Topic: Animal Testing
Pro presents arguments and case
Con presents arguments and case
Pro willingly "PASSES" on this round
Please comment in the comments section if you would like to ask questions or accept the debate.
Why Not Testing on Animals is Bad:
This one is simple enough: think of all the great medical advances we've had in the past century or so. For pretty much every medical advancement in the past century, there's been an animal behind it. Let's just take a look at how far we've come just from animals alone.
The University of Minnesota actually published a small, but not insignficant, list of medical advances due to animals, along with what animal was credited for the discovery. I won't cover them all, but let's just get some of the highlights for the road:
1990 - We developed more advanced organ transplant technicques thanks to dogs, pigs, sheep, and cows.
1982 - We developed a treatment for leprosy thanks to the armadillo.
1964 - We discovered ways to regulate one's cholestoral, thanks to the rat.
1956 - We developed ways to perform open-heart surgery and invented pacemakers thanks to the dog.
1954 - We made a vaccine for polio thanks to mice and monkeys
1921 - We discovered insulin thanks to dogs and fish.
It even goes back further than the past century, going all the way to 1881 where we developed a vaccine for anthrax because of sheep and 1796 where we developed a vaccine for smallpox thanks to cows.
But why freaking stop there? Lets throw out some more discoveries from animal testing.
Breast Cancer? Animal research was crucial when we developed Herceptin and Tamoxifen, which help cure breast cancer.
Leukemia? Testing on mice lead to the development of Gleevec, which is the first molecularly targeted drug against cancer, and we also use Gleevec to gastrointestinal stromal tumor (known as GIST) which was untreatable before it's development.
Lung Cancer? Researching on mice is critical to understanding, preventing, and detecting lung cancer, as well as for developing new therapies for treating it.
Heart Disease or Stroke? Everything from what foods to eat to minimze risk to the development of statins, a pill that helps control cholestoral and reduce risk for heart disease, come off of the back of animal studies.
I could keep going, but I think I've made my point fairly clear: medical advances stop if we stop testing on animals.
(2) - http://cflegacy.research.umn.edu...
(3) - http://www.amprogress.org...;
According to Humane Society International, animals used in experiments are commonly subjected to force feeding, forced inhalation, food and water deprivation, prolonged periods of physical restraint, the infliction of burns and other wounds to study the healing process, the infliction of pain to study its effects and remedies, and "killing by carbon dioxide asphyxiation, neck-breaking, decapitation, or other means." The Draize eye test, used by cosmetics companies to evaluate irritation caused by shampoos and other products, involves rabbits being incapacitated in stocks with their eyelids held open by clips, sometimes for multiple days, so they cannot blink away the products being tested. The commonly used LD50 (lethal dose 50) test involves finding out which dose of a chemical will kill 50% of the animals being used in the experiment. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported in 2010 that 97,123 animals suffered pain during experiments while being given no anesthesia for relief, including 1,395 primates, 5,996 rabbits, 33,652 guinea pigs, and 48,015 hamsters.
In Mar. 2009, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) found 338 possible violations of the Animal Welfare Act at the federally funded New Iberia Research Center (NIRC) in Louisiana. Some of the primates housed at NIRC were suffering such severe psychological stress that they engaged in self-mutilation, "tearing gaping wounds into their arms and legs." Video footage shows infant chimps screaming as they are forcibly removed from their mothers, infant primates awake and alert during painful experiments, and chimpanzees being intimidated and shot with a dart gun. In a 2011 incident at the University of California at Davis Center for Neuroscience, "three baby mice were found sealed alive in a plastic baggie and left unattended" on a laboratory counter, according to the Sacramento Bee.
In vitro (in glass) testing, such as studying cell cultures in a petri dish, can produce more relevant results than animal testing because human cells can be used. Microdosing, the administering of doses too small to cause adverse reactions, can be used in human volunteers, whose blood is then analyzed. Artificial human skin, such as the commercially available products EpiDerm and ThinCert, is made from sheets of human skin cells grown in test tubes or plastic wells and can produce more useful results than testing chemicals on animal skin. Microfluidic chips ("organs on a chip"), which are lined with human cells and recreate the functions of human organs, are in advanced stages of development. Computer models, such as virtual reconstructions of human molecular structures, can predict the toxicity of substances without invasive experiments on animals.
b. Animal tests are more expensive than alternative methods and are a waste of government research dollars. Humane Society International compared a variety of animal tests with their in vitro counterparts. An "unscheduled DNA synthesis" animal test costs $32,000, while thein vitro alternative costs $11,000. A "rat phototoxicity test" costs $11,500, whereas the non-animal equivalent costs $1,300. A "rat uterotrophic assay" costs $29,600, while the corresponding in vitro test costs $7,200. A two-species lifetime cancer study can cost from $2 million to $4 million, and the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) spends $14 billion of its $31 billion annual budget on animal research.
