The Instigator
Daniyar
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
dappleshade
Pro (for)
Winning
31 Points

Animal testing should be banned

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/14/2011 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 6,679 times Debate No: 18344
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (6)
Votes (7)

 

Daniyar

Con

Should animal testing exist or not? When animals' protectors say absolutely no, other people, such as scientists say yes. It is hard to decide who is right and who is wrong. Using animals for humans' purposes started from the earliest times. Natalie Kustcher, (2010), explains, experiments on anmals existed even in antique times, Greeks and Roman used them for vivisection. After World War II the amount of medical experiments on animals increased enormously. Animals were used for lots of purposes: for medicine, biology, education and training of doctors, for developing new vaccines and drugs, also they were used for cosmetics. This situation caused many debates and controversies. Especially now, when we have various organizations which protect animals, this issue has become a hot topic for discussion. From one point of view people understand that we should care about animals. They say that testing drugs and other things, for human benefits is unethical. From another point of view people like doctors and scientist claim, that animal testing is a very important activity for science, medicine and whole humanity. If to compare who is better to be used to conduct an experiment, of course people will choose animals instead of themselves, even though they realize that animals are also important creatures in our life. However, testing animals for new medicine showed most accurate results. Millions of experiments, which gave different results, were conducted by a great number of scientists. What is interesting, the results of drug testing on animals are recognized as the most accurate. Of course there are some alternative methods which can only predict the reaction, but cannot guarantee human safety. In this case results got from animal researches are the most reliable. Jaime Harvey, (n. d.), gives an example of a successful testing Parkinson's disease on animals, which is have already saved millions of people's lives. Whereas computers cannot give accurate and reliable results. According to Jaime Harvey, (n. d.), animal testing plays a big and important role in medical development in the last two centuries. The proportion of successful results from animal testing is more than 70 %. Due to testing drugs on animals, now we have antibiotics and vaccines that have saved many people. Dr Jane Goodall . (as cited by Simon Festing ) says that, people got used to take all conveniences from life and forget, that all those depend on medical researches on animals. Antibiotics and anesthetics are possible now due to animal testing. As an example the polio vaccine alone saved many lives. In addition, the remedy that now saves thousands of women with breast cancer was developed through testing on mice. Moreover, nowadays treatment and control of diseases and sufferings are possible through animal research. Over 70% of Nobel prizes in medicine on inventing new drugs have involved the use of animals. Even such known and useful drug like aspirin, which controls pain, was created based on animal testing. For instance, before using animals for testing drugs, there was such bad illness like the Thalidomide. This disease infect pregnant women and in the 50's babies were born whether without legs or hands. The treatment for this illness was successfully tested on rats so today it is not a problem . Additionally we must take into account such fact that inventing of useful drugs like insulin, Tetanus vaccines, AIDS treatment are possible owing to experiments on animals. (Jaime Harvey, n. d.).All we know such illness like diabet. And as we know the cure to this disease, especially insulin was invented due to testing on dogs. So nowadays testing drugs on animals has become so usual that people forgot about origin of most remedies. Tanks to animals, currently, we have drugs to treat people and it makes possible to save millions of lives every day, every hour, every second.
dappleshade

Pro

First of all, I would like to state that I am new to this site. I extend my thanks to Daniyar for putting forward this stimulating topic, and accepting my input on the debate of this issue. I would also like to ask the community at large for leniency in view of my relative inexperience! As Daniyar says, this is both a contentious topic and there are few easy answers as to the right and wrong of it.

I would first contend that to argue that a specific mode of research has previously provided vital and valuable information is meaningless in the context that most of this research has been undertaken with no other methodology available. Studies can be undertaken upon human cell cultures and engineered tissues, often at less cost than testing on animals. A company by the name of Pharmagene Laboratories in the UK utilises only tissue cultures and computer modelling in it's drug development and testing. (http://www.newscientist.com....) I put forth the argument that historically, animal testing was essential due to the lack of viable alternatives; the existence of this company shows that this is now no longer the case. Whether or not this is enough as a method to review a drug's effects on the entire system remains contested by those in favour of medical testing. The UK authorities and relevant boards however accept that this company meets stringent criteria for test safety. In short - I can be grateful to the animal tests of the past for the drugs they have provided us, without seeing a need for animal tests in the future.

