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Animal Testing: A Necessary Evil?
Transcript of Animal Testing: A Necessary Evil?
also known as animal research or animal experimentation
going on since about the 4th century BCE
used to assess the safety and effectiveness of everything
from medication to cosmetics
Types of Animal Testing
Table of Contents
Animal Testing: Necessary Evil?
What Is Animal Testing?
Necessary Evil? - Conclusion
What is animal testing?
Unknown types of animal testing
Types of testing
What animals are used
Companies that use animal testing
Companies that don't use animal testing
Relation to sociology
Relation to psychology
Relation to anthropology
Unnecessary tests VS. Necessary tests
Would you use a product with the knowledge that its been tested on an animal?
Unknown Types of Animal Testing
animals have been shot, bombed, poisoned, gassed, and killed with miscellaneous viruses in military experiments
a medic being trained for pre-Iraq war claimed he had to keep a pig alive for 15 hours while it got shot to learn about what happens when a wounded creature becomes more wounded
tested in capital punishment; dogs first victims of electric chair
fully conscious pigs to test the effectiveness of various Taser devices - 11 pigs tested, shot with 5 Tasers each -
tapes of all 11 tests are on YouTube
Cancer research testing means giving animals a human form of cancer so then harmful chemicals should then be ejected into the animals body in an attempt to find a cure
Inflicts a large amount of pain and suffering
Infected With Viruses
any procedure on an animal that is not required to remedy an injury or medical condition
surgical procedures done purely for cosmetic purposes such as tail docking or ear cropping in pets or to disguise natural imperfections of any animal, which are painful, distressful, or restrictive of the function of the body part involved
genetic modification of an animal involves altering its genetic material by adding, changing or removing certain DNA sequences in a way that does not occur naturally
it aims to modify specific characteristics of an animal or introduce a new trait, such as disease resistance or enhanced growth
Infected With Viruses
genetically-modified viruses are injected into the nucleus of an animal to see how it reacts and spreads
studies involving brain damage include removing the skull cap of an animal and proceeding to remove a part of the brain to observe how they function
Companies That Use Animal Testing
Companies That Don't Use Animal Testing
Over 100 million animals are burned, crippled, poisoned and abused in U.S. labs every year
92% of experimental drugs that are safe and effective in animals fail in human clinical trials because they are too dangerous or don't work
Labs that use mice, rats, birds, reptiles and amphibians are exempted from the minimal protections under the Animal Welfare Act [AWA]
Up to 90% of animals used in U.S. labs aren't counted in the official statistics of animals tested
Even animals that are protected under the AWA can be abused and tortured. The law doesn't require the use of valid alternatives to animals, even if they are available
According to the Humane Society, registration of a single pesticide requires more than 50 experiments and the use of as many as 12,000 animals
Several cosmetic tests commonly performed on mice, rats, rabbits, and guinea pigs include:
skin and eye irritation tests where chemicals are rubbed on shaved skin or dripped into the eyes without any pain relief
repeated force-feeding studies that last weeks or months, to look for signs of general illness or specific health hazards
widely condemned “lethal dose” tests, where animals are forced to swallow large amounts of a test chemical to determine what dose causes death
In tests of potential carcinogens, subjects are given a substance every day for two years. Other tests involve killing pregnant animals and testing their fetuses
The real life applications for some of the tested substances are as trivial as an “improved” laundry detergent, new eye shadow, or copycat drug to replace a profitable pharmaceutical whose patent expired
There are almost 400 alternatives being considered for animal testing
Animal testing costs over 136 billion dollars a year for Americans
Relation to Sociology
to study how social structures function to serve the needs of society
animal testing fits the needs of society by applying a certified reliable source to prevent harmful products to humans
does not account for destructive forces within a society
functionalists argue that institutions exist because they have a positive function in society
animal testing would be a destructive force but holds a positive function
Animal Welfare Act
The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) requires that minimum standards of care and treatment be provided for certain animals bred for commercial sale, used in research, transported commercially, or exhibited to the public.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
PETA operates under the simple principle that animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment.
Relation to Psychology
Several psychologists used animal testing to study behavior
used monkeys to test his partial isolation (allowed them to see, smell and hear other monkeys) and total social isolation (restricted any and all contact from other monkeys) experiments
surrogate mothers experiment
Further more, Harlow had no sympathy for these monkeys stating,
The only thing I care about is whether or not the monkeys will turn out a property I can publish. I don't have any love for them. Never have. I don't really like animals. I despise cats. I hate dogs. How could you like monkeys?
