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The Negatives of Animal Experimentation

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    As a kid, going to a farm was an exciting trip for me. There were lush green fields with cows scattered throughout, horses had their own stables, while miniature pigs were in pins playing in the mud. Ideally, this is the ‘perfect’ image people envision when thinking about a farm. Realistically, this image is just the surface of underlying animal abuse. This abuse comes in the form of testing and forming experiments on innocent animals for human consumption. These experiments are being used on mice, fish, rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, birds, cats, dogs, primates, and many more animals other than those on a farm. Humans use products every day that were once tested on animals without giving it a second thought, yet most of the animals experimented on include house-hold pets and considered ‘a part of the family’. People take these poor animals and mutilate them in more ways than one and then kill them at the end of the experiment due to an immense amount of suffering.

    Animals are experimented on to discover new medicines, cosmetics, household cleaners, food additives, and industrial chemicals (Humane Society International). The Humane Society explains the procedures that commonly take place when an animal is being tested/experimented on during the formation of a new product:

    “Forced chemical exposure in toxicity testing, which can include oral force-feeding, forced inhalation, skin or injection into the abdomen, muscle, etc. Exposure to drugs, chemicals, or infectious disease levels that cause illness, pain and distress, or death. Genetic manipulation, e.g., addition or “knocking out” of one or more genes. Ear-notching and tail-clipping for identification. Short periods of physical restraint for observation or examination. Prolonged period of physical restraint. Food and water deprivation. Surgical procedures followed by recovery. Infliction of wounds, burns, and other injuries in the study of healing. Infliction of pain to study its physiology and treatment. Behavioral experiments designed to cause distress, e.g., electric shock or forced swimming. Other manipulations to create “animal models” of human diseases ranging from cancer to stroke to depression. Killing by carbon dioxide asphyxiation, neck-breaking, decapitation, etc.”

    The means that these animals endure before, during, and after the experiments is horrific. Over 115 million animals across the world go through this excruciating process every year, and this number is rapidly rising because not all incidents are legally reported (Humane Society International). Daily, humans use products that are not cruelty-free, meaning that most products were tested on animals at one point in time. Animal research is also taking place in automotive, military, behavioral, and cognitive research (Animal League Defense Fund). Large industries and corporations are using billions of taxpayer dollars to fund mass amounts of experimental testing on animals. In the United States, laws are in place to protect only 85 to 95 percent of all animals, while the other 5 to 15 percent are not accounted for. Also, in the US ‘labs are not required to disclose data about the animals most often used in experimentation (Animal League Defense Fund). Our taxpayer dollars are supporting animal testing, and our country barely knows the extent of scientific experiments done on animals.

    From a scientific standpoint, animals should not be tested on for human consumption, because humans do not have the same chemical make-up of any animal. Diseases, such as: heart disease, different forms of cancers, HIV, Parkinson’s disease, and schizophrenia do not take place naturally in any animal that could be tested on. Due to these diseases not taking place naturally in animals, scientists artificially induce these diseases to attempt to miraculously create a cure (Cruelty Free International). The primary issue with artificially inducing specific diseases into an animal is that if scientists come up with a new medicine that works on this animal to cure its ‘disease’, then it will most likely not work properly for any human. This is due to the animal having the disease artificially, because diseases that take place and form in humans are much more complex. Plus, scientists will quickly be able to form a medicine to aid in an artificial disease, because the disease would have been placed into the animal by the scientist performing research. For example, “Vioxx, a drug used to treat arthritis, was found to be safe when tested in monkeys (and five other animal species) but has been estimated to have caused around 320,000 heart attacks and strokes and 140,000 deaths worldwide” (Cruelty Free International). Some many foods and medicines will not affect humans negatively but are extremely toxic when ingested by animals. For example, chocolate, grapes, and raisins are very harmful when ingested by dogs, but these foods do not harm humans at all. Animals held in captivity have high anxiety, which can induce further health issues within the animal’s body. An article written by Asha Akhtar called The Flaws and Human Harms of Animal Experimentation (lines 14-17) explains how miniscule changes can affect data:

    “A variety of conditions in the laboratory cause changes in neurochemistry, genetic expression, and nerve regeneration. In one study, for example, mice were genetically altered to develop aortic defects. Yet, when the mice were housed in larger cages, those defects almost completely disappeared. Providing further examples, typical noise levels in laboratories can damage blood vessels in animals, and even the type of flooring on which animals are tested in spinal cord injury experiments can affect whether a drug shows a benefit.”

    This means that stress, anxiety, confinement, and death are a huge part of data outcome when it comes to experimenting on animals. Any little change in the animal’s current state or condition can drastically affect the ending result of the experiment. Which shows that testing on animals in search of the next medical breakthrough is just inflicting animal abuse onto millions of innocent creatures, and the medicine will have a small percentage of being effective on humans.

    In society today there is very little need to perform extensive research on animals, because there are alternatives to animal testing. With modern technology some computers are programmed to predict a chemical’s toxicity to confirm if certain chemicals should participate in human consumption. Ever since humans started using animals for research and testing purposes, we have constantly been attempting to reduce the use of animals in the form of experiments. This system is called the three R’s, which stands for replacing, reducing, and refining. Replacing refers to taking animals out of the equation and relying completely on computers or to replace one animal species with a less developed one. Reducing means to reduce the total number of animals used in the experiment, but still reaching the goal of the experiment. Refining is about causing the animals no pain or distress within the process of research and testing. This can come in the form of making the animals feel calm and relaxed by providing better housing or enrichment, which will lower their anxiety (National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences). An article labelled The Animals Used in Research states that in 2007 the National Research Council issued a report on toxicity testing that stated it is time to move away from using animals in experiments. Scientists have speculated using animals for research and experiments when it comes to products formed for humans, instead they have labelled in vitro testing, radiation exposure tests, and cosmetic testing inferior to using animals. For example, cancer antibody testing when using human cells is much more effective than injecting a specific form of cancer into several mice (Animal Legal Defense Fund). These tests have been formed through the advancements of technology and are much better in the long run.

    Years of technological advancements has shaped our world into what it is today. With these advancements in technology many organizations that support against animal testing have concluded that animal’s lives do not need to be sacrificed. People casually bring animals into their home and do not think about the harm towards animals when glancing at all their household and hygiene products. Experimental testing and research on animals is not effective long term, because it is proven that humans do not have the same biological makeup as any other animal. Meaning that when a product is tested on an animal and it succeeds it could be putting hundreds of thousands lives in dangers, due to a specific product being harmful in human consumption. These tiny creatures have no choice but to sacrifice their lives to science and human nature, which is unethical in every way. They are treated unethically because they were not a part of the 5 to 15 percent of animals in the United States that are protected from experimental research testing. Humans feel the need to constantly destroy defenseless animal’s lives, because they feel they deserve cosmetic, hygiene, and pharmaceutical products. The animals used in experimental testing are scared, anxious, and their bodies slowly shut down when immense fear sets in, meaning that testing animals is extreme animal abuse. Their lives are endangered by humans because we feel that research on creatures with a completely different biological background than us could become the next breakthrough, but in reality our advanced technology could help us more in the future.

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    The Negatives of Animal Experimentation. (2021, Nov 24). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/the-negatives-of-animal-experimentation/

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