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Animal experimentation refers to any experimental procedure in which live animals are made to perform an encounter that is likely to cause them anxiety, discomfort, injury, and even long-term harm (Frey 252). Every year, over 100 million vertebrates are crippled, burnt, contaminated, and even neglected in laboratories in the United States. To make matters worse, up to 90% of the animals used in U.S. labs are not included in the official figures of animals examined. Moreover, the precise number of animals cannot be presented because 99 percent of the animals used for experimentation are not safeguarded even with the minimal protection provided via the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The test animals that are exempted from the minimal protection under the AWA regulations include birds, reptiles, mice, amphibians and rats (Vanderau, 721). Thus, these test animals end up being used for experimentation without counting. The test animals that are uncounted include rats and mice which are also not pertinently protected by the decrees of the Department of Agriculture (“In Testing | Animals in Science / Alternatives”).
Animal testing has been the technique utilized for a long time in predicting corrosivity, toxicity, effectiveness and additional safety variables of new items for humans. Thus, it has been the traditional procedure of testing consumer products, chemicals, new drugs and medical devices (“In Testing | Animals in Science / Alternatives”). Thus, it has become normal to conduct animal testing for various products before they reach the market. For instance, the enlisting of a single pesticide necessitates undertaking over 50 experimentations and utilizing an equivalent of 12,000 animals ("11 Facts About Animal Testing | Dosomething.Org | Volunteer for Social Change").
Furthermore, animals such as rabbits, monkeys, Guinea pigs, frogs, hamsters, dogs, birds, and fish are also subjected to cruel experiments. The test animals are usually deprived of entirely everything that could appear natural to them ("The Truth About Animals Used for Experimentation"). They are detained in barren cages for numerous hours during a testing session and are caused to experience psychological trauma and social isolation. Some are even ordained to inhaling toxic fumes, while others are restrained in devices that make them immobile for hours, yet still, others will have caustic constituents being infused into their eyes.
This is very wrong and is an unjust treatment of blameless animals. Such animals could have probably been in a loving home or in their ecologically wild habitats rather than being in torture cages. Owing to the cruelty to the animals, animal testing has to be ceased. The reason being that it is expensive, cruel, dangerous, inhuman and inaccurate, especially where the chemical being tested has no adverse effect on animals but is lethal to humans. Besides, there are alternatives that are nonanimal testing which are cheaper and even more effective and precise than animal testing. This paper will, therefore, delve into illustrating why animal testing has to be discontinued as outlined in the subsequent paragraphs.
Animal testing is callous
Animal testing involves killing, putting the animals to languish in distress, suffer from severe frustrations, and pine with loneliness even as they desire to be set free. The animals being tested are mostly confined inside empty cages in numerous laboratories across the nation. These animals experience psychological trauma and social isolation in these laboratories. Some of them are even ordained to inhaling toxic fumes which they would avoid inhaling when in their natural habitat. They are forced to inhale these toxic substances so as to analyze and predict the effect of these fumes to human beings ("The Truth About Animals Used for Experimentation").
Other test animals are restrained in devices that make them immobile for hours, and this could be unhealthy for them. These kinds of examination that render these animals motionless are executed in an attempt to study the effect of physical inactivity in the lives of humans. The discomfort and distress that these animals undergo in such analysis is very cruel to them. Similarly, test animals such as rabbits and rats will have caustic constituents being infused into their eyes without being given any anesthetic. The caustic test is conducted to verify that these constituent substances are not dangerous. Likewise, test animals that are typically used for testing the impact of carcinogens normally are enforced to ingest carcinogenic materials every two days in an attempt to disclose the effect of such materials on human health. Some of the carcinogenic test animals also get killed and the carcinogenic experimentation carried on their fetus.
Moreover, rats, during animal experimentation, could be subjected to recurrent electric shocks. These shocks cause these test animals to undergo a very intensive fear. This is normally conducted in order to explore stress and depression in order to get an effective means for intervening to these abnormalities. Equally, even animals which are safeguarded under the AWA regulations are normally abused through animal testing. Besides, the law does not necessitate the utilization of valid alternatives to animal testing even when such alternatives are available.
To aggravate the animal cruelness even further, some test animals could get their skins being burned off immediately before their demise. Others could get a smashing of their spinal cords just before being killed. Actually, most of the animal tests usually occasion animal deaths. For instance, the LD50 (Lethal dose 50) examinations involve intoxicating test animals to an ultimatum where half of the animals in the examination die. Those that happen to survive still find themselves being killed later (“In Testing | Animals in Science / Alternatives”). This is similar to dissection of test animals like frogs where most of the test animals get butchered and die as a result of the ordeal (Eichorst 11).
Occasionally, the animal tests are used to even certify the safety of trivial substances like laundry detergents, and innovative eye shadow products. The animal tests are also employed in the testing of copycat medications that are to be utilized in the replacement of profitable pharmaceuticals that have their expired patents. This is very cruel because the result of such products is already anticipated since the effects of the ingredients used in their manufacture are already known. Therefore, using animal test, a second time to certify these trivial products is like envisaging to get different results after doing something the same way it was previously conducted. Thereby it becomes very cruel to subject the test animals to distress, pain, and trauma for these trivial products while the outcome of the test is already predictable.
