The flaws and human harms of animal experimentation

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Animal Testing and its Dangers

Animal testing is any experiment that is forcefully undertaken on an animal and might cause distress, harm, suffering, or pain. Most times the animals being tested are kept in a lab and at the end of the experiment they are killed. Some forms of animal experiments include force bleeding or injecting, removing animal’s organs, exposure to radiation, exposing animals to situations that are frightening for depression and anxiety, and pushing animals to exhale any toxic gases. Different types of animals are reared specifically for the experiments and are even fed in the breeding facilities. However, whether bred in a lab or not, the animals have equal rights and could otherwise live in free environment with probably a caring family. Some of the products which are mostly tested on animals include the Windex, Trojan condoms, cosmetic products, Kleenex, and Band-Aids. Apart from products, scientists inject animals to test on possible cures for chronic diseases such as AIDS, cancer, and mental illnesses. Some countries have restrained animal testing for some animals while others test freely, but despite the reasons, animal testing should be banned worldwide because, it is wasteful, unreliable, brings suffering and harm to animals, it is dangerous, and animals are different.

Wasteful and Ineffective

Conducting animal testing is wasteful and archaic as it prolongs the suffering of people waiting for the treatment. Animal testing does not just happen for one night or a few days but takes several months in order to get effective results. Instead of spending the time conducting a relevant human research, scientists waste a lot of time conducting misleading experiments. Additionally, a lot of money and resources are wasted conducting the research which might be ineffective at the end of it (Vinardell 200). For instance, the government of the United States invests over $50 million every year but the rate of new drug approval is still the same as it was 30 years ago. Not to mention, scientists have developed non-animal research which is humane and effective. The world has conducted over 100 million animal experiments and only less than 50 new drugs have been proved to be effective for human consumption. Most of the new drugs that are approved are not universally effective which means the animal testing facilities should be completely banned. For example, out of the 1,000 potential treatments in animals, only 10 percent work sufficiently in humans as some people tend to experience abnormal reactions. The rate of human intake of the approved new medication shows that not only is animal testing unnecessary but should also be illegal.

Suffering and Harm to Animals

The large percentage of animal experiments is reported to cause severe or moderate suffering or harm to the animals as reported by the researchers. Experiments regarding chemical reactions or product reactions with humans usually lead to animal death or the animal is killed very close to death. While in the laboratories, the animals are caged and denied their freedom; some of the animals even lack companionship because they are caged solely (Griesinger, et al 100). The chemicals that the animals are subjected to may sterilize the animals limiting their production capability which is harmful. In the labs, the animals are like hospitalized patients or prisoners who never get to visit or be visited by their loved ones; an unimaginable situation. Some of other forms that the animals undergo include, being poisoned to test toxicity, disease infections, electrode implantation into the brain, brain damage, and blinding. The forms of suffering that the animals are indulged to are inhumane and according to the “cruelty Free International” are enough reasons to ban the experiments.

Unreliable Results

Some of the animal tests are unreliable as they prove to be ineffective either because of malfunctioning, non-safety, or they do not work at all. For example, cancer drugs which are constantly tested on animals have only shown a success rate of less than 5 percent. Psychiatry drugs, neurology drugs as well as heart drugs are also common in animal testing and also show less than 10 percent effectiveness. Some animals which have been commonly used for these tests include mice, dogs, rabbits, and rats and they provide a very useful insight on whether a drug will be useful for human treatment. Instead of torturing animals, they should just be released to have a normal satisfactorily life (Ashton 360). Even monkeys which had been suspected to provide promising results have been proved to be just as poor with providing accurate results just as the other animal species. Animals should therefore not be used to test drugs or any other products as they may not provide accurate results which might be harmful and dangerous to humans. For example, there have been 48 proven cancer drugs but only half of them have showed survival benefits due to experimental inaccuracy.

Danger to Humans

Testing products on animals is not only unethical but dangerous for human beings. Some products which were tested on animals were never proved to be in standard with consumption standards because they either caused abnormal reactions on the first people who used them or were not functioning. The same applies to drugs that have not been approved or have been found unsafe after being on animals. For example, Vioxx which after being tested on animals was found to be effective, has been determined as unsafe for human use as it causes heart attacks, stroke, and even death. Human volunteers who test for antibody treatment have been reported to have suffered allergic reactions and some close experiences to death. Testing on animals therefore fails to predict the side effects which can be harmful for human beings sometimes causing death. In another case in France, a drug which had been tested on animals and expected to treat several conditions including Parkinson’s disease and anxiety was reported to cause a death for a human volunteer (Akhtar 411). Some other tested drugs lead to severe organ damages; the reason being that most of the substances that cause diseases in humans rarely cause diseases for animals. This only shows that to test for treatments scientists need to establish other compatible objects for testing rather than animals.

Animals are Different

Animas are different than human beings which make them incompetent in testing for human products. For example, animals do not acquire most of the diseases that humans get such as main types of heart diseases, Parkinson’s disease, and even major cancer types. Animal DNA only matches with 50 percent of human DNA making animal testing insufficient for human products testing. Even the most preferred monkey species “cynomolgous macaque monkeys” are resistant to harmful doses of paracetamol which are deadly for human beings. The animals are not accurate because they cannot determine the right quantities of medications for humans. The differences between animals and human beings in terms of brain structure and functioning shows that animals are not reliable for product testing. The information that is collected on monkeys and other species is misleading and irrelevant which means animals should be let free. Even products which are healthy and harmless in human beings are highly harmful in other animals used for research such as dogs (Lund, et al 430). Instead of agonizing animals both physically and mentally, researchers should come up with new ways of testing human products and especially drugs and just let animals be free and contented.

Banning Animal Testing

Animal testing is an activity that has been going on for many decades and involves subjecting animals into injections, exposure to fear, bleeding, and removal of organs to test the efficiency of the products for human consumption. However, scientists subjecting the animals into maximum suffering and sometimes death, most of the products and drugs have been proved to be non-useful meaning animal torturing should be stopped with immediate effect. Animal testing is not only unethical but is also torturous to the animal in terms of death, denied freedom, sterilization, and even most of them lack companionship. Animal testing is wasteful in terms of resources such as money and time. Sometimes the research may take too long causing loss of lives which would have been prevented had the experiments been undertaken on human beings. Animals are different from human beings in terms of DNA, brain structure which proves that they cannot be relied for drug-testing. Most experiments which have been done on animals have provided unreliable outcomes either due to being unsafe or completely not working on human beings. The process of animal testing is dangerous for human beings as some of the products which were proved accurate with animals have led to allergic reactions for the human volunteers. Considering the mentioned factors animal testing is not only harmful to the animal but also to humans and should be completely banned.

Works Cited

Akhtar, Aysha. "The flaws and human harms of animal experimentation." Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics24.4 (2015): 407-419.

Ashton, Rachel. "State of the art on alternative methods to animal testing from an industrial point of view: ready for regulation?." ALTEX-Alternatives to animal experimentation31.3 (2014): 357-363.

Griesinger, Claudius, et al. "Validation of alternative in vitro methods to animal testing: concepts, challenges, processes and tools." Validation of Alternative Methods for Toxicity Testing. Springer, Cham, 2016. 65-132.

Lund, Thomas Bøker. "Painful dilemmas: A study of the way the public’s assessment of animal research balances costs to animals against human benefits." Public Understanding of Science 23.4 (2014): 428-444.                    

Vinardell, M. P. "The use of non-animal alternatives in the safety evaluations of cosmetics ingredients by the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS)." Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology 71.2 (2015): 198-204.

August 21, 2023


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