Animal Experiments for Research

How does everyone feel about animal experimentation? I know that alot of people claim that it is cruelty to animals, but it seems to me that without it, alot of important discoveries would never have been made. I was reading a book recently that described how the connection was made between diabetes and insulin with tests on stray dogs. If they were unable to test the dogs, then diabetes would be fatal. What are your thoughts?

This is essentially a contextual argument.

Animal research is a good deal for humans. It is a bad deal for the animals.

I think the majority of people feel animal research is undesirable when:

1.) The research in question produces marginal value (ex. cosmetics research)

2.) The animals approach human emotional quality (dogs and chimps in particular)

The trouble is knowing where the line goes:

Some personal observations and feelings:

To me use of dogs and chimps comes up to if not crossing the line of murder. Chimps are REAL close to human (if you don’t believe me watch People of the Forest). In some emotional respects, I suspect dogs SURPASS humans. For instance I heard an anecdote from a medical school in which a dog was vivesected (cut open while alive often without anesthesia) in order that the students could see a beating heart. Though clearly in great pain, the dog continued to loving lick the hand of the surgeon that was cutting open its chest.

I dunno, I’d like to see some other people’s observations before I say more.

I have no problem with that.

I am not a vegetarian. I am not averse to killing animals for food, clothing or research. I do feel that where reasonable and effective alternatives exist they should be used. The fact of the matter, though, is that computer models are only as good for so much. We have yet to develop the technology to recreate or simulate the complexities of a mammal’s biochemistry or neurology. Until we do, animal testing will be necessary.

This is my basic position, Spiritus - I’m opposed to killing animals for frivolous reasons. Shoe leather, food, medical tests - not frivolous. Fur, plumes, cosmetic tests, luxury foods - frivolous.

I agree, experiments should probably only be done for medical purposes, to try and help people.

At the risk of hijacking my own post, this intrigued me:

How do you feel about those companion pet laws? The ones that say that people who harm animals like dogs are subject to worse punishment? What about countries where they eat or wear dog? That’s not just an urban legend… Personally, I find it hard to differentiate between dogs and other animals, because from a hindu person’s point of view, the murder of cows would be just as bad. We may consider dogs friends, but they consider cows sacred.


So I’ve actually worked in dog labs when I was an undergraduate preparing to start an MD/PhD combined degree. It was never a comforting thought, but we were doing cardiovascular research and dogs are very similar in cardiac performance and anatomy to humans. We used mostly pound dogs which were destined to be euthanized, and all animal protocols go through a rigorous ethics approval. The animals never felt any pain.

A few arguments against this dog thing :

  1. You can not just lay a dog down and cut open its chest without protest. Take your average house dog and step on its tail by accident. It won’t “lovingly lick” your foot. Believe me – I have a dog which is constantly underfoot.

  2. I find it highly doubtful that the dog would be able to lick anything anyway. You have to put a breathing tube in if you are going to open the chest, and in order to do so, you must completely paralyze the dog. I have to get my dog to swallow a heartworm pill each month and that’s enough of a problem.

  3. For recent memory, such vivisection goes through the same ethics procedure as animal research. That would ensure full surgical sedation and anesthesia.

It by no means is a comfortable subject. At my medical/graduate school, we do an enormous amount of transgenic mouse work. I have seen a lot of large and small animal research. When you deal with a system with at least 100,000 variables, most of which are preserved well between species, there is simply no substitute. The ultimate answer is that for us humans, the ends have justified the means again and again.

There is a simple solution. If you are against medical animal research, boycott all meducal products that are tested on animals. Start with any procedure or surgery. Next, any device such as pacemakers, artificial valves, dialysis machines. Lastly, the entire FDA approved pharmacopeia. Welcome back to the Civil War, guys. Try to survive more than a couple years with only aspirin, digitalis, belladonna, whiskey, and bullet clenched in the teeth.

Nearly time for my next bleeding,

Vivisection is not a good deal for anyone. Testing drugs/procedures on animals is not only needless, its dangerous. Just because a particular product won’t kill an animal, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily safe for humans. It is a well known fact that chocolate is poison to a dog. If vivisection theory were true, wouldn’t it then be poison to a human as well? We know this is not the case. To a human, chocolate is a delictable treat. Just because a mouse or rabbit doesn’t die when we feed it something, doesn’t mean it is safe for a human. Cross-species testing is dangerous. Many medical doctors feel the same way. Enter the word “vivisection” into any search engine, and you will find a healthy assortment of links to web pages full of anti-vivisection material, much of it written by professors and physicians who realize this practice is barbaric and dangerous.

As for experiments which do not involve the testing of new medicines or life-saving procedures, often these exist only for the increased profits of the companies doing the experiments or for the prestige of the scientists involved. There are published reports of experiments in which monkeys’ eyes were sewn shut for sensory deprivation experimentation. Pigs were burned alive with a propane torch by US Army scientists to study the effects of fire on living tissue. Such experiments are done without anestesia and without remorse for the senseless mutilation and killing taking place.

I used to be in favor of animal testing. Until I did my homework and found out the truth.

Thanks to drugs and procedures tested on animals, you’ll be able to protest 20.8 years longer.

In my experiments with animals (primarily with mice) we were NEVER cruel to the animals. They were the backbone of the research. We used as few of them as possible, treated them well, and euthhanized them humanely before necropsy.

