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Animals in Medicine

The University of Minnesota has recently made a break through--cows that are cared for and comforted make better and more milk. As a cow lover I think this is great news for cows and humans everywhere! But what about other animals. Animals are part of every research trial for every drug you take be it Nyquil, Anti-biolotics, or Prozac! Do you believe that animals should be used (and therefore killed in most instances) in order to help the human race be healthy? Why or why not?


This is such a sensitive subject that I'm afraid of the repercussions of my opinions. Honestly, I don't believe there is very much wrong with animal trials. I understand we are animals also, but our understanding and awareness is so much higher than all else that it really separates us. I support animal testing if it is to better enhance our lives, this means medical research. I'm pretty indifferent about the testing for makeup products and such. In the end, our main goal is to be healthy and survive, and if that means the price of a lesser understanding race, then so be it.

I think that animals should continue to be tested. Although they do sometimes die and suffer side effects I believe that it is ultimately better to test it on animals than humans. It would be much worse for a human to die from a new tested drug than animals. As sad as it is to see some drugs hurt them, I would rather see that on an animal than a human. I think that the way we are running the testing for new drugs as of now is good. Besides, what would we test drugs on instead? It would be hard to administer drugs not know if someone could potentially die from it. Without testing we may never find the cure for cancer or any other disease. Animals are important to our world, but I would always put a human before a cow. The way testing is now there is still a good amount of animals therefore meat, dairy, etc. I think that we should continue testing on animals.

I completely agree with David. The goal here is to prevent disease and death. If that means testing animals then so be it. Human awareness and intelligence is much more advanced and important. I think that continuing animal testing is how we coninue to advance in medicine and without it we will face major consequences.

I think that animals should still be used for drug testing, as long as they are provided with humane treatment. In order to get ahead in medicine and find solutions to medical mysteries, new drugs must be tested. The typical lifespan of an animal is much shorter than a human life, so the effects of a new drug will be seen much faster and will be able to be tested more rapidly than if the drug was tested on humans. If the drug proves to be harmful, it should obviously be discontinued but in order to learn, we must try. Animals should not suffer for our gain, we must treat them with respect and appreciate what they are doing for us.

I could go either way. I am an animal lover and I hate to see animals die. But on the other hand, like Andrea said, what would we test drugs on instead? I think that we should continue testing drugs on animals. It is hard to see thousands or maybe millions of animals put to death because of it but at least someone (or some form of life) is benefiting. Drugs have to be tested somehow. We cannot just immediately put a drug to use with out testing it at all. Imagine the human race then! We would have tons more problems than we do now. So despite my love for animals, people come first.

I agree with everyone above me who has posted on this blog so far. That was redundant but oh well. We all love animals but we cannot put humans at huge risks just to save them. Drugs have to be tested and until we (the human race) find a better was to do so, unfortunately, animals must suffer.

In response to the blog post, I believe animals should continue to be tested. Taken as a whole, the amount of animals killed by testing is particularly minute compared to the universal population of animals. I think it is better to test on animals because it would be horrendous to see a human die because of drug testing experiments. The way drugs are being tested today proves to be a working method. We only know how to test drugs on living things that have similar functions as humans; thus the use of animals. Also, a lot of drugs are being tested on mice or rats. Mice and rats are in abundance in the United States so several tests performed on them will not provide a drastic outcome. It is ridiculous to administer drugs that have not been tested if someone could potentially die from it. Without testing, the human race may never find a cure to certain diseases or sicknesses. Overall, a human should be considered more important than a cow or any other animal. Despite our love for animals, humans come first.

I agree with everyone that has posted on this blog so far. Animals play a large roll in our environment but humans are the dominant race so our needs should come first. Drugs must be tested somehow but humans should not be put at risk due to lack of drug testing. The human race would decline and people would begin to die if drugs are not tested properly. Overall, drugs should continue to be tested on a small amount of animals so humans, as a whole,can benefit and live prosperous lives.

