Examine the ethical issues in vivisection and discuss the extent to which it should be allowed

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Examine the ethical issues in vivisection and discuss the extent to which it should be allowed.

        Vivisection refers to “the practice of performing operations on live animals for the purpose of experimentation or scientific research” (oxforddictionaries.com). These experiments range from testing drugs for medical research to testing cosmetic products on animals to determine their effects on humans. Furthermore, vivisection raises the success rates of surgeries and procedures as they are tested on animals, and thereafter improved on, before they are conducted on people. Hence, many people support vivisection, as it seems to benefit the majority of humankind. Small mammals, such as rats, primates and cold-blooded animals are commonly used in laboratories and it is estimated that, each year, over one hundred million animals are killed as a result of experiments (peta.org). Thus, others argue against vivisection, claiming that such experiments cause the animals tremendous pain, often leaving them severely injured or dead, which is unethical since animals are still living beings. However, although vivisection causes animals to suffer, some experiments are still crucial and beneficial to humanity. Therefore, vivisection should be allowed provided the experiments conducted are absolutely necessary as the results can benefit humankind greatly, if there is a high success rate which minimizes the extent of harm inflicted on the animals and the animals are not intentionally killed and are put through the least possible amount of pain which should be humane.

        First of all, people who support vivisection tend to have the mindset that human beings are superior to animals and that this gives us the right to use them for our own purposes. Animals are reduced to tools, which are meant to serve humankind. In this case, experimenting on animals seems acceptable because we, as superior beings, are entitled to make use of them. This ideology dates back to Western philosophers such as Rene Descartes and Thomas Aquinas who argued that since animals lack in mind and soul, they are enslaved for the uses of human beings (Jenkins 160). Moreover, Genesis 1:26 of the bible states that "humankind…[has] dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth”, reiterating the belief that humans have more rights than animals and we, therefore, should be allowed to exploit them.

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        Another argument for vivisection is that benefits such as reducing human suffering through such experimentation and medical breakthroughs ultimately outweigh the desire to prevent animal suffering. Testing drugs and vaccines on animals allow us determine if they are safe for humans to use as well as the effectiveness of newly developed drugs. Researchers claim that vivisection has played a vital role in the advancement of medical therapies and have led to further discoveries in the sectors of diseases such as cancer, AIDS, treatment in spinal cord injuries, and so on. For this reason, many support vivisection as such experiments are ...

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