Should animals be used for research purposes

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Should animals be used for scientific research and experimentation? From ancient times, humans have relied on animals for their survival either as food (sheep, cow) or for competition (horses) and companionship (dogs). As humans became more familiar to their environment, they then also started utilizing animals for attainment of knowledge dating back to the days of the great physician Galen (129-200 AD), who used animals to exhibit that arteries contain blood and not the air (qtd. in Giridharan). This observation of humans about biological similarity and capability of animals to suffer same health problems as that of humans marked the beginning of usage of animals for research and experimentation. Although vivisection (animal testing) is regarded as an act of cruelty by many people on ethical and moral grounds and is not considered efficient however, animals should be used for scientific research and experimentation because this methodology of research has provided cure for many diseases, has improved our living standards and has proved beneficial for environment. Since most of the organs in animal body (heart, liver, lungs) resemble human organs and work in somewhat similar manner to that of organs in human body, testing and experimentation on animals for scientific research have played a vital role in providing cure for many diseases. There are many diseases and health problems that involve processes which can only be studied in living organisms, for which animals according to medical experts are the most suitable models as opposed to using humans which is very complex and impractical. It is because of animal usage in research that medical experts had been able to discover and provide cure for many fatal and incurable health problems such as heart diseases, HIV/AIDS, bacterial infection, cancer and so on. According to American Physiological Society (APS), research on dogs contributed the most in studying and understanding of the ways of managing heart diseases (qtd. in American Physiological Society 2006). It is the result of experimentation on dogs that techniques for diagnosis of working of heart such as electrocardiography, cardiac catheters, angiograms and coronary blood flow measurement were developed (American Physiological Society 2006). Surgical techniques such as cardiac bypass, angioplasty, and heart transplants have also been made possible through experiments on dogs (American Physiological Society 2006). As per Indian council of medical research, animals are capable of producing useful medical substances in their blood or milk such as vaccines, hormones and antibodies that are essential for medical treatments and diagnostic tests (qtd. in Giridharan). This fact have also been approved by researchers at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), who claim that studies and research on animals have provided treatment to many lethal diseases such as breast cancer, tuberculosis and progeria (qtd. in UCLA). Using mice, researchers at UCLA have been able to develop monoclonal antibody treatment “Herceptin”-the first cancer fighting drug- that successfully targeted a specific genetic alteration and reduced side effects attached with other conventional treatments such as nausea and hair loss (qtd. in UCLA). Also, as tuberculosis bacterium in pigs is remarkably similar to the tuberculosis in humans, UCLA researchers have been able to develop new vaccines using guinea pigs for tuberculosis treatment (qtd. in UCLA). Moreover, progeria which is a disease characterized by accelerated aging and cardiovascular disease in children, has been provided cure utilizing mice by researchers (qtd in UCLA). Based on their experiments on mice, the researchers prepared drugs that improved bone density, reduced bone fractures, aided weight gain and delayed the origination of progeria (qtd. in UCLA). Humans have therefore benefited significantly from animals in the form of treatments they derive from the study and experiments on...
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