Animal testing has been among us as long as we can remember. It is in use widely to try to develop new vaccines, medicines and to verify whether the products are safe for people. Animal testing has caused some high levels of animal cruelty. According to data collected by F. Barbara Orlans for her book, In the Name of Science: Issues in Responsible Animal Experimentation, sixty percent of all animals used in testing are used in biomedical research and product-safety testing. The tests have caused excruciating pain to animals in laboratories and reduced their life quality in many ways. Animal testing has caused some serious moral issues. Below are some reasons why it should be banned.
• It Is Unethical
Scientists or researchers who use animals for clinical trials are aware of the ethical problem involved. They have knowledge about the rules and regulations for animal usage yet some researchers go to the extreme. In his article entitled “Time to Reform Toxic Tests,” Michael Balls, a professor of medial cell biology at the University of Nottingham and chairman of the trustees of FRAME (the Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments), states that the LD50 test is “scientifically unjustifiable. The precision it purports to provide is an illusion because of uncontrollable biological variables” (31) Many scientists have agreed over the years to use alternate ways of testing methods if they would produce quality outcomes.
• Use the alternate options
Animal testing should be banned because its benefits to the human race are not evident in any field. It causes severe suffering to the animals, in some cases, reduces their life span. In Against Animal Testing, a pamphlet published by The Body Shop, a well-known cosmetics and bath-product company based in London, the development of products that “use natural ingredients, like bananas and Basil nut oil, as well as others with a long history of safe human usage” is advocated instead of testing on animals (3). There could be alternative testing methods that could be beneficial to humans, as these ways also could produce the same results as animal testing.
• It is Bad Science
These animals also have feelings, and they feel pain. Animal’s nature is to be free, not in cages, and they get overwhelmed too. Experimenting on them is cruel on all fronts, whether regulated or not. Animal testing should be banned as it is bad science. It becomes difficult to transfer the results of animal testing to humans, and it is fact that some results are not reliable. As it is, human physiology, metabolism, and biochemical are different from that of animals. This leads to failure of the drug testing on humans after the successful animal testing.
A deadly disease to a chimpanzee could not have any effect on frogs or rats. All species are unique and react differently to different chemicals, diseases, and illnesses. Just because a mouse doesn’t respond to compound Z does not mean humans won’t either.
• It is Hypocritical
Why care for some animals like pets and not care for others in labs. No one would be happy and agree to be a test subject without giving their consent. That is, if some super-intelligent being were to start testing on humans for vaccines or medicines, it would cause chaos everywhere.
• It Violates Animal Rights
Animal testing should be banned because it violates animal rights. Tom Regan, a philosophy professor at North Carolina State University, states: “Animals have a basic moral right to respectful treatment. . . .This inherent value is not respected when animals are reduced to being mere tools in a scientific experiment” (qtd. in Orlans 26). Animals have rights too just like humans, the fact that they can’t give their consent does not give anyone any right to violate their rights and harm them. They also deserve to be treated humanely as humans.
• It is Wasteful
It only prolongs human suffering, waiting for effective alternatives to cure. Yet results have misled the experiments and wasted money and other resources that could be useful in relevant researches. It is because of this reason that almost half of the animal testing is not made public.
• It is Archaic
Times have changed, and humans have evolved. Technology has changed everything; there is vast information found in databases around the world. Nowadays, some computers can test for products before releasing them to the market. Animal testing is then on the wrong side of history.
Numerous products are out, and we have seen their effects on humans. Be it rushes, dizziness, or upset stomach, we can still make consumer products by avoiding these chemicals and no need for animal testing. The only trend needed is by enforcing an open sharing of information among industries.
If one industry finds out that a particular chemical has adverse side effects on humans, then it should publish it so that other companies will get to know. Through this, there won’t be a need for any animal testing to know how the same product will react with hair or inner body. That way, resources are saved time and animal life.
• In-Vitro Testing
It involves using human cells in place of animals. It’s harmless and cruelty-free; it is also a reliable indicator of how things will turn out. It involves testing chemicals on human cells in a test tube and viewing through a microscope.There is no pain and no cruelty in this, it gives the scientists the chance to see how human cells will react to a product and make conclusive findings. Through this, the results obtained are almost confirmed and par with the results obtained from Animal trials and can be administered to humans directly. By this, animals are safe, and scientists achieve their hypothesis.
• Human Volunteers in Research
Many people have volunteered to help answer the questions of science and find cures for diseases. Humans have the freedom to choose and understanding why the test is necessary. They understand the effects, unlike the animals, and they are much equipped to cope with any side effects.
Conclusively, testing on animals should be banned because it is cruel. It tortures animals and kills them. Animals in laboratories are burnt, poisoned, shocked, and even killed. If someone would commit these acts outside the laboratories, then they would be considered felonies. But it happens every day to animals in laboratories with no protection at all from the cruelty.
Against Animal Testing. The Body Shop, 1993.
Orlans, F. Barbara. In the Name of Science: Issues in Responsible Animal Experimentation. New York: Oxford UP, 1993.
Balls, Michael. “Time to Reform Toxic Tests.” New Scientist 134 (1992):31-33.