The issue of animal experimentation is a widely debated topic in the United States. A fundamental question of this debate is whether the functions of animal testing and research are morally and ethically justified. In the viewpoint of the pro-research community, animal testing is a necessary practice. They support this position by stating that humans, instinctual ly, prioritize their own survival above other animals thus making any use of animals justifiable (Fox 5).
The supporters of animal testing believe that it is illogical for humans to place anthropocentric values in animals citing that they can not be moral equals to mankind (Fox 3, 6).
The animal rights faction holds belief in different viewpoints against the testing of animals in experiments.
In the philosophy of the animal rights movement, it is asserted that non-human creatures are sentient beings and they are entitled to the same rights that humans have and that man has no place or authority to use these creatures as our means or modes of survival (Guither 9).
They view the use of animals in experimentation as immoral and unethical and should be done away with. A compromise of these two conflicting viewpoints could be attained in stance of animal welfare. animal welfare can be defined as a moderate stance of animal research where the quality of life and well being of animals in testing are considered while scientific progress is attained. An important theory in practice of this is called ‘The Three R’s’: reduce, refine, and replace.
Animal Testing: Right Or Wrong? Animal Testing: Right Or Wrong? Essay, Research Paper Animal Testing… Right or Wrong? In the 1880's, Louis Pasteur conducted one of the most unpleasant series of animal experiments in the history of the fight against infectious disease. Unable to see the organism that causes rabies with the microscopes available, he convinced a skeptical medical community of ...
The supporters of animal welfare aim to reduce the amount of animals used in experimentation, refine the practices of testing in which they are more humane, and replace- to eventually find an alternative to animals in testing (Roush).
By looking at the debate of the uses of animals in scientific research, one may suggest that the application of the animal welfarism’s philosophy of ‘The Three R’s’ in testing practices would serve as a compromise between the animal rights and animal research factions. Since antiquity mankind has asserted itself as the dominant animal in nature. Just as the snake eats the rodent, humans consume what prey falls before them. Throughout history, humans have used animals to nourish, clothe, make tools, and most importantly, to learn about themselves from the characteristics of other creatures. As the depth of human knowledge increased, man learned how to relate their observations of the physical and behavioral characteristics of animals in controlled environments to create a better understanding of them.
In today’s scientific age, animals are frequently used as a subject of countless experiments. These experiments are used to test the effects of man’s diseases, medicines, and products on animals in laboratory to enhance human’s knowledge of their own physical and physiological workings. To the animal researcher, this is a necessary function of species survival. Another discussion stated by the pro-research community is the question of morality in animals. It is their view since animals could not, in any capacity, function in a society of autonomous beings (Fox 58).
For example, a dog (which is considered an intelligent creature) may understand that certain behaviors may warrant a reward and that some actions will deliver a punishment upon themselves.
Its master, in most cases, engrained this mode of logic into the dog through training and conditioning. This is true of most intelligent species, including humans. In contrast, it is the view of the animal researcher that, unlike humans, animals do not have the cognitive ability to make moral judgments. The dog knows not why it is morally right or wrong that its action deserved a response from its master.
(a) Outline The Reasons Why Psychologists Might Choose (a) Outline The Reasons Why Psychologists Might Choose To Use Non-human Animals In Their Research. (b) Outline How Animals Have Been Used In Two Different Areas Of Research. (c) Assess The Problems Of Using Animals In Psychological Research. (a) Outline the reasons why psychologists might choose to use non-human animals in their research. (b) ...
The animal does not make a moral distinction of being free or bound to man- it is conditioned to behave in response to stimuli it encounters (Fox 57-59).
In the eyes of the researcher, animal experimentation is justified by the theory that animals can not be placed on the moral level of humans. In opposition to the pro-research viewpoint, animal-rights activists believe that animals feel pain and suffering as human do. With this comes the ethical responsibility of humans to treat animals with decency and respect. It is their philosophy that animals are ‘not ours to eat, wear or experiment on’ in any circumstance (Guither 9).
Animal rights organizations such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) state, ‘A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy,’ (Williams).
