The Unnecessary Cruelty of Animal Testing

August 30, 2009
By yaychloe92 GOLD, Miami, Wyoming
yaychloe92 GOLD, Miami, Wyoming
10 articles 3 photos 0 comments

Strolling down the toiletries isle during your weekly grocery shopping trip, your eyes fall upon the newest brand of the volumizing shampoo you were searching for, and it’s on sale! You envision yourself flaunting luscious locks of head-turning hair that create envious stares in your direction, and hurry to purchase the product, right? Instead of this desirable fantasy, envision cute little furry bunnies foaming furiously at the mouth, bleeding from poisonous chemicals injected into their skin, convulsing in violent seizures, and finally succumbing to their painful death during the testing process of this shampoo’s ingredients. This discount shampoo doesn’t seem so appealing anymore. Is this product worth the cruel deaths of thousands of laboratory test animals, when there are other, even more efficient chemical test procedures without the involvement of animal lives? Companies’ motivations for performing animal tests are usually for the purpose of presenting their product as ‘proven safe’, but the Food and Drug Administration does not require these procedures as a necessary safety measure (Erbe). There are multiple types of animal tests that are thought to evaluate the quality of ingredients used in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products, but the majority of these cause the harm or torturous death to the animal involved. Alternative methods for animal testing are proven to be both less expensive and more accurate, while simultaneously saving countless animal lives. Animal testing procedures are inhumane frivolities that are unnecessarily instituted in cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies, and are not worth the resulting multitude of animal deaths.

Companies that institute malicious animal tests attempt to justify themselves by explaining that they are required to test the safety of their ingredients specifically on animals, but this is not true. Several cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies, such as Avon, Johnson and Johnson, Colgate, and Estee Lauder, fail to mention the cruelty, and often ineffectiveness of these gruesome tests (“Cruelty-Free Living”). “These companies claim they test on animals to establish the safety of their products and ingredients for consumers. However, the Food and Drug Administration does not require animal testing, and alternative testing methods are widely available and lead to more reliable results” (“Animal Testing”). These tests are not mandatory to ensure the safety of a product, yet companies choose to continue wasting their money on killing animals instead of exploring more effective methods of human testing. Companies also feel the need to develop new cosmetic ingredients by animal testing, although over 8,000 ingredients have already been approved for commercial use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and other non-animal testing companies are able to make a vast multitude of products with these existing substances. Animal testing has even been banned in several European countries, soon to be all of Europe, because of its pointless cruelty to animals (“Ten Fast Facts”). Nevertheless, several types of grotesque animal testing continue to be prevalent world-wide.

There are many different procedures that cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies initiate to test their ingredients on animals. It is estimated that 2 to 4 million animals, including cats, dogs, rodents, monkeys, and others, are tortured in laboratories each year in the United States (“Ten Fast Facts”). Alix Fano, the Director of the Campaign for Responsible Transplation, describes how tests such as the chemical ingestion tests usually cause the organs to become damaged and dysfunctional. He also gives further examples including spinal chord injection testing, where scientists will first intentionally paralyze the animal, and then attempt to undo the damage, but usually fail and the subject is permanently paralyzed. Draize (eye) injection tests attempt to cure blindness or eye disorders, but almost always leave the animal completely blind. Neurotoxicity and lethal dosage tests purposely inject the animal with deadly chemicals to see how much it can endure before convulsing or dying (Fano). Scientists actually use deadly chemicals on purpose to see what effect it will have on the animal, causing extreme suffering for the subject and leaving it either disfigured or dead. “Test animals may develop tumors or other nasty conditions and are often killed intentionally at some point in the test so scientists can examine the animal’s innards for signs of damage” (“Manimal and the Cosmetics”). This inexplicit harm to animals is meaningless and cruel, producing results that are often not applicable to human advancements, because animals have different genetic compositions and respond to chemicals in ways that greatly contrast the effects seen on human subjects. A multitude of available alternatives for animal testing are both more sensible and efficient.