My opponent makes two really simple, really flawed points. But before I start with them, I want to make a quick point. All of his arguments use statistics and other claims that he never sources at all. There's no way to actually verify he's telling the truth in this case. Insofar as he didn't do that, you're prefering my arguments over his because I'm at least providing citations and sources to voters so they can verify I'm being honest.
And, don't let him just make up for it in the next round by retroactively providing them since I don't have another round to respond to them, which makes it inherently unfair for him to just save arguments and sources until I don't get a chance to respond to them.
Animal Testing is cruel/inhumane:
First, ignore his cosmetic testing example. I'll concede that animals should not be tested for the safety of different cosmetic products, but rather only should they be tested on for medical reasons (i.e. the development of different medicines/vaccines/techniques).
Second, turn this argument in my favor. Animal testing gives us what we need to fight diseases and sickness in both animals and humans, leading to the reduction of pain and suffering for both animals and humans. I solve for long-term suffering. Still (1):
"Biotechnology companies have depended on animal research to develop more than 160 drugs and vaccines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ... Those discoveries have helped hundreds of millions of people worldwide and prevented incalculable human suffering. In addition, BIO has reported, animal research has led to 111 USDA-approved biotech-derived veterinary biologics and vaccines that improve the health of ... animals. ... Biotechnology has improved the way veterinarians address animal health issues through the use of biotech vaccines and diagnostic kits and improved breeding programs that can help to eliminate hereditary diseases."
Third, his argument is just untrue. We do everything we can to ensure that animals aren't harmed and don't suffer. Still continues:
"The USDA and National Institutes of Health regularly inspect research institutions to verify the well-being and care of animals ... animals used in research do not suffer more pain or distress than animals outside the lab. In fact, lab animals often receive the best of care because of their value to researchers. Today, animal research is predominantly research involving rodents and rabbits. ... only 5 percent of research and development involves animals – and 99 percent of those animals are mice, rats and rabbits. ... Computer modeling has reduced the amount of animal research. So has cell-based research. The use of animal embryonic stem cells in drug testing has dramatically improved the quality of such tests, and more quickly provided researchers with information about the safety and efficacy of drugs."
Fourth, even if you buy his argument that animals are suffering from testing, the affirmative doesn't provide a single reason why this isn't something that can't be solved back for by proposiong tougher restrictions and oversight on animal research to make sure that any experimentation on animals involves the absolute minimual amount of suffering, if any suffering even needs to be inflicted, and that the suffering is applied in a humane fashion. Just because the way it's being performed in the status quo isn't optimal, that doesn't justify doing away with the entire system. That's like saying you need to buy a new car because you're headlights are starting to get dimmer. Just fix the faulty parts and you're golden.
Fifth, there's no impact to his speciesism argument. All he says is that "Grrrr don't be speciesist, you speciesist!" like it's some fancy buzzword that awards him free elo. He's not actually giving any kind of reason why speciesism is bad, which becomes problematic since speciesism is just irrelevant. The "hunter in the woods" analogy is a good example of this: imagine you and you're hunting dog are out in the woods and you stumble across a rather angry bear. You're faced with two choices: run and have the bear catch you and kill you since you're dog is going to outrun you, or sic your dog on the bear and run. The choice isn't even debatable; as much as you love your dog and care about its wellbeing, we all inherently prefer our own wellbeing over the wellbeing of other animals.
Sixth, his comparison between animals and the mentally challenged is faulty. There are certain categories that distinguish between the two. Frey (2):
"to include the baby by means of the potentiality argument: the baby is potentially rational. ... to include the severely mentally-enfeebled by means of the similarity argument: in all other respects except rationality and perhaps certain mental accomplishments, the severely mentally-enfeebled betray strong similarities to other members of our species ... One might try to include both babies and the severely mentally-enfeebled by means of the religious argument: babies and the severely mentally-enfeebled possess immortal souls. ... the religious argument does separate both from Fido, who is not conceded an immortal soul by the argument's proponents."
