May 8, 2018
Why do we test on animals? The idea and thought of torturing innocent animals is very inhumane and disturbing. An estimation of 26 million animals are used every year in the United States for scientific and commercial testing. Animals are used to develop medical treatments, determine the toxicity of medications, check the safety of products for human use, and other biomedical, commercial, and health care uses. Research on living animals has been practiced since at least 500 BC.
Animal testing in the United States is regulated by the Federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA), passed in 1966. The AWA defines “animal” as “any live or dead dog, cat, monkey, guinea pig, hamster, rabbit, or such other warm blooded animal.” The AWA excludes birds, rats and mice bred for research, cold-blooded animals, and farm animals used for food and other purposes.
According to Humane Society International, animals used in experiments are commonly subjected to force feeding, forced inhalation, food and water deprivation, prolonged periods of physical restraint, the infliction of burns and other wounds to study the healing process, the infliction of pain to study its effects and remedies. The Draize eye test, used by cosmetics companies to evaluate irritation caused by shampoos and other products, involves rabbits being incapacitated in stocks with their eyelids held open by clips, sometimes for multiple days, so they cannot blink away the products being tested.
Testing on animals is unethical and sinister. We are killing millions of innocent animals. The real question is, why don’t we test on humans? There would be thousands of people willing to do experiments for money, or since we experiment on animal who cannot give consent, why don’t we test on prisoners without their consent?
Animals don’t suffer from human diseases and the longer we waste trying to recreate these illnesses in animals, rather than studying their human form, the less chance we will have of understanding and curing them. Paul Furlong, Professor of Clinical Neuroimaging at Aston University (UK), states that “It’s very hard to create an animal model that even equates closely to what we’re trying to achieve in the human.” A vast majority of drugs or substances that pass animal testing doesn’t always mean that they are safe for humans. 94% of drugs that pass animal tests fail in human clinical trials According to neurologist Aysha Akhtar. The Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) found $56.4 million of government funds spent on animal experiments that, despite running over many years, failed to provide any useful results.
A study in Archives of Toxicology stated that “The low predictivity of animal experiments in research areas allowing direct comparisons of mouse versus human data puts strong doubt on the usefulness of animal data as key technology to predict human safety.”. With today’s modern technology, testing on animals is unnecessary. We have computer models, such as virtual reconstructions of human molecular structures, that can predict the toxicity of substances without sinister experiments on animals. The Humane Society International compared a variety of animal tests with their in-vitro counterparts and found animal tests were more expensive in every scenario studied. This just proves the fact that testing on animals is unnecessary and unjustified.