April 27th, 2006 11:44 EST
Animal Testing and Politics
Many humans use animals for testing each year, from time immemorial. Animal testing is defined as the process when animals are put through tests and injections to see how they would react to a certain medical research, for which they have been used. There are three very important reasons why animals should not be used for testing harmful or potentially dangerous materials. In the first place, the animal testing procedure is trivial in cosmetic industry and leads to no particular effect any more.
Secondly, animals have rights for the simple reason that they can feel pressure and pain just like humans do, i.e. by hurting animal`s people hurt themselves. And last, but not least, animal testing is cruel, unusual and does not lead to results that could justly encourage researchers to continue with these examinations or experiments.
Testing on animals for the cosmetic industry is not necessary since scientists have many other ways to find out if the products of testing could cause any harm to the human race. The testing that is carried out is harmful to the animals and can cause serious side defects.
Cosmetic companies hold down little rabbits in vices and spray the cosmetics into their eyes to see if it causes, or could cause, redness, stinging, or even blindness! They also have baboons strapped down with their heads in vices to do certain tests on them.
Pharmaceutical companies use animals to produce drugs and health supplements as well. It was estimated by a recently carried research in the United Kingdom that 2.5 million animals are used each year for medical researches, and please be so kind to notice that these estimates do not include rats, mice, fish, and farm animals.
This means that 90 % of all research animals are not included in this horrifying statistic, which could be compared to the number of people killed in the First and Second World Wars. Too many animals are being tested and they do not even need to use animals for these tests " in several cases, computer simulations could be used instead.
One more point in support of the stopping of the animal testing is the reason that animals do have rights. Activists of animal rights movements do not claim that animals are the moral equivalent of humans, just that their feelings deserve some consideration. Animals are just as alive as we are and they follow the course as we do to find food, reproduce, overcome challenges, etc.
Therefore, this may prove to us that they also have intelligence. We, however, argue that humans have many qualities " such as a complex language, sophisticated reasoning, and a highly evolved culture that animals do not have or could not have in any way.
Why? Is it so hard to believe that they could be like us? Aren`t we, after all, simply animals with a higher brain capacity and ethics? Animals have all of this " dolphins communicate with each other regardless of the fact that we cannot understand them, baboons use sticks in order to gather ants.
Nonetheless, animals and their wellbeing are still not considered significant to the vast majority of people. Millions of animals are still used, and even killed, for the very egoistic sake of medical researches. They have rights, but they cannot defend these rights for themselves; as a result, in comparison to the cases of women`s rights, the abolition of slavery or the ending of the apartheid there is no state in the world or politician to recognize, in front of the public, animals` right to live freely and not being killed. What irony!
One final reason to defend animal rights is that animal testing is cruel, unusual, and pointless. Animals are used every day to help find a cure for a certain disease in many painful ways. For instance, in 1984, at a medical center in California, the United States of America, a child had a heart transplanted from a baboon`s heart and died only two days later. Some had called this a medical miracle while others thought that is quite unwise and dangerous to mingle body parts of humans with that of animals.
The early vivisections (the process of cutting open of a living animal without any anesthetic) shed light on biological functions, but also killed many animals in the process. In fact, the first kidney transplants were done on over hundreds of dogs and are not relatively safe for humans. The University of Pennsylvania had 60 hours of videotape stolen by chance from a medical lab on campus that showed baboons being knocked out by a blow to the head, while their heads are cemented into plastic helmets. On these tapes was also shown baboons waking up in the middle of a surgery while having their brains operated " a horrifying picture that was taking place behind our backs and which was defended by presidents.
Could that be true? Who is the beast in this case " the politician, the Dean of the University or the medical researcher? Are all these cruelties really necessary? Should animals sacrifice their lives for humans to test chemicals and new drugs? Millions of innocent animals are still used for testing and continue to be infected, catch diseases, or in certain cases die because we do not care enough about them. Why aren`t politicians talking about this?
Originally contributed by a writer who is no longer affiliated with theSOP.