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Animals are perceived with restricted or no value; they are dominated by manipulating them as subjects to be tested on rather than individuals with rights. They are used countlessly for their inputs of medicine, clothing and merchandise. They are exploited and used as an industrialized role of commercial goods. The central purpose behind animal testing is to; pioneer, innovate and assess mercantile products which only benefits humans. There are many different categories in which animal testing falls under, some of which are: medical tests, research, military defence and cosmetic, personal and household product testing. Some of the tests that are carried out are: acute, subchronic, chronic, eye/skin irritation, psychological, toxicity and damage from bullet tests. The experiments are carried out in commercial facilities, medical schools, pharmaceutical companies and defence laboratories. Institutions carry out the research for the benefit of humans, to further our knowledge, discover effective ways of killing people in wars or solely for monetary purposes. Animals are not sentient but that does not make them more expendable to mankind. They are manipulated by the suffering that they are subjected to which could be prevented. Therefore, animals should be eradicated from scientific uses.
The most accepted type of animal testing that takes place is in medical experiments. It aims to discover cures for diseases by practising the effects of contemporary or advanced drugs on animals. This is achieved by regularly injecting the animal with chemicals or vaccines to deliberately infect them with deadly forms of viruses and bacteria. The results obtained from any tests conducted on animals may not produce complimentary results with humans because of interspecific variation. The drugs Thalidomide and Clioquinol are evidence of this. Thalidomide was prescribed to pregnant women as a sedative in the late 1950s to prevent morning sickness. Tragically, it turned out to be lethal to developing foetuses and resulted in severe deformities. Although, the drug was previously tested on several contrasting species and was found to be safe. Only the animals that were exposed to immense doses of the drug (over 200 times the level of exposure to humans) resulted in deformities. The animal test results did not conclude the human response. Another example of this is the drug Clioquinol. It was marketed mainly in Japan as a drug for providing relief from diarrhoea. It was safely tested on animals without any symptoms of neurotoxicity. However, the drug malfunctioned with humans. In fact, it caused the diarrhoea itself and also evoked a neurological disease called Subacute Myelo-optic Neuropathy (SMON.) The aftermath of the drug was thousands of cases of paralysis, blindness and deaths. Both drugs were established as being safe during animal testing but the consequences were devastating and destructive when consumed by humans. These two experiments demonstrate that the data collected cannot be meticulously hypothesized. In conclusion, the results of animal testing are not conclusive. However, companies still use animals as a way of testing their products to predict the effects of it on humans ignoring the reality of it being unreliable.
Another form of medical experimentation is xenotransplantations (animals have their organs extracted and replaced with organs of another animal). These are carried out for research purposes or to practise transplantations and medical techniques. Most of the animals die as a result of the experiment and are consequently euthanized. The animals are often abused and are not actually anaesthetised during the severe testing. They are often mishandled. This was revealed in an advertisement released by PETA that advised viewer's discretion as the inhumane ways in which the animals were treated was disturbing. It included secret video footage of the harsh realities of laboratory testing on animals. The research that is carried out is often funded by the government and organisations such as, Cancer Research UK and The British Heart Foundation. Millions are spent every year to get inaccurate, disappointing and unpromising results. PETA feels so strongly about animal testing for the use of medicine that they have pledged to support cruelty-free companies and charities. They made many petitions to prevent the cruelty to animals and to prevent testing on animals. Some of them have been successful; more than 800,000 animals were saved by persuading the White House to make changes to the chemical testing programme. They did this by proving that testing products on animals were not necessary. Therefore, animal testing should completely be replaced with other forms of reliable testing.
