Throughout time animal research has taken on many roles and has undergone many changes. As late as the 80s many internationally known cosmetic giants were still using animals to test their products on before being released for human use.
Once this practice was made public, it happened at a time when animals had gained a new respect with the general public. Non-profits popped up all over, with a single purpose on their agenda: stop needless animal testing which usually included unnecessary pain and mutilation and ultimately death. These organizations were quick to find photos taken in these labs depicting tortured bunnies and puppies, and these photos soon showed up in local newspapers, shocking animal lovers all over.
Even well into the 70s, a practice known as vivisection was widely used under the auspices of medical research. Vivisection showed a total disregard for the care and comfort of these animals used in research, and operations and all sorts of tests were performed without anesthesia. For animals who even managed to survive, they ended up back in their tiny cases and waited for their next procedure.
Although organizations and legislation have made many successful advances in controlling what amounted to needless torture, animal research does exist, but research facilities have been forced to move to areas where they can't be monitored on a daily basis. There is still a belief that some animal research
does require the occasional sacrifice of a few animals as further advances are made.
However, groups like PETA make it their business to keep track of who is doing what, to the point that some actually believe that PETA does more harm than good and has turned from animal protection to pure activism. Many people don't see the difference and back all actions by these groups in the advance of animal protection laws.
Facilities and full fledged labs have all but disappeared from their usual places of businesses, and have been forced to move far away from civilization to take refuge in secure out of the way buildings, away from prying eyes and social activists.
Medical science has finally reached the point where animal deaths are not necessarily routinely necessary as part of their success. Many vaccines, serums and prescription drugs have been invented without the need to perform any type of testing or procedure that could be considered inhumane, although some organizations still feel that simply keeping these animals in cages for the sole purpose of testing is inhumane in and of itself.
One of the latest and most successful advances in medical and animal research is a form of genetic engineering. A type of cloning now allows an animal host to grow tissue, such as new ears or even skin, and have it successful transplanted onto its intended human recipient. Results are well received by patients and the mainstream medical profession; however, once the artifact is harvested from the host, the host (usually a mouse) must be euthanized. Once again, there are some patients who refuse this opportunity because of the necessary death of the host animal.
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