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JaKiri

Animal Testing - Right or Wrong?

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nature taking it's course is one thing, and i don't think that's the thing we're all talking about here.

But this is only because we can't observe any other species doing anything similar on the same scale.

 

There is no real reason to believe that it is "unnatural" for an intelligent species to exploit less developed species to reduce clan suffering. At least, there is no reason that is as compelling and rational as the moral objections are subjective and anthropocentric.

 

 

i didn't pose the question. i'm simply trying to respond to it in a way that gets my point across the questioner.

Providing an answer to a faulty question can lead the questioner to believe they have a usable answer, so it needed pointing out by someone.

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Larry Niven did a series of science fiction stories exploring the unintended consequences of this policy -- as well as requiring those on death row to be organ donors. Basically, if your life and the quality of your life depends on criminals, it becomes VERY tempting to legislate more and more crimes as deserving the death sentence. In one story, the end result was that too many traffic tickets within a period of time was a capital crime!

 

 

 

1. Did you read my post above where I noted that my research is meant to REDUCE the human suffering of osteoarthritis? I NEED animal testing to do that.

 

2. Should we really let nature alone? As Mr. Skeptic pointed out, antibiotics are "screwing with nature" in that we deliberately kill bacteria. How about cardiac bypass surgery? That is "screwing with nature" in that we are not letting people die of clogged arteries!

 

3. In nature, the lives of members of other species are NEVER as valuable as members of your own species. After all, don't lions think that lion lives are more important than wildebeast lives? They kill wildebeasts, don't they? That happens to EVERY other predator. Even the "peaceful" rabbit thinks that rabbit lives are more important than cowslip lives! Rabbits find cowslip quite tasty and eat those plants whenever they find them. Many ant species deliberately keep other species of insects as food! They think that ant lives are more important than the lives of those other species.

 

So, your perception of what nature is and that "life is life" is very mistaken.

 

Finally, did you read that animals used in research are required to be treated "humanely". Basically how we would treat human patients. What is your objection to this?

 

i'm not sure if this response was to me or someone else but if it was addressed to me...

we certainly have different views but i don't think that makes me "mistaken" in regards to my perception.

and i think i said something akin to letting nature run its course and i meant exactly that. we might not have the need for all the millions of medications that we have had we let natural selection weed them out of the population.

and finally, there is NOTHING you can say that will convince me that animals used in research are treated humanely. you can tell me about all the regulations in the world and even take me to some research labs, but that will not be sufficient. i'm curious as to why you so blindly accept that animals are not suffering.

 

There is no real reason to believe that it is "unnatural" for an intelligent species to exploit less developed species to reduce clan suffering. At least, there is no reason that is as compelling and rational as the moral objections are subjective and anthropocentric.

 

 

there is no reason to believe either that it IS natural. other species may, but are we not more evolved than that? is that not the very premise of the original argument? if we are evolved enough to reason and perceive and rationalize, why should we not use those to do what we know is better?

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Before you conclude the question as faulty based on your definition of "value or importance" of an organism's life consider that others feel the definition is based more as described Luscpa's post above.

 

Lovejunkie,

Quick question with no harsh intentions: What has been your experience in animal testing? You are very passionate in your view (which is always a good thing) and it made me curious.

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we might not have the need for all the millions of medications that we have had we let natural selection weed them out of the population.

I am sure there are plenty of drugs and products which were tested on animals which we could have done without, but this would only reduce the number, not remove the need.

 

and finally, there is NOTHING you can say that will convince me that animals used in research are treated humanely.

Since ample evidence exists, this suggests that you are prepared to adjust your definition of "humane" as the evidence is presented. Is that what you intended to say, or is it more that you are incredulous at the thought of justification being possible? (There is nothing wrong with that per se, just establishing context)

 

i'm curious as to why you so blindly accept that animals are not suffering.

Read the entire thread and you will see that the major question we attempt to address in this discussion is, in fact, "do animal test subjects suffer?", and that an appropriate definition of suffering is a secondary but pivotal concern.

 

there is no reason to believe either that it IS natural.

This would only be a concern if humans were for some reason bound to only do "natural" things, which clearly we (a) are not and (b) do not desire.

 

other species may, but are we not more evolved than that?

