At this moment, millions of animals, such as rats, rabbits, monkeys, cats, and dogs, plus more, are being locked inside cages in labs all across the country due to being used in horrific experiments. These animal experiments are used to develop new medicines and to test the safety of products before being used on humans. Many of these experiments cause pain to the animals and reduce their quality of life. More than 100 million animals suffer and die every year in the U.S. from medical training and medical experiments, as well as cruel chemical, drug, food, and cosmetic tests. Animals also suffer and die in classroom biology experiments and dissection.
Experimenting on animals should be considered unacceptable by many because it causes unnecessary suffering to animals, the benefits of these experiments are yet to be proven, and any benefits humans do obtain can be produced in other ways than experimentation. The U.S. law allows animals to be poisoned, burned, shocked, starved, isolated, drowned, brain damaged, and addicted to drugs. There is no experiment that is prohibited and pain killers are not required, whether the experiment is painful or minor. Animal testing and experiments should be banned because of the extreme animal cruelty involved, the expensiveness the tests end up being, and also because humans are very different than animals in certain ways.
The harmful use of animals in experiments are not only cruel, but are also ineffective. Animals do not inherit many of the same diseases that humans do, such as cancer, heart diseases, Parkinson’s disease, or schizophrenia. Instead, these diseases are artificially induced in the animal in an attempt to mimic the human disease and its reactions to the living body.
The issue of animal experiments is simple: if an experiment violates the rights of an animal, then it is considered morally wrong. Examples of animal testing include forcing mice and rats to inhale toxic fumes, forcing dogs to eat pesticides, and dripping corrosive chemicals into rabbits’ sensitive eyes.
In order to reduce the impact of research on animals, there are alternative test methods, first seen in the book The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique. Replacing animals with non-animal systems, such as computer models or cell-based systems and reducing the use of animals by decreasing the amount needed to achieve the experiments all refine animal use by eliminating pain and discomfort to the animals and enhance their well-being.
Treatments showing “promise” in animals rarely work for humans. Many drugs may appear to be safe and effective in animals but cause significant harm, and even death, when used on humans. After decades of studying and observing some conditions like cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, strokes, and AIDS in animals, researchers still haven’t found any reliable or fully effective cures. So why are these animals still being tortured? It is simply unethical!
Animal testing is also known to not be cheap. These tests cost enormous amounts of money. The animals must be fed, housed, cared for. Not including the number of different drugs and medicines the researchers are using on these animals. The price of animals themselves also has to be factored into the situation considering you can’t just steal a random animal off the streets. Animals are also known to be used in toxicity tests, which is part of a massive regulatory testing program and is often funded by U.S. taxpayers’ money. The federal government and health charities waste their precious dollars from taxpayers and donors on animal experiments at private laboratories and universities, instead of supporting promising clinical trials and other non-animal studies that could actually benefit humans. The U.S. spends approximately $16 billion dollars annually on animal testing at taxpayers’ expense.
It is now possible to use human cell cultures to study drug reactions in petri dishes and test tubes. It is much cheaper than animal testing and much more accurate as it shows how the drug interacts with human instead of animal. Improvements have also been made in the cosmetics testing. For many years, rabbits were used to test whether a substance was toxic to human skin or not. These days, cosmetic companies now test their products on a skin replacement called EpiSkin. Episkin is used by L’Oréal and is a lab-grown skin. L’Oréal has discontinued animal testing, instead they test their ingredients and products on this lab-made skin. There might have been a need for animal testing in the past but as we progress through life we find more alternatives available.
There is also the argument that the reaction of drugs in an animal is much different than the reaction humans face. Most believe that animal testing is unreliable. 90% of drugs fail in humans despite the promising results in animal tests. For example, aspirin is known to
be toxic and poisonous to many animals, like cats and rodents, and wouldn’t even be found on our pharmacy shelves if it had been tested according to animal testing standards. Penicillin is toxic to guinea pigs, and a recalled diet drug, known as Phen-fen, caused no
heart damage to animals, but did the opposite to humans. Vioxx, which is a drug used to treat Arthritis, was found to be safe when it was tested on monkeys, and five other animal species, but was estimated to cause about 320,000 heart attacks and strokes and 140,000 deaths. Therefore, humans respond to treatments much differently than animals.
Cancer drugs have the lowest success rate. “The history of cancer research has been the history of curing cancer in the mouse. We have cured mice of cancer for decades and it simply didn’t work in human beings,” – as Dr. Richard Klausner, former director of the US National Cancer Institute indicates.
Traditional animal tests are expensive, inaccurate, and poorly structured. They fail to predict how substances will react with humans, which can lead to tragic results when used. The tests also cause unimaginable pain and suffering to the animals involved. It is unethical for us to use animals against their rights to test substances that may be harmful to them. Animal testing should be banned worldwide. Human society is at the point in life where technology is so advanced that most things that used to be very common in the past are now becoming uncommon in present day. The same advancement and changes should happen to animal testing.
Many non-animal testing methods can replace animal testing. Not only are the non-animal tests more humane, but they also have the potential to be cheaper, faster, less cruel, and more relevant to humans. Successful alternatives to animal tests are human volunteers,
statistics, computer models, synthetic membranes, cell and tissue cultures, and scanning technologies. All are known to be efficient and reliable.
Animals have right just as humans do and should be treated just as fairly. We do not have the right to kill these animals. As humans, we have the responsibility to care for these animals, just as human’s care for other humans.
It is morally wrong to inflict pain and suffering to animals. In fact, animal experimenters and researchers are fully aware of the ethical problem and acknowledge the fact that experiments should be made as humane as possible. They also agree that it is wrong to use animals if other testing methods proved equally valid results. Everyone can help prevent animal suffering and deaths by requesting alternative animal dissection, and donating only to charities that don’t experiment on animals.
If companies continue to experiment on animals to test the safety of products, it will then effect their reputations and thus result in negative feedback among the consumers. Companies that are leaning towards cruelty-free products are continuously gaining more consumers over the companies that are not.