Furthermore, these animals are normally made to wait fearfully for a painful and terrifying procedure that is to be executed on them. The absolute deficiency of environmental enrichment coupled with the stress of their inhabitation cause some of them to form neurotic kinds of behavior. These neurotic behaviors encompass biting themselves, rocking forwards and backwards, and spinning in circles ceaselessly. After suffering such a life of terror, pain, and loneliness nearly all of them get killed.
Essentially, laboratories are not a place for any animal because they are characteristically indoor and sterile environs where test animals are strained to dwell in. In these laboratories, the test animals are deprived of an ample freedom of companionship and movement, and control of their life.
Animal experimentation is ineffective and less reliable
Examinations on baboons, hamsters, rats, monkeys, mice, and guinea pigs disclosed no link amid cancer and glass fibers. These glass fibers were labelled as carcinogenic by the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) only after a link between cancer and glass fibers was revealed through human studies (Frey 253). Moreover, an analysis for detecting skin irritants using rabbits yielded a 40% error through the misclassification of 10 chemical tests in a total of 25 such tests. The test was then replicated using the EpiDerm, an in vitro sample that is derived by culturing human skin cells, and this nonanimal alternative precisely detected all of the 25 test chemicals that inflame the human skin (Vanderau, 721).
Equally, the LD50 measured toxicity at an accuracy range of 61 to 65% whereas the LD50 alternative, developed by a Swedish cytotoxicologist, the deceased Dr. Bjӧrn Ekwall, had a precision of up to 85%. Besides, the LD50 replacement can even be utilized for further examination of target toxic repercussions on particular human organs (“In Testing | Animals in Science / Alternatives”). The analysis of toxic consequences can even incorporate testing whether the toxic substance has the capability to permeate blood barrier. Additionally, it can be applied for generating highly precise and sophisticated information that is inaccessible even when an animal test incorporates agonizing a different species to death.
Moreover, 92% of the experimental medications which are effective and safe in animals routinely fail in clinical trials that use humans. This is because these medications could be very hazardous and could even not work. Likewise, in animal tests involving rats, and mice, doctors have managed to successfully cure cancer. In humans, however, none of the medications they utilized in treating the animals has ever worked. Hans Ruesch, a prominent Medical Fraud researcher, reveal that nearly 15,000 new medications are marketed each year while approximately 12,000 are retracted. Thus, revealing that animal testing is less accurate for the health of humans than it appears during experimentation. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) disclosed that nearly 2 million Americans get hospitalized each year owing to the pharmaceutical drugs administered to them. An additional 30% of those hospitalized turn out suffering further maltreatment from the therapies that were proposed (“In Testing | Animals in Science / Alternatives”).
Animal testing is precarious
As already revealed in the previous paragraph, it is undeniable that animal testing is unsafe especially for human health. Pat disclosed that most of the drugs that are certified via animal testing have often proved to be unsafe for humans (Thomas). The reason that makes animal tested medications to be so hazardous to humans could be because of the unreliability of the results that animal experimentation presents. For instance, Dr. Richard Klausner, an earlier director of the National Cancer Institute uttered that for decades they have cured mice of cancer yet it simply never worked in humans.
Moreover, the universities could also be frequently exaggerating the animal experimentation results. Similarly, they also often endorse research which has ambiguous relevance to the human health because they neither offer key facts nor acknowledge noteworthy limitations (Mazur 12). As a consequence, animal tests executed in this manner tend to be more imprecise for application in human health. This is the reason why most of the successfully executed animal tested medications end up failing in human clinical checks as previously revealed. These potential medications fail human clinical checks due to reactions, ineffectiveness and the side effects that they present.
Animal testing is not only perilous to humans but also to the test animals themselves. Most of these animals die due to intoxication and human cruelty towards them. The test animals are usually subjected to psychological trauma, social isolation, fume intoxication, eye and skin irritants, and even to death. At the end of the tests, some of these animals are normally paralyzed or even amputated and therefore die as a consequence of not being able to feed properly.
In carcinogenic tests, some animal experimentations encompass the killing of pregnant animals and undertaking tests on their fetus. Furthermore, the remaining carcinogenic test animals are given dangerous carcinogenic substances in every 48 hours. Due to the high mortality rate associated with animal testing, it is possible that the number of the species being used for executing animal tests could decline to a point where such species become endangered and even extinct.
In occurrences where tested animals could manage to escape from the laboratories, it is probable that such animals could present a great threat to their fellow in the wildlife due to the psychological traumas that they experienced while confined. Some could also present a great threat to humans because such animals attached the cruelty they underwent to humans. Thus, worsening human animal relation and creating even greater risks between such animals and humans as they attempt to survive in the natural environment (Mazur 12). Even, those that are disposed of normally get disposed to the environment as hazardous and pathogenic waste which could be potentially disastrous to the environment.
