The use of animals in medical advancement for humankind has raised questions upon ethical concerns as they are subjected to painful procedures or exposed to toxins. It is unethical, unreliable and unnecessary.
Since the inception of biomedical science, their life has been degraded and treated as expendable. Over 13 million animals are still being used in a wide variety of research projects every year in the United States (Baird and Rosenbaum 34-36). The majority of animals in laboratories are specifically bred to be used in experiments, treated like something to be used as if they were manufactured to live out what they were “made” for. These purpose-bred animal are mainly bought from people known as class A dealers. Another way they obtain is by purchasing dogs and cats from brokers known as class B dealers, as they acquire the animals at auctions, from newspaper ads stating “free to a good home”, or from a variety of other sources including purchasing animals from pounds or shelters for their research. Every day, many animals, including cats, monkeys, rabbits and dogs are forced to suffer and undergo painful experimentation.
According to Baird and Rosenbaum, a rabbit’s sensory system may be studied in basic research; she may be used as a model for eye and skin disorders, or used in eye and skin irritancy tests for environmental toxicity testing (86-87). Cosmetics like toothpaste and mascara are typically tested on rabbits and guinea pigs. In the manufacturing of an anti-wrinkle treatment, a test known as Lethal Dose 50 Percent involves injecting toxin into scores of mice in order to determine the dose that will kill 50 percent of the batch. Over the course of the three to four day procedure, the mice experience nausea and muscle paralysis, leading to severe distress as they slowly suffocate to death. When animals do not die as a result of an experiment, many of the animals used are euthanized during or after the experiment. While animals cannot have a right of free speech like humans, They have a “right to be free of exploitation and a right to life” (Regan 11).
Furthermore, animal experimentation is not an accurate way to find cures for human illnesses. “Nine out of ten experimental drugs fail in clinical studies because we cannot accurately predict how they will behave in people based on laboratory and animal studies” (Leavitt 55). Human anatomy and physiology differ from that of an animal.
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