animal testing discussion

210 views 9 pages ~ 2268 words
Get a Custom Essay Writer Just For You!

Experts in this subject field are ready to write an original essay following your instructions to the dot!

Hire a Writer

Natural disasters, viruses, infections, and other forms of illness have always posed a threat to humanity. As a result, they have been compelled to seek remedies to these challenges through scientific research. Scientific breakthroughs, advances, and the development of new technologies and pharmaceuticals, on the other hand, must be tested before being used by humans to assure their safety. Scientists have utilized animals in their study since the beginning of time to assess the efficacy of various investigations and therapies.  Some animals have been proven to have body processes and functions that are close to the humans, and therefore they have been the primary option for the testing experiments carried out by scientists. The use of animals for research has been supported by Claude Bernard a pioneer in the field of physiology. Bernard argued that through experiments of animals the humans have removed the threat of toxic substances, and their hygiene is promoted. However, the use of animals in this research has been received with animosity from several individuals, organizations, and agencies that have suggested that the use of animals in research is inhumane and violates the rights of the animals. This paper focuses on the use of animals for research purposes and justifies that the use of animals for research is good. Humans are constantly threatened with new and emerging diseases that no cure has been made; therefore, the use of animals as the primary option to research for cures for these diseases is justifiable.

History on the Use of Animals in Research

According to Hunnicutt (2013), in the present age, it is undeniable and inevitable to come up with scientific research especially with the increasing demand for medicine and veterinary health. Thompson (2012) states in the past century, almost all major milestones made in the medical sector have directly or indirectly relied on animals in some way such as heart surgery transplants. In addition, there has been a need to increase knowledge regarding how organisms function, develop, and behave. The issue on the use of animals in research began in the early centuries from the Roman and Greeks empires. Several researchers performed numerous experiments on living animals. Nurunnabi, Afroz, & Alam (2013) list Erasistratus, (304 – 258 BC), Aristotle, (384 – 322 BC), and Galen, a Greek physician as some of the earliest researchers to conduct animal experiments. This research was done to understand the human anatomy, pharmacology, pathology, and physiology.

In the 20th century, the Arabs began using animals to experiment surgical procedures that were to be carried out on human patients. According to Hunnicutt (2013), the use of animals for research increased with time especially from the 20th century as more developments and advancements were made in this century. In the late mid 20th century, a deadly disease had killed and paralyzed thousands of people. The disease, polio, had no vaccine and no treatment was available. However, the scientists through a series of research and experiments performed on animals were able to develop a vaccine and introduce it to the public. Other vaccines such as tetanus, smallpox, whooping cough, and diphtheria have also been developed through similar research experiments. In another research, treatment, and control of diabetes mellitus, dogs were used as experimental for drugs to this disease. These drugs developed using animals in research laboratories are very important as they have helped save lives of millions of people around the world. The animals were used to identify the cause of diabetes and aid in the development of its treatment. Hunnicutt (2013) states that dogs were also important in the development of heart transplant, pacemakers, and open-heart surgery. Other diseases that have been successfully treated through animal use include stroke, heart attacks, and other cardiovascular diseases.

Use of Animals in Research Today

There have been progressive changes that have taken place in recent years regarding the use of animals in research. There has been some criticism on the use of animals by researchers with people claiming these are outdated and efforts to improve the welfare of animals. In recent years unlike the 19th and 20th centuries, the use of animals in experiments has been in the spotlight. Animals' right society and campaigners have come up to defend the rights of the animals and their inclusion in the research field. These groups, organizations, and individuals are so concerned with the animal rights that they are campaigning for humans to end the killing of animals even for food and other benefits. The campaigns on the animal use for research have attracted the media attentions all around the world, and more people have joined these movements to criticize people who practice research experiments on animals.

In some countries, legislations that protect the animal rights have been passed while still others are coming up with laws to make the use of animals in research a more humane practice. The practice should not be regulated as some animals are important towards advancements in human medicine and health. Medical experiments are sensitive and cannot be carried out on people. Instead, animals with similar tissues to the human are used first to conduct the test. If these experiments succeed in the animals, they can then be carried out on human patients, and if they fail, they are condemned. Therefore, the use of animals is important as it helps reduce human fatality, as models to study new diseases, to advance the scientific understanding, and to protect the safety of people.

Importance of Animal Use in Research

According to Thompson, (2012), animals such as cat, dog, pigs, rabbit, and mouse share some tissue organizations and cell structures with the humans and some diseases that affect humans have also been found to affect these animals. Therefore, using the animals as the primary models for research of such human diseases helps in collection of more knowledge that is important in developing cures. Furthermore, the researchers can know how such conditions impact the human body, how the body functions react to the diseases, which organs in the body are affected, and what cells are affected by a particular illness. Thompson (2013) argue that there cannot be any better substitutions to the use of animals in research. Thompson (2013) writes that even with the technological advancements, there are sophisticated body functionalities and interactions between organisms, organs, tissues, cells, and molecules that cannot be created and used in place of these animals.

Animal use in research is also important as it helps the researchers to increase or advance their understanding of causes of diseases, development of new drugs and vaccines, test the effectiveness of these products, and learn the effective procedures to treat or prevent a disease. According to Thompson (2013), animals are affected by some of the diseases that affect humans. Therefore, successful experiments and researches in animals can be directly applied to humans or other animals. Hunnicutt (2013) states animal use in research is common in biomedical research that impacts human or animal life and can be useful to them. Most research using animals are mainly conducted for the sole purpose of developing technology and medicine. Most research using animals have been successful such as the development of a vaccine for polio, organ transplant, and development of penicillin. There was development in the treatment of diabetes which was first conducted using dogs as the research animal. Several other events have occurred towards the advancement of human medicine that was carried out using animals.

