Hi to all of you once again
(Just a small warning to you. There are some graphic images of the results of animal testing contained in this blog. Readers of a sensitive disposition who are easily upset should at the very least some how try to avoid the pictures)
This week we shall be discussing the use of animals in research. We will look at the positives of this and the negatives
and I will try to stay objective but I can’t make any promises. Scrap that because I don’t think I can stay objective.
The main use of animal testing stated by aboutanimaltesting.co.uk is: it is used to assess the safety and effectiveness of everything from medicine to cosmetics, as well as how the human body works. They want to find out how the human body works from animals that all differ from humans in some way or another – seems logical to me …not.
When you walk up to the make up counter and pick up that mascara that is going to do wonders to your lashes do you think of the process of testing that the mascara has gone through to reach the shelves? One of the animal tests that the mascara has had to pass is the Draize Test. In this test a rabbits neck is caught in a stock so that it can not move while chemical is poured into its eyes to see what irritant effects it has. The rabbits are then made to suffer, sometimes for weeks, with the effects of this chemical.
The use of the Draize irritancy test is not necessary any more nor is it any good to us a consumer and there are alternatives to this test. Professionals such as Stephen Kaufman says the test is of no use as the eye of a rabbit differs vastly from the eye of a human and this test does not accurately reflect the degree irritancy in humans. There is no known case of the Draize test data being used used help in the care of patients.
Okay so that is animal testing in the cosmetics industry and it is most definitely not right for these animals to go through such a huge amount of suffering just so that customers can look good on a Friday night while they go out clubbing.
If you are against animal testing in the cosmetic industry, keep an eye out for products with this logo on it!
But what about in medical research? Is it okay for animals to be tested on then?
For some people this is where the debate gets kind of tricky. They believe that for the advances in medicine then it is okay to conduct research on animals. But just think of some of the kinds of things that would need to be tested on animals before they reach humans. Things that involve inducing serious, painful and life threatening tumors or ulcers on animals.
The main ‘plus point’ for animal testing is that it can aid researchers in finding drugs and treatments that can improve the health and well being of many people. Many of the medicines that we have today have been possible due to animal testing. These medicines include drugs for HIV, insulin, antibiotics, vaccines and many more. This is the main reason that animal testing is seen as okay in the medical world.
Another ‘plus point’ for animal testing is that it can help to ensure the safety of the drugs and vaccines that we use today. In this case animal testing is used to gauge the safety of a particular drug before they are used in human trials.
Animals typically used in this kind of research because they are considered to be similar to humans. If this is true do they not feel the same kind of pain that we would? In my eyes this makes the ethics of using animals in research even more questionable. and its not just rats and mice that are used in medical research. other animals that are used in medical research include birds, guinea pigs, amphibians and fish, rabbits, non-human primates, farm animals and carnivores.
What about in psychology? Is it okay then?
There have been many studies done in psychology that have involved animals, for example Harlow and the rhesus monkeys in the 1950’s with regards to maternal deprivation. But was it ethically okay to deprive the baby rhesus monkeys of the correct care they needed and to scare them to see which mother they would run to. If that was done to a human child there would be outrage across the world but because it was done to monkeys no/very little fuss was made.
As Psychologists we are supposed to leave our opinion at the door when writing things such as these blogs But just this once I’m not going to. Personally I do not think that using animals in research is ethical. we cannot get consent from them and we do not promise to do them no harm they also cannot with draw. One life is just as important as another in this world and i do not feel that our lives should be placed above those of our four legged (or more) friends.
I am going to end my rant there. Hopefully I have not got to carried away but I think I may have and i apologise for such a heavy blog so close to the holidays.
I hope you all have a good Easter