Monday, July 28, 2008

Animal Testing - Both sides

The use of animals in medical experimentation has had been one of the most controversial divisive issues since the seventeenth century. Edward Freeman, one of the most distinguished of recent English historians stated, “The awful wrongs and sufferings forced upon the innocent, faithful animal race form the blackest chapter in the whole world’s history”. It is estimated that 200 million animals suffer and die in the name of research every year. People say We have rights over animals. At no point and time should we ever justify ourselves through the pain and suffering of another being. The better informed individuals are about the issues, the more rational and logical their actions will be. Humans use animals in experiments without noticing that animals can feel and suffer just like humans do. Humans are heartless, wicked and merciless towards non-human animals; humans have no thought for the feelings and suffering which they inconsiderately cause on animals. The Bible says; “Then God said let us make man in our image … and let him have dominion over fish of the sea and the birds of the air, and over the cattle … and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth” – Genesis 1:28. So many people mix this statement up, they’re like why should animals have rights, god doesn’t say they should! Well in the bible, it doesn’t say that we have the right to work the hell out of them, run them into the ground, brutally murder them, bash them, and maim them! It’s just like the way parents have domain over their children, they hold no right to use their children as tools, and they have no right to abuse them. It means they have the responsibility to care for them. Opposing to what many people believe, testing drugs on animals often give faulty results. Although animals may seem like the perfect species for testing new drugs, the experiments are unreliable and can cause unidentified side effects. Most medical and researcgers are of the view that humans and animals differ on a cellular and molecular level, and, importantly, that is where disease occurs." "We were finding, through scientific research, that extrapolating data from animals to humans is misleading, unnecessary, dangerous, or all three." Animal experiments do not solve medical problems or help us to improve in medical field. Opposite to a majority of the human population belief, animals are not perfect species to find treatments for diseases. An animal can experience different physical and psychological effects compare to a human experiences. It is also impossible to re-create a naturally occurring disease. The belief is held that animal experimentation is necessary in order for vaccines, cures and treatments for human illnesses to be effective. But, the fact of the matter is animals react differently than humans to various vaccines. Since humans and animals do not contract the same diseases, these diseases have to be induced onto the animals. In addition, experimental treatments that have been proven effective on animals need not necessarily work on people. Experimenting drugs on animals can keep safe drugs off the market and keep dangerous drugs available for humans. Animal testing is unreliable, and humans should begin to not trust the information given about a drug according to an animal test. Also, it is unfair to put them through excruciating experiments just to know if humans can wear a new sun block cream. Humans are better test subjects than animals are because it is impossible to re-create naturally occurring human diseases that arise from within, in a healthy animal or even in a healthy human. This is simply because once it is re-created it is artificial and no longer the original, natural disease. By re-creating a disease it is impossible to tell how the side effects have changed through reconstruction and the differences in the progression of the disease. When we re-create a disease, it is inevitable that vital information is lost to recreation alone, not even considering what is lost by the animal being injected with the human disease. There are many other ways to get the same results as humans receive from animal experiments. These methods are viewed as more moral, practical, effective, and less expensive, why wouldn’t we use these methods? Computers can often predict the toxicity of chemicals, including their potential to cause cancer or birth defects, based on their molecular structure. Computer simulations can also predict the metabolism and distribution of chemicals in human tissues. Animal Experiments have also put dangerous drugs on the market. "Protocol", 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. More than half of the prescription drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in the past half century caused serious side effects that later caused the drugs to be removed from the market. 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. Many important medical advances have been delayed because of misleading results derived from animals. Studies on monkeys falsely indicated that the polio virus was transmitted via a respiratory, rather than a digestive route. This erroneous assumption resulted in the delay in development of a vaccine. These inaccuracies in animal experimentation can be blamed for many deaths. For example, "milrinone", a drug that raises cardiac output, increased survival of rats with artificially induced heart failure. But humans taking this drug who had severe chronic heart failure had a 30% increase in death. A rat is different than a pig, which is different than a human. Since every species has their own differences, it is hard to predict any side effects that will occur in all the animals. The arguments for and against animal experimentation are going to continue for some time, both between the general public and those directly involved. Those who oppose animal testing believe that all testing associated with the use of laboratory animals should be banned immediately. However, one could argue by saying that a total ban on the use of animals will prevent a great deal of basic medical research, and the possible production of certain vaccines, No new medicines would develop and the safety of people would be at stake. On the other hand, the supporters of animal testing say that humans have always benefited from the health care developments that depended upon the activities of animal research and would continue to benefits from animal testing. There is a lot of pain that these animals have to undergo for testing; hence animal testing cannot be supported. At the same time animal testing cannot be banned immediately because it is our only successful channel to develop medicines and cures. While there has been promise to find alternatives to animal testing, the best researchers can do is try to reduce the animals being used. They can resort to new scanning technologies, which can assist doctors to learn the diseases from human without the actual necessity of animals. Computers can be used to replace the animals as it would reduce the necessity of live animal experiments. The development of substitute to animal experimentation will persistently gain impetus as people become more aware about the problem. Though it is difficult to eliminate animal testing completely, humans can prevent the animal testing by stop certain products that don’t necessary need animal testing. All humans can do now is try to reduce the animals being harmed in experiments to aim for benefiting society.

