Bringing Awareness to Animal Testing

February 15, 2010
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“Treat others the way you would like to be treated”
This “golden rule” applies not only to humans, but animals as well. Despite this, pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies continue to test their products on animals, and consumers continue to buy them. Many people blindly buy products based on superficial qualities like the scent or color, without knowing the more important information, like the company’s policies on animal testing. If people knew what animal testing entails, maybe they would think twice before buying a product that has been tested on animals. This is a problem that needs to be ended. So before you pick out a shampoo or mascara, consider the following:
Test animals live under horrible conditions and spend their lives suffering.
Before selling their products to consumers, companies test them on animals to see how they respond to it. Such animals can be exposed to shampoo, for example, to see whether they develop skin irritations or get sick. Even worse is the animal testing for pharmaceuticals, where animals are intentionally given diseases for mainly two reasons: to see whether a new drug will have an effect on the disease, and whether the drug has any serious side effects. The animals may develop tumors, among other things, and are usually killed at some point so scientists can examine their innards for signs of damage. They live in cages that are hardly big enough for them to fit in, let alone move around in. Their meals consist of hard pellets that are usually infested with insects because of improper storage. It seems unethical that we, the “user species” of the products, impose fear and pain on vulnerable creatures that do nothing to deserve such mistreatment.
There are alternatives to animal testing.
Companies against animal testing have developed other methods to evaluate product safety. For instance, a product’s potential for eye irritation can be tested on donated human retinas, and cultured human skin can be used to observe skin irritation. If a manufacturer needs to test a new product before selling it to the consumer, they should use these alternatives to animal testing. Or, they could decide to use ingredients that are known to be safe, instead of ones that are unknown and possibly dangerous. There is also the option of using human volunteers to test products. However, some argue that humans should not be exposed to potentially hazardous ingredients. It would be nice if they had that same consideration regarding animals. At least the humans get paid and have a choice; the animals are brought against their will and cannot fend for themselves. Not only is animal testing inhumane, it is also unreliable because animals differ significantly from humans.
The solution? U.S. government needs to pass laws prohibiting animal testing. Unfortunately, they have failed to take action on this problem and as a result, many companies continue to test their products on animals. Until the day comes where animals are safe from product testing, everyone can help spread the word about animal testing so more people become informed. Also, no one should buy products from companies that perform animal testing. By buying these products, consumers are supporting the cruelty that test animals are subjected to. So next time you are shopping for new shampoo or mascara, look for labels that say “no animal testing,” or go online for a list of companies that do and do not perform it. Little actions like this make a difference, so do your part to show that you care.

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LYLAF said...
Feb. 27, 2010 at 9:49 am
It's true animal testing is a horror, but my Biology teacher told me there are strict regulations. There are limits, and the animals must be kept well and fed good food. It's true, but would you rather have a new potentially life saving drug tested on a few rats, or a loved one?
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