Ethics of Animal Testing

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Date Submitted: 03/06/2014 07:17 PM

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Animal Testing Ethics Paper

Most people would argue that using animals as test subjects for medical research is an unethical practice because it inflicts pain on the animals. While this may be the case, animal research is not the only instance in which animals must experience poor living conditions and experience pain. One prominent example of how animals are treated poorly is when they are raised for the purpose of consumption. If the government is going to put restrictions on how animals can be treated when being used for research, then it would only make sense that the restrictions on the treatment of animals being produced for consumption be just as strict. Clearly though, this is not the case. The “double standard” regarding the treatment of animals shows how the laws regarding animal research should not be strict, because the treatment is ultimately the same as the treatment of those used in farming.

The obvious counter to this argument is that the treatment of animals used to produce food is necessary, while animal research is not. However, animal research has been the source of many great medical advances, including the discovery of the connection between insulin and diabetes. (Laurman) These advances may not be necessary for life, but they have greatly increased the standard of living all over the world. Also the case could also be made that, the mass production of animals used for consumption is not necessary, however without it there would most likely be a food shortage or at the very least the price of common foods (like meat) would be driven up.

While many people believe that animals are not treated poorly when being prepared to be slaughtered and processed into meat, that is anything but true. In The Omnivore’s Dilemma Michael Pollan investigates the processes behind the making of the food we eat today. Pollan discovers that cows being bred to be slaughtered are actually fed corn, a substance that they are not biologically equipped to digest....