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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Essay: Animal-Experimentation

Imagine having a headache and not having aspirin to take, or being diabetic and not being able to take certain types of insulin (Williams 3).   It seems impossible that these drugs could be unavailable to humans, but they would not be attainable had scientists not tested these drugs on non-animal subjects.   Contrary to what many people believe, testing drugs on animals often give defective results.   “More than 205,000 new drugs are marketed worldwide every year, most undergo the most archaic and unreliable testing methods still in use: animal studies” (PETA 1).   Although animals may seem the like ideal specimens for testing new drugs, the experiments are untrustworthy and can cause unknown side effects.

Research on animals is deemed necessary to develop vaccines, treatments, and cures for diseases and to ensure that new products are safe for humans to use.   “The development of immunization against such diseases as polio, diphtheria, mumps, measles, rubella, pertussis, and hepatitis all involved research on animals […]” (AMPEF 1).   Scientists have found many drugs by means of animal experimentation.   To some people, animals are viewed as better test subjects than anything else.   Scientists can control many aspects in an animal’s life such as their diet, the temperature, lighting, environment, and more.   Animals are biologically similar, but not identical to humans and can form some of the same health problems.   When these health problems are injected into an animal it can have the same physical reactions as a human could.   

Experimenting on animals, to some, is important if humans want to continue with improving our medical advances (AMPEF 1).   

Although animals have helped form useful medicines for humans like anesthesia, they have also helped put dangerous drugs on the market (AMPEF 1).   Practolol, a drug for heart disorders that passed animal test was pulled off the shelves when the drug caused blindness in people.   Also, arsenic, which is toxic and causes cancer in humans, has not caused cancer in any animals that were tested (PETA 1). 

“According to the General Accounting Office, more than half of the prescription drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) between 1976 and 1985 caused serious side effects that later caused the drugs to be either relabeled or removed from the market.   Drugs approved for children were twice as likely to have a serious post-approval risks as other medications” (PETA 1).   
Furthermore, animal experimentation can keep effective drugs off of the market.   It’s very possible that many drugs that have been tested on animals were found to be deadly or involved serious side effects but if tested on humans could have been found to successfully cure or treat a specific disease.   Even though animals sometimes have the same reactions to a disease or drug as humans do, usually the animals experience much different effects.   There is also no way for experimenters to notice psychological effects on the animals; and the animals can’t tell experimenters how they feel and what they are experiencing. Animals cannot communicate through words so their frightened voices go unheard.   


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