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Animal Testing; Right or Wrong?

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Animal Testing; Right or Wrong?
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LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2916Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Animal Testing; Right or Wrong?

I thought I'd post this under philosophy because its an ethical issue, however if anyone feels it is misplaced then feel free to move it wherever seems most appropriate.

I am kinda undecided on this issue. I could not answer with a definite 'yes it is wrong' or 'no it isn't'. On the one had I do feel that subjecting animals to potentially painful experiments is wrong on a gut level, although I cannot rationalize it any better than that, but I am also aware that some animal testing is often necessary to ensure that a product or a treatment is safe for human use.

I think that testing on a chimpanzee for example is ethically worse than testing on a mouse or a rat, simply because it is apparent from observation that chimpanzees are capable of complex emotions and cognition whereas this is less apparent in a rodent. However, it is also apparent that in terms of similarity, a chimp is going to give a better idea of how something might affect a human than a mouse would.

I guess I would also take a harder stance on animal testing that is less necessary, such as cosmetics. Animal experiments on drugs and treatments are more justifiable than experiments with beauty products for example, in my opinion.

On reflection, this is a complicated ethical issue, and one that may provide some interesting discussion (we shall see).

So is animal testing right or wrong? What arguments do you have to offer in support of your view?
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Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:20 pm
australopithecusAdministratorUser avatarPosts: 4232Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:27 pmLocation: Kernow Gender: Time Lord

Post Re: Animal Testing; Right or Wrong?

Cosmetic, no. Medical, yes.
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Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:02 am
Duvelthehobbit666User avatarPosts: 1136Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:39 pmLocation: On a pale blue dot Gender: Male

Post Re: Animal Testing; Right or Wrong?

When it comes to medical testing on animals, as long as it is done properly, I have no qualm against it. What many people do not know is that these animals tend to have pretty good lives especially compared to those in the wild. They get fed well and have a nice warm shelter which is what everyone wants, and if they do get put down, it is a lot better than what an exterminator does to wild mice infesting a house (or executing the death penalty on prisoners in the US). Though I am against the research for cosmetics, I am not sure to what extent it is done anymore. I thought that there was a large catalog of data on the effect of different chemicals on animals so that cosmetic research does not need to be done anymore. Though I could be wrong on this.
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Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:22 am
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tuxboxLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 1172Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:05 amLocation: Vero Beach Gender: Tree

Post Re: Animal Testing; Right or Wrong?

We should experiment on pedophiles. The results would be more accurate.
"Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man." ~ Thomas Paine
Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:24 am
Duvelthehobbit666User avatarPosts: 1136Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:39 pmLocation: On a pale blue dot Gender: Male

Post Re: Animal Testing; Right or Wrong?

tuxbox wrote:We should experiment on pedophiles. The results would be more accurate.

We should test on people who think medical testing on animals is unethical. Just give them two options. Say that we need medical advancement and they can choose, test done on animals, or on you.
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Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:32 am
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tuxboxLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 1172Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:05 amLocation: Vero Beach Gender: Tree

Post Re: Animal Testing; Right or Wrong?

Duvelthehobbit666 wrote:
tuxbox wrote:We should experiment on pedophiles. The results would be more accurate.

We should test on people who think medical testing on animals is unethical. Just give them two options. Say that we need medical advancement and they can choose, test done on animals, or on you.


Unfortunately, animal testing is a necessary evil. That said, I do not fault people for believing that it is wrong.
"Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man." ~ Thomas Paine
Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:17 am
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2729Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Animal Testing; Right or Wrong?

Greetings,

Apart from the Wiki articles - Animal Testing and Alternatives To Animal Testing - there are a number of books which you might find of interest on this and related matters.

Peter Singer's Animal Liberation (1995), which started it all.

Joanna Moncrieff's The Myth Of The Chemical Cure (2009) and De-Medicalizing Misery (2011), as well as Richard Benthal's Doctoring The Mind (2010).