Some may argue that animal testing should be allowed where it could potentially save human lives as it is only way in which the intended harm and annihilation of lives could be justified. Animal testing has allowed medical breakthroughs such as corneal, kidney and heart transplantations, improving cancer treatments and the discovery of immunisations, insulin and penicillin. If it had not been for animal testing the life saving drugs and surgical procedures would have not been discovered. This means that terminal diseases of a pandemic proportion such as Cholera would have still be around. As a result of medical discoveries the average life span has been increased, infant mortality has decreased and the quality of life has been enhanced, all of which are results of vaccines, drugs and therapies derived from experimenting on animals. There are many organisations which supports animal testing such as 'The British Royal Society' because of the major medical accomplishments in the 20th century which confided in utilizing animals. Also, some may argue that it is right because it reduces human suffering as they allow us to test life changing treatments before they are considered safe to humans. If animals were not available to test drugs then there would be a delay in the release of the life changing drug which could cost human lives. Therefore, some may say that it is justifiable to allow animal suffering as there is some good gained from it. Furthermore, some scientists may say that the only reason that animals are used during medical tests is because the practises are illegal and unethical to be done on humans and there is no substitute. They may also argue that the tests are conducted under the professional supervision of a panel of animal welfare organisations and veterinarians and that only a minority of organisations break the law. Most scientists concluded that if animal testing was to be abolished then we would be affected by it; it would have the effect of immobilizing medicine by eternalizing the endurance of human suffering and jeopardising the well-being of humans.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that less than ten percent of drugs that succeed in the animal testing phase make it to the human clinical phase. Irrevocably, animal testing is absurd and pointless. However, some scientists still think that testing drugs on animals will show the effect it has on humans. The tests have been confirmed to be pointless numerous times. The tests can only further our knowledge of diseases and illnesses but do not create a permanent cure. However, there are many new research methods that scientists could use instead to find out the effects of the drugs such as cell cultures, human volunteers and computer models which could cost less, do not cause any physical harm to the animals and are more accurate and reliable. This could ultimately show the effect on specifically humans which is the main aim of the experiments.
On the other hand, some may argue that Human beings share about 80% of their genes with mice therefore they are similar to humans and also have a similar nervous system and organs. For this reason they believe that it is worthwhile to carry out tests on these animals to advance us medically. Furthermore, their logic could follow something such as; the killing of a hundred mice during animal testing is not ethical or moral. However, it could guide scientists to the discovery of a new drug which could cure a disease such as AIDS and could therefore save over a million lives. This is the doctrine of double effect; a good cause emerges from an evil cause. Millions of lives are stabilised across the globe by finding cures for diseases and preventing them using vaccines. Arguably, this utilitarian claim is not honourable because millions of lives are being taken while being tested on.
One of the most controversial areas of animal testing is the use of animals for military defences. The military uses animals to tests weapons, chemicals and gases. They are used to predict potential damage from weapons, exposure to lethal gases and exposure to chemicals; they are used to evaluate the aftermath of warfare. This relentless act shows no compassion towards those who once belonged to us. The animals are also used to improve surgical techniques such as stopping haemorrhages. To make the situation as realistic as possible the procedures are performed on live animals, just as a soldier would be conscious when wounded by a bullet. One of the most horrendous cases of military testing is known as 'The Atomic Ark' experiment. In 1946 four thousand farm animals were loaded into an 'ark' and set adrift. They were all killed by the atomic bomb that exploded above them. The ludicrous aim of the experiment was to see the effect of an atomic bomb placed closed to people. The test proved what was predicted, it is absurd to kill animals in such logical tests. Other examples of brutal tests that are performed include, submerging live rats in boiling water and infecting the burns, burning rats that are covered in flammable chemicals, blasting animals with explosives, exposing them to total body irradiation, attaching cartons of mosquitoes to see the effects of them feeding and mutilating and shooting animals. Murdering animals to develop new techniques to maliciously kill humans is barbaric and unforgivable. Therefore, it should not be allowed.
Many new cosmetic (make-up, skincare), household (air fresheners) and personal (dental care, soap) products are invented every day. For most of these products to be able to be put onto the market legally they need to be tested for toxicity and safety. Scientists only use animals as a solution to this. Testing the products on animals often requires; pumping the product into the animal's stomach to see how much it takes to kill the animal, putting drops of the products into their eyes and rubbing it onto their bare skin to determine burning or irritation and forcing the animal to inhale the product by putting a gas mask on or putting the animal in a tube and suffocating it with gases some of which are carcinogenic. All of this is extremely harmful and traumatizing for the animal. Products which are labelled "tear free", "harmful if swallowed" or "rinse with water if it gets into your eyes" are statements determined from testing the products on animals. Vanity products have no need to be tested on animals, it is entirely narcissistic. It is so extraneous that organisations such as PETA have protested to ban it. This has influenced the EU to introduce a new Animal Cosmetic Product Act in March 2013 to ultimately ban the marketing of every cosmetic product that contains ingredients derived from or tested on animals.
