|The Cruelties of Animal Experimentation
Author: Badger In Disguise PM
Jeremy Bentham, an English philosopher said, “The question is not, ‘Can they reason?’ nor ‘Can they talk?’ but, ‘Can they suffer?’” This is a paper i wrote about animal experimentation. I got a 170 out of 175! Please tell me what you think!Rated: Fiction T - English - Crime - Words: 1,888 - Reviews: 2 - Published: 01-05-09 - Status: Complete - id: 2617934
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A rabbit, young, strong, with his whole life ahead of him, is taken to a research facility. Unbeknownst to him, this is where he will meet his untimely end. The rabbit is taken out of his crate, and forcefully put in a metal cage. The next part of his journey is the research room, a place full of contraptions somewhat similar to the stocks used in colonial Jamestown. He is strapped into this rabbit-sized stock, and a substance is dropped into his eyes. He feels a sudden pain, and tries to escape, failing miserably. Many rabbits around him have stopped moving, and sickly snaps are heard around the room as rabbits break their necks and other bones in an attempt to break free. This is essentially the story of rabbits all over the country, who are used for the Draize eye irritancy test, one of the many ways test animals are tortured (Haugen). Even though many companies say animal experimentation helps further medical research, it should not be allowed in research labs because it is inhumane and does not provide valid scientific information.
Animal experimentation is shunned by animal rights activists because it is a moral and ethical issue. Many researchers try to justify their actions by saying that human lives are more important, and we should take whatever course of action needed to save the human race. Apparently, this includes sacrificing millions of animals for the sake of one species. Before the animals die or are killed, they are treated cruelly, in toxicity, reproductive, and eye irritancy tests. In the toxicity, or chemical tests, animals are forced to eat, inhale, or drink chemicals (Fano). The methods of doing such are abusive. Having a tube surgically inserted into their stomach is one example (Fano). Placed under the skin, painted on the skin, or injected into their bodies, are other methods of giving animals a dose (Fano). Cruelties are not only in chemical testing, but also in reproductive studies, or tests to see if a product will cause birth defects. The cruelties of reproductive studies take place when a pregnant animal is given chemicals, and then forced to abort or have their uterus removed, and the fetus is weighed and dissected (Fano). In the often used Draize eye test, albino rabbits have a liquid, granule, powder, or flake dropped into their eyes (Haugen). The rabbits are usually not under anesthesia, and experience great discomfort and pain (Haugen). The test results vary from lab to lab and rabbit to rabbit (Haugen). In one case of animal cruelty, three marmosets' brains had been purposely damaged to study strokes (Bird).
Too many animals suffer for the sake of so little humans. Humans populate less of the world than animals do. Two thousand animals may die from one chemical test, and the numbers of animals used each year, as of nineteen ninety-eight, are huge. Twenty-seven thousand dogs , twenty-five thousand cats, fifty-seven thousand non-human primates, two hundred sixty-one thousand guinea pigs, two hundred six hamsters, two hundred eighty-eight thousand rabbits, one hundred fifty-eight farm animals, and one hundred forty-three other animals (Day 13). These numbers do not include the twelve to eighteen million mice and rats used each year (Day 13). The animals do not die peacefully, they may experience convulsions, severe abdominal pain, tremors, seizures, diarrhea, bleeding from the mouth, eyes, and genitals, vomiting uncontrollably, self mutilate, become paralyzed, fall into comas, and lose kidney function (Fano). An example of animals dying for a small reason is in the dental industry. Laboratory workers brush rats' teeth for over a month, then kill them and examine their teeth under a microscope (Haugen). Jeremy Bentham, an English philosopher said, "The question is not, 'Can they reason?' nor 'Can they talk?' but, 'Can they suffer?'" (Cothran, 22).
Animal experimentation is also shunned by animal rights activists because it does not hold any medical purpose. Primates are a common choice for researchers (Mur). Even though they share much of human DNA, they still cause inaccuracies to occur. Hormone replacement therapy, tested on non-human primates, was proven to increase women's chance of getting breast cancer, heart disease, and stroke (Mur). Suprenaline doses, for asthma were tested on animals, but proved to be too high for humans (Mur). Carbenoxalone, for gastric ulcers, had the side effect of people retaining water to the point where their heart failed (Mur). Researchers could not reproduce the same effect on monkeys (Mur). Flosint, for arthritis, was tested on monkeys, and it killed humans, and not the monkeys (Mur). Aminrone, for heart failure, was tested on non-human primates, but people excessively bled, because it caused blood to not clot properly (Mur). Opren, for arthritis, killed sixty-one people, and over three thousand five hundred cases of severe reactions were recorded (Mur). Testing methods also have problems, for example in a sweetener test; animals were given the equivalent of five hundred fifty-two bottles of soft drinks per day for humans (Fano). During the trichloroethylene (a decaffeinating agent) testing, rats were given what would be the human equivalent of fifty million cups of coffee per day (Fano). These inaccuracies caused humans to have seious reactions, but animals reacted fine. Many people know that diseases can be prevented by a healthy lifestyle. To live a healthy lifestyle all one needs to do is, control their eating habits, exercise, and control their levels of stress (Day, 65). That does not seem like too much to do. Heart disease, cancer, and stroke, the leading causes of death, can be mostly prevented in this way (Day, 65). Animals should not suffer for the lack of self-control present in humans.