While the reliability of animal testing varies greatly and is often completely inaccurate when applied to humans, non-animal testing methods lead to beneficial results. “Besides saving countless animal lives, alternatives to animal tests are efficient and reliable…non-animal methods often take less time to complete, cost only a fraction
of what the animal experiments they replace cost, and are not plagued with species differences that make extrapolation difficult or almost impossible” (“Cosmetic Testing”). Animal tests such as the 3T3 neutral red uptake phototoxicity test can be replaced with toxicity tests on human cell cultures. Human skin model tests like the Epiderm test, replaces skin corrosion tests on rabbits. Donated body parts can be used to test chemical rate of skin penetration. Also, the study of human populations, human DNA studies on computers, sophisticated scanning technology, and even human test volunteers can be replacements for animal tests (“Meeting Report”). Multiple substances that are known to be harmful to humans, portray no negative effect on animals, who are supposedly used to test the substance’s safety for humans. “Of the compounds known not to cause cancer in humans, 19 do cause cancer in rodents…[also,] cigarette smoke, asbestos, arsenic, benzene, alcohol, and class fibers are all safe to ingest, according to animal studies” (“Testing Without Torture”). Animal test results cannot guarantee the safety of substances, because the differences between animals and humans cause each to react to substances in various ways. There is no reason for scientists to discover if a chemical will kill a lab rat, if it has no relation to weather or not the chemical will cause harm to a human. Since alternative tests are conducted on human DNA, they produce undeniably better results. Alternatives have led to several monumental scientific discoveries and safety tests, further exemplifying how animal testing procedures are unnecessarily harmful.

Companies claim to ensure the safety of ingredients used in their products by instituting these animal tests, but not being required by the FDA and producing results
that are not safely applicable to advancements for humans, these malicious methods are proven to be unnecessary. The multitude of inhumane procedures conducted by cosmetic
and pharmaceutical companies could easily be replaced by more effective alternatives, saving time, money, and animal lives. Consumers should be able to buy products without having to imagine tortured animals in the process of making its ingredients.




Works Cited
“Alternatives: Testing Without Tourture.” Peta Media Center. 2007. 20 January 2009. <http://www.peta.org/factsheet/files/FactsheetDisplay.asp?ID=87>.
“Animal Testing.” Humane Society. 2007. 1 February 2009. <http://www.hsus.org/animals_in_research/animal_testing/>.
“Cosmetic Testing.” 2007. Animal Aid. 25 January 2009. <http://www.animalaid.org.uk/h/h/CAMPAIGNS/experiments/ALL/283/>.
“Cruelty-Free Living.” Uncaged. 2007. 25 January 2009. <http://www.uncaged.co.uk/crueltyfree.htm>.
Erbe, Bonnie. "Animal Testing Should Stop." U.S. News & World Report Online (Nov 24, 2008): NA. General OneFile. Gale. Brentsville District High School. 10 Mar. 2009 <http://find.galegroup.com/ips/start.do?prodId=IPS>.
Fano, Alix. "Chemical Testing on Animals Is Unreliable." At Issue: Animal Experimentation. Ed. Cindy Mur. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2004. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. Brentsville District High School. 12 Mar. 2009 <http://find.galegroup.com/ovrc/infomark.do?&contentSet=GSRC&type=retrieve&tabID=T010&prodId=OVRC&docId=EJ3010002230&source=gale&srcprod=OVRC&userGroupName=va_s_075_0530&version=1.0>.
“Manimal and the Cosmetics Testing Laboratory.” Grinning Planet. 2004. 20 January 2009. <http://www.grinningplanet.com/2004/10-12/cosmetics-animal-testing-article.htm>.
“Meeting Report: Alternatives for Developmental Neurotoxicity Testing.” Environmental Helath Perspectives. January 2007. 1 February 2009. <http://www.enponline.org/docs/2007/9841/abstract.html>.
“Ten Fast Facts about Cosmetic and Household Product Testing.” Born Free. 2003-2007. Animal Protection Institute. 20 January 2009. <http://www.api4animals.org/facts.php?p=448&more=1>.


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This article has 39 comments.


on Nov. 5 2015 at 12:57 pm
breanna5 BRONZE, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
2 articles 0 photos 3 comments
I disagree with animal testing, but it is important for humanity to be safe. The quote, “…to ensure safety of ingredients used in their products,” implies that the ingredients us humans used must be safe. We have to keep growing the human race.

OMG LOL said...
on Nov. 7 2013 at 6:42 am
This rticle was soo touching and thhat is coming from a 12 year old.

PEREZMeagan said...
on Jan. 8 2013 at 9:17 pm
Buildings are not very cheap and not everyone can buy it. Nevertheless, business loans are invented to help different people in such hard situations.

on Feb. 3 2012 at 11:43 am
bumblebee_babii GOLD, Danbury, Connecticut
11 articles 3 photos 6 comments
It's Good To See That So Many Other Teens Are Actually DOING Something About Animal Cruelty, Instead Of Just Saying "Aww. Those Poor Animals." I Don't Even Have To Go Into Detail About This, Because You Seem To Know Just As Much As I Do. (:

on Jan. 11 2012 at 8:04 pm
WarriorGirl17 BRONZE, Columbus, New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 3 comments
I agree with this article. There are many other ways to test products without harming animals. What is done to animals in laboratories is cruel. Just because animals can't speak doesn't mean they don't feel pain and suffering. Other methods should be used to test products instead of animal testing. If it was humans instead of animals being tested, that would definitely strike a chord; animals shouldn't be undervalued.

