I, personally, donít really like the idea of sacrificing animals for biomedical research and I'm not just partial to my favourite feline friends but have a conscience when it comes to the not-so-cute-and-furry ones like the hairless guinea pigs I worked with years ago when I worked in a federal government laboratory on dermal penetration and metabolism of pesticides. Despite my personal preferences, I recognize that research on animals is sometimes the only, or best, way to fully comprehend certain biological functions. In that particular job, we were developing a method to replace animal testing, but had to test that method against traditional protocols with animals, in order to determine if it was comparable. Historically, animals have been used to make some very key discoveries. For example, mice were an integral part of early experiments leading to the discovery of genes.
Being able to see both sides of this and many bioethics arguments often leaves me sitting on the fence and Iím thankful that I generally only have to work with bacteria, yeast and fungi. Iím a bit of a wimp that way, and avoid having to commit to either side of the debate. That said, however, Iím thankful for certain vaccines and other drugs that have been developed over the years with the help of animal testing and have had an impact on my life or the lives of those I love. Iím also thankful that the issue of organ transplants has not touched my life personally, as I am still sitting on the fence when it comes to forming an opinion on xenotransplantation, a seemingly promising area of biomedicine but a whole new can of worms in terms of bioethical issues.