Do you know every drop of your mascara is worth hundredths of innocent animals’ lives? Every year in the United States, an estimated twenty-six million animals are tortured and killed due to medical development, cosmetic product creation and educational research. The use of animals for carrying out scientific experiments has become the controversy in modern society. People have different attitude toward animals; many people consider animals as companions while others view them as an experimental tool for the advanced medical development. Regardless of human’s benefits, forcing the animals to undergo unnecessary pain is wrong and selfish in so many ways.
Therefore, animal testing should be banned since these cruel experiments are against human morality and produce low predictivity while alternative testing methods now exist to replace the need for animals. Animal test is any scientific experiment or test which forces a live animal to determine the toxicity of medications, test the chemical substances’ reaction, check for the safety of produce cured human diseases or used in biomedical, food commercial, and cosmetics. Many different species of animals are used for animal experiments. Some common animals used are mice, rabbits, hamsters, dogs, cats, pigs, etc.
However, in the US, the federal Animal Welfare Act excludes mice, rats, birds and cold-blooded animals from coverage under the Act. It means no legal permission is required to use them on tests and the excluded animals are not appeared in any statistics. The omission of the Animal Welfare Act impedes the government to control and protect the use of animals in the laboratories. Thus, some inhumane experiments in the name of science First of all, animal testing is cruel and inhumane since the process of testing abuses animal, causes serious injuries, long-term diseases and threatens animals’ lives.
Animal rights are violated when they are used in experiments. Bekoff states in his article that “Animals have certain moral and legal rights that include the right not to be harmed” (Bekoff T4). Many inhumane, heartless actions are made to force the innocent animals suffer from serve, life-threatened conditions to achieve the study purpose; for example, electric shock, forcing animals to drink hazard chemical substances, cutting off or implant animal’s healthy body, etc. Such actions are considered as cruelty and serious crime to the human body. Despite that, human is processing those acts on smaller, weaker and speechless creatures compared to them.
In addition, animals are smarter than people used to think; they also have feelings, empathy and opinion like humans (Bekoff T10). After the long day of torture and abuse, the poor animals can only groan in pain, try to hide in panic; some even lost their awareness because of the brain damaged and just sit quietly to wait for the end of their lives. If people wonder why animal testing is still happening, the main reason is its big benefits to human such as easy to control, great amount of resources and avoiding testing on human body.
Otherwise, some supporters may turn a blind eye to animal’s suffering and argue that animals are received the good welfare for the contribution to scientific development. With all of those thoughts, people allow themselves to harm animals “in the name of science” and “in the name of humans” (Bekoff T1). Secondly, the reliability of the result of animal testing is insufficient. From the anatomical perspective, each species has specific, distinct body structures that cannot be the same as others. For example, human has one placenta while rodent and rabbit have two placentas (Bailey et al.. In the other words, the way animal response to substances and their tolerance limits are completely disparate from human’s body.
In the article The Future of Teratology Research Is in Vitro, the authors argue that animal-based methods have poor predictivities since the sensitivity, substances response and metabolism between human and other species are substantially different (Bailey et al. 101-105). As the result, animal tests deliver inapplicable results that may cause side effects and serious failures in curing human’s diseases. The Thalidomide disaster in South Africa in early 1960s is one of the clearest evidences for the inaccuracy of animal experiment. Thalidomide was claimed to cure morning sickness and anxiety in pregnant. Thalidomide passed the tests on a wide variety of animals for effectiveness and toxicity, including rats, mice, two breed of dogs, hamsters, guinea pigs, swine, armadillos and ferrets (Klausen and Parle 742).
The drug was deemed as the “completely safe” and the developers claimed even the highest dose could not kill a rat (Klausen and Parle 735). Shockingly, at least 10,000 babies were born with severe disabilities and heart diseases because of using the Thalidomide drug (Klausen and Parle 735). The consequences of being too dependent on unreliable results of animal-based methods have proved that the replacement of alternatives is necessary. Knowing the low reliability level of animal testing, researchers have moved on to study and develop the new methods to fix the limitations and disadvantages of the traditional methods based on animals.
Consequently, animal-free alternatives are now available to replace the need of animal testing since these high technological methods can deliver more accurate results compared to the old methods. Considered as one of the most effective alternatives of animal testing, in vitro (in glass) based on human cells is used in conducting mechanistic studies, toxicity testing and evaluated to be “less expensive, faster, and much more reproducible” (Bailey et al. 127). Researchers also indicate that “in vivo teratology testing”, which means tested on animals, “could not possibly be applied to all new chemical substances due to the scale of the demand upon time and resources” (Bailey et al. 127).
There are more examples of the efficiency of the new replacement method. For instance, in vitro methods can replace the Draize eye test, which has been criticized for low predictivity and abusing animals, to test for the ocular irritation (Thomason and Montagnes 134). In the bioassay for mascara irritation, Thomason and Montagnes state that in vitro techniques are “a greater ability to control environmental parameters; a reduction in logistic issue and enabling increased sample size” (134-135).
Besides the in vitro, there are many other alternative methods of animal testing such as advanced computer models, stem cells and genetic simulator, micro dosing, etc. Furthermore, the alternatives not only provide more accurate results but also help save government’s resources. The report of REACH organization states the cost to test 30,000 chemicals is appropriate 10 billion US dollars and up to 12,000 animals, which is unworthy and wasteful for the useless results (Abbott). Nevertheless, from the opposing view, the supporters of animal testing believe that animal testing is allowed and required for successful research. They argue that animals may be taken care carefully and treated nicely to ensure the result’s accuracy.
According to the article of Nature Genetics, the author said, “stressed or crowded animals produce unreliable research results, and many phenotypes are only accessible in contented animals in enriched environments” (Nature Genetic 497). Consequently, by holding on to this belief, people are still executing this cruel procedure. Discussing on what they stated, it is obvious that researchers only treat tested animals humanely for the quality of their research results, which is a selfish and unworthy thought compared to animal’s suffering.
Even if the animals really live in the good conditions with the care of scientists, the process of experiment destroys their peaceful lives in the first place. What some people call “good welfare” is never good enough when they still allow abusive animal experiment to happen (Bekoff T6). Furthermore, after the research project is completed and tested animals are now useless, it is hard for animals to recovery like normal. They may be abandoned or killed since there are nearly no chance for adoption.
In conclusion, animal testing is being considered as essential for conduct research in medical field. However, strong arguments have been made to prove that animal testing need to be prevented and forbidden since it is cruel, inhumane actions that violate the animal rights. Moreover, the result from animal experiments is unreliable and costs not only many human lives but also leave long-term effect on next generation. Furthermore, animal testing is a waste of money where results are not reliable as government investing a lot of funding on it.
So instead of preforming test on animals, scientist should utilize the alternative methods to produce more accurate results without harming any live creatures. Peter Singer predicted in his book Writings on an ethical life: “One day… our children’s children, reading about what was done in laboratories in the twentieth century, will feel the same sense of horror and incredulity… that we now feel when we read about the atrocities of the Roman gladiatorial arenas or the eighteenth-century slave trade'(Singer). To help save the animals from experiments, people can buy and use cruelty-free products and support animal protection organizations. Together, we can make the world more companion and becomes a peaceful place for us, for those animals and for our future generation.