Hand-waving. Human morals are subjective in both their derivation and application, and they are as much a product of our society as they are a product of our evolution. Why should such a moral framework apply to non-human species? And even if it is somehow forced to apply, against what measure of suffering should it be applied? Comparisons are only valid if they compare like for like; despite immense efforts no such likeness has been identified as yet.

 

is that not the very premise of the original argument? if we are evolved enough to reason and perceive and rationalize, why should we not use those to do what we know is better?

Because we are making a judgement call on the following basis:

1 - We definitely know that testing on animal subjects relieves massive human suffering,

2 - We do not yet know whether or not testing on animal subjects causes animal suffering.

 

The question you highlighted has already been identified and we have had a jolly good go at discussing it sensibly. The reason it is coming up again now is because it occurs "somewhere" in the 300+ posts between these ones, and the one that was replied to by whoever bumped this three-year-old thread.

 

Before you conclude the question as faulty based on your definition of "value or importance" of an organism's life consider that others feel the definition is based more as described Luscpa's post above.

Your question WAS faulty, on the basis that it attempted to compare cases of an attribute that is invariant between species.

 

I believe you actually intended for the "life of a child" and "life of a lab mouse" to be compared according to some kind of value system, but you failed to identify any such system. Readers are not likely to randomly pick out the specific words in the specific post that you were thinking of when you wrote "life"; they will simply take your post at face value.

 

If in doubt, define your terms!

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Before you conclude the question as faulty based on your definition of "value or importance" of an organism's life consider that others feel the definition is based more as described Luscpa's post above.

 

Lovejunkie,

Quick question with no harsh intentions: What has been your experience in animal testing? You are very passionate in your view (which is always a good thing) and it made me curious.

 

not much, admitedly. i have a background in biology and have researched some. i think though that my feelings about animal testing would be the same whether i knew everything about everything or nothing about nothing. i just don't agree with it on a very simple level.

 

I am sure there are plenty of drugs and products which were tested on animals which we could have done without, but this would only reduce the number, not remove the need.

 

 

Since ample evidence exists, this suggests that you are prepared to adjust your definition of "humane" as the evidence is presented. Is that what you intended to say, or is it more that you are incredulous at the thought of justification being possible? (There is nothing wrong with that per se, just establishing context)

i am incredulous. :)

 

1 - We definitely know that testing on animal subjects relieves massive human suffering,

2 - We do not yet know whether or not testing on animal subjects causes animal suffering.

1 - i do not accept this as fact. some animal testing may have resulted in the abatement of some human suffering, but that is a rather simple way to put it, i think. there are many more factors to be considered.

2- of course we know. you can split hairs all day long, but there is just no denying that we are inflicting pain.

 

p.s. if you're tired of discussing, why are you still here posting?

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i am incredulous. :)

Fair enough. I don't think you will find many here who are critical of a healthy dose of scepticism!

 

1 - i do not accept this as fact. some animal testing may have resulted in the abatement of some human suffering, but that is a rather simple way to put it, i think. there are many more factors to be considered.

This is why I did not specify "animal testing alone", nor did I suggest that there were no alternatives.

 

Perhaps I should have said "assists the relief of" instead of "relieves".

 

2- of course we know. you can split hairs all day long, but there is just no denying that we are inflicting pain.

Well this is the thing, isn't it? Does a flinch response to pain or a learned evasion response indicate a form of suffering which is comparable or analogous to the human perception of suffering? Read back a few months for previous discourse on that issue.

 

p.s. if you're tired of discussing, why are you still here posting?

For a start, I did not state that I was tired of discussing anything - I am simply pointing out to you the danger of replying to a discussion without reading it first. Also it's not like I have been looking at this thread for three years straight, although that would be pretty darned impressive.

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I believe you actually intended for the "life of a child" and "life of a lab mouse" to be compared according to some kind of value system, but you failed to identify any such system. Readers are not likely to randomly pick out the specific words in the specific post that you were thinking of when you wrote "life"; they will simply take your post at face value.

 

If in doubt, define your terms!

 

I think I would have been clearer had I simply asked for clarification. The statement was:

 

"i just don't understand where people get off thinking that human lives are more important than other life. life is life."

 

I still read over this and I try to see the prespective but I find it very difficult to define the terms used.

I should have just asked "WHAT?" :confused:

 

Edit: I pitty the microorganisms that are slain in the billions just to prove media can promote its growth.

