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I've been thinking about this a lot recently. I believe that almost every controversial topic has some merit on both sides of the argument, and this is no different.

 

On the one hand, testing has caused pain and suffering for countless animals. Many animals are euthanized as soon as the experiment is over. It is hard not to feel disgusted when you read about animals injected with diseases. Cosmetics are even worse, as nobody actually needs cosmetics. It's not going to save lives. Needless torture of animals, just so we can look better. It feels like we should be doing everything we can to stop this.

 

Yet on the other side of the spectrum, animal testing has saved countless lives. Animal testing has definitely benefited me personally. It might even have saved my life. When I was a kid, I had cancer and had to go through a year of Chemo treatments. And it wasn't just Chemo. I took countless drugs to aid my recovery. But more that, drugs have changed everyone's lives. The effect that vaccines have had on the human race is immeasurable. 

 

So what side of the argument do you fall on? Do you support medical testing but not cosmetic? Do you support both? Neither?

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Replies to This Discussion

My personal opinion is that testing on animals for cosmetic purposes is totally uncalled for. Its not a "necessary" and I always look for products that are not tested on animals. I think in this aspect it should be totally banned. There is no eyeshadow or shampoo that is worth any living, breathing, feeling thing being made to suffer for. There are so many advances that companies have made in an effort to end animal testing that all companies should be held to the same standard. I also think that any product sold in our country should have to be held to the same standards in testing.

However, for medical testing I do feel that it is necessary. I think that it should be done as humanely as possibly and the suffering should be kept as minimal as possible. In the big picture animal testing has been invaluable in drugs, treatments and many vaccine's that save lives on a daily basis. If you look at the research that has been done for cancer and HIV animal testing has afforded huge advances that again save human lives. In certain animal species researchers have made discoveries about food allergies and other life threatening allergies. I personally have a life threatening allergy to all nuts and because of testing that has been done allergists have been able to pinpoint foods that would give a "false" reaction in the body. I can't discount that and say that the animal lives are more important than the human lives they are able to save because of the testing.
I think using animals for medical testing is a necessary evil - one I would like to keep my blinders on about when possible.  I also think we should be using human volunteers from the prison system also. I think that this could give invaluable information to researchers and allow inmates to feel useful and important.

I think for many reasons large parts of the prison population would not be good subjects for medical research. Whether due to a history of drug abuse or some such thing. It would also be an ethical quagmire as to whether inmates would really be volunteers or whether they might feel some coercion to volunteer. You would also be basing important information on a generally unreliable population as far as historical data and other things go. In fact, aside from the desperately or terminally ill, I find it remarkable that there are volunteers for drug studies at all. Oftentimes though, depending on the screening criteria for a particular test, it is very difficult to find test subjects.

F. you are so correct.  I was thinking hypothetically I guess and 'pie in the sky' - oh well back to the poor little animals for our wonderful cures.
I generally agree that in so far as possible testing on animals of cosmetics should be avoided. But a large proportion of the population applies cosmetics that can be absorbed through the skin, get into the eyes and generally could be dangerous. So some animal testing on new ingredients or formulations may be necessary but I hope this can be done humanely. Certainly, the days when all science students, myself included, all dissected many species of animals are long gone. Computer simulations have replaced much of that. But there will always be a necessity to try new implant materials, and new surgical techniques on animals prior to use in humans. Parts of other species are still used in human transplants as well, I think. So the days of the lab rats and many other animals are still here and will be I think for more than my lifetime. I don't know it for a fact but I suspect the lenses used in my cataract surgery were tested, in some fashion, on an animal. I consider them a major medical miracle.

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