I think most people would agree that they feel uncomfortable using animals - particularly of the "fluffy" kind - for experiments.

Quite frankly, I would prefer animals weren't used at all - I certainly don't believe in using them for cosmetics.

The issue then comes down to medical testing. The problem is how do we define "medical"?

Despite billions being spent by pharmaceutical corporations on drug-development, there have been no medical breakthroughs in the past few decades. With the increase of our expectations about science, it has proved difficult to separate actual health improvements (due to the drug) from the placebo effect. There has been a tendency to market drugs merely as a money-making exercise, where the medical profession are become drug-pushers - particularly in the "pill-popping" culture that prevails in America.

Bearing the above in mind, there is a relatively smaller number of experiments that could be defined as "medical", in the proper sense of the term.

Equally, bearing in mind the "Alternatives" Wiki article, the need for animal testing is further limited.

It is this resultant smaller group of "medical" testing that needs to be justified as to whether animals need to be used - is this a real medical breakthrough or not?

Based on the above, my order of preference would be:

1) Cosmetic - No;
2) Medical
a) Money-maker - No:
b) Potential breakthrough - Preferably alternatives to animals, and (only if absolutely certain) choice between animals and human volunteers.

Duvelthehobbit666 wrote:When it comes to medical testing on animals, as long as it is done properly, I have no qualm against it. What many people do not know is that these animals tend to have pretty good lives especially compared to those in the wild. They get fed well and have a nice warm shelter which is what everyone wants, and if they do get put down, it is a lot better than what an exterminator does to wild mice infesting a house (or executing the death penalty on prisoners in the US). Though I am against the research for cosmetics, I am not sure to what extent it is done anymore. I thought that there was a large catalog of data on the effect of different chemicals on animals so that cosmetic research does not need to be done anymore. Though I could be wrong on this.

With all due respect, Duvelthehobbit666, I take issue with this.

If you were being used as a subject for, say, bio-warfare research - to develop antidotes to bio-weapons - the fact that you "tend to have pretty good lives especially compared to those in the wild" (ie, the real world) or "get fed well and have a nice warm shelter which is what everyone wants" would not be of much consolation to you.

Similarly I disagree with Tuxbox's suggestion of using paedophiles - or any other group of prisoners or misfits or mental health patients (including those so sub-normal as to be little different from "animals" and/or not to notice what's being done to them) - for any form of experiment.

With regard to the level of animal testing, here's a recent news article on the Department of Health's study from Ireland:

280,000 animals used for testing in 2010

Paws for thought. :cry:

Kindest regards,

James
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Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:26 pm
ImprobableJoeLime TordUser avatarPosts: 6195Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 3:24 pm

Post Re: Animal Testing; Right or Wrong?

I'm sorry, but I value my own species above all others. Actually, NOT sorry. :lol:

If a thousand animals have to be experimented on to save one human life, I think that's a trade I'm willing to make.
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Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:36 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2729Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Animal Testing; Right or Wrong?

Greetings,

ImprobableJoe wrote:I'm sorry, but I value my own species above all others. Actually, NOT sorry. :lol:

If a thousand animals have to be experimented on to save one human life, I think that's a trade I'm willing to make.

I'm not against animal testing - I would prefer that they exhausted all other options (including computer-modelling) before in vivo, whether or human volunteers or animals.

However, I'm not sure - and would certainly question - that it would require such a number of tests to determine whether something was of value or not.

Kindest regards,

James
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"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
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Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:45 pm
Duvelthehobbit666User avatarPosts: 1136Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:39 pmLocation: On a pale blue dot Gender: Male

Post Re: Animal Testing; Right or Wrong?

Dragan Glas wrote:Greetings,

ImprobableJoe wrote:I'm sorry, but I value my own species above all others. Actually, NOT sorry. :lol:

If a thousand animals have to be experimented on to save one human life, I think that's a trade I'm willing to make.

