UsingAnimals for Research
Animal researches remains a challenging task for the animaladvocates because of what, is considered to be at stake, forinstance, human health. The purpose of this research paper isattempted to vindicate the position of antivivisectionist. The majordefense of animal research, as overwhelming promotion of good humanhealth, is refuted on both logical and factual, or better still, ontheoretical-normative grounds. Again, the paper seeks to clinch thecase on grounds that animal research violates a principle of deontic.This principle, however, falls on counterexample. The paper thenconcludes that the same principle retains the force as a presumptivemeasure since the current stand on the topic fails to materialize.However, it does not suggest that antivivisection commanding voice onthe subject is advised otherwise. While proposing to do so, byemulating movement against animal research, promotion to givingalternatives to animal research is examined.
To begin with,use of animal for research is wrong. This refers to the use ofnon-human animals for experimentations in the laboratories thatinvolves physically inflicting them with pain, mutilation, pain,restricting them in cages, and finally killing them (Grayson &British Library 76). As much as it is difficult to prove the sound ofthis intuition, animal research remains an exceptionally challengingissue for those advocating for animals use. This is because of tworeasons.
First, thenumber of animals that are used in the laboratories, even when inmillions, is still a negligible number when compared, let us say, tothe number that is raised and slaughtered specifically for food. Forinstance, Institute for Laboratory Animal Research & NationalResearch Council (33) exclaimed that “from statisticians’ pointof view … all the animals that humans interact with, are farmedand those that are note, are insignificant, statistically”. Onequestion that may be raised here is: Why make a huge fuss aboutanimal research, especially when one is more concerned with animals?Secondly, another issue is that opposing animal research, and inparticular, the medical variety, appears to be against a matter oflife and death. It is easier to attack the use of animals for foodsince human beings are not supposed to eat these animals for survivalpurposes. But since animal research has made differences betweensickness and health, pain and relief, debility and capability,longevity and ultimate demise, seems beyond a matter of question.Paul & Paul (44) argued that “it is necessary to use non-humananimals for biomedical research, although flawed, which is at leastunderstandable, than for other uses”.
Those in supportof animal research argue that it has significant advantage andeventual payoff in getting rid of human misery. However, this claimdoes not hold any water, solely on empirical grounds, since there islack of evidence. Even though there may be evidences that animalresearch has led to the above claim, there is no logical point ofview that the claim is justified. Two distinct reasons support this,and both are also based on utilitarian assumption. First,utilitarianism is known to be a moral thesis that claims that the endjustifies the means. Therefore, the above argument thus claims thatthe human welfare, at the end, justifies the initial use of animalsin research, even when the welfare of the animals in question iscompromised (Institute for Laboratory Animal Research & NationalResearch Council, 35).
In objection tothis claim, it distorts the actual meaning of utilitarianism. This isbecause utilitarianism does not dictate that anything done thatproduces some good, is justified, even if it is significant good, andonly that any practice that produces any good, should be embraced.After all, whether national health budget is used to alleviatesuffering of a million people, that is good however, if it ispossible to alleviate suffering of the same million people by use ofalternative strategies, while all the other things remain equal, thechange would be better, however, it appears obligatory to maintainplausibility.
So the questionhere should be: is animal research more effective than any otheralternative method of research? The answer to this question is no,which is far from obvious. Consider this, a medical situation basedon animal research has, as costs, positive negatives, for instance,drugs proved harmless when used in other animals, but in turn areharmful when used in human beings, or better still false negativesthat are potentially useful for human beings, which were neverdeveloped since they proved to be harmful to non-human animals(Haugen 78). Also, it is also suggested that the medical research initself, should be demoted perhaps, since it is already known thatjustification shifts major resources to exercise promotion ofrelaxation, proper diet, and exercise.
Again, argumentagainst animal research is that it embraces utilitarianism in a badway. For instance, if medics were genuinely utilitarian, would it behard for them to use human beings for most of the research that theycurrently use other animals? However similar the other non-humananimals maybe, human beings are after all more similar since they areidentical. It is therefore clear and arguable that humans would serveas the better models of most of the diseases in humans, but it isobvious medical researchers would never use them in this manner.
If for once itis granted that utilitarian point for using animas for research isthus discredited, then are left with morals to defend in regard toanimal research (Grayson & British Library 51). The contradictionfrom using these animals has since been left unfinished, and it isused simply because it is possible. Humans, from a long time ago,have achieved a lot, and with absolute power over all the animals inthe world. One fact that remains is that, the medical use of animalsfor research appears to be the most compelling, and it does notchange the fact that humans have performed some kind of reversal tocommon principles of ethics.
