In our lovely SC200 class, we talk about a lot of new and current research. Of course, I am able to appreciate the fact that sometimes testing on animals is the most beneficial thing for us to do as humans who want to constantly expand our knowledge and improve on what we know, but it has never sat right with me. I will admit, there are many things we know today that we definitely wouldn’t had we not been able to use animals to test on. With them, scientists are able to perform experiments that just wouldn’t be ethical to do on humans such as changing their DNA and genetically modifying species. Take a look back in our class notes if you need examples. All of the times that animal testing has been brought into class has sparked an interest for me to want to understand just how frequently animals are tested on and how people negatively form opinions on it.
Excluding agricultural experiments, one million animals are used in animal testing. This number doesn’t include mice or rats… that’s another 100 million. In other countries such as Canada and the united Kingdom, these numbers are significantly higher. PETA (people for the ethical treatment of animals) feel that animals that are tested on are treated as disposable lab material. To me, the most convincing evidence was produced by The Journal of the American Medical Association and it discusses the fact that some research simply doesn’t translate to humans, and that is something that makes sense to me and I can stand behind. Diseases among animals tend to me different than they are to humans. When it comes to living creatures, little things matter. I agree with animal testing if we are helping ourself as a human population, but if it is nothing that we can relate to ourselves, then that is wasteful in my book. An example of an experiment that fails to produce any progress in what it set out to do was HIV testing on monkeys. In this study, a vaccine was proven to help monkeys fight against HIV/AIDS. However, it did absolutely nothing for humans and some even reported that this treatment made them more susceptible to the deadly disease.
This shows that the 50% of people who oppose animal testing have some real credible reasons behind their opinions. Controversial topics like this are what keep our class going, so it is imperative that everyone takes an effort and is sympathetic to the views and feelings of those that may be different from yours.
For more information on this topic with a more in-depth and specific discussion, visit the PETA website.