I'm not against animal testing - I would prefer that they exhausted all other options (including computer-modelling) before in vivo, whether or human volunteers or animals.

However, I'm not sure - and would certainly question - that it would require such a number of tests to determine whether something was of value or not.

Kindest regards,

James

But how far can this take us? I doubt that the result is more accurate with a computer simulation than with animal testing. Biological systems are too complex to accurately simulate in a computer. In the time it takes to run a couple simulations, more accurate tests could have been done to animals.
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Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:02 pm
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ImprobableJoeLime TordUser avatarPosts: 6195Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 3:24 pm

Post Re: Animal Testing; Right or Wrong?

Dragan Glas wrote:
However, I'm not sure - and would certainly question - that it would require such a number of tests to determine whether something was of value or not.

You would "question" based on what deep knowledge that you have that supersedes the knowledge of the people designing and overseeing the experiments?
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Tue Jul 03, 2012 5:11 pm
Dogma's DemisePosts: 576Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:23 am

Post Re: Animal Testing; Right or Wrong?

I'm for testing obviously.

I believe in animals rights but not to the extent that they conflict with human progress.
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Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:29 pm
The Felonius PopePosts: 324Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:19 amLocation: Arizona

Post Re: Animal Testing; Right or Wrong?

Dragan Glas wrote: 280,000 animals used for testing in 2010

Paws for thought.

Amen.
Dogma's Demise wrote:I believe in animals rights but not to the extent that they conflict with human progress.

I'm a vegetarian, and animal abuse pisses me the fuck off, but I have to echo this sentiment. Fuck me....
Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:02 am
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2729Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Animal Testing; Right or Wrong?

Greetings,

Duvelthehobbit666 wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:Greetings,

I'm not against animal testing - I would prefer that they exhausted all other options (including computer-modelling) before in vivo, whether or human volunteers or animals.

However, I'm not sure - and would certainly question - that it would require such a number of tests to determine whether something was of value or not.

Kindest regards,

James

But how far can this take us? I doubt that the result is more accurate with a computer simulation than with animal testing. Biological systems are too complex to accurately simulate in a computer. In the time it takes to run a couple simulations, more accurate tests could have been done to animals.

At present, it may be true that the whole human biological system may be too complex with current technology, but specific systems are capable of being modelled, and thus can be simulated along with possible effects of proposed drugs.

Mathematical Modeling of Complex Biological Systems

Mathematical models have the big advantage of being amenable to computer simulations. Models describing biological systems generally are too complex to be solved analytically ("manually") and therefore typically are solved numerically,that is, using computers to solve the mathematical equations that help predict the response of a biological system. With the availability of computer-based techniques for solving mathematical equations, the response of a biological system to different conditions can be relatively easily simulated in silico once a mathematical model is available. These computer simulations (so-called "dry experiments") in many cases require much lower investment and much less time compared with the typically more time-consuming and expensive biological experiments (sometimes referred to as "wet experiments").

Systems biology approaches have great potential for enhancing the drug discovery and development process. Currently, the productivity of the pharmaceutical industry is lagging behind its investments in research and development. The output of new chemical entities ("NCEs," rather than "me-too" drugs that represent only minor modifications of already existing drugs), which is considered an indicator of the innovation potential of pharmaceutical research, is only slowly growing (Lindsay 2003). The whole process of developing, testing, and obtaining approval for a new drug now costs an average of approximately $900 million for each drug that makes it to the market (Service 2004) and the process can take more than a decade. As a result, companies look for more cost-effective and less time-consuming alternatives to the traditional drug discovery and development process.

The article is well-worth reading.

Also, WikiGenes has a considerable amount of information on Systems Biology.

Further advances in computing will enable better simulations. [c/f New Parallelization Technique Boosts Computers' Ability to Model Biological Systems and Computer Program Could 'Revolutionise the World's Healthcare']

As medical science moves towards epigenetics, where medicine is geared more towards humans - such as genetically engineered drugs - testing on animals will become useless as indicators of safety for human-use.

