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Animal Experimentation: Is it worth it?
Mice have their spines shattered, the skin of pigs and sheep are burned off, monkeys are addicted to drugs, tiny mice grow tumors larger than their bodies, kittens are blinded on purpose, and harsh tubes are forced down throats of ferrets. Unfortunately, that is not the worst of what animals are put through as a result of animal experimentation. Who’s to blame? The human race. Animal experimentation is inhumane and unethical, and needs to come to an end.
Human beings and animals are both living things, and share some similarities, but not enough. The intention of animal experimentation is to use an animal, which is “disposable”, to test products and theories, as well as to research, rather than humans. There’s a problem, the reaction in that of an animal is different than in that of a human being. In addition, animal species are different from one another, which make the experiments even more unreliable. According to National Cancer Institute Director Dr. Richard Klausner, “We have cured mice of cancer for decades, and it simply didn’t work in humans”. At least 85 HIV/AIDS vaccines are successful in primates, but not in humans. Although we share some characteristics, humans are surely not the same and cannot be expected to react the same in experiments.
Animals are suffering and involuntarily giving their lives for no reason. Their pain and suffering is for nothing; most products will never be approved for public consumption. In fact, 92% of drugs don’t even make it past Phase 1 of human clinical trials, which are the initial studies. Scientists fool us into thinking that medical breakthroughs will come out of animal testing. Realistically, there are very few discoveries made. In addition, immense amounts of money are spent to, essentially, kill animals. About 40% of the National Institute of Health (NIH) funded research which involves experimentation on nonhuman animals. The NIH budgeted around $29 billion for research and development. Charities such as the American Cancer Society contribute to this “research”. There are no substantial benefits from animal experimentation.
In blunt, animal testing is inhumane. More than 100 million animals are burned, poisoned, crippled, and abused in a myriad of ways in the U.S. alone each year. Humans find themselves superior to all others which give them the right to treat animals, which are less superior, cruelly. According to the law, no experiment is illegal, no matter how cruel, redundant, painful, or irrelevant to the health of humans. Mice and rats are poisoned to death, burned to death, and put through psychological experiments in which induce terror, anxiety, depression, and helplessness. At Ohio State University, dogs were forced to run on a treadmill until they collapsed from a heart attack, then killed. The Draize eye irritancy test is quite popular amongst rabbits, where chemicals are dropped into their eyes, resulting in swelling, redness, irritation, and eventually blindness. Pigs are stabbed, shot, dismembered, and scorched. Cats’ eyes are sewed shut, and even cut out. Countless experiments are done on chimpanzees, such as maternal deprivation, invasive brain, and vaccine experiments. Babies are separated from their mothers just after birth to intentionally cause them trauma. This certainly is neither humane nor ethical.
Fortunately, there are alternatives to animal experiments. Unlike the harsh and barbaric experiments, non-animal methods of experimentation are a much better solution. Non-animal tests are predominantly faster, and less expensive. Embryonic stem cell tests use mouse-derived cells to observe probable toxicity to developing embryos, and has been sanctioned as a partial replacement for birth-defect testing in rats and rabbits. The skin left over from surgical procedures or donated cadavers have been used to calculate the rate at which a chemical is able to penetrate the skin. Microdosing is used to observe the safety of a drug, and how it metabolizes in the body. In addition, cell and tissue culture studies have been used to screen for anti- cancer, anti- AIDS, and other drugs, in addition to pharmaceutical products, which include vaccines, therapeutic proteins, and antibiotics. When tests like these are available, there is no reason for animals to suffer.
Although many companies have decided against animal testing, many haven’t. Just to name a few: Banana Boat, Neutrogena, Cover Girl, Maybelline, Lancôme, Dove, Crest, Kleenex, Huggies, Windex, and Johnson & Johnson. The consumer has the power to free animals from torture. Without any customers, they have no money. The U.S. National Institute of Health needs to hear that the tax dollars used on animal testing is not humane, and needs to be diminished. Anyone can be an animal’s hero.
The detriments outweigh the benefits in this sad situation. The research that is supposed to be found isn’t. There are myriads of options rather than torturing innocent animals, so why not abandon these cruel experiments now? The pain and suffering of millions of harmless animals is not necessary. Animal experimentation is inhumane and unethical; put it to an end.
"Animal Testing 101." PETA.org. Web. 20 Feb. 2012.
"Animal Testing." AboutMyPlanet.com. Web. 20 Feb. 2012. <http://www.aboutmyplanet.com/science-technology/animal-testing/>.
Knight, Andrew. The Costs and Benefits of Animal Experiments. Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. Print.