I believe we should just continue to use animals for testing. Yes, i know it is "cruel" or whatever else people believe, but honesly. I understand that we are also animals, and we as humans have feelings, but honestly it is not in the slightest bit legal to test drugs that could potentially kill on humans. Most of the time the animals used are taken from places like the Humane Society or licensed breeding facilities. I believe testing on animals helps to control the overpopulation. Cats and dogs, mice, rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, and other various animals are generally the most common "guinea pigs" used. Honestly a decrease in any of those species would not be noticed. I definately do not think testing drugs should involve overloads of animals, it needs to be controlled. If we did not sacrifice the animals some of our drugs we consume daily would not be around.

This could definitely be a sensitive topic for some people. I think that animals should continue to be tested with pills and products. It is for the benefit of the human population. I don't believe in complete inhumane ways of caring for these animals like keeping them locked up in cages for their whole lives. It is better to test the products on animals first rather than humans however. In response to the cows producing better milk, if any of you have seen how meat producers handle their cows, it is truly appalling. They have the most brutal methods of getting the cows into line to be butchered like wacking them with a pole with a nail attached to the end. No wonder better cared for cows produce better milk. The frightened cows probably release toxins into their body from being scared.

I hate to jump on the bandwagon, but i pretty much agree with everyone's posts too. It is pretty hard to not have the same opinion. I am sure we all love one kind of animal in particular, and feel sad when that certain animal dies, but we do not even know when these animals thathave been used for testing die. Agreeing with what Erin had to say, animals have much much shorter lifespans and it is better to obtain the outcome of the drug sooner rather than later. There is no way to physically thank the animals for getting tested for our benefit, and i am sure if they had the choice they would not want to die, but we owe it to them for a lot of the knowledge we have obtained. Overall, animals still need to continue to be tested so we can learn and help save lives.

Animal testing pretty much operates under the assumption that the life of say, a mouse, is worth less than the lives of the humans that will be improved by the knowledge gained from the trials. I think it is a fair assumption, other people may not think so. There are lots of people who believe that all life is sacred and we should never harm another living creature, and I can see why these people have an issue with animal testing. I do also believe that a majority of people support the types of animal testing described(for medicine), but there are other perhaps more controversial issues related to animal experimentation. For example, should we add hormones to our cows to make them bigger and therefore have more meat? Happy cows may be productive, but they are also probably expensive. Should there be incentives to farmers to raise 20 happy cows rather than 40 unhappy cows? I'm sort of rambling here but the point I'm trying to make is that like most issues we've examined this term, this is not a black and white issue.

I think this is a very hard subject to make a decision about, but I do feel it is important for animals to be tested. We need to continue to advance with medicine, and if testing animals is helping so far, then we should keep it that way. Yes, there should be restrictions. We should only do testing on them for medicine that has been properly made, and we need to still keep the treatment of animals fair. We should test on animals that are either over populated, or animals that would be the most in comparison to actual humans. I also don’t really think it would be a big deal, because a decrease in say like pigs, would barely be noticed. I think we should be more focused on saying more humans lives, rather than always worrying about killing animals for this purpose.

I agree with Christine, again, I think that testing for animals is a necessary thing we need to do to keep up to date with current medicine. I like how she noted that animals do have feelings, and that we do need to treat them good. I also would never want people do be used for testing if it could kill them. We need to do the testing on animals, because if we started killing humans for it, it would just be like if people dieing from the disease. There are also a lot of animals that don’t have shelter or homes and just roam around, and if they cant find a home, they should be used to do research on. By using animals to be tested we can save a lot of human lives.

I think that animals should continue to be used for testing drugs and other products. Although many people consider all living things equal, I don't think that they would volunteer to be test subjects just to possibly save the life of a rat or a mouse. I'm not sitting here trying to promote the mass slaughter of animals, I'm just saying that I think it would be better for a rat to get sick from a new product, than a human. New medicines and health care products are created all the time, and they need to be tested. If they weren't tested, mass numbers of humans could get sick or possibly even die from them. This would create much more public outrage than a few animals dying once in a while. Therefore I think that we should continue to test new products on animals.