The next point would be to discuss the failures of animal testing. Animal physiology is not human physiology. The trial of TGN1412, an experimental drug intended to suppress immune system response, is a clear case in point. Despite extensive animal testing, the agent turned out to have an adverse and indeed almost lethal effect on humans (http://en.wikipedia.org...). Aidsvax failed to protect human test volunteers, despite protecting chimpanzees (http://www.safermedicines.org...). It has long been stated that animal testing can certainly be downright contradictory in the results it provides, as well as merely misleading. (Indeed, the previously referenced article highlights the uncertainty amongst UK medical professionals that animal testing indeed has clinical relevance). In Dr. Andrew Knight's 'The Costs And Benefits of Animal Experiments' it is stated that in a study of twenty randomly chosen cases, only two proved useful in further developing medicines and/or consistent with clinical trial data. Several additional reviews illustrated cases where adverse effects failed to predict negative effects through animal testing methods. (http://www.newint.org...)

Then we may consider cost. The cost to rear, feed and maintain animal subjects is extremely high, as stated even by proponents of animal testing (http://www.understandinganimalresearch.org.uk...). Alternative methods are cheaper and thus less burdensome on the economy. In societies where governmental funding is provided for medical research, there is a corresponding lessened burden on the taxpayer.

The ethical debate is also of primary concern here. No one would put forward the idea that testing on humans in the same manner would be acceptable. Yet animals evince 'intelligence' and quite certainly feel. Scientists have considered it possible to develop a universal intelligence test which animals could take (http://www.newscientist.com...) and have variously noted that even molluscs show signs of consciousness (New Scientist, 11th June 2011, p38 'A beautiful mind') and that signs of intelligence and indeed emotion are not wanting from animals (New Scientist, 2nd July 2011, p41 'Claws for Thought'). If someone were to put to me that a small number of humans should be experimented on for research purposes for 'the greater good', I would be adamant in my objection to the idea. The same argument still applies when referring to animals.

Of course, I put my species and self-aware consciousness first. If there was a greater good to be achieved by harming animals , if animal research provided a humanitarian benefit, I would support it wholeheartedly. However, my previous arguments indicate that continued animal research is prolonging unnecessary suffering. It goes without saying that cosmetic testing on animals is completely abhorrent and unnecessary.

The argument can be put forward for consideration that a great deal of continued experimentation exists because the structure of scientific society, even within ethical boards, is geared toward a psychological comfort with retaining familiar tests, rather than out of strict necessity. It can also be put forward that such experimentation continues because the traditional methods provide psychological comfort to scientists with an emotional investment in them, namely the avoidance of any discomfort they might feel if they were forced to concede that they had participated in acts of needless harm. These arguments are of course not possible to prove, but I feel they are nonetheless worth offering up for consideration.

In UK law comprehensive regulations already limit the extent of permissible animal testing allowed in the laboratory, and is not acceptable unless it is believed that no other means of validating an experiment are available. In short, animal testing is already being phased out. It is my belief that as familiarity with new technologies increases and emotional attachments to animal testing falter, what would amount in practice to a ban would result in any case. Discussions of whether or not a complete, immediate ban is practical, I put it to the reader, are based on individual economic concerns with regards to jobs, as opposed to wider socio-economic concerns or research necessity.

I conclude by reiterating my arguments as follows. Firstly, to congratulate animal testing on it's previous successes and therefore conclude that it is essential now is a failure of logic. Second, there exist viable alternatives to animal testing such that it is no longer a necessity for a commercial company to satisfy safety testing requirements. Third, the usefulness of testing with regards to the differences in animal and human physiology is in question amongst a large number of practicing medical professionals, and systemic investigations of such trials have shown that animal tests can be misleading and often do not go on to provide the same results in humans at clinical trial. Some indeed have proven harmful. Fourth, the ethics of testing on animals when they can be shown to have intelligence and awareness, if not equal to that of humans, is highly questionable when alternate methods exist. Fifth, there are arguments to be made as to the reasons for scientific 'clinginess' over animal testing in both review boards and the scientists offering up proposals for review. Finally, an immediate ban would not necessarily have a far-reaching negative impact in an economic sense, given the astronomical costs of animal testing as a whole. I respectfully submit these points for perusal, and await the response with interest.
Debate Round No. 1
Daniyar

Con

Hello! Thank you for accepting the debate! It is a big honor to debate with you! Your arguments are strong.

