The Instigator
Con (against)
0 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
6 Points

Animals should be tested on

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/4/2015 Category: Science
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,945 times Debate No: 72905
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (1)




Animals should not be tested on.
Did you know:
A 2011 poll of nearly 1,000 biomedical scientists conducted by the science journal Nature found that more than 90% "agreed that the use of animals in research is essential." [35]
Animal testing is cruel and inhumane. 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." [47] 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. [48, 49] 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. [65, 102] 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. [26]
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. [15] 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. [15, 50, 51] 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. [50]



The status quo is that animals are widely and generally used to be experimented on with certain chemicals and products to find out if those certain chemical and products are safe and effective to humans. Thus, it is the burden of the Con to prove why this status quo should change. He must provide strong arguments supported by evidence and alternatives as to why his proposal should be accepted.

On other hand, I will be defend the status quo by also providing good arguments backed by pieces of evidence.

The proposal of Con is ambiguous as he fails to set the parameters of this debate as to what extent the ban on animal testing should be, whether it is absolute or not. Because of that, I would assume that it is an absolute ban that he wants.


  1. a. Animals should not be tested on because animal testing is cruel and inhumane.

Response: It is given that animals do experience cruelty and pain to some extent. However, the question is not whether they experience pain, but whether that pain is justified. I would say that it is justified because the benefits outweigh the cost. Take note that scientists inflict pain on animals not for fun but for research. Consequently, this research would greatly enhance both human and animal lives and welfare. (I would elaborate this later)

  1. b. A 2011 poll of nearly 1,000 biomedical scientists conducted by the science journal Nature found that more than 90% "agreed that the use of animals in research is essential.

Response: Con, thank you for giving this statistics that would support my case.

c. Other alternatives to animal testing exists.

Response: Living systems like human beings and animals are extremely complex. Studying cell cultures in a petri dish, while sometimes useful, does not provide the opportunity to study interrelated processes occurring in the central nervous system, endocrine system, and immune system. Evaluating a drug for side effects requires a circulatory system to carry the medicine to different organs. Also, conditions such as blindness and high blood pressure cannot be studied in tissue cultures. Computer models can only be reliable if accurate information gleaned from animal research is used to build the models in the first place. [16] Furthermore, even the most powerful supercomputers are unable to accurately simulate the workings of complex organs such as the brain.1

In short, those alternatives you stated are not as effective as animal testing. With your alternatives, it would only endanger the lives of humans for producing inaccurate results.


  1. a. Animal testing has contributed to many life-saving cures and treatments

The California Biomedical Research Association states that nearly every medical breakthrough in the last 100 years has resulted directly from research using animals. [Experiments in which dogs had their pancreases removed led directly to the discovery of insulin, critical to saving the lives of diabetics. The polio vaccine, tested on animals, reduced the global occurrence of the disease from 350,000 cases in 1988 to 223 cases in 2012. Animal research has also contributed to major advances in understanding and treating conditions such as breast cancer, brain injury, childhood leukemia, cystic fibrosis, malaria, multiple sclerosis, tuberculosis, and many others, and was instrumental in the development of pacemakers, cardiac valve substitutes, and anesthetics. Chris Abee, Director of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center's animal research facility, states that "we wouldn't have a vaccine for hepatitis B without chimpanzees," and says that the use of chimps is "our best hope" for finding a vaccine for Hepatitis C, a disease that kills 15,000 people every year in the United States. 2

Moreover, because animal research, many diseases that once killed millions of people every year are either treatable or have been eradicated altogether. Immunizations against polio, diphtheria, mumps, rubella and hepatitis save countless lives, and the survival rates from many major diseases are at an all-time high, thanks to the discovery of new drugs, medical devices and surgical procedures. According to the American Cancer Society, the fight against cancer has seen 24 significant biomedical advances in the past 30 years.3

Similarly, Animal research for animal health also has resulted in many life-saving and life-extending treatments for cats, dogs, farm animals, wildlife and endangered species. Pacemakers, artificial joints, organ transplants, freedom from arthritic pain, and vaccines for rabies, distemper, parvo virus, infectious hepatitis, anthrax, tetanus and feline leukemia contribute to longer, happier and healthier lives for animals. New treatments for glaucoma, heart disease, cancer and hip dysplasia can save, extend or enhance the life of a beloved pet, and new reproductive techniques are helping to protect threatened species.4

  1. b. Animals themselves benefit from the results of animal testing.