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Well this is the thing, isn't it? Does a flinch response to pain or a learned evasion response indicate a form of suffering which is comparable or analogous to the human perception of suffering? Read back a few months for previous discourse on that issue.

 

i did read all the way through this thread, i think, and didn't find what i was looking for. i'm seriously interested in this specific argument because i've never encountered it before and would love to read up on it. i just can't quite find (yet) any sources. in this thread, if i remember correctly, there was discussion of it but nothing very substantial offered in the way of evidence.

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But this is only because we can't observe any other species doing anything similar on the same scale.

 

There is no real reason to believe that it is "unnatural" for an intelligent species to exploit less developed species to reduce clan suffering. At least, there is no reason that is as compelling and rational as the moral objections are subjective and anthropocentric.

 

There is ample evidence of such. Kittens in the wild do not have balls of yarn to practice their hunting skills with...

 

nature taking it's course is one thing, and i don't think that's the thing we're all talking about here. of course it's impossible to live without causing some... death? i don't know the right word. but that doesn't mean that it's ok to cage animals and experiment on them.

and no, i don't really think human life is more "important" than any other. maybe we should try to define "important," as i do not think that in the grand scheme of things, human life carries any more value than any other life.

 

Of course this is nature taking its course. Just another bunch of members of a species engaging in behaviour that increases both the individual's and the species' chances of survival. Only odd thing is that a few members of that species are knowingly opposing such behaviour. You made no distinction between human lives and animal lives before, why start now? Are you saying we are not part of nature?

 

PS: one of the things that sets us apart from the animals is our more developed sense of morals, and the insane amount of power we have acquired due to our superior intellect, tool using ability, and language. Can you imagine just what would happen if a different species wielded the amount of power that we do?

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nature taking it's course is one thing, and i don't think that's the thing we're all talking about here. of course it's impossible to live without causing some... death? i don't know the right word. but that doesn't mean that it's ok to cage animals and experiment on them.

 

Do you consider it acceptable to cage animals in general (no testing involved) as pets or the like?

 

Edit: 3 years... ouch.

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Do you consider it acceptable to cage animals in general (no testing involved) as pets or the like?

 

Edit: 3 years... ouch.

 

in general, no. there may be some instances i would be comfortable with but none come to mind at the moment.

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we certainly have different views but i don't think that makes me "mistaken" in regards to my perception.

 

We decide "mistaken" in regard to IDEAS. And we decide that based on data and arguments. So, it's not "my perception". Don't take it so personally.

 

and i think i said something akin to letting nature run its course and i meant exactly that. we might not have the need for all the millions of medications that we have had we let natural selection weed them out of the population.

 

Yes, we would. Because many of the diseases are not going to be seen by natural selection. That is, they happen AFTER we have already had children. So cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, etc, mostly happen after we are 35.

 

However, how about just basic nursing care for children who get sick? Should we not do that? After all, isn't that also "screwing with nature"? Where do you draw the line? And are you willing to have YOUR child or YOURSELF be the victim of a disease if "screwing with nature" would save your life?

 

and finally, there is NOTHING you can say that will convince me that animals used in research are treated humanely. you can tell me about all the regulations in the world and even take me to some research labs, but that will not be sufficient. i'm curious as to why you so blindly accept that animals are not suffering.

 

Well, you have just admitted that you are not holding a rational discussion because you won't accept any data contrary to your view.

 

And no, I don't "blindly" accept. Instead, I observe. Now, do human patients "suffer" when they undergo surgery under anesthetics with pain-relievers afterward?

 

The reason I ask is because the animals I work on -- and yes, I do animal research -- are treated just like human patients. Right now we are doing an bone gap model in rats. The rats are anesthetized with ketamine and acepromazine -- used on human -- and have a plate put on their femur. Which humans have. In fact, we are using the same Kirschner pins, steel surgical wires, bone saws, and sutures that are used on human patients. The bone is rigidly fixed just as it is in humans. The rats receive Buprenex for 3 days post-op -- just as humans do.

 

there is no reason to believe either that it IS natural. other species may, but are we not more evolved than that? is that not the very premise of the original argument?

 

There is no such thing as "more evolved". You have a misstatement of evolution as a premise of your argument. Since your premise is wrong, the argument is wrong.

 

Now, since we have instances of unintelligent species exploiting other species, why do you think intelligent species would be different? Remember, your argument of "more evolved" is false, so you can't use that.