34 comments:

Scribblers Inc said...

dude, the images...they haunt...

Scribblers Inc.

*~*{Sameera}*~* said...

This is an issue close to my heart.From school,I have been trying to avoid using animal products or those tested on animals.It's nice that nowadays,the trend is reducing and many innocent animals are being spared,at least in the beauty product industry.

But in case of medical research,it is essential and though pitiful,it cannot be avoided.

Priya Joyce said...

The last sentence is the strongest point out there frnd. It really strikes.
Its really really very sad tat this is happening. everything in the world is connected to dire selfishness. And this too is like tat, people do all this for their own needs. other wise do u think if the scientists did this for humanity they would continue? ha ! never.
thanx 4 making that point clear to me. actually I also thot that how can such a thing be god's word.

BTW r u a christian?

Diva said...

Each of your blog pokes my heart!!!!The problem with me is that I wish to do something about these issues... to bring some change to this world but i dont know HOW!
Puttin these issues forward is appreciated and Kudos to u for that... But wat still baffles me is the fact that we all read these blogs,write more abt them, comment on them and then just move on and live our lives happily...
We will talk about it but do nothing, until it happens to US, and by then, its already late!!!
Human selfishness, apathy and Hatred knows no bounds... When there is massive destruciton of property and human life, horrific atrocities, bomb-blasts and genocides-kind of thing happening around the world nonstop.. and the fact that Man can not even understand the pain of another Man,.. talking abt feeling the pain of an animal is useless...
I dont know what else to say...

Ayushi said...

Of course new and better techniques must be found out, animal testing is both less reliable and wasteful.
But anyhow,would you rather that humans die and them creatures survive? humans are animals too,and the better of the two!
Any artificial device is never effecient enough to copy nature, if they were enough,this sort of testing would long have been outdated,but its done coz there always may be factors which might habe been overlooked...however,exploitation of nature must not be there,that assured.
and...we don't need a book to tell us what we must follow,if we are not killing animals coz its stated in a religion,then our cause is poor and out time just a waste...thats what I have against religion,it focuses more on the teachings,and includes an element of force rather than provoking the ationale of the majority.

Divkiran said...

Arun...u cnt keep away from contoversial topic na...lol

But well this ones interestin n really thought provokin. Good job my frind, your words hit strongly.

And frankly i cant have a neutral take on this one...i m pretty much an animal lover so wtever i say here will be biased...i simply don agree with it

ani said...

this is sooo true.. and its what most of the pharmacy company would term as research..but then that is how they can find out the different aspects of there drug and test them on animals..before its ready for human trials..

it is not good and yes it cant be predicted that it would exactly have the same effect as it has shown on the animals..

but it has drastically come down.. but then there are few crucial places.. where it cant be avoided.. lets hope our technology develops that much that we can stop the testing on animals all together

RiverSoul said...

The sad but necessary fact Arun, is that human race, like every other species, strives to survive every little obstacle and every large mountain of calamity thrown at it.
The use of animals in any kind of research that benefits only humans, and results in torture and death of the animals, is objectionable, and very unnecessary. But in the case of medical research, the same does not hold true.
A fundamental rule in every nation, is that human life is valued way higher above any other animal or alien;) life.
So only the medical tests on animals(ironically the worst type of cruelty to the animal) is a necessary evil.
The other avenues for animal testing are unnecessary, avoidable and should be focussed upon in the next UN world meeting.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for a compelling article that hopefully will tug at the compassionate side of human beings. The suffering inflicted upon animals in research is unforgivable, and should be intolerable to any moral, ethical humanbeing. So sad, so shameful what our society does to animals legally, leaving animal advocates little choices in obtaining aid in relieving the animals of this torture.