Seventh, we can't place animals on the same level as humans because they are incapable of grasping ethical premises, which makes them unable to enter a community of moral agents. Cohen (3):
"Patterns of conduct are not at issue. Animals do ... exhibit remarkable behavior at times. Conditioning, fear, instinct, and intelligence all contribute to species survival. Membership in a community of moral agents nevertheless remains impossible for them. Actors subject to moral judgment must be capable of grasping the generality of an ethical premise in a practical syllogism. Humans act immorally often enough, but only they ... can discern, by applying some moral rule to the facts of a case, that a given act ought or ought not to he performed. The moral restraints imposed by humans on themselves are thus highly abstract and are often in conflict with the self-interest of the agent. Communal behavior among animals ... does not approach autonomous morality in this fundamental sense. Genuinely moral acts have an internal as well as an external dimension. Thus, in law, an act can be criminal only when the guilty deed ... is done with a guilty mind"
Alternatives to Animal Testing:
First, even if he's winning that there are better alternatives to animal testing, that doesn't mean that we shouldn't test. Just because there's a better way to get to work than walking (i.e. driving is preferable to walking) doesn't exclude walking from being a way we can travel to work.
Second, alternatives just don't replace animal testing. Murali (4):
"The list of proposed alternatives to animal research proposed in the article calling for an end to it include prevention programs, epidemiological studies, autopsies, in vitro research in cell cultures and computer modelling. The first three are not alternatives at all. They don’t actually lead to the development of novel treatments, just a better understanding of the efficacy of existing ones. Meanwhile the last two are already commonly used in most labs, but prior to and in conjunction with work with animals. And as powerful as modern computers are, there’s still simply no comparison – the idea of successfully simulating the complexity present in organism-level biological systems is a pipe dream at present."
This has two impacts: one, that his proposed alternative of in vitro testing doesn't actually replace animal research, but rather is used in conjunction with it, so that's not actually a reason to get rid of animal testing, and two, that no current alternatives are as viable as animal testing is at present.
Third, his claim that animals are bad test subjects to compare to humans is just blatantly false. Murali continues:
"Researchers are very aware that animals aren’t people. Obviously animal responses aren’t the best possible predictor of treatment effects or side-effects in individual humans. But, what most scientists study are evolutionarily conserved physiological processes, that is, processes that are similar across different species. Say someone is developing a drug that should act on opioid receptors. The questions researchers ask are – does the drug target what it’s supposed to, and then, does that give rise to a benefit in treating a disease? To this end, mouse opioid receptors work just as well as human ones. Far from treating animals like small humans, individual animal models and even strains within individual animals are analysed many times over for their suitability to the research being done, and constantly improved until the best possible parallel is found. One strain of mouse, for instance, is very good for replicating a human-like pathology of asthma compared to others that barely develop any signs of respiratory illness. Instead of rejecting all mouse models of asthma as useless, researchers choose the strain that allows them to best approximate the problem."
(1) - Tom Still [Tom Still is president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. He is the former associate editor of the Wisconsin State Journal in Madison].Animal testing: Beyond the protests, instances of mistreatment are rare. WTN News. http://wtnnews.com...
(2) - R. G. Frey. Animal Rights. Analysis, Vol. 37, No. 4 (Jun., 1977), pp. 186-189. Oxford University.
(3) - Cohen, Carl. "The Case for the Use of Animals in Biomedical Research", New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 315, issue 14, October 1986, pp. 865–870.
(4) - http://theconversation.com...;
The differences between us and other vertebrates are a matter of degree rather than kind. Not only do they closely resemble us anatomically and physiologically, but so too do they behave in ways which seem to convey meaning. They recoil from pain, appear to express fear of a tormentor, and appear to take pleasure in activities; a point clear to anyone who has observed the behaviour of a pet dog on hearing the word “walk”. Our reasons for believing that our fellow humans are capable of experiencing feelings like ourselves can surely only be that they resemble us both in appearance and behaviour (we cannot read their minds). Thus any animal sharing our anatomical, physiological, and behavioural characteristics is surely likely to have feelings like us. If we accept as true for sake of argument, that all humans have a right not to be harmed, simply by virtue of existing as a being of moral worth, then we must ask what makes animals so different. If animals can feel what we feel, and suffer as we suffer, then to discriminate merely on the arbitrary difference of belonging to a different species, is analogous to discriminating on the basis of any other morally arbitrary characteristic, such as race or sex. If sexual and racial moral discrimination is wrong, then so too is specieism.
Animal research necessitates significant harm to the animals involved
Animal research, by its very nature necessitates harm to the animals. Even if they are not made to suffer as part of the experiment, the vast majority of animals used, must be killed at the conclusion of the experiment. With 115 million animals being used in the status quo this is no small issue. Even if we were to vastly reduce animal experimentation, releasing domesticated animals into the wild, would be a death sentence, and it hardly seems realistic to think that many behaviourally abnormal animals, often mice or rats, might be readily moveable into the pet trade. It is prima fasciae obvious, that it is not in the interest of the animals involved to be killed, or harmed to such an extent that such killing might seem merciful. Even if the opposition counterargument, that animals lack the capacity to truly suffer, is believed, research should none the less be banned in order to prevent the death of millions of animals.
