Medicines, household products, food, and basically everything involved in the life of an average person has to under go a form of testing before it is legal to be placed on a shelf and if available to the public. The same tests are performed on every medical procedure that is introduced to surgeons. Since the only way to directly mimic the human body is to use it itself, scientists were forced to find the closest and best alternative. That is where animals were introduced to the medical profession. Experimentation on animals date back to as early as 500 BC, making this form of medical validation one of the oldest known to humans. It is not only one of the oldest but one of the most informative. .
Scientists use animals in medical research to study how the body works and how to diagnose, cure, and prevent disease. Researchers also use animals for tests to try to protect the public from dangerous chemicals, (Day, 13) such as those included in detergents, bleach, and other household products. When live animals are used in experimentation, this practice is called vivisection. Animals are used in many instances because their bodies often react in a similar way to that of a humans. Although animals have been used in medical research for numerous years it was not until the early 1920's that it became more prominent. It was at this point that the introduction of using live, un-anesthetized, animals to study toxic effects on an increasing array of drugs, pesticides and food additives was introduced. After this great advance in medical research the results of using animals grew with leaps and bounds. In 1970 this process peaked with the use of millions of animals. Since then, according to the USDA's .
Animals Welfare Enforcement, 1,267,828 animals were used for medical purposes in .
1998, which is more than a 50 percent decrease since 1970. Although this is a drastic drop in animals used there have been many medical advances; virtually every medical break through this century has come about as the result of research with animals.