Animal experimentation has been practiced for centuries to further
our knowledge of the workings of the human body and to find cures for diseases
(Chang 1998, para 1) .There is much contention in regard to animal testing
despite its longtime practice in the United States and beyond, however, and
both sides have compelling arguments to support their beliefs.Is animal testing
truly a valuable tool in advancing medical research? Or is animal experimentation
inhumane and archaic as animal rights activist insist?What ethical basis do
either side have for their opinions?
Animal experimentation became widespread in the late 1800's.
Louis Pasteur developed a vaccine against rabies through his experiments with
animals (Chang 1998, p.5). Pasteur also isolated the microbe that causes
anthrax and developed a vaccine against the deadly disease (Botting and
Morrison 1997,para. 4).Joseph Lister, a British surgeon who pioneered the
sterilization of instruments and dressings used to treat wounds was influenced
greatly by Pasteur (para 5)In 1875, Queen Victoria asked Lister to address the
Royal Commission's inquiry into vivisection (the dissection of live animals)
because of her disapproval of it. Though Lister, a Quaker with high moral
standards, had publicly decried many cruelties of the Victorian era, he was
unable to condemn vivisection.His testimony to the Royal Commission stated
that animal research had greatly helped him in his studies of medicine and
restricting research would only prevent discoveries that would help humankind
So , animal experimentation through the years has clearly played an
important role in furthering medical science.Through animal experimentation,
researchers have discovered causes of and vaccines for many diseases, including
diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, tuberculosis, poliomyelitis, measles,
mumps, and rubella (Bo…