Every day, thousands of people are saved from painful diseases and death by powerful medical drugs and treatments. This incredible gift of medicine would not be possible without animal testing. Despite these overwhelming benefits, however, some people are calling for animal testing to be banned because of alleged cruelty. This essay will examine arguments for and against animal testing.
Those against the use of animal testing claim that it is inhumane to use animals in experiments. I disagree completely. It would be much more inhumane to test new drugs on children or adults. Even if it were possible, it would also take much longer to see potential effects, because of the length of time we live compared to laboratory animals such as rats or rabbits.
Opponents of animal testing also claim that the results are not applicable to humans. This may be partly true. Some drugs have had to be withdrawn, despite testing. However, we simply do not have alternative methods of testing. Computer models are not advanced enough, and testing on plants is much less applicable to humans than tests on animals such as monkeys. Until we have a better system, we must use animal testing.
A further point often raised against animal testing is that it is cruel. Some of the tests certainly seem painful, but the great majority of people on this planet eat meat or wear leather without any guilt. Where is their sympathy for animals? Furthermore, animals clearly do not feel the same way as humans, and scientists are careful to minimize stress in the animals, since this would damage their research.
I agree that we need to make sure that animals who are used for testing new products have the minimum of suffering. However, I am convinced that animal testing is necessary, and that it will continue to benefit humans in new and wonderful ways.
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