Running Head: ANIMAL TESTING
Animal Testing: Right or Wrong
Ashley Lauren Howard
Professor Barbara Combs
September 1, 2010
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Animal testing is necessary to develop new medicines and to advance scientific knowledge; however, the same types of protections that we used to keep the human test subjects from being injured or killed should be extended to animal test subjects. Animal testing started off as an issue and then became a movement. It has finally become an idea (Smith, 2010). A large part of the testing process involves the use of animals. Scientists use animals to try out new medicines or medical treatments in order to make sure that they are safe for people. Animal testing has enabled them to develop treatments that can save the lives of people. Some of these things are treatments for AIDS, cancer, and diabetes. It has also helped them develop vaccines to protect people against polio, measles, mumps, and rubella. These diseases have killed millions and millions of people. Animal testing has also helped the scientists learn about the different kinds of chemicals and how they can be dangerous if swallowed, touched, or breathed in (Watson, 2009, p. 4). History of Animal Testing
Animals have been used for hundreds of years to help doctors study illnesses and their treatments (Watson, 2009, p. 11). The way animals are treated has been discussed for many, many years. The ancient Greeks and the Roman philosophers believed that animals belonged to people and that they did not have any rights (“animal rights” Compton’s by Britannica, 2009). In 450 B. C., Alemaeon of Croton, a Greek philosopher, performed the first vivisection that was ever reported. Vivisection is the process of cutting open a live animal. He cut out the optic nerve in a dog’s eye. This operation helped doctors understand why people could go blind. Aristotle, another Greek philosopher, and Eras stratus, a doctor, both did tests on living animals.
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Claudius Galen, a Roman doctor, learned about nerves and muscles by dissecting pigs, goats, and other animals. He became known as the Father of Vivisection (Watson, 2009, p. 11). William Harvey, a British surgeon, learned how the blood moves through the body by looking at the insides of animals. This encouraged other scientists in Europe to use animal vivisection when doing research (Watson, 2009, p. 11). Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, a Dutch scientist, observed animal tissues under the microscopes that he designed (Watson, 2009, p. 11 – 12).
During the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, people in the United States and England started fighting for the rights of animals. They fought against animals being treated wrong (Compton’s by Britannica, 2009). Most of the major accomplishments made in history dealt with the work with animals. Edward Jenner, an English doctor, took pus from a cow that had developed cowpox. He injected it into a boy’s arm and paved the Way for the first vaccine to be created to cure smallpox. Louis Pasteur, a French chemist, was the first to use vaccines for anthrax, cholera, and rabies in sheep, chicken, and other animals (Watson, 2009, p. 12). By the middle of the 1900s all of the states in the United States had laws against animals being treated unfairly. Later, people started fighting for the rights of animals. By the twenty-first century these people were backed by celebrities and other important people to help their cause and to spread their message dealing with the unfair treatment of all animals (“animal rights” Compton’s by Britannica, 2009).
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Organizations in favor of animal rights
There are many organizations that fight for the rights of animals. One of them is the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. It was started in England in 1824 to make...