The Unnecessary Cruelty of Animal Testing

August 30, 2009
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. <>.
“Animal Testing.” Humane Society. 2007. 1 February 2009. <>.
“Cosmetic Testing.” 2007. Animal Aid. 25 January 2009. <>.
“Cruelty-Free Living.” Uncaged. 2007. 25 January 2009. <>.
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 <>.
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 <>.
“Manimal and the Cosmetics Testing Laboratory.” Grinning Planet. 2004. 20 January 2009. <>.
“Meeting Report: Alternatives for Developmental Neurotoxicity Testing.” Environmental Helath Perspectives. January 2007. 1 February 2009. <>.
“Ten Fast Facts about Cosmetic and Household Product Testing.” Born Free. 2003-2007. Animal Protection Institute. 20 January 2009. <>.

Join the Discussion

This article has 39 comments. Post your own now!

breanna5 said...
Nov. 5, 2015 at 12:57 pm
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...
Nov. 7, 2013 at 6:42 am
This rticle was soo touching and thhat is coming from a 12 year old.
PEREZMeagan said...
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.
ItalianStallion said...
Feb. 3, 2012 at 11:43 am
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. (:
WarriorGirl17 said...
Jan. 11, 2012 at 8:04 pm
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- said...
Nov. 5, 2011 at 7:27 am

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 prod... (more »)

Afra- replied...
Nov. 5, 2011 at 7:35 am
its used btw not sued
Miss_Looney said...
Sept. 26, 2011 at 7:16 pm

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...
Sept. 7, 2011 at 9:26 am
Its a dirty job, but someones gotta do it.
ZeeBYoung said...
Jul. 4, 2011 at 10:49 pm
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, poli... (more »)
Miss_Looney replied...
Sept. 26, 2011 at 7:20 pm
I completely agree
Afra- replied...
Nov. 5, 2011 at 7:31 am
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 nonethl... (more »)
CharlesInCharge said...
Jun. 12, 2011 at 12:32 am

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 b... (more »)

Afra- replied...
Nov. 5, 2011 at 7:34 am
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...
sad said...
Apr. 13, 2011 at 9:35 am
its soooooo sad
melloves92 said...
Oct. 15, 2010 at 2:16 pm
Seriously would you torture a human being in the name of science? It's horrible that people would take some poor defenseless animal and do inhumane tests on them.  Drop that needle and back off! Animals have feelings, and they most definitely feel the pain.
yogi_monkey replied...
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
TheCreativeChristian said...
Oct. 2, 2010 at 9:21 pm
i agree. animals are living just as much as we are. yes, they may not have the capability of producing speech, but thats why they need our voices to stand for them. there is NO and i mean ABSOLUTELY NO reason why they should suffer for our beauty, our selfish needs, etc. In fact, if we weren't so lazy, i'm sure we could find healthy ways and so we are completely the ones to blame. It makes me mad to see that our world is turning this way.
Jessyka8985 said...
Jun. 24, 2010 at 7:33 pm

i am only 13 and i am a big animal supporter Animals were here way before us humans so why should they have a lower status they deserve rights just like us. and Anita if you have any pets that you love imagine them going blind of being killed for your hair products or what ever eles. animals can't speak so we have to be their voice.i agree with every part of the article


animals<3 replied...
Feb. 28, 2011 at 11:46 am
Animals do deserve more rights then us youre right. I mean you see humans everyday thinking that we should just remove them, they act as if animals arnt important, but there precious, they bring beauty on earth with out animals our world would be a nothing.
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