Researches have played a major role in improving the health standards of human beings and animals in general. In the past, pandemics and epidemics used to rein terror on human beings and animals. Diseases like Rinderpest, chickenpox, and plaque used to claim the lives of many individuals, however successful researches provided cures for these diseases and they no longer pose any threat.
In order to find successful cures for human beings, it has proved necessary to use animals in research. Research using animals has in turn proved to be very reliable and efficient; many of the cures that have been developed have in one way or the other involved animal research. Using animals in research should therefore not be opposed rather should be unanimously endorsed.
Why Use Animals
Using animals in research, not only benefit human beings but also animals.
It has been a known fact that human beings and animals are closely related and they get many of the same illnesses. Some animals are known to stand in for humans with particular diseases. In general, animal research is the type of research, survey, experiment that involves vertebrates such as mice, pigs and primates.
On the other hand, clinical research is the study that entails scientists to use humans. These studies are critical and for research to reach this stage there must have been prior extensive preliminary tests in animal research studies. It is thus logical that animals be used to improve their lives and that of human beings. The world keep on fluctuating with many new diseases reported at every historical epoch (Sharp 1).
It is thus obvious that emergence of new diseases, resistance of existing one and the need of developing vaccines makes research inevitable. These diseases and various ailments affect the immune system of animals and humans, making it weak and unable to withstand or combat the antigens. These activities take place in the body of a being and there is no way one can understand the nature of the antigens without dissecting the respective affected beings. Since the being’s immune system has failed to prevent the body from the attacks, there is no way a sick or dead organism can become ideal for conducting successful research on devising the cure of the disease that has already defeated its immune system. The affected being is crucial in understanding the nature of the disease but another healthy being is even more important in devising a cure (Herren 67).
Based on the need to create a disease free world, it is inevitable to avoid research. Given the fact that researches in medical and scientific fields are inevitable, animals become the ideal and most appropriate specimen to use since human beings cannot be used in the preliminary researches. Human beings have also become increasingly used in researches. For a medicine or a vaccine to be verified and proved successful, then at one time, or the other, human beings must be used in the research work.
If human beings can be used in the research work then there is no way that animals can be exempted (Kalat 23).
Contrary to what has been the main argument in opposing use of animals in research work, all medical and scientific researches are carefully planned including research with animals. Animals are not, unjustifiably exploited nor put through painful experiments without an important agenda. The researchers weigh several sensitive considerations before approving each study. In medical research using animals as specimen, the most important aspect to take into account is the relevance of the research to human or animal health. Researchers contrary to what has been the general notion protect animals’ welfare. Researchers only use the most appropriate species and in the fewest numbers possible (Greenhaven Staff 12). Almost all researchers in ensuring that all animals are treated in the most humane way enduring the least distress follow the federal law in the US.
Animals should be used and have always been used in researches because of the various formidable reasons. Animals are used because they are in many ways like human beings especially in the normal and basic body functioning like breathing, eating, hearing and seeing. Nature has been regarded as economical and the same processes are known to be recycled over time. By using animals, scientists are assured of finding crucial and linking comparisons with human beings. Some diseases like the one caused by tsetse fly affect both animals and human beings (Chiras 34).
Animals are thus the perfect specimen to use when in the process of conducting a research; it is impractical or unethical to use humans. Animals are also known to be susceptible to the same health problems like the one affecting human beings. They are therefore convenient, taking into account that they also have short life cycles. Moreover, the various medical research centers are able to control and diversify the environment around the animal for example diet, temperature and lighting, something that s almost impractical to try on people. Human beings cannot be exposed to health risks for researchers to observe the course of a disease.
Successes of Animal Research
Researches using animals have been very successful and there is no founded reason to stop or oppose these endeavors. Some of the most successful studies using animals have been highlighted below. Heart disease and its related conditions affect almost a quarter of the US population costing more than three hundred billion dollars in budget allocation and is the number one killer. Using animals such as dogs and cats, the basic heart mechanism have been studied and in fact, the study with dogs immensely contributed to the basic methods of controlling heart disease being devised. The modern heart treatment methods were also devised after successful study with dogs.
Heart transplants, cardiac bypass, angioplasty and other treatments all resulted from this study with dogs; in addition, the various methods of diagnosis and treatment were also developed. These are electrocardiography, coronary blood flow measurements among others. HIV/AIDS has become one of the most feared pandemic to, ever hit, the earth. All countries of the world are affected in one way or the other, the hardest hit being in the sub-Saharan Africa. To this date, there is no cure that has been found for the pandemic. However various advancements have been made, the comprehensive understanding of the viruses that causes the pandemic has been derived from the study of similar viruses in monkeys, chicken and cats.
Vaccines are in the process of being tested on mice and monkeys before being administered on volunteers (Research Development 2). In the past, bacteria infections were deadly and fatal; they were the main causes of death ad other acute diseases. Although in the contemporary modern world bacterial infections are extremely common and have affected people on numerous occasions during their lifetime, they are now readily treatable with antibiotics. With animals in research, in this case mice and other rodents, penicillin and other antibiotics were established as effective treatments for bacterial infections.
Animals thus continue to provide crucial information to scientists on ways of combating certain deadly diseases (The American Physiological Society 10).
Ethical Issues in Using Animals for Research
The concern over the ethical issues arising in the use of animals has always been voiced. Those that oppose the use of animals being used in researches feel that animals are living beings and if people would not wish to be subjected to pain, then, it is ethically wrong to do the same to helpless animals. Those people who keep animals as pets feel much offended by the use of animals in research as they describe their relationship with the animals as equivalent to that with human beings. They talk of compassion, love, loyalty and so forth.
It has also been argued that students may sometimes fail to euthanize animals for research and thus subjecting them to undesirable pain. There are no measures in place to ensure such kinds of students are deterred (Herren 325).
Using animals in research is desirable. Scientists do not conclusively understand human biology to an extent of directly applying new medical treatments on people or the daily evolving surgical procedures and processes. The desire to look for lifesaving cures cannot be overlooked as this is the desire of humanity to have a society where human suffering ad agony is minimal.
Using animals especially in biomedical researches is thus inevitable and objective.
Chiras, Daniel. Human Biology. Sudbury: Jones and Bartlett Learning, 2010.
Print Greenhaven staff. Should Animals Be Used in Scientific Research? Greenhaven: Greenhaven Press, 1987. Print Herren, Ray. The science of animal agriculture.
New York: Delmar, 2000. Kalat, James. Biological Psychology.Belmont: Wadsworth, 2008. Research Development.
‘‘Use of Animals in Research’’ Research Development , 2009. 07 Apr. 2011. research.va.gov/programs/animal_research/> Sharp, Richard. ‘‘Ethical issues in the use of Animals in Biomedical Research. ’’ Baylor College of Medicine, 2004. 07 Apr. 2011. ‘‘Why do scientists use animals in research?’’ Bethesda, 2006. 07 Apr. 2011.
research.va.gov/programs/animal_research/> Sharp, Richard. ‘‘Ethical issues in the use of Animals in Biomedical Research.
’’ Baylor College of Medicine, 2004. 07 Apr. 2011.
‘‘Why do scientists use animals in research?’’ Bethesda, 2006. 07 Apr. 2011.