We Need More Animal Research, Testing, and Experimentation
A life can be taken or created in a matter of seconds and with that has come the miracles of modern medicine. People have come to expect science to save lives, prevent illness, relieve suffering and improve the quality of life. The means of curing, treating and preventing diseases are not achieved by magic or accident. Medical advances are gained through years of intensive research -- research in which laboratory animals have played, and continue to play, a critical role. Opponents of animal testing are wrongfully determined that this process is completely unethical.
Animals have been used for experimentation for around 2,000 years. In the third century BC in Alexandria, Egypt, the philosopher and scientist Erisistratus used animals to study the human body. Five centuries later, the Roman scientist Galen used apes and pigs to prove a theory about veins being full of blood and not air ("Animal Experimentation . . ." 74). Since then several experiments have educated man in many ways that wouldn't have been possible without the use of animals.
The debate about animal testing started well over 130 years ago ("The Ethical . . ."). There is no doubt that the animal experimentation performed 100 years ago was cruel and unjust, but since then many changes have taken place. A century ago animals were experimented on without the benefit of modern anesthetics and painkillers, and since then several laws have been passed to prohibit inhumane treatment of animals.
Virtually every major medical advance of the last century has depended upon research with animals. Since the early 1900's, 90 Nobel Prizes for medicine have been awarded. At least 60 of these were for discoveries and advances in which laboratory animals played a significant role ("The Ethical . . ."). Animal research makes up only10% of all biomedical research and vivisection is just one of the steps in a research process, but it is one of the most crucial ("The Ethical . . .").
Several opponents of animal testing are blinded by their own opinions and have not taken into consideration the growing list of scientific advancements from animal testing. Between 1992 and 1994, the Research Defense Society published a list that gave the number of patients who benefited from animal research in the UK; from antibiotics to heart and lung transplants, 83,392,400 people were able to benefit from animal research ("Animal Rights . . ."). Several vaccines, antibiotics, drugs, prevention ideas and treatments have resulted from animal testing, and if experimentation is stopped, a cure for diabetes, aides, and cancer would be beyond reach, new surgical procedures to repair heart defects will be terminated, 30,000 young Americans with cystic fibrosis will never have a normal life span, the development of artificial blood will never continue and several other new life improving studies will never occur ("Animal Research . . .").