While animal testing for both medical and cosmetic research has long been accepted, there are many downsides to it. Animal testing can have misleading results, in which drugs that passed animal testing had entirely different effects on humans. It is also a cruel and inhumane way to conduct research. Animals can suffer just as humans do, and the Humane Society International states that, ‘animals used in experiments are commonly subjected to force feeding, forced inhalation, food and water deprivation, prolonged periods of physical restraint, the infliction of burns and other wounds to study the healing process, the infliction of pain to study its effects and remedies, and killing by carbon dioxide asphyxiation, neck-breaking, decapitation, or other means” (Watts). All of this is done to control variables and produce accurate results, which in more than one occasion it has not.
More effort and research should be put into finding alternatives to test drugs and treatments on, and until then, animal testing should only be allowed in cases where there is a life-threatening disease or condition and animals are reasonable test subjects on which to conduct the research.
One of the main reasons that animal testing should be banned is the pain it inflicts on innocent animals. The number of animals it affects is not small either. According to a study conducted in 2014, over 100 million animals are abused in U.S. labs each year (Adams and Larson). For experimentation, this abuse cover a good deal of areas. Researchers are restraining animals with either devices or by breaking certain body parts, such as a pelvis or legs, to immobilize them. They implant electrodes in the brain, which can cause brain damage, as well as delivering electro-shock, poisoning animals for toxicity testing, and using several other techniques in the name of research. In cosmetics a common procedure is the Draize Eye test, used to evaluate irritation, in which companies put their product in an animals’ eye and hold their eyelids open for up to days on end so they cannot blink the product away. Another standard test is the Lethal-Dose 50 (LD50) in which they discover which dose of the drug kills 50% of animals. A study conducted by the USDA found that in 2010, 97,123 animals experienced pain during these two tests alone, not having received any anesthesia for relief (Allen). Xenotransplantation ( the transplantation of cells, tissues, or organs from one species into another) has also become a popular experiment to perform on animals. This genetic engineering is creating a good deal of suffering for animals and while the number of animals’ lives it has taken is unknown, many of these animals will die suffering from abnormalities and other diseased conditions. The amount of pain that is inflicted on these animals for experimentation is repulsive. No one in their right mind would ever do something like this to a human, and animals should be treated no differently as they can feel pain the same as any human.
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