Yes I do use animals in my research (mostly mice). When I was your age, I never imagined I would work with animals, let alone use them to do research. When I had to learn to use animals, I was a nervous wreck (I’m not the most comfortable with animals), but I slowly gained the ability to look after them well and handle them with care and comfort.
I can understand why some people think it is not nice to use animals in research, and to some extent I agree. I think we have to be very cautious about how we use animals in research and only use animals when there is an acceptable reason to use them, and when there is no other way to do the research. The animals should be treated nicely, looked after very well and be treated with dignity and respect. In general, this is always the case and I had to attend a course to get a license from the Home Office to be able to use animals in my research. One of the conditions of my license is that if I breach the rules or do not look out for the welfare of my animals properly, I could go to prison for up to 5 years. So I hope you can see that we take our responsibility very seriously when it comes to using animals in our research and looking after them.
You should know that many of the common drugs that we use nowadays, some of which do marvellous things for people who are ill, would not have been possible without the use of animals in research. These drugs have saved lives and will continue to do so until they are no longer used. I would like to think that any scientist using animals in research does so with the overall aim of sacrificing that animal for the greater good of mankind.