Animal experimentation describes the practice of using non-human animals in research and testing. The concept is applicable in areas such as pure observation, behavioral studies and pure research such as genetics. The use of animal experimentation is also prevalent in applied research such as those involved in xenotransplantation, biomedical research and blood testing among others. The experimentation is used to fulfill purposes such as breeding and defense research and education. There are several reasons for carrying out animal experimentation. One of the reasons for this practice is to advance scientific knowledge, particularly on the operation of organisms. Human biological processes such as digestion, breathing and reproduction are similar to those of some animals. Understanding the animals hence results in greater understanding of human beings. Additionally, animals may also be used as modules for disease study. Some diseases are common between animals and plants and animal experimentation can help to understand the progression of the diseases on the human body.
Using animals as disease testing nodules is beneficial since there are instances when testing using humans is impossible. In these cases, the use of animals can be very beneficial in testing and availing new medicines, testing new technologies and evaluating therapies. Transgenic animals have enabled the study of diseases that were initially considered technical to understand (Raiter 2008). Animal experimentation is also used to test and confirm new forms of therapies. Surgeries have been some of the most affected parts of medicine that depend on animal experimentation. Moreover, animal experimentation is used to ensure the environment, the animals and the people are safe. Through understanding the chemical components in animals and medications, it is possible for researchers to understand the impacts of the some chemicals on humans and on the environment and thus prevent the negative impacts of the same on the environment and on humans.
There are several advantages that have been associated with the aspect of animal experimentation. For instance, animal experimentation benefits not only humans but also animals through the discovery of new medicines and therapies. Vaccines for diseases such as rabies and Feline Leukemia have been discovered through animal experimentation. Medical handling in many aspects of human health has also been made possible through animal experimentation. HIV, insulin and cancer have been managed better through animal experimentation. Apart from this, cosmetic testing is another aspect of development that has benefited from animal experimentation. Scientists use animals as experimentation subjects as they are the closest to humans and distinguishing differences and confines are considered prior to relating the data to humans.
While many advantages have been associated with animal experimentation, there are key disadvantages that cannot be ignored. For instance, the key concern about animal experimentation is that many animals die in the process. The loss of animal life cannot be reverted, especially where no direct human gains are experienced in the process (Fano 1997). Secondly, there have been claims that since animals and humans are not exactly the same, using animal experimentation cannot be said to be reliable. The medicines that could work well on animals would not necessarily work well on humans.
Animal testing also costs much financially hence humans spend a lot on the practice. This is more so since the experiments have to be repeated over and over again to gain the required level of satisfaction (Keegan, 2008). The critics of animal experimentation are concerned about the loss of life of animals, value and cruelty associated with some of the animal experimentation procedures and lack of clarity of disposal plans for animal testing. In conclusion, it can be said that the benefits gained from animal experimentation are greater that the disadvantages associated with animal experimentation (Cohen and Regan, 2001).
Cohen, C., & Regan, T. (2001). The animal rights debate. Lanham [u.a.: Rowman & Littlefield.
Fano, A. (1997). Lethal laws: Animal testing, human health, and environmental policy. London: Zed.
Keegan, K. D. (2008). Biotechnology valuation: An introductory guide. Chichester, England: John Wiley & Sons.
Raiṭer, S. (2008). Disability from a humanistic perspective: Towards a better quality of life. New York: Nova Biomedical Books.
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