Throughout human history, humans have used animals as test subjects, from cosmetics and medical testing to space travel. Animals are used to see what effect these processes have upon a human-like body, a practice which raises many moral and ethical questions.
Primates were often chosen above others as test subjects for space exploration, as their close genetics and morphological similarities made them a perfect choice. The first primate in space was a Rhesus monkey called Albert II. This links closely to modern day usage of animal within scientific and cosmetic research. It is thought by a large number of people that usage within cosmetic testing is wrong, with a recent poll claiming that only 10% of Britons who took part thought animal testing for cosmetics was acceptable.
The testing performed within scientific and medical research is less clean cut. Could it be justified if the drugs tested on animals could save millions of human lives? Cancer or HIV treatments are known to be tested on animals and if this practice could lead to real development of the drugs and possible cures, is it ok? Or should all medical testing only be performed upon fellow humans? An article published in the British newspaper The Telegraph in 2009, stated that MPs in the UK were putting forward plans to investigate human alternatives to animal testing.
Do you think it is right to use animals in situations which can cause suffering and possible death? Can the progression of medicine justify this practice?