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Animal Testing? Is It Unethical?


Submitted By suemcdee
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Animal Experimentation: Unethical or Unnatural?

Animal research has had a vital role in many scientific and medical advances of the past century and continues to aid our understanding of various diseases. Throughout the world, people enjoy a better quality of life because of these advances, and the subsequent development of new medicines and treatments are all made possible by animal research. However, the use of animals in scientific and medical research has been a subject of heated debate for many years. Opponents to any kind of animal research, including both extreme sides of animal-activist groups believe that animal experimentation is cruel and unnecessary, regardless of its purpose or benefit. There is no middle ground for these groups; they want the immediate and total abolition of all animal research. If they succeed, it would have enormous and severe consequences for scientific research.
Animal experimentation has been practiced since ancient times, when the ancient Greeks killed and dissected animals for scientific and religious purposes. Vivisection continued throughout ancient times and into the Christian era, becoming a replacement for human dissection when the Catholic Church banned autopsies. Animals were treated as insensitive objects, mere automatons incapable of pain or emotion.
By the 1800s, science and medicine were moving forward at unprecedented rates. Germs were discovered and vaccines invented; pills were created and diseases eradicated. Animals were involved in many research ventures, ranging from simple dissections to Pavlov’s classical conditioning experiment. With the advent of the factory line, animal testing became an impersonal study on large groups of animals, from rats to dogs to chimpanzees. The twentieth century brought more medicines and scientific breakthroughs. Psychological studies were conducted on monkeys and cats;

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