Question: If one’s job uses sentient beings such as animals for research to find cures for human diseases, this creates negative karma due to the animals’ imprisonment, torturous experimentation and death. However, if there is no research done, there might not be cures found, leading to human deaths. Will this create negative karma too?
Answer: Negative karma is created by wilful harm, or neglect to help when possible. However, it would be short-sighted to imagine the only way to help human beings is by harming other sentient beings. There are other more relevant and ingenious ways to do research without harm.
Also, it is shown that animal-testing and experimentation is mostly pointless and inconsequential. (E.g. See links below.) Humans must be more ethical to weaker beings, instead of being bigger and deadly bullies. As there should be equanimous compassion for all beings, why harm some to helping some – when none should be harmed?
With the harm of one kind of beings by another kind of beings, even if there seems to be some benefit for the later, the law of karma runs on. A karmic debt is created and those who benefited will be harmed in time. Thus, the benefit is not genuine. It is just as a robber who runs free with riches will be robbed of his freedom by incarceration later.
Why Animal-Testing Is Pointless
Experiments on Animals Fail 90% of the Time