Animal Testing Controversy

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There is much controversy with regards to animal testing for medical research and there has been throughout the centuries. We can trace the issue back all the way to the 4th century when we have the first record of animal experimentation, Aristotle dissecting animals for study. In the 1600s, scientists began using animals as a way to explore the human body which led to many advancements in the medical field. Such advancements include Emil von Bering finding a cure for diphtheria toxin for guinea pigs; further research allowed him to produce a diphtheria vaccine for humans (Bright).In spite of these many medical achievements brought on through the use of animal testing, there are still those that argue the practice is not justifiable and should…show more content…
We have the one extreme in which animals are for man 's use and we can use them as we see fit, "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth" (God). There is also the other extreme that feel animals should be treated as equals and therefore not be harmed for food or clothes much less testing "For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity" (God). An ethical debate can often be as easily resolved as a religious one-impossible; however, while animal testing is an absolute must for advancements in the medical field, animal cruelty is not. Thus, in order to prevent more abuse, the three R(s) were created as a set of principles "underpinning the humane use of animals in scientific research" (Procedures). Any researcher who follows these guidelines while conducting animal tests must show that there is no other alternative and minimize the pain or stress to which the animal will be subjected. To explain further, this method consists of: replacement-which is…show more content…
The three R(s) fuel the fire of the argument that alternatives should be used in place of animal testing. Kelly Overton, a renowned activist, claims in her article Stop Animal Testing that animal testing is an obsolete practice by comparing it to old telegrams and eight track tapes. There are many others like her that believe animal testing should be replaced with newer methods such as stem cell research. However, the ethical debate of using animals for testing pales in comparison to the ethical debate of using stem cells; more studies need to be conducted before stem cells can be fully utilized but it does have great potential. According to PLOS Biology, a renowned peer reviewed scientific journal, it is possible for alternatives to be used as a complementary resource with the research of toxicology but more research and time is needed before they can completely replace animal testing in most cases. A poll that was taken in 2006 asked natural scientists to rate the importance of animal testing the results were as follows: "on a scale of 1 (not at all necessary) to 4 (essential), three quarters of all respondents, including those who do not work with animals themselves, said it was essential" (Ainsworth). That is not to say that we should give up on these alternatives, after all, they do have the potential to be more effective and more accurate than animal testing. The three R(s), which are currently the most accepted guidelines, advocate the use of alternative wherever

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