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Can you evaluate whether the ethical and moral issues related to animal testing are important enough to stop scientific developments.

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Jonathan Beutlich eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The answer to this question is going to vary from person to person. Not every single person in the world has the same moral and ethical standards; therefore, some people are going to argue in favor of animal testing. They will see it as a morally positive thing because it isn't necessarily something that immediately puts humans at physical risk. Other people are going to argue against animal testing because they believe the animals deserve the basic rights and treatments that are given to humans. In order for you to answer this question, it might be best to list out some positives and negatives associated with animal testing. Seeing that list might help you make a decision about whether or not animal testing should be continued.

Pro:

  • Animal testing has contributed a lot of research that has led to life-saving treatments and cures.
  • It is an effective way to test on an entire, whole living organism that is similar to humans. Depending on the animal, the genetic relationship to humans can be quite close.
  • It's not ethical to put a human life at risk when a test on an animal will give the needed results.
  • Animals make better test subjects because of shorter life spans and reproductive cycles. This makes genetic testing across multiple generations possible within a relatively short amount of time.

Con:

  • Animal testing can be an expensive endeavor and a waste of taxpayer money.
  • Animals tests do not guarantee successful results in humans.
  • Animals are not humans; therefore, they are inappropriate test subjects for future human drugs, treatments, etc.
  • Drugs that pass animal testing are safe for animals, but they are not necessarily safe for humans.
  • Animal testing is cruel.
  • Alternative testing methods exist with as much knowledge as we have of creating cellular and tissue cultures in labs.
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pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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This is, of course, simply a matter of opinion because there is no way to objectively measure the benefits of the testing or its costs.  I would argue, though, that animals are a lower form of life and that human life is so much more important that therefore scientific research using animals may be acceptable.

Animals are clearly a lower form of life.  We accept that when we use them for food or when we make life and death decisions about our pets.  Therefore, it can be said their needs are less important than needs of humans.

When medical testing is done on animals, it allows humans to live better, healthier lives.  If people's lives or even their health can be saved, that is much more important than the lives of animals.  As long as the testing is necessary and is humane as possible, it may be argued that the benefits to humans outweigh the fact that the animals are having to suffer.

Please follow the link for an opinion piece on this issue as well as links to many essays exploring other facets of the issue.

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