Animal Rights

As Doctor Zola-Morgan stated in a speech to animal right activists, "I've seen the impact of the animal rights movement. I believe this is an attack on science of the worst kind. If we allow it to prevail it will take us back to the dark ages." Too much of the public has come to think of medical researchers as "tormenters rather than healers." The good is overlooked and the bad is exploited. Although many people think that animal research is morally wrong, animal research should continue because it is critical to continued progress in human health and alternatives to research animals are not available.

Animal rights activists feel that animal research is immoral. They do not see where we as human beings see or feel that we are the dominant species. They often assert that research with animals causes severe pain and that many research animals are abused. The activists do not feel the need to put the animals through such pain. Many of the experiments are replicated also which causes an unneeded demand for animals to perform experiments. Experiments which have already been proven are still being experimented with.

However, animal research is an integral part of today's society when thinking of how much progress we have gained in human health with the use of animal experimentation. To date some forty-one Nobel prizes have been awarded to scientists whose achievements depended on laboratory animals. Vaccines against polio, diphtheria, mumps, measles, rubella, and smallpox would not have been possible without such experiments. There also would not be such important techniques such as open heart surgery, brain surgery, coronary bypass, microsurgery to re-attached limbs, organ transplants, and correction of congenital heart defects. The list goes on about the medical advances that required animal research. Insulin to control diabetes and medications important in the management of asthma, epilepsy, arthritis, ulcers, and hypertensions are a few more to add to the list. To take animal research away would also be to halt our society's advancement of more procedures and more medicines to enhanc he better living of humans.

In addition, there are no alternatives to animal experimentation that can give the same results that it can. In certain research investigations, cell, tissue, organ cultures, and computer models can be used at least in the preliminary phases of the investigation. However, in many experimental situations, culture techniques and computer models do not capture the "physiological complexity" of the whole animal. Some examples of where animals are necessary in research include the development of a vaccine against HIV and improvement of methods to relieve mental stress and anxiety. These challenges can only be addressed by research with animals. Computer models and cultures cannot get the whole body effect of an experiment. Humans are the only alternatives to animals for this and when faced with this alternative, most people prefer the use on animals as the research model.

Animal research is necessary to maintain our society's well being. Many people think it is morally wrong but when the advantages are considered with the disadvantages, the good outweighs the bad. Animal Research is necessary to continued progress in human health. If other methods were available they would be given a fair chance but for now only animal experimentation works best. If all of the advances in human health were taken away our society would still be in a primitive age. Animal research has taken us out of that age.