Monkeys are amazing animals, with an interesting development throughout the years. Nowadays, there are more that 260 species of monkey known around the world. Most of them primarily live on the ground, but this aspect will tend to vary depending on the species we may be referring to. These animals are considered to be very intelligent, aspect which has many times been proved during the years. There is no wonder after all that many species are considered to have close relationships with humans. Some people decide to keep them into their homes as pets, but the most controversial aspect regarding the relationship with humans remains the role that these animals have in research and their use in laboratories.
Depending on the species, monkey can have different a history and evolution. Actually, there are some areas in the world in which these animals have been considered agricultural pests. They were believed to be able to cause extensive damage to commercial and subsistence crops. In other areas, different species of monkey have attacked people, being from this point of view believed to represent a danger for humans, mostly for tourists. Still, the most controversial aspect about these animals remains their use in animal testing facilities. Some of the most commonly used monkey species with such purposes are Macaques and Rhesus Macaque monkey, but also Green Monkey. These are the monkey species which are considered to be most similar to humans, both physically and psychologically. The species are also believed to be easier to handle. And the figures seem to be quite shocking. Statistics indicate that only in the United States more than 50,000 primates have been used in experiments since the 1970s. Around 10,000 were used in the European Union.
Nowadays, there are numerous animal rights organizations and activists which are against this practice. Using these animals in laboratories for testing is not only considered to be unethical, but actually inhuman and something that should be banned by the law. These animals can be found in numerous medical laboratories, from this point of view being claimed that thanks to the primates numerous cures have been found and important medical breakthroughs have been made. The rabies vaccine is considered to be one of the most important findings that should be mentioned in this context. The relationship that monkeys have with humans has always been a complex and complicated one. These animals are known to be closely related to humans, actually some theories claiming that humans have evolved from monkey.