Animal Experimentation

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate July 2001

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Animal Experimentation Animal experimentation is scientific research that involves testing with live animals. Though animal experimentation can be inhumane, it is necessary because it advances scientific and medical knowledge. Using animals for research and testing is needed because only a whole, living organism can provide data that reflects a non-laboratory situation. Animal experimentation also provides a great deal of information about the animals themselves. This information is important because knowledge of animal habitats, habits, and physiology means that scientists can improve and save animal lives. Animal rights activists such as PeTA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) believe that animals should not be used for food, clothing, entertainment or experimentation.

Animal rights activists ignore the tremendous health benefits that people have gained because of animal experimentation. Animal research has lead to better treatments and cures for Alzheimer's, cancer, cholera, diabetes, leprosy, poliomyelitis, rheumatoid arthritis, smallpox, and yellow fever, and AIDS.

Vaccinated animals no longer die the rabies death of "Old Yeller."� Childhood diseases like measles, mumps, chickenpox, and diphtheria are rare in the modern world. Lyme Disease was quickly understood because of animal experimentation. Pigs have been used to simulate human health conditions. Using animal parts for transplantation (xenografting) has had some successes and some failures. Surgical techniques have been developed and perfected because of animals. It is now possible to operate on a fetus by taking it out of the uterus, performing surgery, then putting the fetus back inside the mother to continue the pregnancy. This fetal surgery is being done to correct a condition called a diaphragmatic hernia which is almost always fatal. This surgery would never have been possible without researchers using living, pregnant animals to develop surgical techniques and to test the medicines that are also needed. There is no petri dish that...