Medical researchers have been using animals as test subjects for potential human treatments for centuries. Initially, the main reasons for that included the lack of resources to study the drugs or therapy methods in alternative ways and an overall unemotional attitude toward any creatures other than people. However, today those arguments are outdated and ought to be reconsidered as progress allowed for the new and more effective methods to be practiced. Animal testing is often an unnecessary and ineffective strategy for human drug approval which should eventually be eliminated.
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Animals, in many cases, do not suffer from the same diseases as humans, so scientists artificially induce the necessary conditions in test subjects to study new drugs or therapy methods. For example, these methods are used when researching dangerous heart conditions, various types of cancer, HIV, and Parkinson’s disease. Since they are not typical or natural in tested animals, the results will be affected by subjects’ biological abilities to adapt to the newly induced dangers, which could lead to a somewhat unpredictable reaction based on genetic response and mutations. Thus, even successfully tested treatment methods and drugs may have negative or no effect when applied to humans.
Animal organisms differ from people significantly, so studying them for medical purposes is a relatively wasteful strategy. Medical researchers spend years sacrificing millions of animals to potentially recommend only a few drugs for human treatment. Besides, medicines and strategies that worked on rats or monkeys may be ineffective or even dangerous for humans, so even studies with a positive outcome could be a waste of resources.
Computer technology, drug test simulations, and artificial neural networks could be effective alternatives to using animals. Modern calculating machines can analyze billions of scenarios based on an enormous amount of data. While the chance of errors or miscalculations cannot be avoided, using computers helps shorten the time usually needed to notice and record the biological reactions to experimental treatment in a laboratory. Neural networks also adjust their results based on the new data often without the need to start the process from the beginning. Finally, computers do not need to rest, unlike people, so they can perform calculations non-stop for long periods.
Using animals to test potential human treatments is a cruel strategy that could have a negative psychological effect on researchers, doctors, and patients. Modern people are more conscious of the environment and other living creatures than their ancestors. Many humans stop eating meat, visiting zoos, or wearing natural fur because they do not want to contribute to the suffering of the animals if it could be avoided. Knowing that medical drugs have caused pain to other living creatures could make people feel uncomfortable or depressed, affecting the treatment process in humans negatively. In some cases, knowing that a particular company had used animals as test subjects may be the reason for a patient to avoid the proposed strategy or medicine brand.
Using animals to test drugs and treatment methods for humans is outdated. Modern alternatives involve computer simulations and artificial neural networks that can analyze millions of scenarios over a short period. Such procedures could save creatures’ lives and also decrease the time needed to conclude specific treatments. Animal testing is an outdated, ineffective, and cruel practice that should be eliminated in future medical experiments.