The US federal Government should ban ALL testing that requires the use of animals.
Debate Rounds (3)
Intro: Ever since the 17th century, we have been testing products on animals to make sure that they are safe for human use. Animal testing aids researchers in finding drugs and treatments to improve health and medicine. Many medical treatments have been made possible only through animal testing. This includes treatments for HIV"S, Cancer, insulin, antibiotics, and many more. Animal testing has proved itself to work and has saved many human lives already. Scientists use animal testing for one main reason. That is because animals are similar to humans and most cosmetics have the same effect on humans. Because we believe that animal testing is not only great but it is essential to advancing in society, we negate the resolution which states:
The US federal Government should ban all testing that requires the use of animals.
In this debate, the pro has the burden of proving that ALL animal testing should be banned and that nothing good comes out of it. On the other hand, the con has the privilege of demonstrating that animal testing benefits the humanity and the pros to animal testing outweigh the cons.
CONTENTION 1: THE BENEFITS OF ANIMAL TESTING
According to the University of Oxford, Approximately 3 million human beings are killed each year by general cancer. Leukemia, malaria, and lung cancer are the main contributing factors to another 4 million human deaths. Currently, there are approximately 2.1 million children living with HIV"S in this country alone and over 1,300 deaths from HIV"S a day. Due to animal testing, these numbers are dropping as we speak by at least 70 percent. So what you have to see is that because of animal testing, the human life is being preserved. 6.3 percent of the U.S population suffers from either type 1 or 2 diabetes, that humans aren"t the only ones suffering. Every breed of dogs, cats and other animals also have been diagnosed with diabetes. It is through testing on different breeds of animals that we have been able to come up with a temporary cure for this chronic disease.
CONTENTION 2: ALTERNATIVES WON"T PROVIDE ACCURATE RESULTS
In order for medical advancements to be made, we need to continue to use animals in testing. Where animals are used in research projects, they are used for a wide range of scientific techniques. Animals are used only for parts of research where there are no other techniques are available and can deliver the same answer. You cannot copy a human on a computer and get the same results. A beating heart or a pulse is irreplaceable and complex. While we already know a lot about how it works, there is an enormous spectrum we have yet to discover. A computer hasn"t been invented that has the power to reproduce all the complexities of a human body which cannot be created in a test tube. While humans are used extensively in Oxford research, there are some things which it is ethically unacceptable to use humans for. There are also variables which you can control in a mouse like diet, housing, clean air, humidity, temperature, and genetic makeup that you could not control in human subjects.
What we are basically saying in this contention is that even though there are alternatives, they won"t produce the same results that a real patient would.
CONTENTION 3: THE PUBLIC SUPPORTS THE USE OF MEDICAL TESTING ON ANIMALS SO LONG AS THERE ARE REASONABLE LIMITS
Simon Festing [Executive Director of the Research Defense Society, London] and Robin
Wilkinson [Science Communications Officer at the Research Defense Society, London], "The
ethics of animal research. Talking Point on the use of animals in scientific research," EMBO
Reports, Volume 8(6), pp. 526-530. URL=
Thanks to some extensive opinion polls by MORI (1999a, 2002, 2005), and subsequent polls by
YouGov (2006) and ICM (2006), we now have a good understanding of the public's attitudes towards animal research. Although society views animal research as an ethical dilemma, polls show that a high proportion"84% in 1999, 90% in 2002 and 89% in 2005"is ready to accept the use of animals in medical research if the research is for serious medical purposes, suffering is minimized and/or alternatives are fully considered. When asked which factors should be taken into account in the regulatory system, people chose those that"unknown to them"are already part of the UK legislation. In general, they feel that animal welfare should be weighed against health benefits, that cosmetic-testing should not be allowed, that there should be supervision to ensure high standards of welfare, that animals should be used only if there is no alternative, and that spot-checks should be carried out. It is clear that the UK public would widely support the existing regulatory system if they knew more about it.
What this means is that the public is fine with animal testing. A minimum of 84 % support it as long as we consider alternatives and that it is completely necessary.
I love debating and look forward to their response.
