By: Ayush Patel
Over one hundred million animals are affected by laboratory experiments and research every year. The research is taken to prove and test the safety of new products for both humans and animals.
The benefits of experimentation on animals are enhanced biomedical and fundamental research, safer results for humans and accurate results for major developers and businesses. Among the animals used are cats, dogs, rats, mice, fish, rabbits, birds, and primates all taken from either zoos, the wild, breeders.
Those in favor of animal experimentation argue that conditions have become safer and more humane for the test subjects. The research is also argued to be a major step up from testing on humans.
While both of these are intriguing reasons to continue with animal testing, the opposite is true. The bottom line is that utilizing animals as test subjects is inhumane and immoral.
Furthermore, testing human products on animals is rather counterproductive. A majority of the products utilized by humans have different effects on different species of animals.
For instance, aspirin and paracetamol, drugs that humans utilize on a daily basis, are highly poisonous to cats. If tested on cats, the subjects could suffer from chronic gastroenteritis or abdominal pain while human subjects would be cured of whatever illness they were experiencing. Penicillin, discovered by Alexander Fleming in 1928, was once deemed inadmissible by doctors and professionals because it was tested on rabbits as opposed to humans. The rabbits were found dead a short time later. Years later, Fleming tested the exact same drug on humans and found that penicillin was an effective infection killer.
Animals are often kept in cramped, painful enclosures. Often deprived of food and water to further the results of the experiments, the animals are often struggling to survive before even coming into contact with the product or drug. The inhumanity evidently outweighs the benefits of animal testing.
Moreover, data taken from animal testing is often misleading and often leads to nothing. Research from a 2014 review taken from the British Medical Journal concluded that “even the most promising findings from animal research often fail in human trials and are rarely adopted into clinical practice.” Essentially, the amount of information drawn from animal experimentation is so minute that it is practically useless.
In some cases, animal testing holds detriments for both humans and animals. For instance, in the 1940’s, a study conducted by Doctor Richard Lewisohn at Mount Sinai Hospital, New York City, tested teropterin on 18,000 mice. Teropterin, an anti-cancer acidic drug, was being tested as a leukaemia treatment for children. After going through with testing the drug on children, the patients with the drug died at a higher rate than those without treatment.
In today’s day and age there are countless superior options in regards to testing and researching treatments for humans. It’s inhumane to basically destroy an animal’s livelihood and put its life at risk by introducing it to a substance that it has no business being in contact with.
Ask yourself this when deciding if you support or refute animal experimentation: would you be willing to test animal products on yourself?