Should we ban tests on animals?

“Ask the experimenters why they experiment on animals, and the answer is: ‘Because the animals are like us.’ Ask the experimenters why it is morally okay to experiment on animals, and the answer is: ‘Because the animals are not like us.’ Animal experimentation rests on a logical contradiction.”
– Charles R. Magel

Binghamton Speech and Debate Team is hosting an online debate on April 14, 2013, regarding the idea of the U.S. Government banning all testing that requires the use of animals. The team is now sponsored by PETA and is looking for more sponsors. I’m so happy to see PETA putting their considerable skills and resources into supporting things like this. Click here to get info on the debate.

Why not test on animals?
In Why Do We Test New Drugs On Animals? on Opposing Views, Ray Greek writes,

What is the purpose of testing new drugs on animals? Specifically, are these tests to protect the patients taking them when the new drugs come to the market? Or, are the animal tests supposed to protect the volunteers and patients that take the drug in clinical trials? The reality is, the animal tests fail in both cases. But the question is valid because the animal experimentation industry, via its spokespeople, tells society that animal testing is performed to keep children and other patients safe.

Click here for more.

If the scientific arguments aren’t convincing enough, animal experimentation presents huge moral problems. Personally, I’m with Mark Twain, who said:

“I am not interested to know whether vivisection produces results that are profitable to the human race or doesn’t… The pain which it inflicts upon unconsenting animals is the basis of my enmity toward it, and it is to me sufficient justification of the enmity without looking further.”

I believe we shouldn’t test on animals because they are sentient beings who ought to have a right to autonomy and freedom from bodily harm, just like we humans should. We should all be allowed to live without having to be put through others’ systems of control and oppression.

That said, someone I love, an immediate family member, depends on medicines made using animal products, and on products tested on animals, and would not be alive today without these medicines. And I myself take medicines that were made using animals or that were tested on animals, when I have to, to remain a productive, healthy person. But then, I also drive a car made of steel and rubber, materials that were made using animal fats, selfishly using fossil fuels that are threatening our planets’ livability, and I drive on a road that’s basically a pox on the earth and all her residents. I’m full of ethical inconsistencies, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not trying my hardest to avoid animal products – and it doesn’t mean that I can’t work for a world where we have moved entirely away from animal exploitation, toward healthier, safer, more ethical alternatives. I should hope that’s something we can all get behind, regardless of where we’re at veganism-wise. What do you think – should we keep testing on animals? Why? How can we justify it?

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