Animal testing is basically making use of animals in experiments carried out for the betterment of human lives. These animal experiments are carried out by universities, pharmaceutical companies and even by students and researchers at medical schools. These animals are either bred specifically for carrying out experiments or are caught from their wild habitat and locked up in cages. There are some pros that motivate scientists to carry out experiments on these animals. So, what are some of the good things that support the torturing of these poor animals? Let’s see some of these animal testing pros that makes proponents of animal experimentation argue for use of animals in research.
Animal testing helps in finding ways to help save lives of animals and humans by testing lifesaving drugs and processes. A few animals tend to react the same way like humans in response to certain diseases and allergies. This helps the scientists find a cure for certain diseases by studying these animals. Open heart surgeries, coronary bypass surgery and heart transplantation are some of the procedures that came into existence by carrying out experimentation on dogs. Insulin for diabetes, lifesaving antibiotics, etc. have been made by experimenting on animals. Contagious diseases like smallpox, measles, chickenpox, rubella, polio, rabies, mumps, etc. were brought into control due to vaccines made by carrying out experiments on animals.
About 99% of the human genes are similar to that of the chimpanzees as well as a few other monkeys. Thus, experimenting with these animals gives scientists an idea about their possible reaction in the human body. As it is immoral to experiment on humans, chimpanzees and other monkeys remain the only option.
Treatment for scarlet fever, tuberculosis, complex surgical procedures for humans were tested OK for humans through animal testing. Tests for vaccines for diseases like AIDS is being carried out on animals. The common animals used for these tests include rats, mice, rabbits, monkeys, dogs, goats, horses, etc. Chimpanzees share about 90% of their genetic make up with humans. These animals have similar reactions and somewhat similar inner organs to humans that help in determining the effects of drugs and procedures on humans. Many transplantation operations were first carried out on animals, that helped determine and save lives for humans.
Animals are not only tested for making lives of humans better, but for the betterment of animals themselves as well. People often overlook the fact, that may breakthroughs in veterinary medicine has occurred due to this experimemntation. Animal surgeries, animal antibiotics, etc. have all come into existence, due to testing. Thus, animal testing pros prove it is very vital in saving not only the lives of humans, but those of animals as well.
Cell cultures are useful only when one needs to see the side effects at molecular level. In order to see other physical side effects such as rashes, acne, wheezing, cardiac problems, etc. one needs to use animals. Although, animal physiology is not similar to human physiology, the results acquired after animal testing, help gauge their effects on humans.
Animal testing helps in figuring out the safety of drugs on humans, before scientists begin the human trail. You don’t want people getting adverse reactions to these drugs and adding more woes to their misery. The animal trials help minimize the chances of human death during clinical trials, saving pharmaceutical and medical organizations millions of dollars in compensation. Also, animals, like mice and rabbits, reproduce very quickly. This gives the researchers a chance to see the effects of the experiments on the progeny too. Now, let us see some of the arguments against animal
Animal Testing Cons
When we speak about animal testing cons, there are plenty of emotional and ethical issues staring in our faces. The first con is the issue of pain the animal must be going through. Although, it is claimed none of the animals were hurt in the test, but how can one be 100% sure? Not all handlers are alike and some just jab the needles through their body, keep them in cramped up spaces, with little or no food sometimes. Animals cannot speak, so how can we determine whether or not and the level of pain the poor creature is going through?
Animal testing statistics show many creatures lose their lives during the course of experiments. Some lose their limbs, eyesight, hearing ability, etc. All in the name of saving human lives. Agreed, when people say millions of animals are killed worldwide for food. But, you can’t compare that with the months of torture the animals go through while the experiments are on. Wouldn’t you prefer being killed in one shot, rather than enduring poking needles, cuts and poisonous chemicals being injected into your system and being kept caged in a really small space for what seems like all eternity? You may wish to escape the dreaded place that smells of disinfectants, chemicals and may be sure death, but cannot.