Afra- SILVER said...
on Nov. 5 2011 at 7:35 am
Afra- SILVER, Colombo, Other
8 articles 0 photos 47 comments

Favorite Quote:
Even when the sun sets the moon will rise.

its used btw not sued

Afra- SILVER said...
on Nov. 5 2011 at 7:34 am
Afra- SILVER, Colombo, Other
8 articles 0 photos 47 comments

Favorite Quote:
Even when the sun sets the moon will rise.

Wow, I agree with what you are saying. I hadnt known that they euthanise. I hope its effective enough for them to stop them from feeling any pain. But dont they need tos how signs of pin or soemthing to see if the drug is abd or whatever? But seriously, i hope they develope other ways of testing...

Afra- SILVER said...
on Nov. 5 2011 at 7:31 am
Afra- SILVER, Colombo, Other
8 articles 0 photos 47 comments

Favorite Quote:
Even when the sun sets the moon will rise.

I can't compare a life of a creatures with a humans. To me life is life. But yeah, as i said before in my comment top, thats how we get our important medicines. But that still doesn't justify if its right or wrong to use a rat to save a human. They still feel pain, and they will suffer if the treatment being tested is not just the right compsoition or whatever. It is easy to say a rat's life or a human's life, and maybe most will agree that youd ratehr take the rats life, but it is wrong nonethless. A wrong that they should really stop, i knwo the problem with that idea is what alternitive will they have. It's just that i can't settle with the idea of your last statement.

Afra- SILVER said...
on Nov. 5 2011 at 7:27 am
Afra- SILVER, Colombo, Other
8 articles 0 photos 47 comments

Favorite Quote:
Even when the sun sets the moon will rise.

I am completely against animal testing. It just makes my eyes burn even if soemone says it. But theres a huge problem with being against it because EVERYTHING WE HAVE NOW our medicines, cosmetics and all those chemical stuffs are here because of animal testing. There is no way around using an animal tested product (ATP is easier to use so ill use that). But enough now right? HAven't they discovered enough? But i have hopes that soon they will invent a way to test products on artificially produced tissues. Becasue intitially, tests were done on humans, many MANY years ago. Then, they evolved to animals, Now they are developing methods to produce artificial organs and such. So perhaps, I hopew ith all my heart, that they will develope a way to test products on these artifiaicl tissues without using poor animals. Its horrible disgusting that animals have to suffer needlessly for stupid products we can live without. But there is really no way around being guiltless every time you use a lotion or shampoo. Even non-animal tested products exist because of animals testing many years ago. They just sued knowledge thatw as there. It's better then nothing though.

 


on Sep. 26 2011 at 7:20 pm
Miss_Looney BRONZE, Kalispell, Montana
3 articles 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
"'Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold…' The pillow seemed to sink a little and Jonny died.” -The Outsiders

I completely agree

on Sep. 26 2011 at 7:16 pm
Miss_Looney BRONZE, Kalispell, Montana
3 articles 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
"'Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold…' The pillow seemed to sink a little and Jonny died.” -The Outsiders

I don't believe in animal testing for cosmetics, but I think that it's okay for medicine and food because you want those things 'proven safe'. I think it's okay for the betterment of humanity.

 


Mike Rowe said...
on Sep. 7 2011 at 9:26 am
Its a dirty job, but someones gotta do it.

on Jul. 4 2011 at 10:49 pm
ZeeBYoung BRONZE, Coatesville, Pennsylvania
3 articles 0 photos 72 comments

Favorite Quote:
Don't judge a person until you've walked a mile in their shoes. That way, you're a mile away from them, and you have their shoes. :)

I agree with most of the article, but I just want to point some things out. Alternative testings, like computer models or tissue samples only help, but in order to get the full effect, you have to test on something thats living. Although the conditions of these labs can be vastly improved, whats more important, a rats life, or a humans life? Its not always the best, but sometimes it's necessary. Also certain medicines, and tests help scientists understand brain diseases, like epilepsy, polio, and bipolar disorder. Tylenol and Bendadryl, and other simple medicines need to be tested on something to make sure theyre safe. And besides, most of these testings are done on rats. Whats more important, a rats life or a humans life?

on Jun. 30 2011 at 2:53 pm
Thesilentraven PLATINUM, Mableton, Georgia
40 articles 2 photos 1634 comments

Favorite Quote:
"il piu nell' uno," (according to Emerson, an Italian expression for beauty)

"Unable are the loved to die, for love is immortality" ~Emily Dickinson

"The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain"
~Kahlil Gibran

All right, that's a reasonable argument, Anita and Lilliterra. Agreeing to disagree is always a safe way to end an argument.