Ask the experimenters why they experiment on animals, and the answer is: "Because the animals are like us." Ask the experimenters why it is morally okay to experiment on animals, and the answer is: "Because the animals are not like us." Animal experimentation rests on a logical contradiction. - Charles Magel
Animal experimentation is less reliable, more expensive, and considerably less humane than alternative options. I'm going to avoid delving into consumer good research at this time, and focus more on medical research as that seems to be where the OP is aiming.
Contention: Animal experimentation is not actually useful and is not reliable. A recent experiment involved surgically embedding coils into the heads of monkeys in order to track neural activity, but further inspection of the test revealed that the neural pathway being researched was not involved in the progression of Alzheimer"s disease (Hansen). The testing of drugs is no more accurate. The American Anti-Vivisection Society states that "nine out of ten drugs that appear promising in animal studies go on to fail in human clinical trials (AAVS " Problems With Animal Research)." A prominent example of this is thalidomide, a drug designed as a sedative and an anti-nausea medicine for pregnant women, which in animal tests had very few issues in pregnant dogs, cats, rats, monkeys, hamsters, and chickens. However, when released in the late 1950s for human use, it caused high amounts of birth defects, as well as issues in adults after prolonged use (Singer 57). Oftentimes, drug research on animals can skew in a different direction. For a remarkable number of drugs, animal tests indicate little to no benefits and the test subjects may develop significant issues. As a result, these drugs never continue on to clinical studies, or need to be pushed through to human clinical trials via back channels. Lipitor, a medicine designed to lower cholesterol, failed in animal testing but was an important medical development for humans (AAVS " Problems With Animal Research). Synthetic insulin, crucial for diabetic people, causes deformities in rabbits and mice. Morphine, used for sedation and pain management, is stimulating to mice. Penicillin, an oft-used antibiotic, is fatal to guinea pigs (Singer 57). Animal tests run on these drugs, and many more, were inaccurate, and had they been relied on, would have held up medical advancement.
Contention: There are plenty of alternatives that are more reliable. Animal experimentation is not the only option, and it is not the best option. Alternative research methods have been developed and approved, and studies show that they are often more accurate, faster, and less expensive. Researchers at the National Cancer Institute use cell cultures to test chemicals for anti-cancer properties, and have been able to recreate sixty different types of tumors and cancers, including brain, lung, and reproductive cancer. Using this method, over 20,000 drugs can be tested per year (SHAC). Dr. Bjorn Ekwall developed a test using donated human tissue to test toxicity, in place of the LD50 test. Not only does this test have more accurate results at 84% compared to the LD50"s 52%, but it is able to target the toxicity on specific organs. Skin corrosivity testing has a 40% error rate when using animals, but is 100% accurate when using synthetic skins, such as EpiDerm or SkinEthic. Computer-based Quantitative Structure Activity Relationship models (QSAR) can also predict skin irritation correctly 95% of the time by comparing a new chemical to similar established chemicals using its properties (NEAVS " Alternatives In Testing). Scientists have used human cells to develop "microbrains" and bone marrow, and have been able to use egg membranes and blood samples to test drugs (Newkirk 63). The Embryonic Cell Test (EST) is often used to ensure drug safety for pregnant women, and has been named more valuable than all animal tests combined (SHAC). As Gordon Bacter, founder of the cruelty-free Pharmagene Labratories, said, "If you have information on human genes, what"s the point of going back to animals (Newkirk 68)?"
Other alternative testing options include microdosing, where human volunteers are given extremely small amounts of the test drug so as to learn effects of the drug without compromising the entire human body, in vitro testing, where cells are given diseases and results are found within hours, epidemiological studies, or studying the population to learn how diseases work, and clinical studies. Clinical studies often involve people who have already contracted an illness volunteering for drug trials (NEAVS " Alternatives In Research). The studies are carefully managed and so the risk to volunteers is minimal. Another option is computer models, which were used in the development of the "AIDS Cocktail", a potent combination of drugs used to slow the progress of HIV (Newkirk 225). These programs are able to simulate anatomical functions and can collect and manage a large number of research data points (NEAVS " Alternatives In Research).
Contention: Animal testing is too expensive and slow. Using animal testing, it takes five years, eight hundred animals, and four million dollars to test a single drug. Alternative methods allow, for the same cost, 350 chemicals to be tested in one week (Pacelle 342).