You may recall the relatively recent case where a double-blind, genetically-engineered drug-trial in the UK resulted in the human test subjects "dropping like flies" and suffering permanent damage to their health.

It made a considerable impact on the news.

Despite the doctors running the drug-trial using 1/5000th concentration of the drug - which had already passed animal testing without any indications of the damage it could - and did - do.

I realise that for the time-being it may be a dream but I do think that in the future, testing on animals will become moot - even for weapons research.

Kindest regards,

James
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Wed Jul 04, 2012 11:40 am
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2729Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Animal Testing; Right or Wrong?

Greetings,

ImprobableJoe wrote:
Dragan Glas wrote:
However, I'm not sure - and would certainly question - that it would require such a number of tests to determine whether something was of value or not.

You would "question" based on what deep knowledge that you have that supersedes the knowledge of the people designing and overseeing the experiments?

My answer to Laurens, regarding computer modelling, part-way answers your question.

If you mean that one thousand animals die on one test, then I do question the necessity for that. If you mean there are one thousand tests - one death per test - then I'd accept that. provided that other methods had proven unsuitable.

I'm with The Felonius Pope on this.

Kindest regards,

James
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Wed Jul 04, 2012 11:45 am
EnemynarwhalUser avatarPosts: 4Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:32 am Gender: Male

Post Re: Animal Testing; Right or Wrong?

If animal testing saves human lives then the question of whether or not animal testing is okay kind of depends on your answer for whether or not consuming animals is okay. Seeing a we can survive without resorting to carnivorism [not a word] if you're a vegetarian then you may be able to justify animal testing I suppose but if you're an omnivore then it's definitely okay.

When it comes to makeup I'd say it's sort of a frivolous thing to potentially waste a life on. Even if the animal doesn't die, or doesn't even suffer it's a stupid risk to take. I don't know how long animal testing is needed for stuff like this though, it doesn't seem like it should take long to figure out what works and what doesn't. I assume at least that drugs are far more complex and than medicine.
Sat Aug 04, 2012 9:48 pm
CreativeCrookPosts: 22Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:19 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Animal Testing; Right or Wrong?

I often wonder why we are so ethically conflicted with the most core of animal values: survival.

The same kind of thinking that objects to 'necessary' animal testing is the same kind of thinking that goes into vegetarianism. We eat meat to survive, we test animals to develop better medicine to survive longer. It turns out these necessary evils have drastically extended our life expectancy over the last century (that I know of).

As someone else touched on, I don't agree with cosmetics being tested on animals. In fact, I think it should be outlawed and, consequently, destroy the cosmetics industry. The conceited should be the test subjects in this case.

I would favour alternatives to animal testing, even if those alternatives were less efficient (not referring to accuracy). I don't believe our survivability as a species depends on rapid advances in medicine; as in, we are not testing animals to save ourselves from extinction, but to only develop methods to combat illness, among other things. This could be a good argument for a case against animal testing completely.
Sat Aug 11, 2012 3:51 pm
Duvelthehobbit666User avatarPosts: 1136Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:39 pmLocation: On a pale blue dot Gender: Male

Post Re: Animal Testing; Right or Wrong?

CreativeCrook wrote:I don't believe our survivability as a species depends on rapid advances in medicine; as in, we are not testing animals to save ourselves from extinction, but to only develop methods to combat illness, among other things. This could be a good argument for a case against animal testing completely.

Abolishing animal testing because advancement of medicine isn't necessary anymore is a stupid reason. What we have is basic empathy. We (mostly) do not like to see other people suffer due to illness. We developed medicine to make people better. Healing makes the sick person better and in turn makes others feel better. All though I agree that alternatives should be found, they should only be implemented once it is as efficient and reliable as animal testing.
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Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:08 pm
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DeanBlog EditorUser avatarPosts: 593Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 1:49 pmLocation: United Kingdom Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Animal Testing; Right or Wrong?

