Should there be Animal Testing in the U.S.? By: Alex Guzman p7

Animal testing needs to be abolished in the United States. Just because testing the effects of products on humans is dangerous, does not give us the right to test on animals and let them suffer. There are other alternatives that are cost efficient, do not hurt or kill animals, they are even safe for humans, and could provide the same or even better results. This type of experimentation needs to stop because of the horrific treatment towards animals and its inefficiency that has been shown over the years.

To begin, the biggest reason to stop animal testing is because it is inhumane. Every year, an estimated twenty-six million animals are tested on. These animals include: mice, hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, birds, cats, dogs, pigs, sheep, and nonhuman primates. They are put through series of tests and then wait to die once they are not useful for research anymore. During the tests, the animals experienced long periods of physical restraint, force-fed, deprived of food and water, forced to inhale toxic substances, have toxic applied to their body and, or eyes, and they are even burned. The animals can lose their eyes and fur. These tests are only to see how the animals reacts to a product or how they react in extreme conditions. Scientists and researchers say the animals are the only thing that can give us information. They are wrong though, there are alternatives that can give the same and maybe even better results.

Animal testing is not even needed anymore since our nation has excelled in advances with medicine and technology. It is estimated that sixteen billion dollars are used annually for animal testing procedures at the expense of taxpayer dollars. There are alternatives that can replace animal testing, and can save precious money. A procedure called In Vitro testing, uses a human or animal cell which scientist can then study the cell cultures in a controlled environment. For example, the testing on Artificial Skin is an In Vitro testing procedure. Researchers can apply their products on the Artificial Skin, and the skin will react similarly to human skin. To compare, the Draize rabbit skin test, a process where a rabbit has a product applied onto to its skin and then watched for results, costs one thousand eight hundred dollars, but an EpiDerm human skin (Artificial Skin) model test costs eight hundred and fifty dollars. The data clearly proves that money could be saved. An alternative that uses humans is called Microdosing. This is a technique that includes administering a nonlethal dose of medicine into a human's bloodstream just to see small cell changes that the drug makes. This is a relatively safe alternative that does not negatively affect the human subject and it can give needed results. Medical breakthroughs could be made if money would be put towards some of these techniques, but sadly people still believe animal testing is making a difference. It has been argued that the money has gone to a great cause, and that animal testing has attributed to many major medical breakthroughs. This may be true, but ninety-two percent of products that pass animal testing procedures fail in a human trial. Animal testing is just simply untrustworthy.

The medicine aspirin, which treats fevers, headaches, pain and inflammation in humans, was almost shelved and never used only because it harmed the animal subjects it was used on. Fk-506, a drug that helped reduce organ transplant rejection, was almost tossed based on poor animal test results. These are both examples of how animal testing has blinded us from a drug that is useful to humans. Animal testing hasn’t just misled us though, it has also been a reason for people's deaths. Thalidomide, a sleeping pill that was commercially marketed in the 1950s, was the reason for more than ten thousand severe birth deformities. Researchers thought it was safe because it passed animal testing procedures. In 2004, the drug Vioxx showed that it had protective effects on the hearts of mice, but it sadly was the reason for more than twenty-seven thousand heart attacks and cardiac arrest deaths. Researchers still argue that without animal testing we wouldn’t know the effects of medicine, but the evidence obviously shows that relying on the effects of animals is not the right choice. Just because our DNA is closely related to these animals, does not mean our hearts and other organs will react the same.

It’s true that animal testing has helped with some vaccines and medicines, but how many animals suffered during the tests that were used to find a small portion of a cure? How much money was put in until a hint of success was possible? Imagine one of your family members having needles stuck in their eyes, or being forced to eat something toxic just to see how their body reacts. Other countries have already taken action against animal testing, it is time that America starts taking action as well.

Animal Testing Poem

Tests

Pain

Needles

Depression

They deserve much love

But they suffer in their cages

Wishing they can go outside and bask in the bright sun

Made by Dan Piraro

Citations

"Animal Testing." ProCon.Org. N.p., 24 May 2016. Web. 6 Mar. 2017. <http://animal-testing.procon.org>.

"About Animal Testing ." Humane Society International, n.d. Web. 6 Mar. 2017. <http://www.hsi.org/campaigns/end_animal_testing/qa/about.html>.

"Alternatives to Animals in Science." New England Anti-Vivisection Society, n.d. Web. 7 Mar. 2017. <http://www.neavs.org/alternatives/in-testing>.

"Costs of Animal and Non-Animal Testing." Humane Society International , n.d. Web. 8 Mar. 2017. <http://www.hsi.org/issues/chemical_product_testing/facts/time_and_cost.html>.

"What is animal testing?" Cruelty Free International , n.d. Web. 8 Mar. 2017. <https://www.crueltyfreeinternational.org/why-we-do-it/what-animal-testing>.

Credits:

Created with images by tiburi - "animal mouse experiment"

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