Another advantage for the use of animals in research is that they have a short life span. Nurunnabi, Afroz, & Alam (2013) state that the short life span of research animals is critical in research and experiments as the researchers and scientists can study the full life cycle of the animals successfully. In complicated research experiments, the researcher can study several generations and determine the results within a manageable time span. Research experiments are also sensitive and will require extensive and accurate results. The researcher can fulfill this by being in control of the internal animal functionality and its surrounding such as ventilation, temperature, light, and other significant factors. According to Hunnicutt (2013), the experimental variables are important as they help keep the animal healthy and ensures the correct results are obtained.

The people criticizing the use of animals for research have argued that this practice is against the rights of the animals. However, the practice is justifiable since the animals do not share the same rights as humans. Animals should not be considered to be in the same position as humans since for the animals there is no morality, they have no moral wrong, and they do not understand the concepts of right or wrong. The humans are protected by several human rights laws such as they cannot be hurt or killed and the perpetrators are convicted under these laws. However, for the animals, the laws are different since they freely prey on each other for food and they hurt one another without convictions. Therefore, the animals should not be equated to humans, and their use in research is essential and meaningful especially for the survival of mankind.

Animals should also be used in research as it is a legal requirement. In research and experiments that involve pharmaceutical drugs, Hunnicutt (2013) states that these products must be tested on animals before they are released in the market for human use. Through the use of animals, the authorities and the scientists can find any side effects and risks that new products might have on the human body. The animals are induced with the disease causing organisms, and they are treated with the medications to see if the animals become cured. In addition, the law requires that doctors and veterinarians must be properly trained before they are allowed to practice their careers. Zamir (2014) writes that animals are used to conduct medical experiments such as surgeries to ensure the professionals are well trained before practicing on humans.

Negative Impacts of Using Animals for Research

In research, some experiments conducted on animals are painful, torturous, and products may also be toxic. Therefore, some testing can be considered inhumane or barbaric. Zamir (2014) gives an example of research on eye or skin irritation where the animal is put in these conditions, and the product is tested to observe if the product works or if the irritation can lead to blindness or damaged skin. The scientists may also be interested in the color of the eye or skin after inducing the irritation, any discharge, or swelling in the animal. These conditions induce pain and suffering to the animal which is cruelty. Other animals used in research have behaviors, thoughts, and feelings that are violated in experiments and they subjected to physical, emotional, and mental suffering (Nurunnabi, Afroz, & Alam, 2013). Furthermore, some drugs are toxic, and when induced into the body of an animal they cause death.

Other critics of the use animals for research have argued that the practice is unethical. According to these individuals and their groups, every living organism was created equally by God, and therefore the humans should not torture or kill other animals as they do not have the right. Those against the use of animals state that research and experiments on animals only add pain, diseases, and other forms of suffering to the animals. The animals kill themselves especially in painful experiments that the animals are subjected. Therefore, they argue that humans are only abusing the animals for their benefits and hence they should be stopped.

They have continuously recommended that acceptable standards should be set to control and regulate animal use for research and other human experiments. All research that involves the use of animals should adhere to these standards. In addition, the rules need to be clear on when and how research is allowed and also the number of animals that research is permitted to use. Through these standards, they argue that researchers would be prevented to use animals in an inhumane way. Research involving animals, Zamir (2014) adds that should be evaluated for the distress that is caused to animals. Finally, the personnel working with animals should be well trained with the necessary knowledge and skills to ensure the welfare of the animal is well protected.


Animals should be used for research. Mankind is the primary beneficiary of the use of animals for research as they are constantly threatened by new diseases. The use of animals for research is right as they help develop treatments by being used as models to study diseases and hence save millions of lives. Through animal use in research, many developments have been made as they have helped advance scientific understanding. Furthermore, losing an animal during an experiment cannot be compared to the use of human patients and therefore help protect the safety of the people. The animals are also used in development and research of treatments for chronic illnesses such as HIV/AIDS that has affected a huge percentage of humans. Stopping the use of animals for research is dangerous to the lives of millions of people. Finally, animal use in research should be avoided in situations that are cruel to the animal and researchers and scientists should find better ways to test products. They can also come up with an alternative technology to replace the use of animals for research.


Hunnicutt, S. (2013). Animal experimentation. Detroit: Greenhaven Press/Gale Cengage Learning

Nurunnabi, A. S. M., Afroz, R. D., & Alam, S. N. (December 20, 2013). Ethical Debate on Animal Research. Bangladesh Journal of Bioethics, 4, 3, 11.

Thompson, T. (2012). The ethics of medical testing. Detroit, Mich: Greenhaven Press/Gale, Cengage Learning.

Zamir, T. (2014). Ethics and the Beast: A speciesist argument for animal liberation. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press

April 19, 2023

Environment Health


Disasters Biology Illness

Number of pages


Number of words




Writer #



Expertise Infectious Disease
Verified writer

Working on a team project on global warming, I contacted PeterB. He is an excellent writer who will not only provide you with great sources but also fix all your grammar mistakes if you have a draft.

Hire Writer

This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Eliminate the stress of Research and Writing!

Hire one of our experts to create a completely original paper even in 3 hours!

Hire a Pro

Similar Categories