Should we test on animals?
Like those who work with humans, researchers who use nonhumans animals in experiments have their own set of exacting guidelines to ensure that the animals do not suffer.
Specifically, researchers must make every effort to minimize discomfort, illness, and pain, and procedure that subjects animals to distress are permitted only.
When an alternative procedure is unavailable and the research is justified by its prospective value. Moreover, there are federal regulations specifying how animals are to be housed, fed and maintained. Not only must researchers strive to avoid causing physical discomfort, they are also required to promote the psychological well-being of some species of research animals, such as primates.
Why should animal testing be allowed?
It is really possible to learn about human behavior from the results of research employing rats, gerbils, and pigeons?
The answer is that the psylogical research that does employ animals has a different focus and is designed to answer different questions than is research that uses humans.
For example, the shorter lifespan of animals (rats lives average of two years) allows researchers to learn about the effects of aging in a much smaller time frame than they could be using human participants
Moreover, some principles, of behavior are similar across species and so some basic behavioral phenomena can be studied more simply in nonhumans.
Finally, some studies require large numbers of participants that share similar backgrounds or have been exposed to particular environments conditions that could not practically be met with human beings.
About animal testing:
Research using animals has provided psychologists with information that has profoundly benefited humans.
For instance, it furnished the keys to detecting eye disorders in children early enough to prevent permanent damage, to communicating more effectively with severely retarded children, and to reducing chronic pain in people, to name just a few results.
Despite the value of research with animal participants, the use of animals in psychological research is highly controversial.
For example, some crities believe that animals have rights no less significant than those of humans, and that because animals are unable to consent to participations is studies, their use is unethical.
Others object to the use of animals on methodological grounds, saying it is impossible to generalize from findings on nonhuman species to humans. Because the issue involves complex moral and philosophical concerns, they are not easily resolved.
As a consequence, review panels, which must approve all research before it is carried out, are particularly careful to ensure that research involving animals in conducted ethically.
Advantages and Disadvantages of animal testing
Advantages of animal testing:
- Animals are appropriate research subjects because they are similar to human beings in many ways.
- Animals must be used in cases when ethical considerations prevent the use of human subjects.
- Animals benefit from the results of animal testing.
- Animal research is highly regulated, with laws in place to protect animals from mistreatment.
- Animals often make better research subjects than human beings because of their shorter life cycles.
- Animal researchers treat animals humanely, both for the animals’ sake and to ensure reliable test results.
- Animals do not have rights, therefore it is acceptable to experiment on them.
- The vast majority of biologists and several of the largest biomedical and health organizations in the United States endorse animal testing.
- Some cosmetics and health care products must be tested on animals to ensure their safety.
- Religious traditions allow for human dominion over animals.
- Relatively few animals are used in research, which is a small price to pay for advancing medical progress.
- Animal testing has contributed and involved too many life-saving cures and treatments.
- There is no exact alternative method to testing on a living, whole-body system.
Disadvantages of animal testing:
- Animal testing is cruel and inhumane.
- Alternative testing methods exist now that can replace the need for animals.
- Animals are very different from human beings and therefore make poor test subjects.
- Drugs that pass animal tests are not necessarily safe.
- Animal tests may mislead researchers into ignoring potential cures and treatments.
- 95% of animals used in experiments are not protected by the Animal Welfare Act.
- Animal tests do not reliably predict results in human beings.
- Animal tests are more expensive than alternative methods and are a waste of government research dollars.
- Most experiments involving animals are flawed, wasting the lives of the animal subjects.
- Animals can suffer same like humans do, so it is painful to experiment on them while we refrain from experimenting on humans.
- The Animal Welfare Act has not succeeded in preventing horrific cases of animal abuse in research laboratories.
- Religious traditions tell us to be merciful and kind to animals, so we should not cause them suffering by experimenting on them because of its much painful for theirs.
- Medical breakthroughs involving animal research may still have been made without the use of animals.
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