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  1. #1
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    Experimenting on animals

    Do you think it's right to experiment on animals? If so, do you believe it should only be for medical or scientific purposes, or for all products ultimately aimed toward the human population (i.e. cosmetics).

    The below text has been automerged with this post.

    I think that human subjects should be used as much as possible, there are plenty of people out there who will use themselves as test subjects to get a little bit of extra money.
    Last edited by theycallmelisa; December 20th, 2006 at 09:34 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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    Re: Experimenting on animals

    Well personally I think experimenting for human use on humans would be better! After all don't we have an overcrowded prison system?

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    Re: Experimenting on animals

    Quote Originally Posted by theycallmelisa
    I think that human subjects should be used as much as possible, there are plenty of people out there who will use themselves as test subjects to get a little bit of extra money.
    I doubt that, most scientific/medical experiments require the death of the test subject for complete analysis.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

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    Re: Experimenting on animals

    I'm slightly torn. In general, I see very little wrong with it. The purpose (if I'm not mistaken) of testing on animals is to avoid harm to the human population, as, ultimately, whatever's being tested is most likely going to be used by humans. I think that's a good thing.

    However, I do believe that some ethical lines are probably crossed throughout the various phases of testing that is performed. That's where I see a problem with it. As long as ethical guidlines are strictly adhered to, I'm okay with animal testing.

    Yes, in a way, it does make more sense to perform tests on products intended for human use on humans, but like chad said, many tests require a deceased subject. I'm not entirely sure, but I would think that a dead human is going to react a bit differently to, say, a cosmetic product in the making than a live one.
    Judge of a man by his questions rather than by his answers.--Voltaire

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    Re: Experimenting on animals

    There isn't a parent alive today who wouldn't slaughter an entire SPECIES to preserve the life of their child and I have no problem with that. Animal experimentation for medical purposes is fine.

    Animal experimentation for non-medical purposes should be well regulated. There's no need to kill Fluffy and Mittens just so wal-mart can carry another shade of lipstick.

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    Re: Experimenting on animals

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric
    Animal experimentation for non-medical purposes should be well regulated. There's no need to kill Fluffy and Mittens just so wal-mart can carry another shade of lipstick.
    I find stances like this regarding animal experimenting a touch hypocritical. You do eat meat, right? Hence, you kill animals all the time, just because you'd rather have a burger than a salad. You kill an animal so that your happiness/comfort/etc is increased. I see it as no different than killing one to ensure the safety of a new brand of cosmetics, which improve the happiness/comfort/etc of the people who buy them.

    I am fine with animals dying to improve my life, whether it's my meat or any other commercial product. The only thing I have a problem with is when their lives are cruel. This has been the case in a few products I've researched, though not any that I would use (there was a women's hormone that put horses through inhuman conditions, for example).
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    Re: Experimenting on animals

    It may be hypocrital if you are against animal testing but still continue to eat meat, but in conditions where products can be tested on humans, why not take that route? Just because you may eat an animal for food, doesn't mean you want to continue exploiting them in every way possible.

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    Re: Experimenting on animals

    Quote Originally Posted by Lise
    but in conditions where products can be tested on humans, why not take that route?
    Because most testing done on animals is to make sure it's safe for humans. Say a new type of contact fluid causes eye fungus. You don't want to find that out testing it on humans, who are now blind and beating you with lawyers. When possible, tests are done on humans, since there are some differences between animals and humans, physiologically. However, human trials usually aren't started until after a product's shown to be safe on animals.
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  9. #9
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    Re: Experimenting on animals

    I'm a fan of animal testing, so long as it does not hurt the animals.

    With that said, the idea that humans some how have a right to exterminate a whole race of animals to save their children is wrong, period. One life is not worth the destruct of a species. Nor is it all right to cause an animal extreme pain because they are not human, nor does it become "okay" because it helps humans.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." --Voltaire

  10. #10
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    Re: Experimenting on animals

    Quote Originally Posted by Gold Phoenix
    One life is not worth the destruct of a species.
    If you ever become a dad someday it would be interesting to see what you say then.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lise
    It may be hypocrital if you are against animal testing but still continue to eat meat, but in conditions where products can be tested on humans, why not take that route? Just because you may eat an animal for food, doesn't mean you want to continue exploiting them in every way possible.
    Illuvatar hit the nail on the head. Human testing is only permitted once a product has shown to be relatively safe....although mistakes do happen.