People say we are making medical progress with the help of animal experimentation. This statement is false. Actually, we have not made medical progress, we have gone backwards. Ever since the war on cancer in 1971 began, cancer incidences have gone up by eighteen percent, and cancer deaths has gone up by seven percent (Burgos). Birth defects have also gone up as well. In 2000, one in every seven children was born with a birth defect (Burgos). Dr. Irwin D.J. Bross said "Results from animal model systems for drugs or other modalities have done nothing but confuse and mislead cancer researchers who have tried to extrapolate from mice to men" (Hurley). This means that the researchers have been confused by the results so much, we have undone some of the progress the country has made.
Each animal species is unique has unique bodily systems, and different reactions. Therefore, you cannot determine how one would act causes cancer, AIDS, heart disease, or strokes in humans, by experimenting on them. A couple examples of how different bodily systems are between species would be the following. Even though an aspirin might be a nice relief to a human, it would kill your cat (Burgos). It is also known that penicillin kills guinea pigs, but they can eat strychnine, a deadly poison to humans (Burgos). Sheep can swallow large amounts of arsenic (Burgos). And, speaking of arsenic, it can cause cancer in humans, but scientists have only been able to cause cancer in animals from arsenic under extreme conditions such as placing a large dose under the animals' skin (Fano). Fifty-one and a half percent of one hundred ninety-eight drugs tested on animals caused serious enough reactions in humans that they had to be taken off the market (Carlson). The reactions included respiratory problems, heart failure, convulsion, death, and kidney and liver failure (Carlson). These numbers are high, and the unreliability of animal experimentation leaves humans at risk.
Animal experimentation is also a danger to humans and the environment. The companies that experiment on animals are also releasing their poisons into the environment (Fano). The researchers dump what is left over from the lab research, and it can run into lakes, strems, rivers, or an animal may ingest it. Fifty-three percent of monkeys experimented on are stolen from the wild, not bred for the purpose, and this could possibly hurt the population of the monkeys and their habitat (Mur). Animal experimentation is a risk to humans' health, because drugs that are tested on animals have the risk of carrying animal viruses to humans. In fact, scientists believe AIDS was a non-human primate virus originally. An example of a risk that was taken by scientists was putting baboon cells into Jeff Getty, a twenty-eight year old, in the hopes he would fight AIDS, because baboons do not seem to get it (Gorman).
When one thinks about animal experimentation, they think about the value of life. In the point of view of those for animal experimentation, human life is superior to animal life. While in the eyes of those against it, animal life is equal to human life. Some people believe that homo-sapiens are better than non-human animals, the people who believe this are no better than racists or sexists (Cothran, 21). Tom Regan, a professor at the North Carolina State University said, "It is not rational to discriminate arbitrarily. And discrimination against non-human animals is arbitrary. It is wrong to think that weaker human beings, especially those who are lacking in normal human intelligence, as 'tools' or 'renewable resources' or 'models' or 'commodities'. It cannot be right therefore, to treat other animals as if they were 'tools', 'models' and the like, if their physiology is as rich as (or richer than) these humans. To think otherwise is irrational." (Cothran 210). Tom Regan is telling us that using an animal as a tool is like using a less intelligent human as a tool as well. This means we are guilty of moral crime, the crime of using a less intelligent animal for our own good. This needs to stop.
Humans need to find an alternative to animal experimentation; luckily, people are coming up with alternatives that are more reliable than animal experiments. A few of them are, cell cultures, computer models, tissue cultures, corneas from eye banks, mathematical model, or formulating based on products determined safe by the FDA (Rochford 15) (Haugen). Animals are not even needed for research, for example, the two most important pieces of AIDS research, the isolation of the virus, and the mechanism of the transmission, were developed without the use of animal experimentation (Hurley).
Sadly, the rabbit did not make it out of that room alive. Actually, most rabbits never leave that room. They were killed soon after the experiment ended, like all the other survivors. He was tossed aside, a tool with a short term use. Many animals are forgotten this way; broken, abused, unloved, and gone forever. Animal experimentation is a cruel fact; face it, this truly happens in our country. It may be that people say animal experimentation is crucial to medical progress, but it is only an inhumane and unscientific practice that should be banned from research labs.
A/N: This was a paper I wrote back in eighth grade. I found it on my jump drive, and read it, deciding to put it up here as is. I'll have you all know I'm wearing my akatsuki cosplaying cloak right now. It is so comfy! XD But tell me what you think!