Animal experimentation is wrong and cruel and there are many reasons why it is not necessary today. Animal testing is ineffective and extremely cruel because science has improved and animal testing may not transfer effectively to humans. Animals testing has been applied throughout human history. The use of animals in scientific experiments in the United Kingdom can be traced back to at least the 17th century with the experiments on numerous animal species aiming to demonstrate blood circulation (“History of Animal Research”).
Once animal testing became known, it expanded. During the late 19th and the 20th centuries, the expansion of medical science meant that the number of animals used in research expanded steadily (“History of Animal Research”). “The number of animals used rose to over 5. 5 million in 1970 after this point the numbers began to decline rapidly (“History of Animal Research”). ” Most of the medical advances that happened in the 20th century were from animal experimentation. Animal testing is a controversial issue for the United States but not Britain and Europe.
Once using animals in experiments began, it rapidly increased as well as the experiments. This led to the development of many agencies who aimed to stop it and also make it very public. The abuse of animals used during testing was well publicised throughout the 1990’s and served to create a public frenzy and anger towards animal testing. The increased attention towards animal testing led to the ban of animal testing for cosmetics in 1998 within Britain (“About Animal Testing’). An example of a well known group that is against using animals in laboratories is PETA.
PETA stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, they lead the way in animal rights with publicity campaigns as well as encouraging the creation of many other animal rights groups. PETA does not support animal experimentation but also any abuse that may harm or involve an animal. A reason why animal testing is not necessary today would be advances in science. Science has improved over the years so now we can use alternatives in testing other than animals.
Testing on animals has become unnecessary thanks to scientists who have developed more humane, modern, yet still on-animal research methods. One example would be using in vitro (in glass) testing, such as studying cell cultures in a petri dish. In vitro can produce more relevant results than animal testing because of the human cells that can be used (ProCon. org). Microdosing, which is the administering of doses too small to cause any reactions, can be used in human volunteers, whose blood is then analyzed (ProCon. org). Artificial or something like the real thing can also be used instead of a real life organism. There are many different ways we can help humanity other than using real animals or other organisms.
While many people may only be informed on a few ways we can experiment without animals there are several more. Artificial human skin, such as the commercially available products that include EpiDerm and Thincer. These artificial human skin brands are made from sheets of human skin cells grown in test tubes or plastic wells and can produce more useful results than testing chemicals on animal skin (ProCon. org).
Another way is computer models such as virtual reconstructions of human molecular structures that can predict the toxicity of substances without invasive experiments on animals (ProCon. rg). With how much science has improved over the years using animal in laboratories is no longer needed. Studies published in scientific medical journals have shown time and again that animal experimentation wastes lives both animal, human, and precious resources by trying to infect animals with diseases that they would never normally contract (PETA. org). To help minimize the harm animals may experience in laboratories, many rescue teams have made an easy saying to help inform people how harmful animal testing is. It is called the “three R’s”.
The “three R’s” would be replace, reduce and refine. These three words help describe why animal testing is not necessary and what the other alternatives we can use instead. The first word replaced means wherever possible experiments using animals with alternative techniques such as cell culture, computer modelling or human volunteers instead of animals (“YG Topics”). While reduce would be reducing the number of animals used, by improving experimental techniques and sharing information with other researchers so that the experiments using animals would decrease rapidly.
Finally, refine would be described as refining the way the animals are cared if they are used in a laboratory minimizing any stress or pain, by using less invasive techniques as possible and improving medical care and living conditions. These three words can help many people remember why using animals in experimentation is not necessary and can be improved. It can also help inform more people on the controversial subject of using animals in laboratories and why it is not necessary.
With research and reading about animal testing we find out animals being used in the laboratories are being abused. Relying on animal research and testing to protect and improve human health is not only unsafe, but also expensive, time-consuming, and unreliable. The problems of extrapolation which is “applying information from animal research to humans”, are inevitable when researchers use animal models to study human diseases (“Animals in Research”). Animal-based methods used in preclinical testing with selected drugs for human use are unreliable (“Animals in Research”).
In fact, studies show that if you flipped a coin to guess how a human will respond to a certain drug, your prediction would actually be as accurate as if you tested the drug on a nonhuman animal. The FDA reports that 92 percent of drugs approved for testing in animals fail to receive approval for human use (“Animals in Research”). There are many more reasons why animal experimentation is cruel and ineffective. But even if other species were in fact good models for human biomedical research, other factors would contaminate the results.
One of these factors include stress, routinely experienced by animals in labs (“Animals in Research”). This then negatively influences the reliability of the animal research data. Stress influences heart rate, pulse, blood pressure, muscular activity, and hormone levels and can modify the normal values of these variables significantly. Researchers discovered that stress is a common factor for mice in labs which can affect results (“Animals in Research”). The other factor would be having a researcher present during the experimentation which can alter a mouse’s behavior (“Animals in Research”).
This is unaccounted for and likely the unobserved stress in research animals can significantly skew the interpretation and results of research data. Some animals have similar anatomy to humans but there is still a higher chance that it may not effectively transfer to humans. While using animals is not effective or valuable many still disagree. Animals are biologically similar to humans. “In fact, chimpanzees share more that 99% of DNA with humans and mice share more than 98% DNA with humans, therefore, animals are susceptible to many of the same health problems as humans” (“California Biomedical Research Association”).
Others may say that animal’s lives are shorter than humans and many generations can be studied to help humans health in the future. Scientists or others experimenting on the animals can control the environments easier than other alternatives that are not animal centered. With this controversial subject, several may also mention that animals are used for food and pets for humans. If other humans use animals for their needs then why shouldn’t scientist be able to use animals to advance the health of humans.
While these points may be productive, animal experimentation is still not necessary and while science has improved there are other alternatives than using animals. Ultimately, with the improvement of science using animals for experimentation is not necessary and there are more humane things to use. Libby the dog mentioned earlier in the essay was saved by people against animal experimentation. Libby is now doing great and has completely recovered from her horrible experience. Libby has become a happy, playful girl in her loving new home.
She wrestles and plays tug-of-war with her two adopted canine siblings, and she loves going out on walks and snuggling under the covers. Many animals are not as lucky as Libby and will not be saved from these horrible laboratories. The book Animal Rights: What Everyone Needs to Know states, “Further, since humans clearly have rights (however we end up defining this term), in one minor sense it is true that everyone already acknowledges that at least some animals (namely, humans) have and deserve rights” (Waldau 12). Everyone needs to be informed on animal testing so we can stop it and save innocent lives like Libby.