Keshi said...

Strange how we both wrote abt Animals today.

I agree, its so sad to see these poor animals being used for experiments. Its so unfair, cos they cant even speak for their rights.

I felt sad lookin at those pics :(

Keshi.

Arun PK said...

Scribblers inc,

I know.. sad :(

Arun PK said...

Me too.. thought i haven't really thougth about animal experiments, i was always an animal lover... friends always made fun o me... n they still do... but in this case like i pointed out in the latter half o my post, its inevitable!!

Arun PK said...

priya,

very true. hmmm... me xian?? wat do u think??!! :)

Arun PK said...

diva,

So i did poke ur heart with my posts!! :) n about the comment, we talk about these things n sit back doin nothin. Well... some ppl do try to make a li'l difference. U know I'm a veggie.. i know thats not much at all.. but thats wat i can do! but this post atleast makes ppl aware doesnt it?? it'll ring a bell the next time someone comes across animal torture or things of that sort... just penning my thoughts!!

Divkiran said...

it is true Arun...most of us just sit back...me joined an NGO a little while back for helpin animals, it feels good even though i don do it evryday, atleast i am doin my bit :-)

Nice thoughts Arun ... impressive

and by the way my views on the issue of veg n non veg later...lol

Arun PK said...

ayushi,

I completely value life be it human or animal! but i guess human life is more important to me coz i'm human. a dog wud love her puppies more than her human master!! i was just tryin to point out the flaws n unnecessary animal killings that we have in the present system which serves no purpose most of the time. I completely agree with ur views on religion!!

Arun PK said...

divkiran,

Couldn't resit the temptation :) me being an animal lover was biased too while postin :)

Arun PK said...

ani,

very sensible and realistic comment :)

Arun PK said...

riversoul,

I agree.... maybe the technology of tomorrow wud do away with such expereiments!!

Arun PK said...

keshi,

About us both postin on animals today... well... geniuses think alike....lol!! :)

i found the pics very distressing too thats y i posted them... n the point that they cannot speak thier feelings is very painful..

Arun PK said...

divkiran,

thats very nice... joinin an NGO. hey... dont het me wrong about the veg n n-veg thing. i have no problems with n-veg ... i happen to be a veggie.. i've visited these slaughter houses n seen what they do to animals.... after that i'm sometimes thankful i'm veggie.. just a POV... needn't be rigth at all.

Lena said...

thats such a thought provoking topic and i liked how you summed it up. Unfortunately there is nothing we can do about it, like you said it is a necessary evil. Even though my heart is so much against it being an animal lover as i am.

Divkiran said...

he he he

its ok...u don need to be diplomatic now :)

maybe if someday i visit a slaughter house i mite feel the same!!!

ThanaMoi said...

The images really gives me the creep.. A good issue brought up... :)
i hope everyone supports this thought...

Blog rolling ya :D

Arun PK said...

lena,

very true... sadly!

Arun PK said...

thanamoi,

Thanks for the comments n the blogroll too! rollin u too :)

Arun PK said...

divkiran...

haha... smart girl! :)

RiverSoul said...

Hey Arun. You've been tagged. Twice:)visit my blog and see:)

RiverSoul said...

Hey Arun. You've been tagged. Twice:)visit my blog and see:)

ray said...

Hi ,

I was reading ur blog posts and found some of them to be wow.. u write well.. Why don't you popularize it more.. ur posts on ur blog ‘The Timbucktoo Blog’ took my particular attention as some of them are interesting topics of mine too;

BTW I help out some ex-IIMA guys who with another batch mate run www.rambhai.com where you can post links to your most loved blog-posts. Rambhai was the chaiwala at IIMA and it is a site where users can themselves share links to blog posts etc and other can find and vote on them. The best make it to the homepage!

This way you can reach out to rambhai readers some of whom could become your ardent fans.. who knows.. :)

Cheers,

Aarthi said...

Hey y always controversial topics??? I agree it is interesting but try hands on all kinds and don't just stick on to one kind....a humble suggestion..:)
Btw nice blog..:)

Priya Joyce said...

he budds u r tagged

Aneesh said...

'coz of animal testing only we have found out so many medicines, BTW if these are to be stopped, then people should become veg I think

BTW
You r tagged

Arun PK said...

aarthi,

Wil try to come up with other topics as well.. but then this is wat usually comes to my mind :).. thanks for the comment