Furthermore, animal testing is very perilous to the test animals owing to the fact that they are made to fearfully await distressing and terrifying procedures to be undertaken on them. Such a feeling combined with the absolute deficiency of environmental enrichment coupled with the stress of their inhabitation cause some of them to form neurotic kinds of behavior which are perilous to the holistic health of the animal.
Animal testing is costly
Animal testing typically incorporates breeding, testing and the ultimate disposal of millions of test animals. As a consequence, it becomes expensive because the test animals have to be breed and raised either to maturity or to an age suitable for them to be used in undertaking experiments. Subsequently, traditional examination of chemicals via animal tests could take up to half a decade per substance that is being assessed and this could be an expenditure that requires millions of dollars. With the present scientific advancements in technology, non-animal alternatives could asses hundreds of chemical compounds in just a week and for merely a fraction of the cost of executing the traditional chemical analysis ("11 Facts About Animal Testing | Dosomething.Org | Volunteer for Social Change").
Alternative nonanimal experimentations that have proven to be cheaper than animal testing involves the use of DakDak and Corrositex. Corrositex is a synthetic skin which has the capability of providing the corrosive strength of a chemical in at least 3 minutes and up to 4 hours whereas animal tests could consume between two to four weeks. Alternatively, DakDak is utilized in measuring the efficacy of sunscreens. What DakDAk does in a day takes months to be achieved using animal experimentation. It is approximated that DakDak has the potential of testing five products for less than 50% of the cost to examining a single product while using animals (“In Testing | Animals in Science / Alternatives”).
Animal testing has fetched much success especially in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals and cosmetics where harmful products have been hampered from reaching the market. In addition, in a nation like China, it is being used as the chief technique for determining product safety before launching such products into the market. Besides, animal testing is of great financial benefit to the corporations involved in rearing the test animals because it is their source of income. Actually, if animal testing is completely discontinued, it will adversely impact medical research and impede the efforts for improving health (Mazur 12).
Therefore, one could argue, why should animal testing be stopped if it brings such great benefits to humans? Why should it be banned when it has saved many human lives from toxic substances? Why should animal experimentation be discontinued when it has great value in testing the safety of synthetic and genetically modified foods? Why should animal testing be stopped whereas it enables us to have precaution in order to safeguard our pets and livestock from the toxic substances such as pesticides? Why should animal testing be stopped for exanimations that have no existing alternative testing techniques?
The dangers of animal testing outweigh the perceived benefits greatly. First, there are cheaper alternatives for testing products that can be applied for testing the safety of the new products in place of animal tests. These alternatives use nonanimal tests that incorporate computer simulations and models, in vitro experimentation techniques, virtual drug examinations, non-invasive imaging procedures like CT scanning, genetic and stem cell assessment methods, and micro-dosing. These alternatives are more dependable and precise than animal testing because they incorporate the use of human cells and tissues in the analysis. Furthermore, the nonanimal experimentations are more expedient, practical and cost-effective than animal testing.
Additionally, cruelty-free merchandises are friendlier to the environment than most of the animal tested products. The reason is that cruelty-free merchandises are manufactured using ingredients that have had long safe usage and are also natural. This reveals that animal-testing is a result of using ingredients that are environmentally unfriendly and harmful. Thus, due to the rising environmental concerns, it is wiser and better to utilize products and production techniques that are environmentally friendly.
Lastly, animal testing is dangerous because even some products that fail to pass the animal tests still do find their way into the market. The main reason for this could be that animal testing was not precise for such products. Therefore, if animals are assassinated due to testing of harmful products that still find their way into the market, then what is its importance? Why was it undertaken if the tested animals lost their lives for a test that failed? This is animal cruelty, and the only means of ending such cruelty is to discontinue animal testing.
Eichorst, Scot. A Description of Alternatives to Dissection in The Classroom. 2007, pp 11.
Frey, R G. "The Ethics of Animal and Human Experimentation." Journal of Medical Ethics, vol 22, no. 4, 1996, pp. 252-253. BMJ, doi:10.1136/jme.22.4.252.
"In Testing | Animals in Science / Alternatives." Neavs.Org, 2017, http://www.neavs.org/alternatives/in-testing. Accessed 19 Nov 2017.
Mazur, James E. Learning and Behavior. 7th ed., Psychology Press, 2015, pp 12.
"The Truth About Animals Used for Experimentation." PETA, 2017, https://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-experimentation/animal-testing-101/. Accessed 23 Nov 2017.
Thomas, Pat. "Animal Experimentation Hampers Medical Research." Animal Experimentation. Ed. Cindy Mur. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2004.
Vanderau, Melanie L. Science at any cost: The ineffectiveness and underenforcement of the Animal Welfare Act. Penn St. Envtl. L .2006. pp 721
"11 Facts About Animal Testing | Dosomething.Org | Volunteer for Social Change." Dosomething.Org, 2017, https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-animal-testing. Accessed 22 Nov 2017.
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