To illustrate the meaning of this statement PETA asserts that when it comes to pain, hunger, thirst, or any physical condition, that all animals, including humans, experience these phenomena. The animal rights activist believes that animals suffer as humans do and that all creatures, regardless of having a moral-reasoning capability, are entitled to freedom of torture and pain that may be inflicted upon them in a research environment (Williams).
A more moderate view that could be used to find compromise in the research versus animal rights philosophies is the practicing of animal welfare in experimentation. Instead of needlessly abandoning useful modes of obtaining information derived from animal testing, a comprehensive plan of ‘The Three R’s’ would serve as the best style of experimentation until a suitable replacement of animals is discovered and implemented.
The first ‘R’ represents the practice of refining laboratory practices in animal testing. In recent decades, a profound shift in thinking has occurred in regards to animal welfare in testing procedures. This shift has been putting an emphasis in the well being of animals. This can be illustrated in guidelines set forth by the U. S. National Research Council’s ‘Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals’.
Animal testing is not a new thing. For many centuries scientists and testers in research have used animals of all kinds. Most of the animals are small ones like rodents - rats, mice, hamsters and gerbils. Some dogs, cats and a variety of goats, monkeys and rabbits have also been used. The animal rights issue is an emotional one. For decades the value of animal research has been grossly overrated. ...
In successive issues of this publication, a trend has been noted of giving researchers more flexibility in lab practices where the welfare of the animal can placed at a higher priority. From these more liberal testing guidelines scientist has learned that, in some cases, that less pain or distress can produce purer results. This can be attributed to the freedom the researcher has to control scientific variables in testing (Roush).
If research practices a more refined approach to testing, it is possible that the welfare of animals is taken into greater consideration thus making it a more humane experience for both the scientist and subject.
Reduction, being seen as the second ‘R’, is an important factor in the animal welfare movement. New methods of using statistical methods have been implemented to aid scientists to cut the number of animal subjects that are used in experimentation. In addition, improved techniques are used to make certain animals more susceptible to disease are making it easier for researcher to seek potential dangerous infections, carcinogens, and pathogens in experimentation (Roush).
These modes of testing and collecting data have greatly reduced the number of animal subjects used in lab experimentation. Finally, the third ‘R’, the eventual replacement of animal subjects in testing is a more difficult goal to attain. Research scientists state that test subject substitutes such as artificial tissues can not serve as a suitable replacement to live organisms.
As with the investigations of diseases, substances, or products used in experiments with animals, scientists often study secondary characteristics of how the subjects respond in neurological scenarios of stress and learning, and how they can be related to humans. Researchers agree that it is necessary in most cases to use a live animal to study an experiment in organic systems for accuracy (Roush).
Injections OR Protection Although testing on animals seems the only way to further advance our medicine, technologies, and prevent products from harming people, it doesn't necessarily make it right. I think we can all agree that injecting defenseless animals with dangerous chemicals resulting in serious side effects or possible death is cruel and unusual. Coincidently, in the U. S. we consider ...
Though it is perceived by the research community that the development of non-animal test subjects are years away, significant progress has been made in the reduction of numbers of live animals used in experimentation. According to the U. S.
Department of Agriculture (USDA), the number of animals used in testing has dropped 35%, excluding rats and mice, from 1986 to 1995 (Roush).
Though it may take time to develop a suitable replacement of animal subjects, extensive investigation and research creates hope in the eyes of the animal welfarism that any suffering to a living thing can be eliminated. The debate of animal testing has polarized American culture in values of how animals should be viewed and treated in society. The supporters of scientific research in animals base their argument that humans being a dominant, highly intelligent creature of nature, should have the right, just as any organism, to protect and perpetuate their species. In addition to this assertion, the pro-research community states that animals, in general, have no standing in the moral autonomy humans have, and should be used as an instrument of survival. In opposition to this the animal rights activists view humans and animal on the same plane as both having a right to be treated humanely.
The animals rights philosophy asserts that humans, as a part of nature, have no right to use animals solely for the benefit of their species, citing the practice as unethical and immoral. To mediate these differences, animal welfare activists encourage the practice of ‘The Three R’s’. This can be seen a suitable practice to compromise the need for scientific research and to increase the standards and awareness of the rights of the animals used as subjects. This stance of compromise and concern for the welfare of animals would serve as the best method of scientific ingenuity and human compassion to attain the goals of all concerned.