Ethics behind Animal Testing
|Topics:||Animal Testing, Animal Rights, Medical Ethics, 🐇 Cruelty to Animals|
Table of Contents
With the growing scrutiny on human experimentation, animal testing has rapidly risen in the scientific and research field. The use of animals in the experiment has become very common. According to Martin (2022), animal testing has contributed to significant discoveries in the field of science and medicine. The introduction of this approach also eliminated the need for experimenting on humans. Scientists currently rely on certain animals with specific features similar to those of human beings to conduct tests directed toward solving different problems. However, there are rising concerns relating to the ethics of these actions. Martin’s (2022) reports indicate that there are already increasing campaigns toward the abolition of animal testing. The general consensus made is that just like humans, subjecting these animals to such experimentations causes suffering to the animals, which is morally wrong. In this regard, the current study is directed toward examining the key reasons why animal testing should be deemed unethical.
Animal Testing is a Waste of the Animals and Cruel
In most scientific research involving animals, no caution is taken as to the safety and health of the animals. In this regard, most researchers expose these animals to very hostile environmental conditions without regard for their health. For instance, Martin (2022) reports that these animals are subjected to dangerous diseases that are believed to kill humans in an attempt to find a cure for these humans. The ethical concern is that these animals are exposed to diseases they could never contract throughout the cause of their lives. These researchers do that without considering the implications of those diseases to the animals. The reports by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), for example, revealed how rats are made to suffer seizures, the skulls of primates are cut to study their brain functioning by implanting electrodes, and mice are also made to grow into tumors for cancerous studies (Martin 2022). According to PETA, all these conditions are not ideal for the animals, and in most cases, the animals end up dead. The wasteful nature of these experiments is associated with the fact that a single experiment may involve up to 20 animals at the start, and by the end of the experimentation process, only one would be left behind. At times all the animals end up dead before the research is considered a success, prompting the need for the involvement of more animals. Based on the reports by Martin (2022), this is not only cruel but also very wasteful and a sign of disregard for the animals. In this regard, it is without a doubt that animal experimentation is very unethical.
The common ethical concern that revolved around human experimentation was in relation to the matter of informed consent. As highlighted by Archibald (2018), this basically required that the research participants consent to their participation in any experimentation. The goal, in this case, was to preserve the health and safety of the participants. These policies give these research participants a say as to whether they would like to participate in the research or if they decline the participation. If the experiment harms the subject, then the ethical expectation is that these individuals are exempted from the experimentation. However, the same level of caution has not been taken for animal research. These animals are subjected to tests without considering the effects of such experiments on their overall health and safety. Although the animals can not sign a consent form, the logic behind the introduction of these forms should also be applied in this case. The researchers should examine the risks presented by the research on these animals and evaluate whether proceeding with the experimentation could subject the animals to any form of danger.
The Associated Uncertainties of Animal Experimentation
The existing uncertainties around animal testing also raise the question of the need or validity of engaging in such experimentations. For instance, according to the assessment by Wang et al. (2020), numerous research studies employ different animal subjects to assess their compatibility and resemblance to human anatomy before deciding which one to proceed with the remaining part of the experiment. This implies that a number of animals are already subjected to the serious danger that they should not even be in. moreover, the selected animal also present no guarantee that the results obtained will successfully apply to human. The entire experimentation process may therefore be of no use in relation to the expected objective; hence the animals are exposed to unnecessary danger.
The presented arguments confirm the unethical nature of animal experimentation. The lack of remorse and disregard for animal life exhibited by these scientists raise the question of the validity of these experiments. These animals are exposed to various forms of danger without any consideration of how such experiments affect their lives of the animals. Given the magnitude of this problem, it is evident that there is a need to abolish such experimentation or introduce legislative actions that would help manage the scope of the experimentation. In this case, the overall goal is to ensure these animals’ safety by taking all the necessary ethical steps to attain this objective.
- Archibald, K. (2018). Animal research is an ethical issue for humans as well as for animals. Journal of Animal Ethics, 8(1), 1-11. https://doi.org/10.5406/janimalethics.8.1.0001
- Martin, A. K. (2022). Animal research that respects animal rights: Extending requirements for research with humans to animals. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, 31(1), 59-72. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0963180121000499
- Wang, Y., Zhao, Y., & Song, F. (2020). The ethical issues of animal testing in cosmetics industry. Humanities and Social Sciences, 8(4), 112. https://doi.org/10.11648/j.hss.20200804.12