    Let me throw another consideration at you....economics. Scientists work on a limited budget for the most part. Unless you happen to be a favored researcher at a major corporation that is dedicated to having a solid research program.....well unless thats the case, you have a set budget. If you are not in the corporate world your primary source of money will be the government. In fields were animal testing is common, that means the National Institute of Health (NIH) is your primary funding. That funding comes in the form of grants and often times its one time only.....so your limited on funds.

    Good science requires statistically meaningful experiments.....which means lots of test subjects. Human testing is expensive, even with volunteers. Just try to imagine the costs and risks involved. The costs necessary to cover all the associated health and safety issues are going to be astronomical. In addition if something goes wrong...you'll likely get sued. With all the costs involved its almost impossible to do such experiments on the scale necessary to get meaningful results. However, working with mice is relatively easy, cheap, and can be done on a mass scale.

    One more factor, controlling the conditions. Environment can have a huge impact on results and in science you want to repeat your experiments with as little variation in the conditions as possible. Little things, like amount of sleep, diet, etc all effect the medical condition of the test subject. Imagine how impractical....no impossible it is to control all the conditions for just one human. You cant feed them just one type of food and control the hours of light and dark they experience. However, you can control the conditions to a great degree when working with animals, which makes the variation between test subjects a great deal less than with humans.

    Animal testing is by far better than human testing in most instances.
    I typically cite original research papers and reviews that are available only to a personal or institutional subscriptional. If you wish a PDF copy of the papers I cite, send me a request.

  11. #11
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    Re: Experimenting on animals

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    I'm a fan of animal testing, so long as it does not hurt the animals.

    With that said, the idea that humans some how have a right to exterminate a whole race of animals to save their children is wrong, period. One life is not worth the destruct of a species. Nor is it all right to cause an animal extreme pain because they are not human, nor does it become "okay" because it helps humans.
    Why is this the case? I regularly 'destroy' flies to ease a minor annoyance. I 'exterminate' cows when I eat a burger, and pigs when I get bacon on them. I would assume that, unless you are a fly-loving vegetarian, you do the above. How is that consistent with a position against animal testing?

    Actually, before we go too far into that, let me ask: are you a vegetarian? If so, then we can get into a discussion about whether or not it's ok to kill animals to improve our lives. If not, though, I should be able to simply show that your positions are not consistent.

    And Clive covered the reasons for Animal vs Human testing pretty well.
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  12. #12
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    Re: Experimenting on animals

    I did a study on this for a research paper my senior year of high school, and was terrified of some of the things I found. Things that make no sense. One case, Gorillas and smaller monkeys were shot close range to see the result impact of new bullets. Nice, huh? I don't see the sense of most of the testing done on animals. I try hard to buy products not tested on animals (and for those interested, a list of animal testing brands can be found on Peta's website)...I don't see the point in testing shampoo on rabbits. As in drug use, everything that is proven safe on animals, does not prove sefa efor humans. My study showed that one particular drug (cannot remember name) was proven totally safe by all lab experiments, and basically killed every human that took it. Humans should be used; as no rabbit, or mouse anatomy can prove what ours can. As cruel as it may seem, as Wanna said, aren't we dealing with an overcrowded prison system? What better way to put those on death row to work for their community? Let them pay off their deeds by becoming lab rats.
    I can only be who He allows me to be, I can only stand where He places me. 1Peter 5:6
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  13. #13
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    Re: Experimenting on animals

    Quote Originally Posted by Iluvatar View Post
    Why is this the case? I regularly 'destroy' flies to ease a minor annoyance. I 'exterminate' cows when I eat a burger, and pigs when I get bacon on them. I would assume that, unless you are a fly-loving vegetarian, you do the above. How is that consistent with a position against animal testing?

    Actually, before we go too far into that, let me ask: are you a vegetarian? If so, then we can get into a discussion about whether or not it's ok to kill animals to improve our lives. If not, though, I should be able to simply show that your positions are not consistent.

    And Clive covered the reasons for Animal vs Human testing pretty well.
    No, I eat meat. My point here is not about death, but cruelty. Yes, killing animals is unfortunate, but necessary. Torturing animals because we deem it necessary is not necessary or right.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." --Voltaire

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    Re: Experimenting on animals

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldPhoenix View Post
    No, I eat meat. My point here is not about death, but cruelty. Yes, killing animals is unfortunate, but necessary. Torturing animals because we deem it necessary is not necessary or right.
    We can survive off plants alone, yet we don't (I heard crops are more efficent then livestock for feeding people from me science-teacher). We eat meat because we like it.
    Now, if we can horribly abuse, clump-together, drug and generally torture animals for the sole purpose of harvesting there flesh, I see no reason why we can't test Drug VBA3 on Fluffy if there's even a chance it could cure cancer.

