Not every article can be a happy one. When talking about the vegetarian and vegan lifestyles, the inevitability is that something uncomfortable will crop up in conversation, leading to a topic that may make people uncomfortable, angry, or just downright distressed. Today may be one of those articles since I want to ask a tricky question: Where do you draw the line for laboratory testing? I’ll define the question a bit more before opening it up for comments, but let’s get to talking, shall we?
One of the sad truths of the scientific world is that tests are being done around the clock to find ways of curing diseases, increase longevity, and overall improve the quality of life of all living things. In order to do this, animals, typically rats, are being used to further the progress of science. Typically, scientists will form a theory as to either something that can be helpful/harmful, something that can cure disease, or something that can answer questions we previously couldn’t, ultimately leading to a greater understanding of the world. Then they need to test out their theory and usually they’ll turn to rats for this.
Error. Page cannot be displayed. Please contact your service provider for more details. (24)But in comes the uncomfortable fact: As a result of some laboratory tests, rats can and have died. It goes hand-in-hand with testing previously untested drugs and procedures on them as sometimes scientists learn that their new drug can reduce the spread of male pattern baldness whereas other times a drug that’s meant to prevent heart attacks actually causes them. Science is not a spotless, clear-cut world. It involves risk be taken, but again, the question is where the line must be drawn.
Granted, not all lab tests are harmful. As previously stated, some experiments are more social in nature, so scientists may be searching to see how rats handle a situation where a group are put together and routinely given cheese, then one day given the choice between cheese and strawberries, thus giving insight into the ways social interactions can be interrupted by a change of the food. Is this an acceptable form of animal experimentation, or does it have the same basic problem as the others, that of animals being forced to do something against their will?