ENGL 1100 (11:00)
Alternatives to Animal Testing
Right now, thousands of rats, mice, rabbits, dogs, cats, primates, and other animals are being used to test cosmetics, household cleaners, industrial and consumer products. These animals are poisoned, blinded, and suffer cruel deaths. Although animal testing delivers more medical advancement, people, groups, and organizations in America debate whether animal testing should be banned; more effective and modern measures have become available to replace this act of cruelty on animals.
Animal testing exists because of many reasons. R esearchers affirm that they are helping to cure human disease by experimenting on animals
. D espite the fact that the animal tests themselves are scientifically worthless, pharmaceutical companies continue to do animal tests because regulators require them and because they provide liability protection in court when drugs injure or kill people
. A ssessments support that as much as ninetyfour percent of animal testing is performed to ensure the safety of cosmetic and household products, when in fact only six percent is for medical research (Beattie).
In the tests, cats are thrown around steel cages, monkeys are forced to become addicted to drugs and have holes drilled in their skulls, sheep and pigs have their skin shaved off, and rats have their spinal cords crushed. Millions of animals languish in pain, waiting, longing to roam free again. Yet, all they can do is wait to find out when their next terrifying procedure will be
performed on them. Many different species of animals suffer these types of experiments. Recent
USDA statistics list a total of 1,177,566 primates, cats, rats, dogs, and other farm animals are being subjected to experimental procedures (Bekoff, 13).
Animal testing is also often ineffective in predicting how products will work on people.
Humans differ from animals anatomically and genetically, meaning data derived from animals are rarely relevant to humans and cannot be anticipated to humans with sufficient accuracy
(PETA). Like most living systems, the human body is extremely complex. This intricacy is strictly why animals are not creditable duplicates for human medicine. Studies works such as the
Journal of the American Medical Association and the
British Medical Journal have consistently concluded that because of the biological differences among species, animal tests do not reliably predict outcomes in humans. These same studies have also concluded that the majority of animal experiments fail to lead to medical advances that improve the health of humans and are often dangerously misleading (PETA). Estimates say up to ninetytwo percent of tests passed on animals failed when tried on humans (Beattie). When a drug or other medical treatment is developed, it must be tested in an entire living system; using another species is using the wrong system. Considering the differences that occur on the genetic, molecular, and metabolic levels, when applied to an entire biological system those differences become exponential (Fintel,
Samaras, and Carias).
“Technology is making the need for cruel methods obsolete,” says Ingrid Newkirk, president of PETA (PETA).
The world's most advanced scientists have accepted this conclusion and have moved on to develop and validate methods for studying diseases and testing products that save animals' lives and are actually relevant to human health (Bekoff, 56). Nonanimal
methods take less time to complete than the crude animal tests that they replace. Also, they cost only a fraction of what animal experiments cost and are not affected by species differences that make applying test results to humans difficult or impossible (Pippin, John J., M.D.). Effective, affordable, and humane research methods include in vitro
(nonanimal), genomic, and computermodeling techniques as well as studies…