Each year, millions of animals suffer and die in the process of inhumane testing for the purposes of drug and chemical research, and medical experiments and training exercises. Animals including cats, dogs, rabbits, and mice are force fed harmful substances that are infected with lethal viruses causing reactions like brain damage, strokes, and heart attacks. Not only are these experiments painful to the animals and sometimes fatal, but also they fail to accurately reflect human reactions and are not required by the FDA.
The primary reason why animal testing should cease to exist is because it is inhumane to strip a helpless animal of its rights for the benefit of experimentation and research. “Animals have a basic moral right to respectful treatment . . .. This inherent value is not respected when animals are reduced to being mere tools in a scientific experiment.” (Lonestar) While animals cannot express themselves as humans can, they can feel, think, behave, and experience pain. Their inability to express themselves should not be taken advantage of.
While the FDA encourages manufacturers to conduct whatever testing is necessary to ensure the safety of their products, it does not specifically require the use of animals. (FDA) The FDA actually encourages companies to consider alternatives before deciding that testing on animals is necessary. They advocate that research and testing for products use a maximum amount of useful scientific information and a minimal number of animals tested. When testing does occur, they advocate for the most humane methods available. The Food and Drug Administration supports the Animal Welfare Act and the Public Health Service Policy of Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. If companies are not required by the FDA to test their products on animals, there is no reason that it should be a method that is resorted to for experimentation.
Not only is animal testing morally incorrect, but it is also not the most effective method to conduct research on products to be used by humans. In fact, 92 percent of experimental drugs that are safe and effective in animals fail to tell us that they are too dangerous or ineffective on humans. (Do Something) When conducting an experiment for safety and efficacy on animals, the purpose is to try the product on a living system before exposing it to a human. But the complicated living system of a human being barely compares to that of a helpless small animal. For example Aspirin and chocolate are harmful to cats and dogs while they remain completely unharmful to humans.
There are many alternatives that can be used in place for testing on animals. “Alternative” tests are those that meet one or more of the standards of the “three R’s: They replace procedures that uses animals with one that doesn’t, reduce the number of animals used in the procedure, or refine a procedure to alleviate or minimize potential animal pain. (DoSomething) While not all of the ‘R’s’ are a complete solution to animal testing, putting any of the three in place would make a significant impact on the lives of many animals.
As citizens and consumers, there are ways that we can stand up for the cause of the animals being tested. Many animals are harmed in the process of experimentation for educational purposes. We can demand that our alma maters stop using animals for this purpose. Buying cruelty-free products is something that can be done as a consumer to take away business from companies that test their products on animals. We can make sure that when donating to charities, we choose those that don’t experiment on animals. As citizens, we can request from our government legislation that requires alternatives to animal dissection and the immediate implementation of humane, effective non-animal tests. (PETA)
Opponents would have you believe that it is okay for animals to be tested on so that humans and sometimes animals would suffer less in the future, however, “We should be concerned about how animals are treated in research, and […] eliminate the number of animals who suffers” (ASPCA). Researchers are concerned only with their results and not the harmful process it takes to get them. It is clear that not only is animal testing cruel and necessary, but ineffective. However with alternatives to testing and strategies of protest, it’s possible for us to begin to diminish animal testing.