There are many animal rights group that claim killing animals is inhumane. Animal testing in cosmetic industry as well as a household products is not worth the life of a poor animal. Experimenting using animals also proves to be a bit expensive. This is because the cost of housing, feeding caring for the animals is quite high. Animals are in a great deal of stress as they are not living in their natural habitat and the controlled environment may take a toll on their minds. Also, some claim animal experiments can be misleading as an animal’s response to a drug cannot be absolutely similar to a humans.
People are now suggesting use of tissue culture, statistics and even computer models for carrying out the test. Animal rights also exist and abusing someone weaker than us is not right. The death of animals due to an experiment gone wrong is similar to murder of a human who was tested against his will. In human tests, at least humans are asked whether they would like to sign up legally for being tested. There are legal papers and documents that safeguard the rights of the human subject and compensate him for any kind of loss. Animals however, are never asked for their opinion and have never had their rights safeguarded. The obvious explanation being they do not have the understanding capabilities of humans. This does not give us the right to use another life for our benefits.
To find a cure for cancer, the animal cells are forced to grow abnormally, so that experiments can be carried out to find a remedy. With stem cell research and genetics getting a push, animals are subjected to further animal cruelty. Hybrid animals and cloning is carried out on the poor animals who are injected with genes of other animals within an embryo of another species. The resultant being a cross, that is either malformed or dead before being born. Do we have the right to reduce the dignity of animals by forcing mutations on them?
You can see both the sides of animal testing facts tilt the scales of the balance equally. Animal testing helps saves lives of millions of humans, but in turn, thousands of these animals lose their lives. It is an open fact, not all handlers and researchers handle the animals with care. Computers cannot predict an outcome, just the possibility and tissue culture cannot predict the physical implications of a drug like rashes, cardiac failure, etc.
Similarly, testing cannot accurately prove the implications of drugs and procedures on humans. Pulling away babies from their mothers before they even get a chance to open their eyes, is not being human. Breeding animals only because you want to check the outcome of your drug on hapless babies is wrong. Till an experiment is a success, torturing hundreds of animals, be it a mice or monkey is rather totally unethical.
It has been proven that over 92% of drugs that claim to pass the animal trials fail when tested on humans by the Humane Society of the United States. This debate on animal testing pros and cons will continue till scientists do not find an alternative to this cruel process of animal experimentation. You can decide for yourself, whether you are for, against or just a mute spectator to animal testing. Every coin has two sides, so does animal testing. It is now up to each one of us to decide, which side do we choose. Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/animal-testing-pros-and-cons.html
The question of “legalizing marijuana” refers to whether or not Americans should be allowed to legally grow, sell, buy or ingest marijuana. At present, the U.S. government claims the right to, and does, criminalize the growing, selling and possession of marijuana in all states. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed this federal right in two separate court cases: In 2001, U.S. v. Oakland Cannabis Buyers’ Cooperative, which overturned California proposition 215 which, in 1996, legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes. In 2005, Gonzales v. Raich, which again upheld the right of the federal government to ban marijuana use in all states. (See page two of this article for specific Pros & Cons of Legalizing Marijuana.) What Is Marijuana?
Marijuana is the dried blossom of cannabis sativa and cannabis indica plants, leafy annual plants with parts that are used for as herbs, animal food, medicine and as hemp for rope-making. “The flowers… contain psychoactive and physiologically active chemical compounds known as cannabinoids that are consumed for recreational, medicinal, and spiritual purposes,” per Wikipedia. Why is Marijuana Banned in the U.S.?
Before the 20th century, cannabis plants in the U.S. were relatively unregulated, and marijuana was a common ingredient in medicines. Recreational use of marijuana was thought to have been introduced in the U.S. early in the 20th century by immigrants from Mexico. In the 1930s, marijuana was linked publicly in several research studies, and via a famed 1936 film named “Reefer Madness,” to crime, violence, and anti-social behavior. Many believe that objections to marijuana first rose sharply as part of the U.S. temperence movement against alcohol.