Enemynarwhal
Enemynarwhal wrote:["¦] if you're a vegetarian then you may be able to justify animal testing I suppose ["¦]

I don't see why one need bring up moral vegetarianism at all, or indeed why one is more likely to accept the ethical legitimacy of medical testing on non-human animals if they are omnivores. Though as Australopithecus stated,the form of this practice we may logically approve of is that of medical practice, which will actually go to aid human progress, and reduce illness, and thereby reducing suffering, not superfluous endeavours like testing for purely cosmetic purposes . . .

By way of refinement:
Duvelthehobbit666
Duvelthehobbit666 wrote:["¦] We (mostly) do not like to see other people suffer due to illness. ["¦]

I emphatically agree with this sentiment as well, with the stipulation that I (personally) would replace "people" with "sentient life (on the whole),as a general rule. And I would extend the statement specifically with regard to illness (e.g. disease) to suffering per sé. Though there may be exceptions, it seems like the best argument that can be made for this, is from the simple fact that the suffering that may or may not be caused to the aforementioned animals being tested on, are outweighed by the almost certain suffering elsewhere that could be prevented via the application of new forms of medicine, whatever they be. And it strikes me that this principle remains fairly watertight whether one has moral objections to the consumption of meat (meat/fish/poultry)--as I do, or not.

CreativeCrook
CreativeCrook wrote:I often wonder why we are so ethically conflicted with the most core of animal values: survival. ["¦]

Using the word "values" in this context is an extremely bizarre usage of the English language. The ability of one to ascribe values requires the capacity for abstract thought, something which is beyond the scope of (almost) all (non-human) animals, and certainly of the ones that we eat, and use to test medicines, among other things. What you are describing here is an evolutionarily ingrained instinct, and NOT a value. Values are prescriptive terms, whereas instincts such as the survival-instinct of animate life, are at best purely descriptive terms, meaning that they are "core" (to use your terms) to the mental states that allow a species to continue, provided that one is still enslaved to the Darwinian imperative, as it might be termed. As most non-human animals are. As we were, not so very long ago. But equivocating instinct and value is absurd to the utmost degree. These terms are not interchangeable, I'm afraid.

CreativeCrook wrote:["¦] thinking that objects to 'necessary' animal testing is the same kind of thinking that goes into vegetarianism. We eat meat to survive, we test animals to develop better medicine to survive longer. ["¦]

This is false. I, along with The Felonius Pope too, it seems; am a vegetarian, and like him, I have no objection to the , by parity of terminology , "necessary evil(s)" of medical testing at all, for the reasons I've already listed above, provided that they are in fact necessary. Cosmetics, as you mentioned, is not. And second, you really ought to make it more clear what you mean by "we", and the part of this paragraph I am objecting to is highlighted in bold yellow. Since we are talking about medical research via recursive tests on animals, I will assume that when you say "we", you are referring to the we, who are lucky enough to live in 1st world, fully industrialised countries. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. And if this is the case, then your claim is equally false. There is no country in this category (developed nations) that I know of, wherein one needs to eat meat to "survive".

(The last of your points that I do not agree with have been addressed by Duvelthehobbit666).
~~L.N

“You ask ‘Is there any Florida?’ I’m inclined to answer ‘No.’ There is no Florida, there’s only this, this England, which nauseates my soul.” – DH Lawrence


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Mon Aug 13, 2012 7:57 pm
nemesissUser avatarPosts: 1259Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:29 pm

Post Re: Animal Testing; Right or Wrong?

i have no particular position on this subject, but i do wonder....

how much are the expenses of animal testing?

How much would cloning assist in such experiments?
what are the pros and cons of cloned animals vs bread animals?

can we make proper computer simulated tests that could replace biological organisms for testing?

could we create single cell organisms and/or bacteria to use for testing to replace large animals?
if this is already possible and being used, on what scale?
Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:23 pm
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