I feel very strongly on this subject. I believe it is inhumane, and cruel to subject poor innocent animals to drug testing. I did a paper on this topic in high school and i learned that millions of animals are killed each year on food and cosmetic products. These animals are most often kept in cramped, small areas and live most of their life behind "bars" only to be killed. Vivisection, the dissection of a live animal, is very common. One of the most horrifying stories i read was that dogs that are to be tested on are kept in teeny, tiny cages, and they are de-barked. The de-barking is done by sticking a red-hot poker down the dogs throat and moving it around to damage the vocal chords.
I am truly disgusted by animal testing. I am very pleased to hear that the U of M has found that better care of cows leads to better and more milk. I hope animal scientist take this information and apply it to other, and eventually all animals.

I disagree with Ryan. Just because the animal comes from a humane society doesn't make it right. Its like saying kids in orphanages aren't as important or as "good" as kids who grow up in homes. A dog is a dog. The overpopulation of animals can be taken care of in much more humane ways like promoting the spaying and neutering of animals.
So if it's not legal to test drugs on humans that can possibly be lethal, then if there is that possibility, why test it at all?! I don't think animals should get tested on just because they're a "lower" species than humans. I'm sick of people thinking they can play "God" in this world!!!

For this topic, I agree with what Andrea had to say. The deaths of a couple animals is much better than the deaths of humans. Drugs need to be tested, and as of today, no one has suggested a better idea than testing them on animals. Also testing drugs on animals gives us the possibility of finding cures for diseases. This would greatly help today's society.

I have always been an animal lover, so it is hard for me to say this…but ultimately I feel that animals should be used for scientific experimentation. There has been much controversy and debate surrounding this issue for many years. Some people feel animal experimentation is extremely unethical since animals cannot give their verbal consent to have procedures done on them, and that experimentation causes hideous suffering, pain, and torture to the animals. Sadly, almost all of the animals are euthanized after they are used for testing. As well, the animals are placed in an unnatural, controlled environment and may be under stress, thus producing unreliable results. On the other hand, a large number of these animals are bred to be tested on, and testing helps control overpopulation of the animals. Animals are the most similar biological creature to humans, so I think it is fair that animals are used for testing as opposed to human subjects. I think a major benefit of animal testing is that it aids researchers in finding drugs and treatments to improve human (and animal) health and medicine.

After thinking about this issue, it is like survival of the fittest. According to Darwin, humans are higher up on the food chain than cows, dogs, rats, birds, etc. Much of our survival depends on animals. Every day we consume products of animals (meat, pork, chicken, milk, cheese, eggs, fish, etc.) If we kill a cow to have filet mignon or use it to make dairy products, then what is the difference to use a cow for animal testing to help promote scientific research? I think it is important for humans to discover more about medicine though animal testing, but also to consider experimenting in the most humane way possible. I know there are certain animal rights laws that help prevent the mistreatment of animals. I think it is great that the U of M has developed a caring and comforting environment for the cows. Animals have feelings too.

I think that animals should still be tested. The life of an animal is far less than the life of a human. It is a sad thing to test products on animals that could potentially produce harmful side effects or even death but it is to better enhance our lives and discover new findings to things. If we didn't test on animals, who would we test on instead? It would not be good to administer drugs on a human without knowing the results of it that could be harmful. Animal testing is the most logical and safe way for humans to create new products and do medical research.

This post is in regards to mostly everyone that animal testing should be continued. We need to test animals to learn about potential side effects from drugs. It is sad to put an animal through it but better that than a human. We cannot put humans at risk because we are unsure of what a product may do. It is not logical and would be very harmful to the human race.

Alex, I think the issue is that animals that die due to animal testing are usually subject to suffering of some sort before they actually die. But it is true that we slaughter thousands of animals daily in this country for food and other uses, and for the most part everyone is okay with that. Also, a main argument from people who support humane treatment for animals is that humans are not any different from any other organism on this planet. The theory of evolution does not state that the human is the most evolved or advanced organism. Also, survival of the fittest usually refers to the survival of the fittest members of a particular species, and really is not a good analogy for the situation. I agree with you for the most part though, I think we should experiment on animals but make sure they receive the most humane treatment possible.

I believe that animals should be used. I honestly am not saying their lives are any less important than a humans, but we need to test these products on someone or something to better science. A sane human being would not allow products that have unknown side effects be put into their body. Animals “ are people too? and I totally agree with that statement, but we need to test the products bottom line. The goal of testing products is to further health administration and prevent disease and death. If some lives need to be taken in the process then that is what we must sacrifice. We are also animals so I firmly believe we are just testing ourselves. We may say it is unethical to test products on animals, but for the most part it is ethical to eat animals? That idea confuses me because it seems to be hypocritical. I guess my opinion agrees with everyone else in that animals should be used for testing.

