Analyse the Ethical and Moral Arguments associated with 'animal testing'?Include :- - What are the pros and cons?

Expert Answers
M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are several arguments against animal testing and include the following:

  • animals may suffer in the process
  • animals are living beings and we have no right to end life.
  • animals do not have any advocacy to protect them in a lab.
  • testing can be done alternatively
  • some testing done in animals does not translate into equal results for humans.
  • it is cruelty
  • animal rights are violated
With this said, people who are in favor of animal testing argue that:
  • Animal testing is done in a humane way, and killing is a last resort.
  • Testing is not done to kill animals, but to save people, what happens through an experiment is not a result of direct killing, but part of the experimentation process which could also result in humans.
  • Without animal testing there will not be any way to find out the reactions of new medications on other hot blooded animals (like us).
  • Animals suffer minimally during these procedures, as they are also numbed down as they would with humans.
  • In cases where extreme situations are present, extreme measures are socially accepted (if  animal testing was the only way to control a virulent onset of a world-wide pandemic, we are morally responsible to find all means necessary to save a fellow human being's life and preserve the human race.
brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The pros of animal testing could include that some products and medicines, if not all of them, require extensive testing to see if they are safe for use by humans.  But how would you select the humans for test subjects?  Some of these products end up being very dangerous or even lethal, and every drug has side effects.  So I could argue I would rather risk an animal's life before a human's.  From a scientifically legal point of view, animals have very few legal rights, so there are less complications.

I'm not arguing those points of view, just saying those could be arguments in favor of animal testing.

If I was against animal testing, I can argue it's cruel to use animals as test subjects simply because they are less intelligent than humans, and less able to resist, or because the law says I can.  Some people call this "species-ist" - as in racist against species that are non-human.  Why should humans have all the rights on this planet and animals have none?  Some of the testing is arguable unnecessary, or horribly cruel to the animals, and the animals' only purpose then becomes having been born to become a test subject.

ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Animal testing, I’m afraid, is essential in some cases. Certainly, animal testing should not be done for non-health related issues such as: testing make up, hair products, and etc. However, there are critical medical studies that cannot be advanced without the aid of animal testing.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
The main argument for animal testing is that life-saving drugs are needed for humans, and we cannot test on humans. Animals are lesser life forms, so we test products on them. Without this testing, we would not have most of our innovative pharmaceuticals and beauty products.