This Thursday, the Observant wrote a piece about the expansion of the Animal studies facility of the University. A facility that is highly needed for a medical and neuro-psychological faculty to exist. Good news to hear they want to upgrade the facility and make it more efficient.
I always get annoyed by people who state that we should abandon animal testing, because it is not cool for those animals. There will be no sane soul on this walking planet who will state otherwise. Despite a lack of ‘coolness’, it serves a purpose that transcends the ‘oooooooooooooh so sad’-factor.
Did you ever think about the origin of all the medical techniques we have this day? Where do you think the Alzheimer-drugs that help your granny come from? How did you think they can improve chemo-therapy that will cure one of the ugliest diseases out there? Let me explain how the development of a drug normally looks like.
If a medicine is created, the first stages involve animal tested to determine the efficacy as well as the short- & long-term effects. Why? To eliminate the probability of humans getting side-effects such as dying etc. Then they will test on healthy volunteers. You sometimes hear that healthy volunteers got serious problems due to medicines, despite safe-results in animals. This doesn’t mean that animal testing is unnecessary, because a lot of characteristics animals have are pretty similar (they don’t do it for fun). After that they will test it on people who suffer from the disease and then, 12-14 years later (roughly), the drug actually gets on the market. Animal testing precedes this in order to make everything so safe as possible and reduce the chances of human deaths.
Every year, you see commercials that we should search for alternatives to animal testing. Of course we need to, but do you think ethical committees would actually allow animal testing if there are better solutions? Every year there’s protesters outside the university stating that the university performs acts of cruelty on animals. Yes, cause the researchers lack feelings and all strive to become the new dr. Frankenstein. Don’t be misguided by all the horror-pictures and movies about mutilated bunnies and skinless puppies, they are far from pretty, but don’t reflect most of the animal testing by far.
I therefore salute the new plans for the expansion of the animal testing facility of the university. If you don’t agree, feel free to post your alternatives. You might actually get a Nobel-prize if you hit the right spot. And stay away from the doctor if you suspect a lump or are in agony, cause you don’t want your alleviation to come at the expense of the death of an animal, do you?
I was born and raised in a town called Geleen, sited between the hills of the Dutch province of Limburg. I'm a 25 year old Psychology Master student and a member of the Erasmus Student Network (ESN). I will enjoy shedding my critical light on life itself and share it with you while I am at it.