Eugenia Hogenkamp

Read the first page below or click here to read the entire essay: Eugenia Hogencamp – Testing, Testing 1,2,3

Since childhood, most human beings have been raised on the foundation of accepting and adhering to the “Golden Rule” in everyday aspects of life. We have grown to appreciate the idea that one should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) reports that more than 100 million animals every year suffer and die in cruel chemical, drug, food and cosmetic tests; lab experimentations and lessons in the sciences; medical training exercises; and curiosity-driven medical experiments. Why do human beings sit back and do nothing, knowing that these innocent creatures who so greatly benefit the world are locked up in cold cages? The animals ache with lonesomeness, suffer in agony, and so desperately yearn to be free and loved. Instead, all they are able to do is wait in terror of the next excruciatingly painful procedure that they must tolerate. The stress and boredom these animals are compelled to deal with everyday causes many of them to exhibit neurotic behaviors, including ceaselessly spinning in circles, pulling out their own hair, and biting their own skin. After enduring lonely lives filled with pain, many of them will be killed. At what point will human beings step up and act in these animals’ best interest; at what point will we treat them the way we know we would want to be treated?

Animal rights activist, Charles R. Magel detests the lack of logic behind animal testing. “Ask the experimenters why they experiment on animals, and the answer is: ‘Because the animals are like us.’ Ask the experimenters why it is morally okay to experiment on animals and the answer is: ‘Because the animals are not like us.’ Animal experimentation rests on a logical contradiction” (Magel). According to Robert Waterston, a prominent American geneticist, in his article, “Initial Sequence of the Chimpanzee Genome and Comparison with the Human Genome,” “There is only a slight difference, roughly 2%, between the genome of a human being and the genome of a chimpanzee” (Waterston 73). We should be promoting animals’ happiness and well-being and treating them as if they were our brothers and sisters, not promoting their demise.

Accordingly, in this paper I will argue that researchers who perform animal testing for medical advancements should understand that harming animals for the benefit of humanity violates basic bioethical principles and should therefore be stopped; further, animals cannot defend themselves and for this reason, humans should take on the responsibility of being the voice for the animals, promoting alternatives to animal testing, and acting in the animals best interest, promoting for these animals the same principles we insist on for humans, the principles of beneficence, nonmaleficence, and justice. Accordingly, this paper will examine (1) the reality of animal testing and what goes on behind closed doors, (2) the life-saving alternatives that are proven to be more cost effective and comprehendible, (3) the lifelong implications testing has on animals who survive, (4) the inefficiency of current laws regarding animal testing, and (5) why this destruction of lives is not justified based on the moral standing of animals as compared to humans.

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