From fruit flies to mice, animals are used widely in scientific research worldwide.
This is crucial for allowing scientists to learn about human biology and to find out whether newly developed medicines are safe for human consumption. Despite its various advantages, the use of animals for animal testing has always been a subject of debate.
On one hand, it is considered morally wrong to use animals for human benefit. On the other hand, however, if the practice of testing on animals is discontinued, it would hinder us from understanding diseases, the consequences, and the effects of vital treatments that are essential to fighting deadly diseases.
Even though most of the time, the studies carried out on animals reduce their quality of life, now authorities have set regulations to carry out the procedures in a humane way. Let us have a look at whether the use of animals in research is justified.
Are animal models useful?
Through animal models, scientists are able to learn about animal and human diseases by studying model organisms. Insulin, vaccines, antibiotics, and organ transplantation have all been developed using research involving animals. Animals play a vital role in medical research that brings hope to many people with deadly diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, etc., who have lost faith in life.
On the contrary, no animal model is perfect for garnering clear results regarding how treatment would affect humans. Humans and animals don’t always react in the same way, making it unsafe for human use despite being tested on animals.
Do the positives of animal models outweigh the negatives?
The use of drugs on animals has drastically improved scientists’ understanding of human health and biology. The better understanding has led to the development of new medical treatments and drugs that have cured diseases that were previously deadly.
The dark reality of medical experiments is that the animals used are then killed. Moreover, using model organisms is expensive as this means purchasing animals, feeding them, and caring for them.
Is animal experimentation necessary?
Some diseases, including cystic fibrosis and asthma, have a complex process that can be studied in a living animal. Through animal testing, any risk of a drug can be identified and reduced before it is tried on humans. This procedure helps reduce the side effects on humans and improve their life expectancy.
To be tested on animals, it’s necessary that their cells have human-like responses. However, animals are not used in research where reliable alternatives are present. Some people argue that there is no need to cause pain to animals when mathematical models, cell cultures, and human tissues are present.
These can be used for medical research and to analyze what happens to our bodies as a result of newly introduced treatments.