English 103 Paper #1 Animal Rights An Argument For Animal Research Medicine has come a very long way since the days when men used to puncture holes into the skull to release tension or evil spirits. In the last one hundred years, for the sake of humanity, numerous vaccinations have been developed, disease and disorders of all types have been prevented, surgical techniques have been advanced, drugs have been developed to cure ailments and the list continues endlessly. The progress that has been achieved in knowledge as well as safety in medical practice is correlated directly to animal research. It is one argument to control animal research so that needless death of animals are not rendered, but it is absolutely different to argue that animals have rights which supersede human subsistence. "For most of the past decade, the animal-rights movement hasn't merely opposed animal research; it has tried to destroy it." ( The Wall Street Journal , "Animals and Sickness", Page 378.) Animal rights advocates and activists generally have ethical objections regarding treatment of animals during experimentation, but the use of animals in research for the benefit of all people is and always will be justifiable. Over 99 percent of all animal experiments are on rats and mice developed expressly for laboratory use. "Less than 1 percent of experiments involve cats, dogs, farm animals, nonhuman primates, frogs, fish, and birds." ( Encyclopedia of Medicine, AMA , "Animal Experimentation", Page 110.) Animal rights advocates try to sway public opinion by showing grotesque pictures of destroyed cats, dogs, farm animals, dolphins, and monkeys which account for less than 1 percent of the experiments, yet it seems 99 percent of their advertising and campaigning deal with this one percent. At least the American public realizes even those who portray ethical righteousness can be wrong. For instance, " an American Medical Association ( AMA )
poll found that 77 percent of adults think that using animals in medical research is necessary." ( The Wall Street Journal , "Animals and Sickness", Page 378.) It is a curious thing to see animal welfare groups try to hinder animal research by threatening researchers lives and destroying years of data collected. Animal rights groups are promoting even more animal testing because the same tests will have to be repeated to replace the lost data. In every major medical research university there have been some form of nuisance to deter animal testing whether it was a quiet riot or endangering the lives of researchers. Animal rights groups must realize research is done out of necessity for human welfare. Whenever possible alternatives to animal experiments are used. "The development of modern research techniques, such as CAT scans, PET scans, needle biopsies, and tissue cultures" ( Stephen Kaufman, M.D., Breakthroughs Don't Require Torture , Page 380.) allow researchers to thoroughly exhaust their options before testing on animals. In this age where fiscal conservatism is a priority even when human lives are concerned, researchers are doing their part to conserve. It takes a lot of time, money, and care to take care of animals that are going to be subjects of tests. "No responsible scientist would incur the substantial expense and devote the considerable space required for housing and caring of animals when other equally satisfactory models were available." (Michael E. DeBackey, Holding Human Health Hostage , Page 361.) Contributions resulting from animal research are too numerous to mention. All that can be said is without testing and researching on animals human lives would have been lost, medical technology would have been tremendously delayed, and future breakthroughs will be nearly impossible. When we consider the diseases that used to terrorize our society 100 or even 50 years ago, its a blessing to realize animals are similar to humans in biology; That we can confirm studies of medical and surgical methods before it is carried out on people. Animal research saves lives.