Animal Research - Who Does It Benefit

By Adriana Noton

Over the years animal research has gone through many revolutions and changes. As early as the 1980s, leading cosmetic companies were still heavily involved in all sorts of animal research that supposedly was necessary to prove the safety of their cosmetics, from foundations to eye creams.

Organizations sprang up in defense of what was considered totally needless pain and suffering of animals and these companies were almost forced into finding other methods of research to test the safety of their products to make them ready for humans. Pictures of mutilated and blinded little bunny rabbits circulated mainstream media as shocked citizens rallied to their defense. It was ultimately decided that this type of maiming under the guise of product safety testing was needless to say the least.

As late as the 70s, it was an acceptable belief by many that animals were just "animals", and they deserved no special care or understanding. Some labs didn't even use anesthesia while performing tests or surgeries on these creatures; they believed in vivisection. Animals, in the name of science, were forced to undergo horrendous procedures without even the benefit of a local anesthetic. If they survived the procedure, they were simply put back in a cage to wait for whatever else was in store for them.

However, medical science is still heavily involved in various aspects of animal research, although they keep most of their experimentation under wraps and away from public eyes. Agreeably, however, that when advances are made in the treatment of deadly diseases, no one argues much as to whether a few chimps may have been sacrificed to achieve these important advances.

Organizations such as PETA keep what some call an overprotective vigil over any company, private and public, that is rumored to be using animals for any type of research. Many of their investigations make the news simply because of their aggressive nature in preventing undo suffering and death to animals whose sacrifice has done little in the advance of whatever the company is trying to prove.

Medical and research facilities have become so concerned about adverse publicity and undo questioning by animal rights groups, they have taken most of their research away from the mainstream hospital teaching facilities and built or purchased property literally in the middle of nowhere to keep prying eyes away as they continue using animals for what they believe is the benefit of medical science.

With advances and cures that have happened over the last decade, medical researchers have apparently been able to successfully reduce the need for animals' deaths, and have learned to manufacture various serums with antibodies that help treat, prevent and even cure some of the world's deadliest diseases.

Genetic engineering, however, has become a popular mode of research and because of the cloning that it produces, mice are still sacrificed in one particular procedure where their bodies are used to grow hear replacements for humans. Once the ear has matured, the mouse is euthanized once the ear is harvested. Because of this process, some possible recipients are choosing not to have this surgery. - 32385

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