As citizens of the United States we are entitled to our civil rights. They include our basic needs for living a happy and safe life. Animals however are not entitled to any rights to ensure them safety, good health, and proper living conditions. Animal testing laboratories torture and kill innocent animals daily. The laboratories smell of chemicals and bleach, and the cages are dirty, and not properly kept. The horrible smells fill their nostrils and they are forced to walk in their own urine and feces. These animals are required to suffer in these conditions daily, this is not humane, and it is a slow and painful death. Holding an innocent animal against their will and torturing them with harmful substances is animal cruelty and should be illegal; there are efficient alternative ways to animal testing.
Animal testing is known as the use of animals in experiments and development projects to determine toxicity, dosage, and efficacy of test drugs before proceeding to human clinical trials (“Animal Testing”). Animal testing is such a controversial topic because it involves using a living organism to test different drugs and chemicals and can potentially have a fatal outcome. The amount of stress put onto the animal throughout the testing is unhealthy and painful for the animal. It is just like an animal being brutally beaten by their owner; unfortunately the drugs and other hurtful substances forced onto the animal have long term effects and make the animal suffer through it to see the results of the test. This is so inhumane and wrong. Animals should not have to suffer through this unimaginable pain.
There are different reasons for animal testing, the main ones being for cosmetic purposes such as makeup brands and plastic surgery procedures like Botox. Scientists use the animals to research different drugs and chemicals and essentially are looking for abnormal reactions from them. Being a female I purchase different cosmetic products that I use on a day to day basis. Cosmetics are articles intended to be applied to the human body for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance without affecting the body’s structure or functions (“Fact Sheet–Cosmetic Testing”). Some of the most commonly known brands test their products on animals. Companies like Johnson & Johnson, Avon, Kleenex, Vaseline, Dove, Giorgio Armani, Maybelline, and countless more companies test their products on animals. Scientists conduct skin irritation tests that rub chemicals onto shaved skin or drop the chemicals into rabbit’s eyes without any pain medication (“Fact Sheet- Cosmetic Testing”).
They are testing products with the chemicals that could potentially cause the irritation, such as makeup remover, eye shadow, mascara, and things applied to the eye or eyelid. This test is obviously inhumane and painful for the rabbits, but there are alternatives to this test that are humane and can be done in place of it. Instead of putting the chemicals onto the rabbits, manufacturers can drop the chemicals onto donated human corneas (Cosmetics and Household). Women wear makeup and purchase products that are applied regularly to the face and eyes. With those products I am trusting that they will enhance my physical features in a positive way, but I would not want those products to be tested in such a cruel and torturous way.
Diseases are another reason for testing on animals. Cancer, Down syndrome, heart problems, diabetes, and others are some of the main diseases scientists are trying to find cures for. The other side to animal testing can potentially save lives by finding cures for these life threatening diseases. This is why some parts of animal testing are so vital to our health systems and patients. Many universities use animals to test in different types of training programs. At the University of Michigan nursing students used a cat to practice putting a tube into its windpipe. The goal of the procedure was for nurses working on survival flights to be able to perform the procedure to patients in critical condition. The cat was later adopted into a family and was not harmed at all (Kozlowski). Although this particular procedure seems harmless to the cat and sounds painless campaigns continued to protest against using live animals and PETA continued to press the subject.
They wanted them to replace using live animals with simulators which virtually does the same thing (Kozlowski). Tests like this that are done seem so minuet compared to others that are used for finding cures. Animal testing for human health has been said to be unsafe, unreliable, and expensive. On the contrary there have been cases where animal testing for medical reasons has in fact found vaccines and cures. From 1940 to 1960 polio was one of the most popular and well known diseases.
Due to the research conducted on animals polio has been eliminated as a well-known disease because of a vaccine that almost everyone has received (Use of Animals). Today children receive a lifetime vaccine for polio and are also immunized against typhus, whooping cough, and tetanus. I can see where the controversy comes in. I definitely think finding cures for all these diseases are something that needs to be done, but at the same time animals should have rights to their bodies.
Animals that are forced into these facilities to be tested on come from all different parts of the world. Specially bred rats and mice are the mammals used in most medical research (“What Types of Animals”). Other mammals commonly found in research are guinea pigs, rabbits, hamsters, and farm animals such as pigs and sheep (“What Types of Animals”). In some cases it has been rumored that some of the animals are specially bred for certain types of testing. This has raised a lot of questions as to how accurate the tests actually are. Different animals are used for certain tests. In previous studies it was proven that certain animals react differently to the same tests.
This is why so many different breeds and types of animals are affected by this; it involves so many different supplies and equipment which in turn can become costly. Animal testing has been known to be a costly and an unethical way of finding accurate cures. Some tests can take months or even years to conduct and analyze. This can result in spending hundreds of thousands, sometimes even millions of dollars on one test (“Costs of Animal”). The inefficiency and exorbitant costs associated with animal testing makes it impossible for regulators to adequately evaluate the potential effects of more than 100,000 chemicals worldwide (“Costs of Animal”).The amount of time needed to conduct one simple test is almost too extreme. The animal is suffering for months to years, for one result that isn’t even guaranteed. The amount of money spent on one test isn’t worth it, when the results are not always accurate.
Alternative testing can save many animal lives; they also are less expensive and take less time to complete. The non-animal methods are more effective and most importantly, more ethical. Companies should use sophisticated computer technology for testing and drug development. Technology has become the most important thing in society; it gives scientists the tools to extend human capabilities, so why are companies refusing to use the technology that is presented in society? These business practices on torturing animals are against business ethics.
Population studies have shown how many infectious diseases are caused and also how many can be prevented. In fact, the National Insitutes of Health reported that more than 80 HIV/AIDS vaccines that have passed animal testing have failed in clinical trials (“Alternatives: Testing without Torture”). Non- animal tests are another great alternative. Non-animal tests include an embryonic stem cell test, 3T3 neutral red uptake photo toxicity tests and human skin leftover from surgical procedures (“Alternatives: Testing without Torture”). There are so many alternatives to animal testing that should be utilized instead of using live animals.
On the other hand animal testing has contributed to finding many different cures and treatments for different diseases. When it comes down to it if you’re loved one has a disease and the only way to find an effective cure is to test it on an animal, then you would definitely want it done. Life or death plays a huge role in why so many people support animal testing. Animals are the most effective thing to test on because they share the same characteristics as humans. Chimpanzees share 99% of their DNA with humans, and mice are 98% genetically similar to humans (Animal Testing-ProCon). Sharing DNA with an animal has so many positive effects; the likeliness of finding a cure from testing on one of these animals could save so many lives. Laws have regulated animal testing to prevent the cruel and torturous acts from happening (Animal Testing-ProCon).
There are many positive sides to animal testing that could potentially benefit our health systems and patients. Animal Cruelty is illegal in most states in the U.S. How is torturing animals, poking them with needles, rubbing harmful chemicals onto their bodies and into their eyes legal? It is defined as the same thing. Holding an innocent animal against their will and torturing them with harmful substances is animal cruelty and should be illegal. There are positive alternatives to finding cures and treatments.
Although there are some positives, the amount of money, time, and animal cruelty is not worth it, considering the results are not always accurate. The amounts of stress they are put through in these labs are enough to kill them without the drugs. The suffering and pain of these innocent animals are not worth making sure our mascara doesn’t make our eyes puffy, or how high of a dosage is safe without overdosing. Finding the alternatives could change everything. Throughout this research I have learned that animal testing is a cruel and ruthless act.