Research can be done effectively without experimenting on living creature
As experimenting on animals is immoral we should stop using animals for experiments. But apart from it being morally wrong practically we will never know how much we will be able to advance without animal experimentation if we never stop experimenting on animals. Animal research has been the historical gold standard, and in the case of some chemical screening tests, was for many years, by many western states, required by law before a compound could be released on sale. Science and technology has moved faster than research protocols however, and so there is no longer a need for animals to be experimented on. We now know the chemical properties of most substances, and powerful computers allow us to predict the outcome of chemical interactions. Experimenting on live tissue culture also allows us to gain insight as to how living cells react when exposed to different substances, with no animals required. Even human skin leftover from operations provides an effective medium for experimentation, and being human, provides a more reliable guide to the likely impact on a human subject. The previous necessity of the use of animals is no longer a good excuse for continued use of animals for research. We would still retain all the benefits that previous animal research has brought us but should not engage in any more. Thus modern research has no excuse for using animals.
Some groups of people have less capacity for suffering than most animals
It is possible to conceive of human persons almost totally lacking in a capacity for suffering, or indeed a capacity to develop and possess interests. Take for example a person in a persistent vegetative state, or a person born with the most severe of cognitive impairments.
We can take three possible stances toward such persons within this debate. Firstly we could experiment on animals, but not such persons. This would be a morally inconsistent and specieist stance to adopt, and as such unsatisfactory. We could be morally consistent, and experiment on both animals and such persons. Common morality suggests that it would be abhorrent to conduct potentially painful medical research on the severely disabled, and so this stance seems equally unsatisfactory. Finally we could maintain moral consistency and avoid experimenting on the disabled, by adopting the stance of experimenting on neither group, thus prohibiting experimentation upon animals.
Would send a positive social message, increasing animal welfare rights more generally in society
Most countries have laws restricting the ways in which animals can be treated. These would ordinarily prohibit treating animals in the manner that animal research laboratories claim is necessary for their research. Thus legal exceptions such as the 1986 Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act in the UK exist to protect these organisations, from what would otherwise be a criminal offense. This creates a clear moral tension, as one group within society is able to inflect what to any other group would be illegal suffering and cruelty toward animals. If states are serious about persuading people against cock fighting, dancing bears, and the simple maltreatment of pets and farm animals, then such goals would be enhanced by a more consistent legal position about the treatment of animals by everyone in society.
First, my opponent literally is just ignoring every refutation I've put against him by just restating his case and not responding to anything I've said. Cross-apply the Cohen evidence I read last round that says that animals cannot be placed at the same capacity as humans because they are incapable of grasping ethical concepts and premises, thus making them unable to enter a community of moral agents, which would be necessary to gain rights (i.e. not to be tested on). This goes literally unresponded to. All my opponent is saying is that if they look like us and they act like us then they must be the same, but that's unresponsive to the warrants in Cohen which pre-empt those causes
Second, he can't say that "Not only do they closely resemble us anatomically and physiologically," in one section, but argue the point in his case that "Animals are very different from human beings and therefore make poor test subjects.". That's literally the exact opposite of his case, and actually benefits my side since if they are anatomically and physiologically similar, then that makes them perfect test subjects.
Animals suffering is necessary to testing:
My opponent is trying to use the very conclusion that I'm challenging to justify his arguments. He's saying that because animals will suffer and die and all this stuff that it makes animal testing immoral, but ignores literally everything I say about how this doesn't have to be something inherent within the system, and that this is something that we can fix without getting rid of animal testing. Why do certain animals have to be excluded from federal protection against maltreatment? Let's include them. Why do we have to kill the animals we test on? Give them homes in habitats where they can live the rest of their natural lives in comfort post-testing. He's provided no warrant for why animals have to be killed, for why animals have to suffer more than absolutely necessary, or even suffer at all, and this is the very assumption that I'm attacking and trying to say "This doesn't have to happen in animal testing. let's fix it!". But, he never responds to it, so hold it against him as conceded.
Alternatives to Animal testing:
Why must my opponent ignore literally all of my counter-arguments and just try to restate his case to rebuild his case? Cross apply the Murali evidence which says that not only are the alternatives that he proposes already in use in the current system, meaning that they're providing us results when in conjunction with animal testing, but also the part that says that animal testing is still superior to these alternatives as a method of testing ("And as powerful as modern computers are, there’s still simply no comparison – the idea of successfully simulating the complexity present in organism-level biological systems is a pipe dream at present.").