Other Psychological Studies
started his career studying the digestive system
researched with dogs and observed that they would salivate when food was present
noticed that they would also salivate when a white lab coat was around, signifying they also salivate when they saw the feeder
created the stimulus experiment to see if he could get a conditioned response
studied how the use of rewards and punishment can influence behavior, which became known as operant conditioning
the Skinner Box is a chamber that has a bar on a wall that releases a food pellet into the box when pressed
Skinner used rats for this experiment and showed that after time the rat figured out how the mechanism works and began to store the pellets in one corner of the box
if the rat stops this stimulating behavior, this is called extinction
Animals are used in research to examine what happens in the whole, living body, instead of just the bulk of a main part. It is not yet possible to replace the entire research need of living animals with alternative methods.
There are four main reasons why animals are used in research:
to advance scientific understanding
as models to study disease
to develop and test future forms of treatment
to protect the safety of people
The Real Reasons
animals have no say
easy to manipulate and control
classified as non-beings
belief that by understanding our closest relatives, we may better understand our ancestors and furthermore, ourselves
focuses primarily on medical research since chimpanzees and human share 98.4% of their genes
also conduct "civilized" experiments, testing chimpanzees intelligence and brain power
Relation to Anthropology
Many animals used in scientific research undergo cruel procedures and suffer as a result. Anti-vivisection activists argue that humans have no right putting these animals through such torture and claim that the experiments do not even have valid outcomes and are therefore unreliable.
Often scientists do not account for the moral standards required and have no mercy for these animals.
Environmental Protection Agency [EPA]
responsible for ensuring the safety of the environment from chemical compounds such as pesticides or fertilizers
in order to obtain this information the toxicity of the products must be examined upon through animal testing
these safety requirements include unnecessary forms of testing such as:
Each product that the EPA tests must be evaluated to determine any harmful impacts, through animal testing
tests rabbits, dogs, mice, and guinea pigs by dropping the chemical onto exposed skin or applying directly into the eyes
this is done for three tests
- semi chronic (for three months)
- chronic (for one to three years)
- lifetime (respectively)
Requiring any animals that have been exposed to chemical testing must make offspring with each other
These offspring are also encouraged to breed with other infected animals
this continues for two generations to give scientists a chance to examine if any side effects are passed through each spawning
Currently, the EPA requires all pesticides complete a lethal dosing test to actuate how much of a given chemical it takes to kill an animal it is not intended to kill
LD stands for lethal dose; 50 refers to the percentage killed by the test
involves anticipating the toxicity of a substance by force-feeding it to animals to see how much is needed to kill half of them
- for example, if force-fed a full bottle of detergent one day and
none of the animals die, thus proving the product is safe (to that
species at least), others will be force-fed more as long as half of
them die to get the "lethal dose"
- every batch of Botox from California is tested on mice through
Scientists are always trying to find cures, treatments, or even the origins of diseases and how they spread in both humans and animals. In order to do so, these scientists need research specimens to examine. What better specimens to experiment with than with animals who humans share common diseases and viruses with naturally? Ethical issues always arise when discussing animal testing, relating it to abuse and cruelty, but not all tests are merciless and also when done right, are very reliable.
many animals share the same diseases and viruses found in humans such as cancer, and so by evaluating an animal that is easier to obtain than a human with the same natural health hazard, it prevents from merciless actions such as the injection of a fake cancer
many pet owners who are told that their pet may not survive a tumor, for example, often donate their pet to a hospital for medical research to try and find a cure so others don't suffer
Whenever possible, companies
urged to use alternative research methods instead of animals, strictly for moral purposes.
computer models are used to screen and determine the toxic level of a substance at the beginning of an experiment
performed using cultured human skin cells, the skin equivalence test can be used to determine the reaction and sensitivity on the skin instead of irritation animals
from these cultured skin cells, universities are working on creating micro-tissues which may potentially lead to simulating human organs
Animal testing is a controversial topic and like many, there are two main points of view and arguments; is it an unnecessary or necessary evil? One side argues that animal testing is unethical and should be stopped to protect the welfare of animals, and the other states that it helps further our research in medical technology - advancing us into the future. Maybe both. Animal testing can lead to revolutionary discoveries but it does not have to be unethical. The majority of successful tests that lead to treatments for today's diseases were done properly in the sense that they had research blueprints and did not use any brutality much like some of the tests that disturbed the genetic make-up of an animal and observed how the animal functions. There is always room for improvement, until all the alternative methods are proven to work as well as a real organism would, I conclude that animal testing is a necessary evil.
responsible for the development of Tamoxifen and Herceptin, two important medicines that have saved many lives of men and women from breast cancer
relying on mice as models and focusing on understanding, detecting, and preventing lung cancer have led researchers to the conception that one day there will be a cure
even though a cure for HIV/AIDS has not yet been found, through intensive research methods using animals, it has went from a fatal disease to a chronic disease
with the development of new quick-acting and long-acting insulin's, islet transplantation for Type 1 diabetes and new drugs to treat Type 2, patients are managing to live healthy lives
Positive Outcomes of Animal Testing
The following includes these necessary and moral tests:
These would be unnecessary tests: