Animal Testing for Future Space Flight

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planetling

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http://www.space.com/news/nasa-monkey-s ... 01019.html


I am not an activist so have not kept up, but I was under a misguided assumption that animal testing for the benefit of human space travel had been stopped.

I am against harming any animal, other than as necessary food for human consumption. We have already learned that any overdose of radiation is harmful to life. Testing for limits, psychological, biological or otherwise effects has already been done. I believe that scientists should continue to work on eliminating, or reducing as much as radiation exposure as possible, but not at the expense of subjecting animals to suffering. The data is there, the technology is somewhat there, and will always continue to advance. What part of "radiation is harmful to living organisms" don't these people understand?

Furthermore, as much as I advocate human space travel, I am willing to delay such efforts, even indefinately, until science can render an effective solution to minimize, if not eliminate, radiation exposure to humans in space without the use of animal testing.
 
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DarkenedOne

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planetling":23ycsooo said:
http://www.space.com/news/nasa-monkey-space-radiation-experiment-101019.html


I am not an activist so have not kept up, but I was under a misguided assumption that animal testing for the benefit of human space travel had been stopped.

I am against harming any animal, other than as necessary food for human consumption. We have already learned that any overdose of radiation is harmful to life. Testing for limits, psychological, biological or otherwise effects has already been done. I believe that scientists should continue to work on eliminating, or reducing as much as radiation exposure as possible, but not at the expense of subjecting animals to suffering. The data is there, the technology is somewhat there, and will always continue to advance. What part of "radiation is harmful to living organisms" don't these people understand?

Furthermore, as much as I advocate human space travel, I am willing to delay such efforts, even indefinately, until science can render an effective solution to minimize, if not eliminate, radiation exposure to humans in space without the use of animal testing.
Why exactly are you against animal testing for scientific purposes?

Fact of the matter is not have a deep enough understanding of the effects of radiation and how to mitigate them. Dealing with the effects of radiation is important to space travel and it is also important for people on Earth as well as it accidental exposures are enviable.

Fact of the matter is that science needs to test it on someone, and that someone might as well be an animal. Unless of course you would like to volunteer.
 
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Space_pioneer

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They are just bloody animals. It's not like they are pushing cattle by the hundred into giant radioactive pits. Animal testing is the best way to do it. I'd rather an animal die, than a Human. They are not grabbing endangered animals and stuffing them into barrels of waste, it's a few selected animals.

It seems strange that all of a sudden, people are insane about treating the 'wittle wunny wabbits' kindly. They've been used for thousands of years for all kinds of testing, get over it. If we can advance in radioactive protection, we'll be able to settle on Mars much more easily. I'm sure the animals will be happy to know they would have saved millions of lives.
 
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vulture4

Guest
It seems unlikely to me that monkeys would be used, or needed for that matter, but some rat studies are possible. Rat brains are not that different in terms of radiation damage, and rats don't arouse much objection. And there is some rationale for this according to Peter Singer. Species are different. A monkey has greater intelligence, more capacity to be aware of itself as an independent being, anticipate the future and its own death, more of what Singer calls the capacity to suffer. As such, it is entitled to more rights than the rat, although perhaps not the full rights of a person. I do think it is very important to consider the rights of animals, although after due consideration one may reasonably in some cases kill and eat them. However personally I find this more acceptable for fish and poultry, which have little in the way of mental function, then for cattle and pigs which are somewhat more sentient.
 
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planetling

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Food consumption is a requirement for life. Testing to fulfill a grand voyage is not.

Imo, in reading some of the responses, humans obviously have not evolved to the point to understand that ALL lifeforms should be treated with respsect. Testing with insects, imo, is not different than testing with monkeys. Earth is, some believe, overpopulated. Why not use pygmies or habitants from third-world nations, since according to some, their mental function or capacity is not equal to modern day humans? Of course I do not advocate this, it is merely an analogy.

In rare cases should humans cross the line, such as for medical research where human lives are at stake, or as I have stated above, for human consumption as that is a requirement for life. The desire for space travel is not one of those conditions.

This topic can also expand into areas such as:

1. How would other intelligent life (if it does potentially exist) view humans if we continue to demonstrate our disregard for other species? Can/do we exhibit the capacity to coexist respectfully and peaceably with subordinate species, here and among other worlds?

2. Calculating the time and tremendous expense that has been allocated toward repeated research, could these resources have been better utilized for the actual developement of radiation protection for use in existing and future spacecraft?

As many of you know by now, I am NOT at all happy with the way that MY tax dollars have and are being spent. Imo, this is a very wasteful society, not only in terms of dollars and resources, but also in regard to respect for life.

Again, I am not an activist. Maybe I should be.

Also, does anybody know the approxiamate % that is allocated toward animal testing at NASA? I am interested to know.
 
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Space_pioneer

Guest
1. I doubt they would care about the testing of a few animals. This is important testing which will further our scientific knowledge. We are not looking at game hunting, we are looking at testing, and I doubt that the aliens would really care. Much more likely, they would look at our violent history and society.

2. No. They have facilities for that as well. This is more focused on directly improving our radiation protection, not our ships' protection.

If you don't want your tax dollars spent on research, move somewhere else, or vote for a different president. I really don't understand why you have a problem with animal testing, especially on polutry and lesser lifeforms, when it helps better our society. Considering that these animals are not being picked from endangered species, and there are much more of them, and there will continue to be, I'd say your argument is pointless.

Testing does not mean we do not respect the animals. Mutilation would be disrespect.

Insects, and monkeys, the same? Woops, I just killed a fly, and a wild man in the amazon killed a monkey. which is worse?

If we advance our space travel, we'll be able to survive on Mars much more easily, without the solar storms being so damaging as they are now. It is essential to Human advancement. If you want to waste time protecting your flies from harm, be my guest.
 
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planetling

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Space_pioneer":rbaku1t0 said:
1. I doubt they would care about the testing of a few animals. This is important testing which will further our scientific knowledge. We are not looking at game hunting, we are looking at testing, and I doubt that the aliens would really care. Much more likely, they would look at our violent history and society.
You are presuming what other intelligent life, if it exists, may think. Furthermore, "they would look at our violent history and society" is my case in point.


Space_pioneer":rbaku1t0 said:
2. No. They have facilities for that as well. This is more focused on directly improving our radiation protection, not our ships' protection.
Wrong. Unless DNA can be altered to safely accept myriad doses of radiation, it is the ship or suit that will provide us protection.


Space_pioneer":rbaku1t0 said:
If you don't want your tax dollars spent on research, move somewhere else, or vote for a different president. I really don't understand why you have a problem with animal testing, especially on polutry and lesser lifeforms, when it helps better our society. Considering that these animals are not being picked from endangered species, and there are much more of them, and there will continue to be, I'd say your argument is pointless.
Testing, especially when it has been done repeatedly over the years, decades or thousands of years, provides no more insight, and in this particular case, radiation is dangerous to living organisms. It is my right and duty to not move to somewhere else if I do not like or disagree with something, but rather to speak up and search for effective alternatives and solutions. Your response was not too welcoming.

Space_pioneer":rbaku1t0 said:
Testing does not mean we do not respect the animals. Mutilation would be disrespect.
Repeated testing that produces the same results causing needless suffering, IS mutilation.

Space_pioneer":rbaku1t0 said:
Insects, and monkeys, the same? Woops, I just killed a fly, and a wild man in the amazon killed a monkey. which is worse?
I would suspect you killing the fly. The wild man would most likely kill a monkey for food, not out of nuisance or convenience.

Space_pioneer":rbaku1t0 said:
If we advance our space travel, we'll be able to survive on Mars much more easily, without the solar storms being so damaging as they are now. It is essential to Human advancement. If you want to waste time protecting your flies from harm, be my guest.
Flies from maggots, valuable in that rotting flesh could promote disease if not consumed by the maggots. This is called balance of life. But to compromise, I am willing to sacrifice extremely limited subordinate species to help man as long it does not cross selfish boundaries, aside from cure of disease or famine.

Come on Space_pioneer, I enjoy debate, but it would be much more interesting and beneficial if you would provide just cause reasons instead of one of a selfish goal. How do you respond to the questions 1 and 2 that I asked? Do you see any benefit at all of eliminating further testing and divert those resources to persue development of a suitable technology to guard us from harmful radiation? I am VERY much FOR space exploration, but I believe that we need to focus on what will get us there and not the same old practices that keep things on delay.
 
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Space_pioneer

Guest
Sorry. A little bit of grumpiness trickling in there.

How would testing animals indicate our violent history? I was much more looking at our warlike history. The animal extinction en masse has really only begun in the last 200 years, and testing has not even contributed a tenth of that. Almost all of it is killing for food, and materials(e.g leather).

As mentioned before, we do not have a deep understanding of radiation, and how to counter the effects. There sin't much else to test it on. We won't test it on humans, and I doubt monkeys or other more sentient being would be used. Rats, fish, pigeons, that sort of thing would be better to test it on. Not all animals are equal. Nature dictates that.

If we want to do tests that will better humanity, which radiation tests will, because it can help us on Earth, as well, it's wrong, but if animals are slaughtered wholesale for food, most of which is wasted anyways, it's fine?

It produces the same results, but if we can look deeper, we can find out more about these results. We haven't mastered radiation's effects on organisms to the slightest. Same reason why we keep firing off Nuclear bombs. Sure, we realized that they make a big boom 60 years ago, but with advancement, we can find out more about why, and how to stop this boom( although the government seems more keen on destroying them rather than building an SDI and whatnot.)

There are almost 17 quadrillion flies in the world. There are, oh I don't know, of that monkey species that he killed, around 400000. I killed a household pest, he killed a semi-sentient being. I understand where you are going, but would it not be easier for him to fish? Or to catch a bird?

It is not really a selfish goal. It is a humano-centric goal, but not selfish personally. I'm more focusing on the more broad
subject of animal testing, rather than just radiation testing, but it is important to be able to find out how we can treat radiation poisoning, and then apply that into medicine.
 
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DarkenedOne

Guest
planetling":3olt0dcg said:
Food consumption is a requirement for life. Testing to fulfill a grand voyage is not.

Imo, in reading some of the responses, humans obviously have not evolved to the point to understand that ALL lifeforms should be treated with respsect. Testing with insects, imo, is not different than testing with monkeys. Earth is, some believe, overpopulated. Why not use pygmies or habitants from third-world nations, since according to some, their mental function or capacity is not equal to modern day humans? Of course I do not advocate this, it is merely an analogy.

In rare cases should humans cross the line, such as for medical research where human lives are at stake, or as I have stated above, for human consumption as that is a requirement for life. The desire for space travel is not one of those conditions.

This topic can also expand into areas such as:

1. How would other intelligent life (if it does potentially exist) view humans if we continue to demonstrate our disregard for other species? Can/do we exhibit the capacity to coexist respectfully and peaceably with subordinate species, here and among other worlds?

2. Calculating the time and tremendous expense that has been allocated toward repeated research, could these resources have been better utilized for the actual developement of radiation protection for use in existing and future spacecraft?

As many of you know by now, I am NOT at all happy with the way that MY tax dollars have and are being spent. Imo, this is a very wasteful society, not only in terms of dollars and resources, but also in regard to respect for life.

Again, I am not an activist. Maybe I should be.

Also, does anybody know the approxiamate % that is allocated toward animal testing at NASA? I am interested to know.
 
D

DarkenedOne

Guest
planetling":3bpvjqbz said:
Food consumption is a requirement for life. Testing to fulfill a grand voyage is not.

Imo, in reading some of the responses, humans obviously have not evolved to the point to understand that ALL lifeforms should be treated with respsect. Testing with insects, imo, is not different than testing with monkeys. Earth is, some believe, overpopulated. Why not use pygmies or habitants from third-world nations, since according to some, their mental function or capacity is not equal to modern day humans? Of course I do not advocate this, it is merely an analogy.

In rare cases should humans cross the line, such as for medical research where human lives are at stake, or as I have stated above, for human consumption as that is a requirement for life. The desire for space travel is not one of those conditions.

This topic can also expand into areas such as:

1. How would other intelligent life (if it does potentially exist) view humans if we continue to demonstrate our disregard for other species? Can/do we exhibit the capacity to coexist respectfully and peaceably with subordinate species, here and among other worlds?

2. Calculating the time and tremendous expense that has been allocated toward repeated research, could these resources have been better utilized for the actual developement of radiation protection for use in existing and future spacecraft?

As many of you know by now, I am NOT at all happy with the way that MY tax dollars have and are being spent. Imo, this is a very wasteful society, not only in terms of dollars and resources, but also in regard to respect for life.

Again, I am not an activist. Maybe I should be.

Also, does anybody know the approxiamate % that is allocated toward animal testing at NASA? I am interested to know.
First of all food consumption is a necessity, but consuming animals is not. There plenty of people who forgo the consumption of meat entirely they are called Vegetarians, and they do just fine. At the same time the number of animals consumed by food consumption is many order of magnitudes greater than those involved in science experiments.

In fact of all the causes the animals are killed for the noblest has to be science. In fact I willing to bet the number of humans whose lives have been saved by medical research far outweighs the number of animals killed in testing. That is what this research also has the potential for. Gaining a better understanding of radiation and its effects can lead to new treatments, and even cures.

Point is that if you want to prevent animal suffering go after all the people who consume animals for enjoyment. That is makes people mad.
 
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rcsplinters

Guest
A living system is complex beyond imagination. It is a laboratory which simply cannot be replicated. As a species, we have few options save not advancing or killing more humans as a result of speculative science. We are contemplating travel for months in an environment where data on long term health impacts is scarce or non-existant. If many dozens of animals are needed to enable such exploration, then it is a easy risk mitigation take.

Explain to the child that their astronaut parent died out of ignorance so that some chips could eat a few more bananas. Experiment responsibly, but humans first.
 
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SteveCNC

Guest
One thing that strikes me as a possibility , since we kill animals pretty regular so obviously death isn't the problem it's the pain and suffering that we don't want to inflict . So with that in mind wouldn't it be relatively easy to render an animal brain dead and just keep it alive with life support for the majority of the testing ?
 
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vulture3

Guest
SteveCNC":3mmuml92 said:
One thing that strikes me as a possibility , since we kill animals pretty regular so obviously death isn't the problem it's the pain and suffering that we don't want to inflict . So with that in mind wouldn't it be relatively easy to render an animal brain dead and just keep it alive with life support for the majority of the testing ?
Again, I suggest peter Singer, "Writings on an Ethical Life". Philosophy is not a specific set of beliefs, it is a rational approach to making ethical decisions. Causing pain is an issue, of course. But in taking the life of another individual, whether human or animal, we cannot simply be concerned with pain, otherwise it would be acceptable to kill a person as long as we did it instantly and without warning. Rather we must consider the degree of suffering the act would cause if the individual was indeed fully aware, to the extent it can be, of what was to happen. A chicken has little capacity to suffer. Dogs are almost as intelligent as primates and appear to understand and fear death, if they have warning. Yet we euthanize dogs in huge numbers just because we don't want to feed them. To me this is a bigger problem than the rather limited number of lab animals. The fact that we do not see or hear them, and the fact that they are killed without warning and therefore cannot anticipate it, are irrelevant In judging the ethics of the act.
 
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planetling

Guest
If nothing else all of your responses have caused me to think more deeply about this subject. Dealing with life, suffering, etc. is never easy even in the most ideal or presumed valid circumstances.

I foresee that humans will have ventured well beyond our solar system and we will still be struggling with ethics. Not that it should be a cop-out, I just hope that humans don't grow too accustomed to some of our practices but will continue to ask ourselves these difficult questions well into the future.

Lastly, whether or not radiation testing on monkeys continues, I firmly believe that finding a cure for radiation sickness is so far into the future that we should seriously consider diverting resources toward finding ways to shield ourselves. Well, at least as far as NASA budgeting is concerned.
 
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