I believe animals should be used in testing to better our science field. Animal testing has gone so well so far, why stop now? We need to test new drugs on something or someone. Honestly ask yourself, would you rather test these new drugs or procedures on humans or animals? I think the majority of people will say animals. This testing has done so many good things for us thus far so why stop now?

This is a very hard question for me because I really don't like to know that animals are be treated poorly for my benefit. Since we would never test harmful products on humans, I'm not really sure what the alternative is if we decide not to test on animals. So, I guess I have to agree that animals have to be tested on in order to make medical advances. Although, I would prefer that no animal is tested on or euthanized, I think we should use mice or rats first. Even though I think its ok to test for medical reasons I am strongly against testing on animals for cosmetics and material things used by humans. I'm also uncomfortable with the fact that animals are specifically bred to be testing on, and then usually killed afterwards. I think I could argue for and against animal testing all day and not reach a definite conclusion. As far as the U of M cows, I think its great that they have proven cows treated nicely produce more milk. This doesn't really relate to animal testing because its not like if you treat the animal nice they will have good test results and not be harmed. Of course because of my interest in alternative medicine I wish that people wanted to use herbs and therapies such as acupuncture to treat themselves. If people used natural alternatives more than chemical drugs maybe testing on animals would become less prevalent.

I think that many of the students in this class share the same few in favor of animal testing. In regards to Theresa's post I agree that if we are going to test on animals we should be confident that the drugs will be safe. It would be nice to have standards that would only test drugs that have been carefully made. I would also hope that if the animal was sure not to suffer they would not kill it. In regards to Sara's post I share the uncomfortable feelings she has about animal testing. It can be cruel and inhumane, but since its unlikely animal testing will stop its important to create restrictions, and testing standards. I agree with her that the idea of controlling overpopulation is not a legitimate excuse to test. I also think she has to understand, as a students with aspirations to become a doctor many of the drugs she could potentially prescribe would have been created as a result of animal testing. She may also use medicine or products that have been tested on animals. It is something that doctors have to agree with to some extent because of drugs they will be in contact with and use every day.

I believe strongly in the testing of drugs on animals. I know that this testing could and does lead to death of the animal, but this testing also saves the lives of many people. We can't give out drugs to people and hope they work. We can't just run trial and error on humans. Our choices of calculating the risk of death and side effects of drugs are either to test the drugs on animals or give out drugs to people and hope people don't die. I think everyone knows the answer to this one even though they might not like it. Animals are the only choice for testing right now and I think that until the time we find a different way to test drugs some other way, we have to continue testing drugs on animals.

I do not think that it is right to kill an animal to help a human. I think it is abusing our intelligence in the sense that just because we are the smartest animal means that we can use other animals at our disposal. Do we have more purpose than a cow or any other animal here on Earth? Since we are contributing heavily to the destruction of our own planet, it would seem not. A rat or a mouse actually serve more of a purpose in nature considering they don't destroy it. Testing animals for our benefit, however, is easily justified because it is for OUR benefit. Obviously, if it is leading to new breakthroughs in medicine then why wouldn't we do it. That is every species ultimate goal isn't it? To maintain existence.

I agree with Alex that we should go about testing in the most humane way possible. Since we are obviously not going to just stop testing animals, we should do it in the most humane way. Preventing animal cruelty is important but what defines what is cruel and what isn't? There are certain lines we shouldn't cross when testing animals.

This is a very controversial issue. I don’t know how I feel about it. There are pros and cons to each side of the subject. On the one hand, if we want to continue to have new medicines we need to test them. I don’t think that there are too many people out there that are willing to volunteer for a new mystery drug. On the other hand, who is to say that we can kill innocent animals for our own personal gain? However, if we don’t test on animals, then we don’t have anything or anyone to test these medicines on. If that happens, then how are we ever going to get new medicines to help our illnesses? I am torn between the two sides. I would like to say that animal testing is wrong but then again it helps out so much with helping to cure our diseases.