However, there are another argument that animal testing is beneficial for us. Testing on animals it is important to mention that animal organs are the most adaptable to human body for transplantation. So it does not destroy a genetic structure, as a result we have various successful surgeries. According to Batul Nafisa Baxamusa, (2010), such surgeries like coronary bypass surgery and heart transplantation came to existence because of experiments on dogs. Furthermore, such serious diseases like polio, rubella, chicken pox can be treated and controlled by carrying out testing on animals. Moreover, Batul Nafisa Baxamusa says that, on DNA level, chimpanzees' body matches up with humans' in 90%. This big number facilitates successful surgeries and transplantations because of similar inner organs of chimpanzees and pigs with human's organs. According to University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), liver from baboon was successfully transplanted to a 35 year- old man in June 1992. This case was the first known transplantation from animal to human. In addition organs and genetic structure of such animals like rats, horses, dogs, mice, monkeys are similar to human beings, which can be also used for open heart surgeries and transplantations. As a result of animal use we have many saved lives. In spite of opinion that using animals for people's curing is wrong, we cannot deny that fact that annually millions of animals killed for food, they are used for agriculture, hunted for a pleasure of people and even euthanized. (Natalie Kustcher, n. d). So using animals for saving people's lives and treating them, by using their organs in surgeries, is not the worst deal. To conclude, there is a strong opinion that using creatures for experiments gives us more reliable results, however animal protectors like you think that it is a cruel and unethical thing. Advocates of animal testing say that, outcomes of testing on animals are the most credible. The proportion of successful cases goes beyond 70%. Moreover, such an important thing like testing drugs on beasts has saved and keeps saving millions of people. Due to experiments on animals medicine made a big step forward and found cure to some horrible, infection diseases. Besides, not only testing drugs, transplantation is also very important. Nowadays it is possible to make open heart surgeries, coronary bypass surgeries and transplant healthy organs to humans in order to save people's lives. Nevertheless you claim that using animals for humans' benefits is merciless and awful?! After examining all these given arguments it seems obvious that all debates on this issue will continue until opponents will understand all importance of animal testing in medicine and advocates will find the alternative which can replace them.
dappleshade

Pro

Once again, I would like to thank Daniyar for opening this debate, and agree once again that this is by no means a clear cut issue! Animal transplants are not really in the purview of testing drugs on animals, and I feel that this argument is therefore a deviation from topic. The case that Daniyar makes in favor of xenotransplantation can most certainly be refuted, however, as follows.

The case for xenotransplantation stems from the unfortunate shortfall between the number of patients requiring organ transplants for medical reasons and the number of healthy human organs available. However, there remain significant difficulties with regards to the actual process. Firstly, animal tissues age more readily than humans, meaning that even a successful transplant would likely need replacing, along with repeated costly surgery. Along with the inherent difficulties in avoiding cross-species disease transmission, physiological differences - including size, natural body temperature, and function - it is a fact that so far to date xenotransplantation has rarely been successful due to cellular or immune rejection of the foreign organ. (http://en.wikipedia.org...).

I contend that this methodology had the potential to be useful as an interim stop-gap due to shortages but that research into this will shortly be outstripped by the far more useful in-vitro organ culture (http://en.wikipedia.org...). Since viable organs have already been grown by this method and transplanted successfully into humans, and since there is no need to overcome the vast problems with xenotransplantation (organ rejection, the vast expense entailed in genetic modification of a species, multiple operations due to aging and so on) as the organ can be grown from the patient's own cells, it is likely that of the two techniques organ culture will prove more viable, less expensive and more ethical.

