As far as animal testing is concerned, there are two sides to this coin facing us in the very near future: that which is “good” and that which is “bad”; closer definitions of either will be understandably hard to pin down. As technology advances at a breakneck pace, it becomes difficult to determine where ethical responsibilities lie. A great example is in terms of GMOs.
On the one hand, today’s food doesn’t seem to be feeding the world as it should—though much of that is the fault of bureaucracy and management, rather than actual shortages; just consider Israel as an object example. In less than a century the Jewish people have turned that ragged patch of pointless desert into one of the world’s leading fruit exporters. Google that to make your eyes pop out, if you like.
At any rate, with that in mind, the question of GMOs as a means of preventing hunger may just be a short-cut that’s not really necessary: if Israel can turn the desert into a garden, then America should be able to do the same for the southwest, and Mongolia for their high deserts—you get the idea.
But still, scientists have developed GMOs under the predicate that they are going to solve issues like world hunger. Perhaps they could—at the expense of world cancer.
A Life-Saving Testing Program
Rats who have been fed a diet of GMO corn have contracted tumors. Now the GMO lobbyists, much like tobacco lobbyists in the eighties, will insist all day long that the tumors are not a result of GMOs. However, the evidence does seem somewhat incontrovertible.
Here’s the thing: those rats were going to eat whatever they could in a natural environment anyway. If you know anything at all about rats, you know that in the wild, they are ridden with all manner of parasitic life, and that their lifespans aren’t likely to be the same as those of animals in a laboratory.
So here’s the choice: the rat could live a life on the streets rife with parasites and territory battles, dying after a nasty brutish and short run, or he could live like a king in a lab, have a longer lifespan, and throw in the towel after proving GMOs are cancerous, thus saving impoverished families who had been considering buying GMO products that were rushed to market too quickly beforehand.
The PETA people argue for the rat, but honestly, many testing animals have better lives than they would in the wild, and as a byproduct of this can help human beings to avoid things which would be harmful to them. What it all boils down to is: does human life have greater value than animal life?
Overcoming the Dark Side
With this question in mind, now consider the dark side of animal testing in the future: Chimeras. Scientists combining human and animal DNA in the laboratory are producing living…things. Are they human? Are they animal? We don’t know yet! It’s an ethical area many would call gray, but many more would call blacker than midnight in the arctic during winter. But where you fall on this issue is certainly going to be a matter of preference.
The solution seems to be animal testing that doesn’t involve human DNA being mixed in, but does involve various biological tests to help human beings expand their health. With all that in mind, there are some promising organizational solutions out there which combine computational technology with the web to expedite research organization.,
One of these organizational solutions comes in the form of online lab animal management software by Studylog; a provider of world-renown animal testing solutions–according to the site: “Studylog is used by the world’s leading academic government, biotech and pharmaceutical labs in dozens of countries to run and manage animal research studies.”
Love it or hate it, animal testing in today’s world is an industry spawning software and other related accoutrements to enhance the process. What makes sense for the future is having the best tools available for your lab so that you can more expediently acquire results. This may be the best way to overcome “bad” science with “good” science.