in response to the post that "animal testing is necessary for medical purposes and that it it has 'supposedly' led to advances in human medical treatment" I'd like to comment:
I once believed this wholeheartdely, as a biology student at university. However, I've since stumbled across a wealth of information supplied by doctors, former-animal researchers and medical historians who argue that animal research has not only NOT been irrefutably responsible for any true breakthrough in human medicine but it is actually responsible for the damages and deaths caused to countless humans through medical products and procedures marketed after being found "safe" on the animal subjects tested.
Animal testing is NOT cheaper nor is it faster than most of the true scientific methods. Animal testing is an habitual known practice ( a well-trodden path to academic advancement) as well as an extremely lucrative industry.
Moreover, animal tests act as legal alibis for drug companies when their products damage and/or kill humans.
Don't take my word for it!! Check out the web-site of the Campaign Against Fraudulent Medical Research at www.pnc.com.au/~cafmr for scientific and medical arguments that'll knock your socks off - it's under the section "medical research".
Lastly, beware of many "animal rights" and the larger "anti-vivisection" organisations. Many put out misleading information to their members about the supposed benefits of animal testing, refuse to publish scientifically referenced information which argues otherwise, while they hold large shares in companies that do animal testing. Many prominent animal rights spokespersons such as Peter Singer - who is presented as "the opposition" yet who publically approves of animal research - have been funded directly by the pharmaceutical industry and animal research lobby. They are portayed by the media as the (false) opposition in debates while they actually agree with animal research. In this way the animal research lobby (pharmaceutical industry) more effectively controls public debate. Animal research is not an issue of "animal welfare Vs. scientific progress" as the naive animal rightists claim. It is an issue of "true science (those methods directly applicable to the human situation) Vs. pseudo-science (vivisectionist research). Those who get lost in noble ideas of animal welfare etc. are doing exactly what the animal research lobby wants them to - they are assuming that the pro-animal research propaganda is true!