For the abovenotion should generally be agreed upon that “ought” should imply“can”, that is to say, there is no obligation to perform anythingthan what we are not capable of doing. However, animal researchpractice averts that “can” should imply “ought”, which is apseudo-principle that should never be applied in other contexts (Paul& Paul 98), simply because one may be capable of terminating thelife of a forest monkey does not mean one is morally entitled to dothat. Then why is it viewed as normal when a rat in a laboratory isused speculatively to find a cure for a disease?
The mosthorrific lab experiments done on animals can easily be paralleled bythose atrocities committed by human animals on one another. As aresult of this, it is valid to come to a conclusion that humans notvaluing other humans without mentioning their intrinsically highvalue. It should be known that it is hard to conclude that thesenon-human animals lack intrinsic value (Institute for LaboratoryAnimal Research & National Research Council 39). Suppose that itwas true that humans do not place other animals highly, or evenstill, non-human animals have very negligible value, as a matter ofethical fact. This brings the claim to the second part of theargument, in which the conclusion would not be due. To put it thisway, suppose non-human animals were intrinsically without value:their function would still not be regarded as “cheap” since vasttechnological and human infrastructure would be required to conductresearch. And while reverting to the previous argument, it is notproof of such superiority to the availability of animal research.This could make no sense in redirecting the health-promotion money toother practices, which have been proven to be more efficacious.
Countenance isdone of willful harm and killing among humans under certaincircumstances. These can be summed up, perhaps, roughly as towhenever a person threatens or commits harm to another person, who isharmless herself. It should be noted that harm justifies the claimmore inadvertently for example, the moment when SWAT team takes apoor person across the street that he or she has been deceived byterrorists (Haugen 102). The belief is that the button that he or sheis about to push only set off some harmless fireworks when it couldhave triggered a bomb in the marketplace.
However, it isnot known that humans condone the killing or harm of other humansjust to bring about a good thing or avert a bad thing. Even when theorgans in the body of a healthy person could save four other people,it will never be considered moral or ethical to “farm” for thesame purpose (Grayson & British Library 121). The missing linkhere is that, in the normal cases, one is not in any way, eitherunintentionally or intentionally, be responsible for the situation ofthe other four people. Therefore, this ethical distinction can bedrawn: Harming and killing humans can be justified sometimes in orderto eliminate or reduce something bad, but specifically in thosesituations where the victim is, has been, or could be plausibleinstrumentally in causing the bad.
It istherefore arguable enough to realize that the “cost” ofinflicting harm or killing for medical research may be outweighed bythe importance of giving promotion to human welfare, or better still,that of other animals. It should also be noted that individualanimals that are either harmed of killed are in a way instrumental todamages that animal research attempts to ameliorate, or in a waythreatens to trigger it. But in this respect, it should be known thatlaboratory animals are both innocuous and innocent (Baron 89). Theburden of proof, therefore, is placed on the animal researcher togive reasons why it would be permissible to violate universalprohibition of such act, in the case of non-human animals thathappens to be pets.
Today’sresearchers believe that what they are doing is justified in twocontexts, both as the means and the ends a win-win situation. Forthey consider their goals noble, preventing or curing diseases inhuman beings and other animals, and also find a way to prolong livesand relieve suffering, by making sure that animals use and theirsuffering are reduced.
However, thepaper concludes that it does not work that way for the followingreasons. One, humaneness in this kind of research is based on arhetorical house of cards. Secondly, it implied the utility ofpracticing animal research, that is to say, its utility to strategiespromotion of human health does not involve experimental research ofother animals, it is only thought of and has never been proved or thedeed dubitable. Again, when sufficiently mindful and knowledgeable ofother animals, and the manner in which they are treated in research,it is in fact easy to value them by resisting carrying out researchwith them. Finally, there is the presence of optimal utility the useof animals could not be justified since it violates the basic rule ofmoral values against intentionally inflicting injury to the animalsconsidered innocuous and innocent.
Baron, J. (2006).Against bioethics. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.
Grayson, L., & British Library. (2000). Animals in research:For and against. London: British Library.
Haugen, D. M.(2007). Animal experimentation. Detroit: Greenhaven Press.
Institute for Laboratory Animal Research (U.S.) & NationalResearch Council (U.S.). (2004). Science, medicine, and animals.Washington, DC: National Academies Press.
Paul, E. F., & Paul, J. (2001). Why animal experimentationmatters: The use of animals in medical research. New Brunswick[N.J.: Social Philosophy and Policy Foundation.