Moving on. Millions of animals are indeed killed for food, used for agriculture and culled. Using animals to save human lives would indeed be a fair use of them, but I must contend first and foremost two points. Firstly, it is certainly not conclusively agreed upon by any means that the slaughter of animals for food is ethical either (http://www.veganoutreach.org...) especially when it is not necessary - the American Dietetic Association has stated that a well-prepared vegetarian diet is not only nutritionally sufficient but may even have nutritional benefits (http://www.eatright.org...). Therefore, to contend that 'animals are slaughtered for food, therefore animal testing and transplantation is acceptable' is in error. Secondly, the labour and culling of animals is strictly regulated in many countries to support the rights of animals and is generally deemed appropriate only when a) avoiding unnecessary cruelty and b) a necessity of itself due to economic need or dangers due to disease. I contend that animal testing fails in both of these criteria due to the presence of alternatives.

Daniyar states that "Advocates of animal testing say that, outcomes of testing on animals are the most credible. The proportion of successful cases goes beyond 70%." I contend that Daniyar must provide a source in support of this and provide once again my own counter to this argument, the source provided in my opening statements (http://www.newint.org......).

Once again, it is also stated that 'due to experiments on animals medicine made a big step forward'. Again, I repeat my objection that to state that 'experiments on animals were of use in an era without alternatives, therefore they remain necessary now' is a logical fallacy.

I draw to a close by reiterating that xenotransplantation is by no means the most viable option forward for transplantation and even as a stop-gap measure should the technology become readily available first, which I doubt, it would shortly be replaced by a more humane, cheaper and ultimately safer scientific means. Moreover, the use of animals for nutrition or labour purposes does not constitute a good supporting argument for the ethicality or necessity of animal testing or xenotranplantation. Finally, once again I contend that the previous successes of animal testing, when placed in context in a society with improved alternatives available, do not constitute support for the need for animal testing in this day and age.

I await with interest Daniyar's response and once again offer my thanks for this intriguing and stimulating debate.
Debate Round No. 2
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by dappleshade 2 years ago
dappleshade
There certainly is doubt. (http://news.change.org..., and let's not forget the whole 'drug-testing company that doesn't test drugs on animals' argument). I understand the argument that the ability to examine the interaction of a whole system rather than a single organ or set of cell tissues is a strong reason in support of the use of animals in research, but it's certainly not a one-sided debate. In short, there are fair arguments for and against.

Animals raised for food certainly don't live 'better' lives; a short look at the ugly methods of factory farming makes that quite clear (http://www.veganoutreach.org...). Since humans don't need to eat meat, the raising of animals for slaughter isn't necessary. Of course, what to do with the large numbers of excess animals is a question in point, and a mass cull of animals would be just as miserable. Hopefully - from my point of view as a vegetarian at least :) - vegetarianism will grow, meat-eating will fail and the rearing of animals for slaughter will slowly dwindle. It's a long time coming yet, though.
Posted by RoyLatham 2 years ago
RoyLatham
There is no doubt that animal testing of drugs is still required to determine safety and effectiveness for humans. Some day chemical modeling will probably substitute, but we are nowhere near that sophistication now. Google "animal testing drugs still required" for a zillion references.

Con didn't make the case in this debate -- no references, irrelevant arguments, and that annoying wall of text. Nonetheless, the case is there to be made. Banning requires a deliberate sacrifice of human life to prevent harm to animals.

An interesting point of ethics comes up with this topic as well as in vegetarian ethics. Animals raised for food or for testing actually live longer better lives than those in the wild. Those in the wild have very short very brutal existence. So is it really more ethical to have never raised them in the first place. Would humans trade a relatively long life with a certain bad end for the option of never having been born in the first place?
Posted by sadolite 3 years ago
sadolite
I agree with the resolution, There are plenty of child molesters in prison that drug testing could be done on instead.
Posted by dappleshade 3 years ago
dappleshade
Thanks for the advice, Raisor, I really do appreciate it and will try to remember that. I was trying to rebut each point Con made in order but I can definitely see that separating the strands of the debate is a good idea, as well as outlining to a judge at the end. Thank you very much :)
Posted by Shaquille2015 3 years ago
Shaquille2015
Both of you have brought out some good information to back your position up. Pro you have opened my eyes up in this matter and I want to thank you for that. I was one to say "hey if killing of animal for experimentation saves a human life im all for it, but i would have to agree if there are other option then it would be unecessary suffering to animals. (I will have to look up some alternatives myself to verify just that). Con you did bring out some great statistical data which is always great in any debate but next time format your argument better so that you make it easier for the reader to grasp your thoughts
Posted by Raisor 3 years ago
Raisor
Pro I think your ethics argument could be tweaked to mesh with the rest of your strategy.