Others claim that marijuana was initially demonized partly due to fears of the Mexican immigrants associated with the drug. In the 21st century, marijuana is illegal in the U.S. ostensibly due to moral and public health reasons, and because of continuing concern over violence and crime associated with production and distribution of the drug. Latest Developments
On June 23, 2011, a federal bill to fully legalize marijuana was introduced in the House by Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) and Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA.) The bill would remove marijuana from controlled substance classification. On February 25, 2009, Attorney General Eric Holderannounced that “that federal agents will now target marijuana distributors only when they violate both federal and state laws.” The impact of Holder’s statement is that if a state has legalized marijuana, then the Obama administration will not override state law. To date, thirteen states have decriminalized marijuana for medical purposes only. In 2010, States Move to Loosen Marijuana Laws
In November 2010, Californians defeated a ballot proposition that “Californians over age 21 would be able to possess up to one ounce of marijuana, and grow their own plants on a plot up to 5 feet by 5 feet large.” Washington, New Hampshire and Massachusetts state legislatures are slated to consider marijuana legalization bills in 2010-2011. And more than 20 other states are considering bills to otherwise loosen criminalization of marijuana use and possession. President Obama Avoids the Marijuana Question
When asked at a March 2009 online town hall about marijuana legalization, President Barack Obama avoided a serious answer, and laughingly demurred “I don’t know what this says about the online audience. But, no, I don’t think that is a good strategy to grow our economy”Wrote an irritated college newspaper columnist at State University of New York at Geneseo: “Many people were disappointed by his reaction, as Obama did not offer any counter-arguments and completely ignored the potential medical and social benefits of ending the prohibition on marijuana.
“Yes, some who wish to see marijuana legalized use it for recreational purposes, but the other benefits cannot be ignored. Cannabis is known to ease pain disorders, including the side-effects cancer patients experience throughout treatment. “In addition to this, legalization would strike an enormous blow to organized crime, free up the overflowing prison system and reduce violence along the Mexican-American border.” Obama Supported Decriminalization in 2004
However, in a 2004 appearance at Northwestern University, then Illinois politician Obama told a crowd, “I think the war on drugs has been a failure, and I think we need to rethink and decriminalize our marijuana laws.” (See page two of this article for specific Pros & Cons of Legalizing Marijuana.) Background
The following are milestones of federal marijuana enforcement in U.S. history: Prohibition, 1919 to 1933 – As use of marijuana became popular in response to alcohol prohibition, conservative anti-drug campaigners railed against the “Marijuana Menace,” linking the drug to crime, violence and other bad behaviors. 1930, Federal Bureau of Narcotics established – By 1931, 29 states had criminalized marijuana. Uniform State Narcotic Act of 1932 – Pushed states, rather than federal authorities, to regulate narcotics. Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 – Restricted marijuana to persons who paid an excise tax for certain medical uses of the drug. 1944, New York Academy of Medicine – Report finds that marijuana does not “induce violence, insanity or sex crimes.” Narcotics Control Act of 1956 – Set mandatory prison sentences and fines for drug offenses, including for marijuana. 1960s Counter-Culture Movement – U.S. marijuana use grew rapidly.
Studies commissioned by Presidents Kennedy and Johnson concluded that “marijuana use did not induce violence.” 1970 in Congress – Repealed mandatory penalties for drug offenses. Marijuana was differentiated from other drugs. Per PBS, “It was widely acknowledged that the mandatory minimum sentences of the 1950s had done nothing to eliminate the drug culture that embraced marijuana use throughout the 60s… ” 1973, Drug Enforcement Agency – Created by President Nixon. 1976, Conservative Christian Groups – Led by Rev. Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority, rising conservative groups lobbied for stricter marijuana laws. The coalition grew powerful, leading to the 1980s “War on Drugs.”
Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 – Pushed for and signed by President Reagan, the Act raised penalties for marijuana offenses, and established harsh mandatory “three strikes” sentencing laws. 1989, New “War on Drugs” – Declared by President George H.W. Bush 1996 in California – Voters legalized marijuana use for cancer, AIDS, glaucoma and other patients, via a doctor’s prescription. 1996 to 2008 – 12 other states legalized medicinal marijuana use, albeit with widely varying restrictions. Most states can’t implement their programs, though, as the Bush DEA executed a series ofsurprise raids on marijuana clinics, arresting both sellers and patients. The White House claimed that federal law held precedence over state legislatures. MAIN SOURCE: Condensed from materials produced by PBS and WGBH/Frontline.