    I'm all agianst pointless animal cruetly, but if it means Timmy might not die of AIDS, I'd stab a puppy in the face. I would hope everyone would. I would stab an army of puppies.

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    Re: Experimenting on animals

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    No, I eat meat. My point here is not about death, but cruelty. Yes, killing animals is unfortunate, but necessary. Torturing animals because we deem it necessary is not necessary or right.
    What if it is necessary? Is it ok to...

    Torture an animal to save a human life (ie, testing a potential cancer treatment)
    Torture an animal to improve human life greatly (ie, world peace, but a chicken has to be skinned alive).
    Torture an animal to improve human life somewhat (ie, average internet bandwidth goes up by 5%, but a squirrel gets boiled alive)
    Torture an animal to barely improve human life (ie, a superior makeup product is produced, but pigs are exposed to dangerous chemicals that burn their skin).

    Those three examples are because it's a matter of scale. Would you rip off a fly's wings to save your own life? You're brutally slaughtering millions of bacteria as we speak. The question is not 'is cruelty to improve our lives bad', but 'how much is acceptable'. To make the blanket statement that cruelty to animals is wrong seems inconsistent.

    I mean, no one doubts that we should try to minimize animal suffering, but I would much rather an monkey find out that OpraŽ brand face powder burns your skin than a person.

    4,444th post. Go me.
    Last edited by Iluvatar; December 22nd, 2006 at 12:26 PM.
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    Re: Experimenting on animals

    Quote Originally Posted by Iluvatar View Post
    What if it is necessary? Is it ok to...

    Torture an animal to save a human life (ie, testing a potential cancer treatment)
    Torture an animal to improve human life greatly (ie, world peace, but a chicken has to be skinned alive).
    Torture an animal to improve human life somewhat (ie, average internet bandwidth goes up by 5%, but a squirrel gets boiled alive)
    Torture an animal to barely improve human life (ie, a superior makeup product
    is produced, but pigs are exposed to dangerous chemicals that burn their skin).

    Those three examples are because it's a matter of scale. Would you rip off a fly's wings to save your own life? You're brutally slaughtering millions of bacteria as we speak. The question is not 'is cruelty to improve our lives bad', but 'how much is acceptable'. To make the blanket statement that cruelty to animals is wrong seems inconsistent.

    I mean, no one doubts that we should try to minimize animal suffering, but I would much rather an monkey find out that Opra® brand face powder burns your skin than a person.

    4,444th post. Go me.
    in response to your examples:
    -example 1: there will always be a cancer patient somewhere eager to try ANYTHING, even an untested, potentially harmful medication if it meant that it'd ease their suffering. (either successfully as the drug had intended, or through an adverse effect such as death) Testing human medicines can easily be done given the finding of a human who has consented. This waives liability if there are side effects.

    -example 2: this isn't even fathomable.... World peace could never be acheived by slaughtering one animal, or even all of the animals in the world, so automatically, by giving people that scenario as a possibility, most would lean to "yes, skin the chicken!" But it's not realistic, therefore cannot be considered as an option. My OP was asking if humans should be taking the place of animals in scientific/medical/cosmetic testing in the way it is used today, not grandiose ways like you have given.

    -example 3: see my response to example 2.

    - example 4: Again, there is always someone willing to test for this, however I do understand how, as someone pointed out, that that would be a costly alternative... Still, it seems meaningless to torture an animal to save a person from having a patch of skin with a rash or burn. There are many things on the market right now (hair dye for example) that can cause irritation to some people. These products have warnings saying so, and suggest a patch test to see if there will be any adverse reactions. Couldn't this method be applied to products that haven't been tested on animals? How accurate could animal testing really be anyway when it comes to cosmetics, shampoos and other beauty products? I'm not sure which animal is commonly used to test cosmetics, but I couldn't see much resemblance to human skin in terms of complexion, fairness, sensitivity and human skin conditions (i.e. eczema, psoriasis, acne, etc). Liability would not be a factor in this case, because by labelling products appropriately, it would serve as a disclaimer.

    How can rats or mice be comparable to the human body? Each animal has its own unique physiology, and experimenting on those closest to human physiology (e.g. chimpanzees who are close in physiology and intelligence) could be seen as even more morally wrong to treat something so close to a human, as a disposable biological project. Many medications have been tested on animals, then pulled from shelves because it has caused death, physical abnormalities or other serious side effects on humans. There are alternatives to testing medicines on animals; I've signed my health card allowing my organs to be donated to medical science, and I'm not the only one. Growing tissue or cell cultures from human cells in the laboratory is also another alternative. Animals just so happen to be used because they are are easy to come by and much cheaper.
    Last edited by theycallmelisa; December 23rd, 2006 at 08:08 PM.

