andre & Velasquez, Santa Clara Univerity
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