Think. If you had a chance to save humans from pain and suffering, to expand our understanding with regards to medicine, would you hesitate?
If you were close to finding the cure for a deadly disease, or something that would change the way we look at humanity today, would you stop it from reaching its full potential? The debate about whether animals should be used for scientific research rages hard in today’s times and poses an important question for us; what should our stance be when it comes to this ethical dilemma?
One side of the debate is completely in favor of research on animals; this side of the debate argues that if a world-changing discovery depends on extensive experimentation that cannot be carried out on humans, it is important that we use animals to advance our understanding of the concept. The benefits it will have for humans outweigh the ethical dilemma by a mile.
Therefore, using animals for experimentation is ethical and practical. Animals are qualitatively similar to humans, susceptible to the same diseases, have short lifespans and allow scientists to control different variables in an experiment as they do not possess higher-cognitive functions that humans do. Additionally, it is deliberately wrong to expose humans to a disease, merely to observe the course of a disease. Furthermore, advances in surgical techniques, development of vaccines, antibiotics, and cures for cancer and AIDS have also been possible due to this.
Conclusively, using animals for research is a necessity but only if the process is legal and intends to improve the quality of human life or broaden our knowledge of biomedicine. Surely, there can be no progress until we can ensure a safe and healthy lifestyle for all.
However, the other side condemns this practice and deems it to not only be hurtful, unethical and a direct violation of animal rights but also not guaranteed to have a significant effect in science and medicine since humans are vastly different, and more complex beings than animals. Why should animals be sacrificed for a research or a study that we humans don’t want to be a part of, this group argues, it is inhuman to think it’s okay to sacrifice one group which will not benefit from the research in any way just to expand our knowledge or ensure our well-being.
Countless animals have died in the aftermath of studies and experiments that were almost useless to us and if this is not mass murder and torture then what else can it be?
Besides, any research that threatens the life and well-being of animals is not worth conducting, no matter what its benefits might be.
No matter what side of the debate you stand on, it is important to note that torturing animals, caging them and making them fear for their lives is cruel no matter what it’s practicality might be. Whether you think the practicality is more important than the ethics, depends entirely upon your own conscience and nothing else.
So what do you think, let us know your side of the debate in the comments!