  17. #17
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    Re: Experimenting on animals

    Lisa, you completely ignored the point of my post. I was not trying to give realistic examples, I was trying to prove to you that there is a point at which hurting an animal could outweighed by it's benefits to society. This is as opposed to the position that GP stated where torturing animals can never be right. I didn't ask whether the examples were reasonable, I asked what the response would be in those situations. They were aimed at the morality argument. With regards to the practicality argument, though:

    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa
    example 1: there will always be a cancer patient somewhere eager to try ANYTHING, even an untested, potentially harmful medication if it meant that it'd ease their suffering. (either successfully as the drug had intended, or through an adverse effect such as death)
    Tell me, when's the last time you saw a group of 10,000 cancer patients with nearly identical medical histories, environments, and that were willing to be dissected? Conversely, such a group of mice is much easier to come by. Furthermore, most research like this is destructive. Finally, it's downright unethical to expose a patient to truly untested procedures that have virtually no chance of success. Once animal trials have been done showing that the procedure might slow/prevent cancer, then human trials become viable, but not until then.

    example 2 / example 3
    As I said, ignoring the point. I know perfectly well that they are not realistic, that's not the point. When an absolute is presented, one needs only show the exception.

    example 4: Again, there is always someone willing to test for this, however I do understand how, as someone pointed out, that that would be a costly alternative... Still, it seems meaningless to torture an animal to save a person from having a patch of skin with a rash or burn.
    Soooo... it's better to give a human a skin burn than an animal?

    As for warning labels, no one's going to buy a product that causes skin rashes on most people. In fact, we have laws and a system of justice specifically to prevent companies from exposing this sort of product to people.

    And furthermore, a disclaimer is a start, legally, at absolving a company of liability, but it is far from a sure bet. I mean, when you read a bottle that says "May cause skin rashes", do you assume that it means that most people will get large, painful rashes? The company can still be sued.

    As for the effectiveness of animal testing with cosmetics, I understand that that's used mostly for safety testing. Furthermore, companies work for their own interests; if it wasn't useful, they wouldn't waste their money on it.

    Personally, I think that effort should be made to limit harm to animals, but I do believe that it's acceptable for animals to be harmed for the benefits of humans, whether it be for a meat for a hamburger, testing for cancer treatments, or safety testing for cosmetics.
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  18. #18
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    Re: Experimenting on animals

    Quote Originally Posted by Iluvatar View Post
    What if it is necessary? Is it ok to...

    Torture an animal to save a human life (ie, testing a potential cancer treatment)
    Torture an animal to improve human life greatly (ie, world peace, but a chicken has to be skinned alive).
    Torture an animal to improve human life somewhat (ie, average internet bandwidth goes up by 5%, but a squirrel gets boiled alive)
    Torture an animal to barely improve human life (ie, a superior makeup product is produced, but pigs are exposed to dangerous chemicals that burn their skin).

    Those three examples are because it's a matter of scale. Would you rip off a fly's wings to save your own life? You're brutally slaughtering millions of bacteria as we speak. The question is not 'is cruelty to improve our lives bad', but 'how much is acceptable'. To make the blanket statement that cruelty to animals is wrong seems inconsistent.

    I mean, no one doubts that we should try to minimize animal suffering, but I would much rather an monkey find out that OpraŽ brand face powder burns your skin than a person.
    No, no, no, and no. Animals think and feel like humans do, so I do not recognise a difference between a human or an animal expierencing pain.

    An argument that they are dumber than us and we never get to know the pain they feel therefore it is okay is not a valid argument. We thought the same thing about Africans fifty years ago.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." --Voltaire

  19. #19
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    Re: Experimenting on animals

    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    Animals think and feel like humans do, so I do not recognise a difference between a human or an animal expierencing pain.
    Quote Originally Posted by GP
    I eat meat.
    Do you not see the inconsistency here? You think that hurting an animal is the same as hurting a human, so how do you justify killing a human equivalent so that you can have a burger instead of a salad?
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    Re: Experimenting on animals

    Killing is not the same thing as hurting. Killing is not good, but it does not cause pain (Leastways, any humane way).

    I recognise that we have to kill animals to live. We cannot sustain the human race on plants. Therefore, killing animals is necessity; however, torturing them or using them to make us feel better is not a necessity. Trying to eqaute the two is a poor argument.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities." --Voltaire

 

 
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