Moreover, cross-apply where I said that even if he's showing that there are good alternatives to animal testing, that doesn't mean that animal testing is bad. Just because driving to work is more efficient than walking to work, that doesn't mean that walking to work is bad. So even if you're buying this point, it's not sufficient to negate.
Animals and the Mentally handicapped:
Again, another day another ignored response. Cross apply the Frey evidence which establishes the differences between the mentally handicapped and animals which justifies why we don't experiment on the mentally handicapped and do experiment on animals.
Furthermore, cross apply the Cohen evidence which explains another difference. Even the mentally impaired are capable of grasping ethical premises, whereas animals are physically unable to. This means that the mentally impaired are capable of entering a community of moral agents, which is how rights are distributed, whereas animals are incapable of doing this.
Sending a message
One, this is literally irrelevant. It would send a good message if everyone who smoked cigarettes just trashed every box of smokes they had and the world became 100% tobacco free, but that doesn't give a single reason why we ought to.
But two, I can do this under affirming. My opponent's been blind to me trying to make this clear throughout the entire debate, so let me state it really plainly and simply (and in bold letters to make it pop): I WANT TO HELP ANIMALS TO ENSURE THAT THE ABSOLUTE MINIMUM AMOUNT OF SUFFERING IS INFLICTED ON THEM, IF ANY NEEDS TO BE AT ALL, AND THAT IF SCIENTISTS EXPERIMENTING ON ANIMALS MISTREAT THEM, THAT THEY ARE HELD MORALLY AND LEGALLY ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS.
Are we all good now? So in short, I can send the same good message.
Yay we can actually have responses and clash now! He made responses to my case! To go through them (I'll just use the same Roman Numeral system he used for simplicity) -
i - One, he provides absolutely no warrant. Two, my sources explain how animal testing has led to the development of these other factors that cure diseases. I never make the claim that because we poked around in a cow for a little while we found a syringe with a vaccine for AIDS in it.
ii - One, cross-apply all my responses for why the alternatives he provided suck and why animal testing is still a superior way of gaining information. Two, cross-apply all my responses for why alternatives existing doesn't prove that animal testing is bad.
iii - This is literally the same thing with his alternatives. He provides no reason why his alternatives will provide us with anything in the future.
iv - One, literally irrelevant. Animal testing has made a massive impact on society and given us some of the greatest medical advances we've ever known. Two, that's not true. The impact of animal testing through certain cancer treating medicines is still felt today, meaning that there's most certainly significance in the status quo.
v - .....okay? I'm saying that by testing on animals we've gotten major medical advances and can continue to do so. What's your point?
vi and vii (since they're the same essentially) - One, okay this is annoying. You literally said above how animals were similar anatomically and physiologically, and now you're taking it back. Make up your mind. Two, actually I'll make it up for your. Cross-apply the Murali 2 evidence where I show how animals are still useful for testing certain medications and their impacts on humans (" Say someone is developing a drug that should act on opioid receptors. The questions researchers ask are – does the drug target what it’s supposed to, and then, does that give rise to a benefit in treating a disease? To this end, mouse opioid receptors work just as well as human ones.")
And, don't let him actually extend on his rebuttals in his next speech because I won't get a chance to respond to them since I have to give up the last round, as his round format indicates. Since I won't get a chance to respond to anything he says in the next round, don't let him make new arguments and responses in his last speech.
Summary of the Debate:
To put it simply, my opponent hasn't done nearly enough work on his side of the flow to justify doing away with animal testing. He hasn't responded to a single attack against his case that I've made, rather just insists on restating his points without actually respodning to my refutations. Hold this against him.
At best, since I'm responding to his refutations and he's not responding to mine, you're prefering my arguments because I'm actually creating clash in the debate.
Moreover, he's not doing enough work to show that the harms of animal testing are something that we can't solve back for. He's just making the assumptions that animals are unable to not suffer from testing, and that animals have to die when they're tested on, which is the exact assumption I'm challenging.
Furthermore, he's not responding to my objections that alternatives aren't actually going to do anything different from what we're doing under animal testing. And even if he is, he isn't responding to my argument that just because there's an alternative doesn't prove that what we're doing now is needing change.
And, he still hasn't provided any kind of sources or citations, so you're inherently prefering my arguments as more credible. In the (unlikely) event that you're not sure who's arguments are more valid, you err aff since I'm actually providing the credibility that what I'm saying is actually true and I'm not just BSing things.
woojin05 forfeited this round.