This isn’t really a post, more of a sounding board; I would like to know of the objections to animal research. Comments on this post will be completely unmoderated (except for spam) and I am, as always, very open to criticism on my views. The following is my case for using animals in research:
- Necessity of in vivo models: without an in vivo model to study the effects of medications, pathogens, tumors, and treatments, we could not identify problems outside of the target area (“side-effects”). While in vitro models are useful for studying cell- or tissue-specific responses, responses outside of this remain unknown. For this reason, the use of in vivo models are necessary.
- Human lives: while research involving humans is far more frequent than many may think, humans are not useful due to the ethical issue of purposefully infecting an otherwise healthy individual with a disease-causing agent to follow the progression of said disease and the response or lack of response to a treatment if given. Observing only ill humans does not give insight into the early beginnings of the disease (which can lead to early detection methods in humans) while observing only healthy humans in hopes one develops the disease only to observe the symptoms untreated is similarly unethical.
- The need for experimental control: model organisms (mice, rats, dogs, cats, yeast, flies, primates…) are used primarily for purposes of controlled exposure to interfering factors. While humans may be exposed to interfering factors; any interfering factors arising in model organisms will be far easier to identify. Model organisms provide far less variability than do humans.
Please, chime in, argue, that’s what this post is here for.