In response to Sara’s blog post I would have to say that I disagree. Yes, I think that animal testing for food and cosmetics is inhumane and wrong; however, this is not the issue we are discussing. We are discussing testing antibiotics on animals, not beauty products. How many different medications have you taken? I’m sure that you wouldn’t have taken them if there wasn’t an almost 100% chance that no harm would come to you. If you want to step in to test the medication, more the power to you but until we find something else, animals are our best means of research. As of the environment that these animals are kept in, I’m sure that there are “comfortable? living habitats for animals being tested as well as the bad ones. But who is going to write something about the great living environments of animals that are probably going to die? It is like hearing something positive on the news. I’m sure that the environments that you heard about are only a few instances of animals cruelty.

Uh oh, I am the biggest animal lover you will ever meet, so this is a tough one. Because I am at a loss of ideas for other "things" to use for research, I believe we don't have much choice but to continue animal testing. It is neither morally right nor would I expect people to risk their own lives as a means of medical research. With that said, I DO expect that all animal testing be done humanely. It is probably quite accepted that testing on animals is the closest living thing to humans and will hopefully lead to advancements in medicine, etc. All in all, if saving just one human's life is achieved at the expense of animals, it is worth it. As a last remark, I do not agree with animal testing to further cosmetic lines and such.

I agree with every point made by Alex Fleming. Observing the food chain and the ways we use animals in every day life makes me feel better about testing medicine on animals. Although I still don't love the idea, it makes me feel a little better. I also agree that certain measures need to be taken to ensure humane means of testing. Animals have feelings, too! (:

This topic is very debatable and I could argue both sides. I do no t think products should be tested on animals unless they know they will not severely hurt the animal. This argument also brings up whether or not animals should be killed for humans to eat, since we could survive by protein supplements. I personally think it is okay that animals are eaten because it is part of the food chain. I do not think humans should abuse the fact that we are on top of the food chain though, by not over consuming meat. When it comes to testing drugs on animals, I think it depends on the animal. Rats have been used for testing before and I think that is okay compared to a larger animal. Although, I think they should not do unnecessary testing on animals, by over testing a drug or product on animals.

I believe having drugs tested on animals for our sake is helpful. I think there is a line though and that people can abuse the ability of that. If we are going to use animals for experimental use then we need to set a limit on the number of animals we can use. It is a privilege and we need to respect it. Animals are living creatures too and we need to make sure that we can help make their life better so we can in turn make our lives better. We need to take advantage of our opportunities and utilize them, but not abuse them. Hopefully we will realize this soon so more animals will live and we won't feel guilty of harming animals.

I have no reservations in saying that animal testing is an imporant and presently, necessary factor when producing treatments and medicines to be used on humans. Using animals in this process I think is even more just than the way we consume mass amounts of meat every year as food. I don't think it is pompous of scientists to use animals as a way to discover new ways to improve healthcare for humans. It is not an attempt to "play God" but an attempt to understand how something can affect and potentially benefit a living thing. I think it is ridiculous to try and determine what the life of an animal is actually worth, whether one says their lives are equal to a human life or not. What is certain is that it would be highly dangerous and extremely controversial to do initial trial and error testing on humans. Presently, the best way to determine whether a medicine or treatment is safe for humans, is to determine if it is safe for animals.

This is a tough issue but i believe that we should continue to test things on animals. I believe that if it means that we will live longer or we will find the cure to cancer why not? How else should we test new drugs on humans? I think that it would be even more of an ethics issue if we did human testing right away rather than testing on animals. We all love animals (well most people do) but i think for the sake of bettering man kind we should continue to do animal testing before we try anything on humans

I think that there are certain types of situations that call for the use of animals in testing and research, but I also feel that sometimes animals are misused in some experimental testing. For the most part, however, I think the consequences of engaging in animal research offers clear benefits to the human population and make up for the costs of the animals involved in the research. There are new advances everyday in science, medicine, and education because of animal research and I do not think it would be very easy to just give this up. On the other hand, I think most people agree that certain types of testing, for example cosmetics, is not justifiable if there are any other means of testing available, which there often is. I think safety is also a benefit of animal testing, so that when the time comes to actually test a drug on a human being, it will not kill them. Without animal testing, we would not be able to develop new vaccines, cancer therapies, surgical techniques, and development of practical products that would benefit the human race.

