Modern technology has allowed scientists to make a considerable step ahead in many spheres of medicine. While the results of the research suggest beneficial outcomes for the present and future of mankind, not all of the methods employed in such studies are humane enough. Apart from special equipment, scientists often use animals to do experiments on them and trace the development of various health conditions.
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There are many arguments against performing research based on animals, and the major one is concerned with the ethics of such experiments. No one asks animals’ consent to participate in various tests, so it is a common belief that they undergo a lot of cruelty in laboratories (“Cruelty to Animals”). Animals’ freedom is strictly limited because they are kept in cages. With the experimental aims, scientists may cause suffering to animals and even artificially develop different illnesses in them. An example is when scientists develop a tumor in the animal to learn the ways of curing this tumor (“Cruelty to Animals”).
While in the long run, there is a probability of the beneficial outcomes of such experiments, they are still rather unjustified and cruel. Thus, the main ethical issue is that animal-based experiments require a lot of suffering without guaranteeing any positive results for the animals or even people. Other ethical considerations include the end of lab animals’ lives. The article by Cressey discusses possible ways of getting rid of lab animals (130). Cressey emphasizes the importance of finding the humane methods of killing such animals (130). I think that the fact of such discussion means that the numbers of animals killed are great, and therefore, this issue is highly unethical. Maybe, after all, science is not worth so many deaths, even if they are not deaths of human beings.
Not only ethical issues raise discussions among animal rights defenders. There are also scientific arguments associated with animal-based experiments that prove the uselessness of such activity. One of the most typical opinions against animal-based research is concerned with the fact that such experiments are not so often effective for people as scientists try to prove. Many people believe that human and animal organisms have a lot of similarities. Thus, there is an opinion that the methods of treatment checked on animals will work for humans. However, there is evidence that such an opinion is not entirely true. In their study, Pound and Bracken remark that animal-based research has a lot of limitations, and its outcomes may not help people at all (g3387).
According to Pound and Bracken, experiments based on animals do not correspond to the required quality level and cannot be considered trustworthy as a result (g3387). Scientific prediction based on animal experiments is quite low since such studies frequently fail to manage the risks to studies’ validity. Finally, animal-based research contains a lot of prejudice and thus cannot be considered a safe source of receiving scientific information (Pound and Bracken g3387). As can be seen, the positive outcomes of animal-based research for people are quite uncertain and rare. Therefore, experiments based on animals have not been justified yet.
The third major reason why I feel against using animals in research is that it leads to a waste of resources because such experiments are not always effective. Scientists admit that beneficial outcomes of animal-based research are not as frequent as anticipated. Thus, such experiments are not the most favorable method of managing medical issues.
A lot of animal-based studies are repeated by various scientists without any need for doing so. According to Van Luijk et al., there is an insufficient number of systematic reviews on the experiments based on animals (256). The authors believe that such reviews could prevent the waste of resources and unnecessary harm to animals as they would make it clear to the scientists who already did some experiment and what outcomes were obtained as a result of it (Van Luijk et al. 256). Therefore, until the question of wasted time and resources caused by animal-based research is resolved, such experiments will not receive much approval from society and the sphere of science.
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Animal-based research is one of the most debatable questions in the modern world. While some scientists prove that such experiments bring a lot of benefits for society and the future of medicine and science, others argue that there is more harm than advantages in using animals in laboratory studies. There is no such evidence of animal-based research being helpful for the treatment of humans. Finally, using animals in labs leads to wasting a lot of valuable resources. Until scientists have found ways to disclaim these issues, animal-based research will be considered an illegal and unethical activity.
Cressey, Daniel. “Best Way to Kill Lab Animals Sought.” Nature, vol. 500, no. 7461, 2013, pp. 130-131.
“Cruelty to Animals in Laboratories.” PETA, n.d.
Pound, Pandora, and Michael B. Bracken. “Is Animal Research Sufficiently Evidence Based to Be a Cornerstone of Biomedical Research?” BMJ, vol. 348, no. may30-1, pp. g3387-g3387.
Van Luijk, Judith, et al. “Towards Evidence-Based Translational Research: The Pros and Cons of Conducting Systematic Reviews of Animal Studies.” ALTEX-Alternatives to Animal Experimentation, vol. 30, no. 2, 2013, pp. 256-257.