 

why should we not use those to do what we know is better?

 

Ethics and "rights" apply to members of our OWN species. Now, if we rigidly applied them to members of all other species, we would starve! After all, we do have to exploit other species as animals. Isn't a farmer's field another type of cage? Would you have use give up farming?

 

in general, no. there may be some instances i would be comfortable with but none come to mind at the moment.

 

Then you advocate eliminating zoos, don't you? Just following the logical consequences of your argument.

 

Of course, that would mean some species going extinct since human expansion has destroyed their habitat and the species exists ONLY in zoos. So you don't have a problem of genocide (eradication of species) as long as we don't do medical testing. Right?

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We decide "mistaken" in regard to IDEAS. And we decide that based on data and arguments. So, it's not "my perception". Don't take it so personally.

 

 

 

Yes, we would. Because many of the diseases are not going to be seen by natural selection. That is, they happen AFTER we have already had children. So cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, etc, mostly happen after we are 35.

 

However, how about just basic nursing care for children who get sick? Should we not do that? After all, isn't that also "screwing with nature"? Where do you draw the line? And are you willing to have YOUR child or YOURSELF be the victim of a disease if "screwing with nature" would save your life?

 

 

 

Well, you have just admitted that you are not holding a rational discussion because you won't accept any data contrary to your view.

 

And no, I don't "blindly" accept. Instead, I observe. Now, do human patients "suffer" when they undergo surgery under anesthetics with pain-relievers afterward?

 

The reason I ask is because the animals I work on -- and yes, I do animal research -- are treated just like human patients. Right now we are doing an bone gap model in rats. The rats are anesthetized with ketamine and acepromazine -- used on human -- and have a plate put on their femur. Which humans have. In fact, we are using the same Kirschner pins, steel surgical wires, bone saws, and sutures that are used on human patients. The bone is rigidly fixed just as it is in humans. The rats receive Buprenex for 3 days post-op -- just as humans do.

 

 

 

There is no such thing as "more evolved". You have a misstatement of evolution as a premise of your argument. Since your premise is wrong, the argument is wrong.

 

Now, since we have instances of unintelligent species exploiting other species, why do you think intelligent species would be different? Remember, your argument of "more evolved" is false, so you can't use that.

 

 

 

Ethics and "rights" apply to members of our OWN species. Now, if we rigidly applied them to members of all other species, we would starve! After all, we do have to exploit other species as animals. Isn't a farmer's field another type of cage? Would you have use give up farming?

 

 

 

Then you advocate eliminating zoos, don't you? Just following the logical consequences of your argument.

 

Of course, that would mean some species going extinct since human expansion has destroyed their habitat and the species exists ONLY in zoos. So you don't have a problem of genocide (eradication of species) as long as we don't do medical testing. Right?

 

you're an idiot and that is a beast of a post and i'm just not that bothered to put forth the effort to respond.

don't tell me what i think or what i can think or put me in a box according to what you think i am.

take your "right?" and shove it.

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I personally think animal testing is necessary in many cases. I say if you don't need to harm an animal, don't. But if it is for a good enough cause, then there's nothing wrong with it. If we need to infect an animal with something to figure out a cure for a disease, then it is necessary and by all means, do it.

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Perhaps but the problems start with defining what a "Good Cause" is (to you it can be one thing, to me another, and we each can consider each-other's subjective 'good causes' as absolutely not worth it), and the second problem is what TYPE of actions justify what type of means.

 

I semi agree with you. I think that at some points we have no choice but to use animal testing.. I don't think it should be 'obvious', though, and I really do think the discussion should continue, specifically on *what* we do to these animals and at what expense. Some companies are brutal to these animals not because the experiment requires it but because they're saving money on it. Is that a good enough cause to have these animals suffer? I am not sure; it's far from being clear-cut, is what my point is, I guess.

 

~moo

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If the purpose of all the animal testing is to get results that are relevant to the betterment of humanity, then I see no reason why have problems with that.

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But you've missed Moo's point (or, so it apppears) that those "results" and that "relevancy" is entirely too subjective to make some blanket "yes/no" decision.

 

It's sometimes required, but must be avoided whenever possible. When it cannot be avoided, we must use care to minimize suffering and maximize respect the animal being tested upon for our benefit.

