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,
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
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 ...
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