Perhaps we can also say that it's regrettable that these animals must lose their lives for humans, even if you think it's a good cause?


on Jun. 12 2011 at 12:32 am
CharlesInCharge, Andover, Massachusetts
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment

It certainly is a gruesome image PETA and other similar organizations paint. Such organizations work for a great cause, and I trust their members' good intentions, but they definitely exaggerate to make an impression. I think you should consider the subjectivity of some of your sources.

 

While it is true that animals are used for chemical testing, the image of bunnies foaming and bleeding from chemicals is overboard. Animal testing laws require them to be euthanized long before animals are in that much pain, which I learned as part of my supplementary training as a summer intern where animals are housed. And even PETA utilizes euthanasia, no doubt a stance hidden from most of its loyal no-kill movement followers.

 

Additionally, I don’t see the reasoning behind companies’ “cruel testing.” You’re probably thinking, “Neither do I!” but I mean that in a different way. Of course many companies place profit at the forefront of their goals, with regard to morals in one of two ways: promoting their morals in order to attract customers, or failing to acknowledge its shady sides in order to retain customers. Surely, if it is both less profitable and less moral to test on animals, AND PETA is sending furious emails to them everyday, they would not test on animals to that extent. Such companies could, and do, label their products as “prove safe” even if they didn’t test on animals. They are not so naïve as to think people would not trust them if they did not test on animals. Rather, companies think consumers assume that they actually proved it safe even if they simply placed some shampoo on a wig and saw if it lost color. Therefore, I doubt the validity of the extreme animal testing situation you describe.

 

With regards to medical testing, live animals still do provide much more reliable results regarding drug testing that any other type of testing except for clinical (human) testing, and have greatly aided in the understanding of diseases and discovery of drugs. Although it is difficult for many to watch the sacrifice of so many animals, it is also difficult to reply to a suffering patient that no drugs are available due to the impossibility of testing in anything aside from humans, although at a certain point they may ask to just take whatever random drug has been tested in cell culture but probably has adverse affects in the body.  In the end, scientists and politicians made a choice. Humans are more important than animals. Perhaps that will change in the future, but they decided that it was easier to tell animals they were going to be used for research purposes than it was to tell hospital patients that no drugs would ever be available for people who had similar conditions.


Anita PLATINUM said...
on Jun. 11 2011 at 5:55 pm
Anita PLATINUM, Santa Cruz, California
20 articles 0 photos 36 comments
I agree with Lilliterra-- I'm not AT ALL for testing animals for anything but medicine that can save lives. I think humans are selfish to hurt animals just for cosmetics and candy. That is just rediculous. So we should just agree to disagree on the former, alright?

Lilliterra said...
on Jun. 11 2011 at 4:02 pm

Humans>Animals.

BUT: I do not beleive that animal testing (in its detrimental forms) is justifiable when anything but human lives are at stake.

Torturing animals for cosmetics = wrong. However I notice that we have come up with some very effective medicines that have saved many lives using animal testing, that sort of proves that it CAN be effective. And don't tell me that the animal lives lost are worth more than the human lives that would have been lost.

I'm not saying that animals don't have souls. However, if they do, they are still of less value than humans.

I'd take the human race over the canine race any day if I had to pick. Specist? Sue me.


yogi_monkey said...
on Apr. 13 2011 at 4:29 pm
i totally agree they are just like humans an we the people that love are animals have to speek for them. power to the animal lovers

sad said...
on Apr. 13 2011 at 9:35 am
its soooooo sad

on Mar. 1 2011 at 6:53 pm
Thesilentraven PLATINUM, Mableton, Georgia
40 articles 2 photos 1634 comments

Favorite Quote:
"il piu nell' uno," (according to Emerson, an Italian expression for beauty)

"Unable are the loved to die, for love is immortality" ~Emily Dickinson

"The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain"
~Kahlil Gibran

An important note: humans kill other beings! More than animals do, in fact. Religion and government and language are only civilized in human terms; can you not think it possible that civility goes beyond the human definition?


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