The United Kingdom Independence Parties spokesperson on the Environment Andrew Charalambous is a huge supporter of animal welfare and you can find out more from his blog http://www.andrewcharalambous.co.uk
There are millions and possibly billions of animals that have been used all over the world in scientific experiments. From sending a monkey to space a doomed flight, to the military using animals to test biological weapons and firing practices; mankind has shown little empathy if any towards animals. Yet, there isn’t much evidence that using animals for experiments has helped mankind achieve much. Let us look at some of the reasons why it is futile and cruel to use animals for our selfish interests;
To begin with, what is considered as traditional animal testing is quite expensive. Additionally, it is very time-consuming. It requires a lot of resources, one of them being live animals. For instance, a laboratory will need to breed over 50 mice, in order to carry out a single test, before making a factual conclusion.
Secondly, scientists themselves have differed over the similarity of the genetical composition in man and animals. One school of thought argues that diseases and conditions that affect man hardly affect animals. Thus relying on animals to learn how man would respond to a certain infection or drug is plainly erroneous!
- Heart diseases and lung cancer are some of the most common diseases in the world today. Lung cancer is mostly caused by smoking while most heart complications are caused by sedentary lifestyles. To then take an animal, lock it in a cage, and expose it to cigarette smoke and nicotine just so as to see how it affects them is cruel and futile!
- Nowadays, other alternatives and techniques canbe used for experiments rather than live animals. Some of these techniques such as toxicology methods and cell culture give very high accuracy rates of between 80-85%. On the contrary, animal tests meant to mimic real life scenarios with a human being, are only 5-25% accurate.
- When rodents are used to identify the causes of cancer in humans, only 37% effectiveness is witnessed. It is such an inconclusive test considering how badly cancer is spreading and how fast it’s killing people. Surprisingly, the rodents that are used as experiments never get the human form of cancer, carcinomas. Instead, they get the type of cancer – sarcomas – that affect their connective tissues and their bones.
- Some of the conditions that animals are exposed to in the name of scientific tests include changes in light, their diet change, the temperature change, bedding and being separated from their families. Some of these tests are brutal and cruel; injecting live animals with a poison to see how it could affect humans, depriving animals of sleep to see how the body reacts to lack of sleep, all these are cruel.
- Another very contradictory factor that should make us not to experiment on animals is the fact that the sex differences of the animals in the lab usually cause inconsistent results. It is not the case in humans. Also, the stroke and heart attack causing component in humans – Vioxx – is the same element that has been shown to have numerous health benefits in the heart of monkeys, mice, dogs and many other experimental animals.
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