Cohen, Daniel. Animal Rights: A Handbook for Young Adults. Brookfield, CT: Millbrook, 1993. Print.
Newkirk, Ingrid. The PETA Practical Guide to Animal Rights: Simple Acts of Kindness to Help Animals in Trouble. New York: St. Martin's Griffin, 2009. Print.
Pacelle, Wayne. The Bond. New York: Harper Collins, 2011. Print.
Singer, Peter. Animal Liberation: The Definitive Classic of the Animal Movement. New York: Harper Collins, 2002. Print.
For a brief road map, I am going to attack my opponents case and at the same time build and structure my own. My opponent forgot to label his contentions so I will start from his first one and move downward.
In his first contention: He gave an example of a monkey being tested on in relating that to Alzheimers and then stated a statistic about the Anti-Vivisection Society. He also goes on to talk about how it is not useful or reliable. What my opponent is failing to look at is the other end of the spectrum. Without animal research, medicine as we know it today wouldn"t exist. Animal research has enabled us to find treatments for cancer, antibiotics for infections, vaccines to prevent some of the most deadly and debilitating viruses and surgery for injuries, illnesses and deformities. As I have brought up in my first contention, a multitude of diseases have been cured through the use of animal testing. Some examples are Smallpox (cow) 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). A short list, far from comprehensive, of some of the achievements made possible by medical research and the animal used to develop it. Here are more examples! An understanding of the Malaria lifecycle (pigeon), tuberculosis (cow, sheep), Typhus (guinea pig, rat, mouse), and the function of neurons (cat, dog).
The discovery of anticoagulants (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). I have named about 20 of ways animal testing has helped society and the list goes on and cures are being created everyday through the use of animal testing. My opponent stated that animal testing is unreliable and not useful. As you can see this is simply not true. Now I will be moving on to his second contention.
Contention two and three:
In this contention he basically just gives many examples of alternatives to animal testing. What we must look at is the history of animal testing. As I brought up in my last argument, animal testing has helped society in many ways and continues to advance. Living organisms are incredibly complex and scientists still only understand a very small fraction of the structures, chemicals, interactions and metabolic pathways in humans and animals. The only way for scientists to learn more about them is through organisms that possess these traits. That"s why animal research is so important for the future of medicine and the ability to treat and cure diseases. So what we have to look at is the history of animal testing and the benefits it has presented explain for itself.
I have addressed my opponents arguments and look forward to my opponents next speech. :)
Insulin is a little harder to defend - but not much. Insulin as a substance was discovered in humans. While the scientists who won the Nobel Peace Prize did their experiments on dogs, even they admitted they were merely replicating what had already been found in humans. In addition, animal-derived insulin often caused allergic reactions, which is why we now primarily use synthetic insulin, based on the insulin naturally produced by the human body. Penicillin failed animal studies due to its toxicity. The AIDS cocktail was completely ineffective in monkeys. Christian Barnard did one of the first transplant surgeries, using chimp heart, and each surgery was a failure until he began using human organs. Animal studies failed us in these cases and how many others. The alternative methods are what worked, and they continue to work for us now. The National Cancer Institute uses alternative methods to study cancer and to test the carcinogenic property of substances, and to test the efficacy of drugs in treating cancer as well. Pharmagene Laboratories tests drugs without using animal experimentation. It can, and should be done. Had scientists relied solely on animal research in the past, we would not have the AIDS cocktail, we would not have eradicated polio.
My other contentions weren't simply alternatives. Look at the numbers. The alternatives have proven to be significantly more accurate than animal testing, and significantly cheaper. I agree that scientists can only learn more about living organisms through things that possess these traits (in certain circumstances), but a human is not the same as a monkey is not the same as a mouse. Pretending they are slows down medical advancement by assuming that a mouse is going to respond to a medicine in the same way a human does. Metabolism, toxicity level, physiological responses are all different. Would you let a vet perform surgery on you? I'm going to assume your response would be no, because you're not an animal.
Masterdebatr91 forfeited this round.
jasmine.mastrolia forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Fatfood 3 years ago
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