Animal Testing Essay

Submitted By JoshuaScottH
Words: 1075
Pages: 5

The number of animals killed each year in the United States alone varies between 17 and 70 million. The Animal Welfare Act (ACA) states that laboratories must report the number of animals used in experiments; yet mice, birds, and rats are not included in this figure. These animals are used in 80 to 90 percent of all animal testing. Because of this, it is impossible to calculate the exact number of animals used in such experiments (PETA, 5).
Animal testing might not directly affect ordinary people each day or be an issue on everybody’s mind, yet the actions people do daily can affect animal experimentation. This has been a worldwide issue and an ongoing battle for decades. Vivisection, the practice of lab experimenting on live animals, has been around since the beginning of scientific medicine. It is an alternative to the dissection of human corpses, which resulted from religious leaders’ protests (Choose Cruelty Free).
There are numerous reasons why people and organizations want animal testing changed. People of all nations and religions argue differently on this topic. Yet the main factor in deciding the moral correctness of animal experimentation is one’s personal belief. No matter which side a person takes on this topic, they feel there are several things that must be done to benefit their stance and its publicity.
A group in opposition of animal testing is the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Their main claim is put as, “Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment” (PETA). PETA claims animals used in experiments are free roaming animals, like frogs, birds, pigs and sheep, and are used because the public views them with less compassion, since they are less cute. PETA believes a better-educated public is the key to improving health and saving animals.
Denying the claims of doctors in favor of animal testing, Dr. Charles Mayor states, “I abhor vivisection. It should at least be curbed. Better still, it should be abolished. I know of no achievement through vivisection, no scientific discovery that could not have been obtained without such barbarism and cruelty. The whole thing is evil. (PETA)
The organization states that the money donated to March of Dimes, and other organizations, funds animal testing. Another claim against animal testing is numerous cases where medicines passed by the FDA that posed no threat to animals caused serious side effects on humans, forcing the items to be withdrawn.
The Body Shop, a popular worldwide franchise, opposes animal testing in the production of cosmetics. They claim there are alternative methods a company can employ instead of testing animals. The Body Shop’s products carry the company’s “Against Animal Testing” (AAT) stance. They have an “ATT policy and the annual compliance checks we run involving all our suppliers are also subject to independent review” (The Body Shop). They claim companies can avoid animal testing by not buying ingredients from suppliers that test on animals. The Body Shop stresses the point that companies should not fund others that test or commission animal testing, which can be gauged by supplier monitoring and rating systems (The Body Shop).
The opposition, in the form of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), finds animal testing crucial to medical knowledge and advancement. They feel that because of their research, polio, rabies, smallpox, tetanus and other illnesses would still be killing thousands today. Animals used in research have allowed doctors and scientists to find out more about practical methods in surgeries, understanding diseases, as well as testing new methods to cure such illnesses through medicines. The NIEHS finds animal testing necessary and important to benefit sick people.
The Medical Research Council (MRC) has taken steps to please both doctors and scientists who favor animal research, and those who oppose it. They have developed a plan known as the 3Rs, in