Animal testing should be banned.
Debate Rounds (3)
Thank you to my opponent for accepting this debate. Best of luck!
A brief overview of animal testing: the inhumane practice has been around for thousands of years, back in the days of Aristotle and Erasistratus (roughly 300 BCE). Animals used most commonly in testing include birds, ferrets, mice, rats, rabbits, dogs, cats, and fish. You may have noticed that all of the aforementioned animals are frequently kept as domesticated pets. These animals are among nearly 25 million vertebrate animals who undergo cruel testing procedures every year. These procedures include the testing of cosmetics and medical experiments, among other things.
To exemplify the cruelty of these testing procedures, there is the Draize eye test. This test was developed in 1944 by John H. Draize, PhD, to test the level of eye irritation caused by various chemicals. The test is frequently associated with rabbits, but has also been performed on dogs and nonhuman primates. The rabbits, again most frequently used in the experiment, suffer from redness, bleeding, ulcers, and even blindness, and are likely killed upon completion of the experiment. Anesthetics are not required--the rabbits are fully conscious as chemicals are forced into their eyes. The pain is often so severe and so excruciating that the rabbits struggle against restraints, breaking their backs and dying in agony.
The example of a rabbit is usually not close enough to home for most. Dogs, however, all. The furry, loving companions that gratefully lap up their food, wag their tails once we pick up the tennis ball, and curl up close to us at night are frequently kept in cold, stark research labs, going unloved and waiting in terror to be pulled from the cage and being forced to endure a painful and unnecessary experiment. In an appallingly cruel experiment at the University of Pennsylvania, puppies were bred to have a degenerative disease which culminates in total blindness. As if this wasn't enough, the beagles, only three weeks old, then had their eyes cut out before they were finally killed.
An oft-heard cry from the masses is that these experiments are necessary. The suffering of these loving creatures, necessary?
Alas, many are of this belief, the belief that, in over two millennia of animal experimentation, we still have a need to inflict unspeakable suffering on another creature. In these two thousand-plus years, however, we have created more humane alternatives to animal testing. Among these are stem cells and genetic testing methods, microdosing, computerized patients, and in vitro testing methods. Many are skeptical of alternative testing methods, but fail to realize the additional benefits to alternative testing--benefits that go beyond stopping cruelty to animals. These include higher reliability than animal tests, greater accuracy due to the use of human tissue, a more cost-effective procedure, and a more environmentally friendly procedure.
The ineffectiveness of animal experiments cannot be denied. A staggering 92% of pharmaceutical drugs that are deemed safe after an animal test fail to pass clinical trials. Of the 8% that do pass these trials, half are pulled from shelves, as they resulted in grave, even lethal side effects for humans. An extremely poignant example of this was the 'invention' of the so-called cancer mouse in the 1980's. A human cancer gene was inserted into the genome of these mice--since then, thousands of cancer mice have been cured, yet we still do not have a cure for cancer. In a German experiment, 51 applications for animal experiments that had been approved in Bavaria were analyzed in regard to their clinical implementation. Ten years later, the research team discovered that not one single project had been demonstrably implemented in human medicine.
To allow animal testing to continue is to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the suffering of the same creatures we welcome into our homes with open arms and outpouring affection. These animal cannot speak, and the human race has an obligation to give voices to the voiceless, and to help those who cannot help themselves. Animals are creatures who think and feel just as we do, and there are no circumstances under which they deserve to endure the cruelty and pain of experimentation.
Animal testing has many pitfalls concerning cruelty and the lack of regulations applied to this research. These applications have also a positive effect as far as human applications and animal applications. Applications such as better animal medications administered to ensure our pets longevity. Pets are one thing having these research trials have advanced the field of medicine in the most profound ways, mankind's advancement in these fields have opted for a new age of medical breakthroughs. For instance, without animal testing the polio virus would still be a huge problem. Now over 90 percent of individuals diagnosed with this, gain immunity after 3 applications of the vaccine.
Research through animal testing also has a positive light in the area of financing, the animals involved, for example mice, easily breed in a controlled environment are a valuable resource financially. To be able to test on human candidates the cost would be exponential, not to mention the blow back. Testing on animals is a textbook case of the needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few.
In closing I'd like to remind readers that this is strictly a debate my own personal ethics and morality differ from the text above. This is a cruelty nonetheless. I'm essentially pointing out the benefits with animal testing.
My opponent does not contend the point that animal testing is the cause of unspeakable cruelty and also admits to lack of regulations in regards to the testing that is performed. This further highlights the fact that this process is not only archaic, but barbaric as well.
My opponent mentions the use of animal testing in regards to treatment of the polio virus. However, as stated in my previous argument, an overwhelming majority (92%) of pharmaceutical drugs that pass animal tests are deemed unsafe for humans. The polio virus vaccination was one of the 8%--an outlier case, if you will. The ineffectiveness of these drugs cannot be stressed enough. 88% of stillbirths are caused by drugs deemed safe in animal tests; the drug Vioxx was proven to protect the hearts of mice, dogs, and monkeys, but led to heart attacks and strokes in 146,000 humans; a scientific executive of Huntingdon Life Science found the animal tests and human results agreed a mere 5%-25% of the time. Even if, hypothetically, animal testing did not entail cruelty and suffering for the lab animals, a method of testing so inaccurate cannot be continued for the health of humans around the world.
Animal testing is incredibly costly. Up to $14.5 billion a year is spent on animal testing. One human patient simulator costs $50,000. It would take 290,000 human patient simulators (all of which can be used far more than once) to equal the cost of animal testing.
In conclusion, there is absolutely no valid reason to continue the practice of animal testing. Animal testing is costly, ineffective, and above all, cruel. Humans have no right, God-given or otherwise, to inflict pain upon another living creature--animals included. A dog has the intelligence of a two-year-old child, and we would never allow a two-year-old child to undergo such inhumane and appalling test procedures.
Thank you to my opponent for participating in this debate!
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