The bulk of your case rests on practical considerations and you even explicitly state human utility comes before ethical concerns of animal treatment:

"If there was a greater good to be achieved by harming animals , if animal research provided a humanitarian benefit, I would support it wholeheartedly. However, my previous arguments indicate that continued animal research is prolonging unnecessary suffering."

If this is the case, why include an ethics argument at all, since you tell the judge to weigh utility and THEN evaluate ethics afterward? If you win utility you win the debate, and if you lose utility you lose the debate, as this the primary voting standard. Only if you show utility to be a draw (or too close to clearly determine) does the ethics debate become relevant, as a secondary voting standard.

Therefore, the ethics argument serves a sort of fallback argument, a tiebreaker of sorts, after the utility debate is evaluated. You need to briefly explain this in your early rounds and then be VERY explicit about it in your closing, otherwise the judge is liable to either wonder how the ethics debate fits in or to just ignore it all together. In your closing round TELL THE JUDGE HOW TO EVALUATE THE ROUND.

State in closing "In R1 I said utility comes before ethics, but ethics is relevant. This means that you evaluate utility first and if I win utility I win the round, if the utility issue is ambiguous, I win on secondary ethical concerns. Of course I unambiguously won utility for the following reasons..."

Stylistically you might want to phrase it differently depending on the setting, but the basic idea is you need to be explicit about how the different argument relate to each other.
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 2 years ago
RoyLatham
DaniyardappleshadeTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: There is no doubt that animal testing is required to provide safe effective drugs for human use. Con failed to produce the evidence, however, so Pro wins the debate. It's not hard to find quotes from serious researchers supporting the need. Con's "wall of text" without headings or paragraphs was a real problem. Transplants are irrelevant to testing. Past use by itself does not establish present need.
Vote Placed by Lordknukle 3 years ago
Lordknukle
DaniyardappleshadeTied
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Reasons for voting decision: @ con, use paragraphs. That way it's not a huge wall of text that I have to read. Also, learn English.
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 3 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
DaniyardappleshadeTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Core of Pro's argument is that while animal testing was useful in the past, it was only a last resort and that we have other options now. Con never addressed whether those options were even plausible, but asserts instead that animal testing was useful in the past.
Vote Placed by seraine 3 years ago
seraine
DaniyardappleshadeTied
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Reasons for voting decision: S and G: Holy wall of text! Arguments: Con's basically came down to "Animal testing was necessary in the past, thus it is necessary now". However, Pro showed that new technologies have rendered animal testing unnecessary.
Vote Placed by Raisor 3 years ago
Raisor
DaniyardappleshadeTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro addressed very clearly all of Con's arguments, providing a clear explanation of how animal testing is not only not necessary, but possible uneconomic. Con's argument involving the 70 rate is somewhat muddled and unclear
Vote Placed by socialpinko 3 years ago
socialpinko
DaniyardappleshadeTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct for the hard to read format of Con's arguments. Arguments go to Pro. His point of research on human cell cultures or engineered tissue went basically unanswered as Con focused much of the debate on the outcome of such research, while ignoring Pro's point.
Vote Placed by BlackVoid 3 years ago
BlackVoid
DaniyardappleshadeTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con doesn't refute that computer modeling is an ideal alternative to animal testing. His argument was that though testing lead to benefit in the past, we no longer need it due to alternatives. This wasn't answered, which wins Pro the round. Also, Con doesn't explain why eating animals is ethical, which is a debate in itself. Finally, Con drops that animal testing has lead to medicines that were harmful to humans rather than helpful. Grammar to Pro because of the walls o' text.