Animal Experimentation

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Joel Talkoff
Second Year Composition
Brandon Marshall
21 April 2013

Animal Experimentation

Animal testing has been at the forefront of most advances in medical history. Without it, we would assuredly be ages behind where we are now in terms of medical sciences. Animal testing is a highly controversial topic with many opponents who would go out of their way to “liberate” these animals who were born for this reason, bred in captivity so as to do no damage to the species as a whole. The evidence supporting animal testing is insurmountable, but as with many arguments, for every logical explanation, there is an illogical counter.

Without animal experimentation, we would not have made the significant leaps in medical technology as fast and early as we did. Thanks to animal testing, we have made incredible strides in stem cell research, a highly controversial yet incredibly important advancement in the medical field, which gives us the ability to one-day repair damaged organs and even regrow entire limbs. Had it not been for our growing appendages on rats in controlled environments we would not have been able to examine the effects stem cells would have on the body.

Being the highly controversial topic that it is, stem cell research has many opponents. The most popular argument against stem cell research has been that we gather stem cells from the source: human fetuses. As we all know, it is a heinous crime to murder an innocent human being and, as previously mentioned, the best way to acquire stem cells is through the destruction of human fetuses. It is because these fetuses are human that they have the same right to live as any grown adult, as it should be. Much like animals, fetuses lack the ability to speak for themselves, lack the ability to argue against their destruction before they are even aware of the fact they are about to have their lives terminated. The strongest opponent of stem cell research is the Catholic Church, stating that stem cells can only be acquired through the destruction of innocent lives and that stem cell research has, in it’s 15 years of development, has not led to any significant advances in science.

While the Catholic Church does have somewhat of a leg to stand on with their argument, but here’s three reasons why it’s not the best informed. First, contrary to popular belief, the acquisition of stem cells is no long solely dependent on human fetuses. In fact, scientists have found that adult skin cells, even animal cells (from which the topic of animal experimentation comes from), have been shown to provide viable cells for study in a lab. Alok Jha, a physics graduate from Imperial College London and science correspondent for The Guardian, states that these new stem cells are actually derived from adult skin cells, which are then coaxed into mutating into whatever type of cell the researcher wishes to observe. Second, scientists have in fact figured out how to use stem cells to treat various diseases, including juvenile diabetes, motor neuron degenerative disorders and sickle cell anemia (to name a couple). In another article, also written by Alok Jha, it states that the first kidney grown from rat embryonic stem cells in a lab was successfully transplanted in a rat and shows no signs of rejection. In fact the kidney successfully filtered blood and produced urine, showing promising signs for the future of stem cell research. Finally, the Church’s argument against stem cell research is rooted heavily on the use and manipulation of the reader’s pathos. This appeal to emotions is fallacious as it removes any desire in the reader to think logically about stem cell research. This fallacy begs the question: is the Church against this because their religion tells them to be (which would a fallacy in and of itself) or because they are providing sound, logical evidence to support their claim. Insofar as I have seen, their argument lacks any logical reasoning whatsoever.

Thanks to animal...
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