Scientific Research: Can the Use of Animals Be Justified?

Published: 2021-06-29 07:05:39
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Scientific research: Can the use of animals be justified?
From time long ago, man has used animals for a myriad of purposes, be it food, trade, for work, friendship etc. But with the advancement of science to the level it currently is, scientists use animals for biomedical and other forms of research. Ever since the days of the great physician Galen ( 120-129 AD), who demonstrated that animals have blood and not air in their arteries, scientists have continually kept animals in their labs for research purposes. This essay examines whether this use of animals for research purposes is justified.
There are several uses for animals in research: Biomedical and medical research is done on live animal tissue understand the different tissues and organs in the body, knowing these helps to know what to do if disease strikes. These animals are used to develop new medicines and vaccines by exposing them to the diseases being researched then trying to treat them. Most of the specimens used in these kinds of research die or can't be healed from the diseases exposed to. The specimens are also used to test drugs and new chemicals to ascertain whether they are safe for human use, be it to heal or to harm.
The use of these animals raises an ethical question, one exploited by human rights activities the world over; is the use of animals in research justifiable? Animals are used in research because their biology is very much similar to ours', humans. So instead of using human beings as tests, which exposes them to various risks, animals are used. Cadavers can also be used, but then they don't have live tissue to respond to chemicals. But the very fact that live humans are not used to avoid exposing them to risk raises the question; the animals are exposed to the same risk, so why use them? It's been proven feel pain and emotions, just like humans do. Most of the research done involves testing new drugs and surgical methods. These involve a lot of pain and in most cases, death before the research can be perfected. It has been argued by researchers that animal research leads to important theoretical and practical advancement, but the sheer size of the suffering and death exposed to the animals is staggering. This in itself should be enough to stop the use of animals in research altogether.
A moral question which arises is that, these animals have long been considered as friends of man, for example a hamster or a white rat can be a good companion, a dog has been always considered as mans best friend. God entrusted these animals to us for protection and to serve our culinary needs, though some researchers will argue that God entrusted them to us to serve all our needs, so having them help in development of new medicine etc. is good enough. But still, isn't subjecting these animals to all the horrors which they go through a little bad? That would be like playing God, killing and reviving

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