In response to Stephanie Payne's post, I think she makes a great point. She states as I stated earlier that animal research has done very well in the past, and it should be continued. She also added though that some testing is probably not justifiable. Her example was cosmetics. I completely agree with her statement. We should continue animal testing to further the human race, but at the same time do not abuse the animals we are testing on unnessary experiments.

In response to a majority of the posts, I agree that it is okay for animals to be used for testing drugs. Testing drugs solely on humans would not seem right. Although animals may be harmed, I think it would be worse for many humans to be injured to test drugs. In one of my classes, we discussed a topic similar to this. We discussed whether eating animals was humane and many people in the class said they did not like huge slaughterhouse operations and thought it was more humane to eat animals from small farms. There were a few people in the class that grew up on a dairy farm with many cows and were able to personally attest against the negative perceptions of these slaughterhouses. Sara mentioned many animals being kept in small places which were basically torturing the animal. Not all animal operations are like this however. Just because animals are used for testing does not mean all tests end in animals being harmed or dying.

I agree with DJ. Even though it is difficult to accept animal testing, it is our best option. Testing done on animals saves many human lives and furthers our research. Testing on animals does not have to mean cruelty and inhumane treatment for these animals. Like the University of MN, many researchers do provide comfortable conditions for the animals used in testing. I still believe in my previous post, animals should be used in testing, as long as they are treated humanely.

I agree with Stephanie. She made a good point that sometimes the testing can get out of hand and misuse some animals. I think when we do our testing we should try our best to stay away from those situations. I, also, agree that testing is advancing sciences and is very beneficial to the population. Stephanie makes a very good point about cosmetics and how testing animals for cosmetics is not just. Really do we need to sacrifice animals for make-up? Overall, animal testing is needed for the health of the American population.

I agree with what Hannah has to say. I like animals a lot too, but we need to test drugs on some sort of species and animals are the default. In order for we as humans to stay alive and live longer we need medication, and we need to know that medication works before we put it into our bodies. It's not a good feeling knowing that animals are constantly tested on, but as of right now they are our best option. I believe we need to sustain our life first and then work the rest out. Even though I care a lot for animals, I still feel that we need to put the needs of humans first.

I agree with David also. I think that testing animals will further medical research and help aid in fighting disease. Human awareness and our intelligence is very advance and it is important that we utilize our abilities. We are trying to be healthy and in doing so that means we must utilize those of less intelligence than of people and combat disease. I love animals, but I also think animal testing is okay.

I agree with what Kaitlyn's had to say in her post. I think that we should not have to test and experiment on humans when there are other options available that would not risk a human life. I agree with what she said about one of the only ways if determining if a medicine or treatment is safe for humans is to first test it on animals. However, I think we should research and make sure that the testing is necessary and will have results that will help the human population and future research. All in all, I think that animals are necessary in the process of producing safe and effective drugs and medicine in humans, like Kaitlyn said.

In response to Sara's blog, I think that Sara makes some truly strong points. I read her caption and felt some sympathy for the animals. The part about de-barking dogs was really appalling. I can't imagine sticking a red-hot poker down a dog's throat to damage the vocal cords. That is very inhumane. I still think that animals need to be tested however. It is for the benefit of the human race. The inhumane ways that the testing places care for these animals is wrong though. I wouldn't expect the animals to have huge cages and live lavishly, but to stick a hot rod down a live animals throat crosses the line. If the drugs weren't tested on these animals, how would they ever get out onto the market? Would we go right to testing them on humans? I don't really see any way around testing the drugs on animals, and we need these drugs because they save lives.

In response to Sara's post: I think that making comparisons between orphanages and animal shelters is pretty unrealistic and extreme. It is a way that uses guilt instead of facts to make a point. Christy makes several good retorts to Sara's assertions. There are so many advancements made in medicine because of animal testing and saying that it should be completely removed is something I disagree with. I do not think that animal cruelty is alright in the case of food processing and cosmetic testing, but the use of animals in medical studies and developement is currently necessary.