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Animal Testing (To Test or Not to Test)

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Contrary to popular belief that animal testing is a fairly new debate, the issue has been under heated discussions for quite a long time. From the early days of experimenting basic survival skills of hunting and trapping, to the modern days of chemicals and cosmetics, animals have been under the surgeon’s knife. Human intellect and, especially, the survival instinct are strong and require trial and error on others for personal protection. In the field of science, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and even technology, animals are tested upon in order to find the effects of chemicals on humans. People who argue that animal testing is cruel and inhumane have their reasons, while those holding the opposing views are equally eloquent. 

Looking through the lens of ending animal testing, the biggest reason to abolish it is that animals are living creatures, just as human beings are. They can feel pain, joy, and all the other emotions a living being is entitled to. In fact, when people accept inhumane treatment on animals, they are being prejudiced against  different species.  Animal testing is a high moral crime and should be treated as such. There is no debate about the ways in which animals express their pain for they are identical in it to humans.  Animals perform actions such as twisting their bodies, crying and even screaming, when in pain (Clark, 1982). 

Furthermore, various researches prove that animals are subject to inconceivable pain during and after testing operations. The very concept of animal testing is to see how much pain a product or chemical provides to the living being. If scientists believe that animals are similar enough to humans to test their products on, they must accept the fact that they feel the same pain they feel. The very foundation and intention of animal testing is barbaric.  According to the European Commission of 1997, anesthetics are not utilized and the animals are fully aware of every sensation. Moreover, those that survive the testing are murdered after wards and the numbers reach hundreds, even thousands (European Commission, 1997).

Moreover, in order to effectively put an end to animal testing and torture, legal systems around the world must provide their unwavering support. Animal testing is yet to be labeled a crime in many parts of the world and, in fact, animal testers are applauded and easily given permission on legislative levels. This is hypocritical of leaders, as they are favoring some groups in society, while ignoring others such as animal activists. There has not only to be a moral balance, but also a legislative balance (Alternatives: Testing without Torture, 2011).

Turning the pendulum, there are many reasons why animal testing needs to be continued.  First of all, animals are not humans and the distinct differences need to be recognized. It is in animals’ nature to kill other animals and even harm human beings. In fact, if the reason for stopping animal testing is that animals feel pain, then other issues must be opened and debated as well, such as killing animals for their meat. This is hypocritical of animal activists who cannot deny that humans rely on animals for protein, clothing and overall survival (Clark, 1982). 

Secondly, the lives of animals and the pain they face should be the least of our concerns, as human life comes first. In fact, everything in the world, including animals is designed to serve mankind in the form of food, clothing and, yes, testing chemicals and pharmaceuticals. It is preposterous to believe that any animal life is worth more than a human life. Also, the diligence and attention should be diverted to saving the millions of humans that are suffering and dying around the world each day, not on saving a rat from an injection (Frey, 2007). 

Thirdly, researchers are not testing animals merely to torture them and therefore, it is their right to be allowed legally to experiment. Their purpose is noble with the aim of helping the overall human population. Today, thanks to growing technological advances, animals are given pain killers and relievers, whenever they are convenient. The scientists must not be viewed as monstrous mad scientists, as their moral standards are as strong as any activist’s. Killing animals for fun as in dog fights and gambling should not be compared to noble scientific research (Frey, 2007). 

All in all, there are many points for each side to support or abolish animal testing. Before making a decision, one must be informed on both sides in order to deliver a well-balanced debate. There are many categories and angles to view this issue which includes moral, legal, and practical grounds. From a moral point of view, animal testing indeed is inhumane and painful to the animals. However, from practical point of view, in order to protect human life, animals must be sacrificed. The legal point of view is the one that decides whether or not to officially abolish the practice.

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