The Ethics of Animal Testing
Years ago, while laws were not in place to prevent testing on animals, some researchers experimented on animals. The results of these experiments are still with us today. Insulin for example, was discovered when an Ontario doctor severed the connection between the pancreas and the digestive system of a dog.1 Today there are still many animals in labs being tested to find treatment for anything from cancer to pain. If the results have a possibility to save so many lives, as in the case of insulin for those with diabetes, then testing on animals should be the right thing to do right? Many people agree on saying that the suffering of an animal is not worth the saving of lives, especially if the tests are unsuccessful. They compare the animal's lives to those of humans, claiming that it is not right to test on human orphans. Therefore it should not be right to test on stray animals. In these statements lie the fundamental ethical dilemma about animal testing, it is right or wrong testing on animal for humans benefits? In this paper I will examine animal rights from a utilitarians point of view. I will define the
major points that utilitarianism holds and animal testing. I will explore the cases for and against animal testing using utilitarian reasoning (including Bentham and Mill's disagreement, act and rule utilitarianism, and cost-benefit analysis). Finally I will close with my own feelings on animal experimentation and my conclusions drawn from the analysis.
First, utilitarian theory is consequentionalist and stress the ends of a particular action. It is also Hedonistic in nature, meaning that is focuses on happiness and pleasure, those being the only intrinsic good. A utilitarian...