Pro or Con of Animal Testing Essay

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¶ … Animals for Testing

Concern about animal testing probably began in America after 1980, when a group called People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) was formed. Using a strategy of civil disobedience at first, PETA attracted national attention by such stunts as stopping the performance of a circus and spray painting the fur coats of some fashionable ladies. Since then, PETA has grown to 2 million members and a more respectable reputation. It is not only responsible for public awareness of animal testing, but it is also partly responsible for encouraging the development of non-animal methods of testing of products such as drugs and cosmetics that are intended for human beings.

Before PETA, animal testing was the norm, and few protested its validity. Even now, animal testing has many proponents. But then, it seemed like a reasonable choice since animals were the closest match to human beings. Animal testing has made many treatments of disease possible and has saved many lives. It also lets researchers test drugs that might be toxic and make sure they are safe before they test them on humans. As a result, many lives are saved. Besides, the drugs that are tested eventually are approved. These drugs can then heal people more quickly, and some of them might even save people's lives.

However, there are many more convincing reasons why animals should not be used in testing. One strong argument is that the results from animal testing are unreliable. Even test results gathered from a mouse cannot be assumed to also apply for a rat; and, of course, results from rats certainly cannot be assumed to apply to human beings. There is also the issue that animals being tested are out of their natural environment and in a stressful situation, so their reactions would not be the same as they would be in their natural environment.

There is also the expense, which is considerabl. Animals being tested must be fed, housed, and cared for. If there are multiple test sessions, the expense of the feeding, housing, and care continues -- sometimes for months. There is also the expense of buying the animals themselves. Some companies are in business only to breed and sell animals to companies that are doing research

These are powerful reasons for not supporting animal testing. But the most powerful argument for not testing animals is that it is not humane. Many animals are tested and then killed immediately afterwards. Others are injured or cruelly maimed in the testing, and they must then spend the remainder of their lives as captives. What is most upsetting is that many of the drugs tested on animals are never approved, so that there was no benefit to humans and those animals died for no reason at all.

Famous poets have described their disapproval of cruelty to animals. Poetry can be even more compelling than prose to express this exploitation and, as the poet Elizabeth Bishop illustrates in her poem "The Fish." She reels in her fish, which she surely was happy to catch, since she chose to fish. Then she examines the body of the fish very closely. Bishop then describes in exquisite detail this ravaged body; she notices the string in its mouth and that its eyes are larger than hers. She cannot eat that fish now, and she tosses it back to the sea.

Another poem, "Woodchucks," by Maxine Kumin, is about another encounter with an animal that goes awry. It's a story about an ordinary farmer who is protecting his crops, and who ends up as a murderer. The narrator explains that a family of woodchucks has been plundering his garden, but he has planned to give them a "merciful" death by cyanide rather than shooting them. All would be over in the morning. But the next day, he was surprised to see that the woodchucks had managed somehow to elude the deathtrap he had arranged so carefully for them. Instead,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Pro or Con of Animal Testing.  (2010, April 23).  Retrieved December 14, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/pro-con-animal-testing/73016

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"Pro or Con of Animal Testing."  Essaytown.com.  April 23, 2010.  Accessed December 14, 2019.
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