If vaccines were not tested on animals, millions of animals would have died from rabies, distemper, feline leukemia, infectious hepatitis virus, tetanus, anthrax, and canine parvo virus. Treatments for animals developed using animal testing also include pacemakers for heart disease and remedies for glaucoma and hip dysplasia. [] Animal testing has also been instrumental in saving endangered species from extinction, including the black-footed ferret, the California condor and the tamarins of Brazil. [Koalas, ravaged by an epidemic of sexually transmitted chlamydia and now classified as endangered in some regions of Australia, are being tested with new chlamydia vaccines that may stall the animal's disappearance. [The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) endorses animal testing. 5

  1. c. Animals are appropriate research subjects because they are similar to human beings in many ways. Chimpanzees share 99% of their DNA with humans, and mice are 98% genetically similar to humans. [All mammals, including humans, are descended from common ancestors, and all have the same set of organs (heart, kidneys, lungs, etc.) that function in essentially the same way with the help of a bloodstream and central nervous system. Because animals and humans are so biologically similar, they are susceptible to many of the same conditions and illnesses, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. 6


1 2Animal testing. URL:

3 4 Trull, F. Animal-test research has saved many human lives. URL:

5 6 Animal testing. URL:

Debate Round No. 1


Animal tests do not reliably predict results in human beings. 94% of drugs that pass animal tests fail in human clinical trials. [57] According to neurologist Aysha Akhtar, MD, MPH, over 100 stroke drugs that were effective when tested on animals have failed in humans, and over 85 HIV vaccines failed in humans after working well in non-human primates. [58] A 2013 study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) found that nearly 150 clinical trials (human tests) of treatments to reduce inflammation in critically ill patients have been undertaken, and all of them failed, despite being successful in animal tests. [59, 58] A 2013 study in Archives of Toxicology stated that "The low predictivity of animal experiments in research areas allowing direct comparisons of mouse versus human data puts strong doubt on the usefulness of animal data as key technology to predict human safety." [60]
---------Drugs that pass animal tests are not necessarily safe. The 1950s sleeping pill thalidomide, which caused 10,000 babies to be born with severe deformities, was tested on animals prior to its commercial release. [5] Later tests on pregnant mice, rats, guinea pigs, cats, and hamsters did not result in birth defects unless the drug was administered at extremely high doses. [109, 110] Animal tests on the arthritis drug Vioxx showed that it had a protective effect on the hearts of mice, yet the drug went on to cause more than 27,000 heart attacks and sudden cardiac deaths before being pulled from the market. [55, 56]

Animals can suffer like humans do, so it is speciesism to experiment on them while we refrain from experimenting on humans. All suffering is undesirable, whether it be in humans or animals. Discriminating against animals because they do not have the cognitive ability, language, or moral judgment that humans do is no more justifiable than discriminating against human beings with severe mental impairments. [66, 67] As English philosopher Jeremy Bentham wrote in the 1700s, "The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?" [66]


I would like to ask my opponent to please use proper citation so I can verify his source, not just copy and paste the same.

My opponent did not rebut my arguments that (1) Animal testing has contributed to many life-saving cures and treatments, and (2) Animals themselves benefit from the results of animal testing. (these two arguments have already been proven above and is not dependent on the third argument)

He focused only in (3) Animals are appropriate research subjects because they are similar to human beings in many ways.

He said, “animal tests do not reliably predict results in human beings and… Drugs that pass animal tests are not necessarily safe.” I did not say that animal tests are 100% reliable and accurate, what I have just said is that there are no better alternatives that can produce more effective results. Moreover, the alternatives you stated are not proven to be effective compared to animal testing. In fact, According to the US-based Foundation for Biomedical Research, 'animal research has played a vital role in virtually every major medical advance of the last century - for both human and veterinary health. From antibiotics to blood transfusions, from dialysis to organ transplantation, from vaccinations to chemotherapy, bypass surgery and joint replacement, practically every present-day protocol for the prevention, treatment, cure and control of disease, pain and suffering is based on knowledge attained through research with lab animals.'1

Similarly, here are other benefits of animal testing:

Smallpox (cow): The vaccinia vaccine against smallpox was derived from the cowpox virus used by Edward Jenner following his observation that farm workers who contracted cowpox were protected against smallpox - It has now been eradicated from earth. Polio has been eradicated from North America and people in countries all over the world are being successfully treated (mouse and monkey). Insulin is now able to help control diabetes (dog, fish). There are vaccines for tetanus (horse), rubella (monkey), anthrax (sheep), and rabies (dog, rabbit).

Animal testing has also led to advances in our knowledge that may help us develop additional cures, including an understanding of the Malaria lifecycle (pigeon), tuberculosis (cow, sheep), Typhus (guinea pig, rat, mouse), and the function of neurons (cat, dog). Vivisection was also crucial in the discovery of anti-blood-clotting drugs for the treatment of haemophilia (cat), penicillin (mouse), open heart surgery and cardiac pacemakers (dog), lithium (rat, guinea pig), treatment for leprosy (armadillo), organ transplantations (dog, sheep, cow, pig), laproscopic surgical techniques (pig), and a drug for AIDS treatment (monkey).

Lastly, he said, “Animals can suffer like humans.” I have already rebutted this. Animals do suffer but their suffering is justified because the benefits outweigh the cost.



Debate Round No. 2


Kuryn.Brunson13 forfeited this round.


Pls vote!
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Atheism_Debater 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Con used lots of evidence, yet didn't cite sources leaving them useless. ff at end pro wins