Our facilities were monitored by the USDA, and the animals were treated FAR better than the post docs!! In fact, I would say that many research animals are treated better than a whole lot of house pets.

For those who are diabetic, give many thanks to the Beagle, who was the primary research subject for the research of insulin. Thanks can also be given to the lowly labrat who has advanced Medical Science more than any other single living organism.

After giving thanks ask yourself these question: “Would I take a drug that was NEVER tested on animals?” “Would I submit to a medical procedure that was NEVER preformed on animals?” More importantly; “Would I allow it for my kids?” If you are truly honest with yourself, the answer to all three would be a resounding “NO!”

Computer simulation can only go so far.

I’m still wondering what “vivisection theory” is.

Do we have an appendectomy theory, too?

Animal research, whether it involves vivisection or not, is based upon the principal that some biological systems in some animals work in ways that are very similar to those same systems in human beings. This is more accurate in some cases than others, but I have yet to see the basic principal refuted.

As a vegetarian and animal-rights type, I am torn on the issue of genuine medical research.

Psych research, though, my mind is made up. I fail to see the value of research that concludes, for example, that a dog in a divided box to whom electrical shocks are adminstered on alternating sides, causing it to jump back and forth over the division, will eventually sit there and take the shocks. Or that an infant chimp placed with an artificial “mother,” which gives off burning steam or pointy barbs when the infant clings to it, will become depressed and withdrawn. No shit.

The only value in such research (which usually is a marginally disguised version of previous research) is allowing the researchers to publish and receive additional grant money and tenure.

Thalidomide was tested on animals. Whoops!


You’re “torn”? I don’t understand. If it’s “genuine medical research” what is there to be torn about?


It sure was. As mentioned before, animals are not humans. Their systems are similar, but certainly not identitcal. One of the problems with Thalidomide was that it was not used as tested. (see: )

I stand by my original statements.


You’re “torn”? I don’t understand. If it’s “genuine medical research” what is there to be torn about?


It sure was. As mentioned before, animals are not humans. Their systems are similar, but certainly not identitcal. One of the problems with Thalidomide was that it was not used as tested. (see: )

I stand by my original statements.


You’re “torn”? I don’t understand. If it’s “genuine medical research” what is there to be torn about?


It sure was. As mentioned before, animals are not humans. Their systems are similar, but certainly not identitcal. One of the problems with Thalidomide was that it was not used as tested. (see: )

I stand by my original statements.

Dammit all!! Piece of crap computer!!

Sorry about that.

Yep, humans are not animals…

…depending on your point of view. If you were, say, a Martian, then things might be a wee different.

Human Research Necessary

Courtesy of the Lorina Barton archive at

argyle87 said:

I disagree that testing drugs and procedures on animals is needless. Yes, animals are made up differently than humans, but the basic systems are generally the same. As I and another poster pointed out, without testing on dogs, millions of diabetics would be without the insulin they need to live. We would never know that diabetes is caused by a lack of it. How do you respond to that?

The fact that animals don’t exist as our playthings, and in an ideal world all such research could be conducted without their use, say for example on volunteer humans.

Couldn’t resist this opportunity to rescue a previous post of mine from the “Unhappy Meals” thread in the Pit, where it perished practically unnoticed in the flames. I said:

"As I said in an earlier post, there really does seem to be a global shift in opinion emerging on the mutual relations of humans and non-humans; and I think many people resent this. We certainly don’t want to make animals suffer, but it goes against hundreds of centuries of human experience to be told that we MUSTN’T.

[…musings on carnivore/vegetarian relations snipped…for the record, I am not a vegetarian]

Same thing about animal testing, maybe? Many people are horrified that anyone could possibly argue against animal testing if it saves human lives. Well, face it: it’s not intrinsically right to kill or torture animals even to save human lives. Sure, we do it (and I don’t really expect or want us to stop doing it, as long as we need to), but only because we’re smarter and bigger and can get away with it, not because we have some kind of natural right to do it.

I think many people are fundamentally uncomfortable with that realization: we hurt and kill animals not because we have some kind of contract with reality that assures us it’s right or necessary, but because we can get away with it. This is starting to change how we look at what we do, and it’s really disturbing. Disturbs me, that’s for sure. Yeah, we like meat and we need medicines—but is there maybe a better way to do this? I think things really will change, eventually. But resistance, including vegetarian-trashing, is going to be strong."

About that “things changing” part: how soon? A couple of posters have said that adequate simulation technology doesn’t yet exist. How much can we do now with simulation technology that we’d formerly have needed animal experimentation for, and how long do you think it will be before improved technology can make animal experimentation more or less obsolete? Do you think the availability of animal testing has an effect on the development of such technology? How are new medical procedures tested (if at all) in countries like India that have a stronger religious/philosophical bias in favor of animal rights? (WAG: all the researchers are Muslims???)


Don’t worry, I’m here!!!

Well, people, I like animals, but I’m no tree huggin hippie, so don’t get me wrong. I see nothing wrong with using animals for our betterment. There are plenty of them. As long as they don’t use endangered animals. I see nothing wrong with testing an experimental drug on a rat or a homeless dog. For hunting, I’m a strong supporter of it. And don’t think that I go blasting away, recklessly at deer and other animals. I try to take a clean shot so they don’t suffer. I either go for the head, neck, or behind the shoulderblade(lungs, heart, etc). Tell me if you don’t like what I said. I’m anxious to hear it. Now, I’m hungry…what’s for dinner? STEAK!!!