Sometimes animal testing is needed. We would not have a lot of our medical advances if we did not test on animals. It's a dirty job, and someone has to do it. Personally, I wish there was another way. It makes me sick to think about it.
I agree with the above post's stance: I believe it is easy for some groups to take the moral high ground and argue that animal testing is cruel and should never happen, but there are definitely exceptions to this standard. I believe whole-heartedly that scientists should continue animal testing in order to develop life-saving drugs and treatments for serious medical concerns, like AIDS and cancer research. The key word here is "life-saving," because I would not be adamantly for animal testing for a drug like Cialis or Viagra.
Ultimately, this question concerning the legitimacy of animal testing all comes down to priorities. I believe developing drugs and furthering research that could save lives is a valid reason for animal testing. My judgment prioritizes saving human lives over the cost of the animals' lives. I absolutely disagree with the notion of making animals suffer to test beauty care products like mascara and hairspray or even peripheral 'vanity' drugs like Viagra. Expanding medical research to save human lives should always take precedence over other lateral concerns.
I believe that if improvement of life is defined as helping those with cancer or terminal illness, then animals should be tested upon. If one is referring to making their hair smell better or their skin to have a healthy shine...no.
While lower than humans, animals do have certain rights. Think about the commercials on television sponsored by the ASPCA or PETA. They, the animals, do deserve a certain right of life. Outside of that, anything which can help people sustain life and health, animals are the only alternative to unethical human testing.
The issue here revolves around what you mean by "improve our quality of life."
If you are simply asking if we should experiment with animals whenever it might improve our lives in some small way, then the answer is no. Animals' rights to a life free of pain outweighs our desire to have small comforts in our lives. However, if we are talking about truly improving our health, we should have the right to experiment on animals. If we can cure a disease, or find a way to reduce pain in human beings, we should experiment on animals to do so. Thus, animal experimentation should be conducted as long as the benefit to humans is an important one.
I love animals and hate the thought of needless suffering, or any suffering on their part. But to be honest, if I was presented with the choice of animal testing that produced a medical product that saved my child's life, I'd have to say that the animals should be tested on. It's a tough ethical delimma.
I believe that there are times when experimentation with animals can truly help human life. I do not beleive that testing products that enhance beauty and appearance are acceptable to test on animals. But I think that testing potential drugs on animals to help save human society from a variety of diseases is necessary. It is true that human life is valued more than animal life, and it is not possible to test drugs and such on humans in case of failure. Past animal experimentation has led to successful drugs for treatments of serious diseases, cancers, etc. Animal experimentation has led to develop of vaccinations for polio, rabies, insulin for people with diabetes, and even transplants of defective organs. In order to help save the human life, at times it is necessary to put animals at risk.