 

 

The problem becomes... what about those companies who don't view either of the above two concerns with any seriousness and simply carry on about their way for profit.

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... what about those companies who don't view either of the above two concerns with any seriousness and simply carry on about their way for profit.

You know, on the thread "chicken and fish" under post #54 is says: "When a chicken gets killed, I don't feel pain.". I guess this is the philosophy of those companies. Everything for profit! Hi5 for them!

 

They just don't care man!

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If the purpose of all the animal testing is to get results that are relevant to the betterment of humanity, then I see no reason why have problems with that.

 

Again, I have to semi-agree. I agree with your statement about animal testing in general, but I think we should still examine *what type* of testing we do for what type of *result*. The end does not always justify the means, and more than that, the greediness of some companies should be in our minds too. What I mean is that I can see how a company decides to use cruel experiments to get results when another less cruel (but more expensive) option exists just to save money.

 

So the morality of the actions means, in my opinion, to consider not only the general validity of animal experiments but also the type of them and a proper supervision.

 

~moo

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I beleive that harming animals for the fun of it is wrong but harming them for a good cause, i.e identifying or testing drugs that can treat devasting diseases is fine

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And what consistent and repeatable parameters do you place on those subjective labels of "fun" and "good" and "devastating" and "treat?"

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I prefer animal testing to necromancy. Why does this thread in particular always attract the voodoo priests?

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I beleive that harming animals for the fun of it is wrong

 

Is there a murder that disagree with him?

 

but harming them for a good cause, i.e identifying or testing drugs that can treat devasting diseases is fine

 

I do agree. Would you offer your son to test a drug that would be able to save everyone? I'd rather offer my dog (if there wasn't a mouse available).

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I beleive that harming animals for the fun of it is wrong but harming them for a good cause, i.e identifying or testing drugs that can treat devasting diseases is fine

 

Can you name a scientist who has harmed animals for "fun"? The current regulations (Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees) were put in place because some scientists designed some poor experiments and did not use adequate analgesics or anesthetics. For instance, the famous video of making burns on pigs by waving a blowtorch over the skin comes to mind.

 

Now, doing research on treatments for severe burns is fine. However, that was not the way to make a burn. It was not reproducible from animal to animal. What was needed was a piece of iron heated to the same temperature and applied to the same area of skin for the same length of time for each animal. With the animal sedated at the time and given pain-killers afterward. With that protocol, there are several necessary and valuable studies to be done: looking at the cellular, biochemical, and molecular events of burns and "healing"'; having a standard burn model to try treatments upon, etc.

 

I really don't think you are aware of the regulations in place currently on the use of animals in research. If you want, I'll attach the forms I have to fill out before I can do research on animals. Each investigator must have his research approved by the IACUC, which consists of scientists and non-scientist members of the community. The purpose of the IACUC is to ensure that the animals are used to develop treatments for diseases and are adequately protected from pain, not to rubberstamp the researcher. As a member of an IACUC, we shut down the research of a scientist for not taking proper care of his animals.

 

Perhaps but the problems start with defining what a "Good Cause" is (to you it can be one thing, to me another, and we each can consider each-other's subjective 'good causes' as absolutely not worth it), and the second problem is what TYPE of actions justify what type of means.

 

It's not entirely "subjective". We can define what ethical principles we agree on (and these are not derived "subjectively", either) and then reason to conclusions.

 

I semi agree with you. I think that at some points we have no choice but to use animal testing.. I don't think it should be 'obvious', though, and I really do think the discussion should continue, specifically on *what* we do to these animals and at what expense. Some companies are brutal to these animals not because the experiment requires it but because they're saving money on it. Is that a good enough cause to have these animals suffer? I am not sure; it's far from being clear-cut, is what my point is, I guess.

 

Moo, there are oversight entities involved -- IACUCs, FDA, and the Dept. of Agriculture. What you need to do is get specific and document "some companies" and "brutal". Then we can figure out where the oversight broke down.

 

What I find is that a lot of the emotion against using animals for testing comes from examples that are stated but do not exist. Some of the examples are outdated. They did exist but were the reasons regulations and IACUCs were established; to eliminate those situations.

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I prefer animal testing to necromancy. Why does this thread in particular always attract the voodoo priests?
The priests help over-tested animals wreak their revenge in undeath. Zombie rats wearing makeup can go anywhere.

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