The blatant and abhorrent obliviousness with which we exploit animal's poses a threat not only to their survival but any further imbalance in nature will start the downfall of mankind itself.
Modern medicine owes its advancement to the lives of thousands of animals who were used to experiment the effects of these drugs upon throughout centuries. All the modern drugs and cosmetics were developed through trial and error. Animals have been used for medical testing as far back as the Greek and Roman times. Aristotle was one of the earliest academics to record the used of animals for medical research around 384-322 BC.The practice of vivisection(operating on living animals in order to gain knowledge of pathological or physiological processes) was a necessary evil of the development of medical science and surgical methods.
The phenomena of animal medical research has been there for the last two centuries and was started and emphasised upon when research was being carried out upon cardiovascular and nervous systems Darwin's theory of evolution paved the way for scientists to cut up and experiment upon live animals in the name of better understanding of the human body. A movement to prevent such use of animals in the late nineteenth century was stifled by the great advances in medical research being made through animal experimentation.1In the 1950's animal research paved the way for the discovery of Kidney transplants, replacement heart valves ,polio vaccine and hip replacement surgery. In the 1960s and later on animal research produced the cure to heart disease, transplant problems and life saving systems for new born babies.
With the issue of animal testing comes the question of ethics. Do we really need animal testing anymore The use of (non-human) animals by humans, particularly for medical experiments, has become a been a topic of heated debate in practical ethics for a long time now and academics debate whether and to what extent animals of various species are " conscious and self-conscious"
"Consciousness refers primarily to perception, non-reflective cognition (such as beliefs) and emotion (such as feelings). In the ethical context, its most important components are feelings of pleasure and suffering, and derivatively more particular feelings, such as sexual gratification and fear, respectively. Self-consciousness refers to thinking about one's consciousness. In the ethical context, its most important component is thinking about one's beliefs and feelings, and derivatively about their implications, such as intentions."2
Peter Singer, a prominent animal rights activist has argued that
"If a being suffers, there can be no moral justification for refusing to take that suffering into consideration. No matter what the nature of the being, the principle of equality requires that the suffering be counted equally with the like suffering - in so far as rough comparisons can be made - of any other being."3
He goes on to state furthermore that ,
The claim that self-conscious beings are entitled to prior consideration is compatible with the principle of