Animals are also used in lesion studies for psychological research. The animals that are used in the study are kept in solitary confinement where they will often suffer from dementia from having no freedom. Some are even purposely driven mad so they can characterise traits of conditions such as schizophrenia and depression so they can be tested on for cures. Lesion studies include damage being done to the brain and recording the resulting change in behaviour. This could be done by; surgically removing or burning away a part of the brain or by using drugs that temporarily 'shut off' parts of the brain. For example, the animal could be injected with Dopamine (a drug which is excessly released into the body of Schizophrenics.) The behaviour of the animal would then be observed to see whether it has any traits like a human Schizophrenic would have. After observing the behaviour the animal would no longer be injected with Dopamine. Therefore, the brain is only affected temporarily. This is more ethical because it does not cause long lasting damage. However, removing a section of the brain is extremely unethical as the damage is beyond repair and the animal has to be euthanized as a result of it. Sometimes the damage is so extreme that the animal is unable able to stand up or walk. Some even suffer from intense seizures or paralysis. Nonetheless, the credibility of the studies is low because there are many differences between animals and humans. Therefore, the results may not apply to humans. However, they further our understanding and knowledge of the brain and help neurologists to discover new things. Without such studies we would still be questioning mental disorders such as Schizophrenia and would have never discovered antidepressant drugs.
The tests carried out are categorised according to the levels of suffering that the animals are subjected to. It ranges from mild to extreme. Mild testing is the lowest degree of harm that the animals can endure, such as, obtaining blood or urine samples, changing the animal's diet or carrying out minor biopsies. The second category of animal testing is moderate. This could involve implantations of electrodes into the brain for the research of psychology. The third category is substantial testing which can include removing a part of the brain. This is severely detrimental to the animal's health. Finally, the most tragic form of animal testing is the unclassified level. There is no hope of recovery after the procedures carried out. They are despaired from a life of suffering by administering extreme doses of anaesthetics so they have no hope of ever becoming conscious again. The procedures are carried out in respect to the lowest level of suffering that is mandatory. However, the researchers cannot accurately predict the suffering that the animal experiences. Therefore, more stress may be caused than intended.
There are many acts that are in place to protect animals during experiments. The Animal Welfare Act of 1966 in the USA requires companies that test their products on animals to report the number of animals used. Nevertheless, it doesn't include birds, mice or rats. Therefore, some companies do not report it. The Humane Society introduced 'The Coalition for Consumer Information' which gave consumers information about cosmetic products. The program aspires to get companies to authenticate that they do not test any of their products of animals. A "leaping bunny" logo represents this. PETA is another institution which is attempting to show scientists that animal testing has no bearing on medical breakthroughs as the tests cannot reliably predict the aftermath in humans. Finally, the Animal Scientific Procedures Act of 1986 introduced forfeiture for the neglect and cruelty to animals. The Act was a breakthrough in the battle against animal testing. To be able to use animals in experiments now institutions need a trio of licenses. The first license needs the following information to be granted; the number of animals used in the experiment, the operation that will take place, the aim and the charges. The second certificate is needed to ensure that there are satisfactory facilities and staff with competence who carry out each procedure. Ultimately, the most important form of authorization is from the Home Office. Only is it granted when it is established that there is no alternative way of attaining the results apart from testing the procedure out on animals which will best replicate the effect that it has on humans. Also, the benefits of the experiment have to be massively significant and overwhelming so that it can immensely benefit the world. The Animal Testing Act 1986 states that "the minimum amount of animals must be used and must only involve animals with the lowest degree of neurophysiological sensitivity." It must also cause the minimum amount of stress and permanent impairment. Therefore, the animals involved are alleviated of pain; they are anaesthetised if the pain inflicted is more than simply the pain of an injection. Analgesics can also be administered to comfort them. Therefore, some may argue that they are caused hardly any pain and are made as comfortable as possible in the environment that they are possessed in. However, we can question how ethical this is. The environment in which they are held in is detrimental to their health; the sound of screaming and crying animals cause stress to the surrounding animals that are isolated in diminutive cages where they often run around in circles from boredom and frustration. Most of the animals spend their entire life locked up and being tested on. This is known as chronic testing. Some of the animals are breed for experimental purposes. This is class A dealing. They are breed to be killed; they are repeatedly given large doses of drugs until they are killed to determine a sensible dose for humans. Class B dealers get their animals from auctions, pounds or from shelters. They chose the unadoptable ones from the shelters that would be euthanized anyway. Therefore, some may argue that we might as well utilize them to help people as they are going to die either ways. This is unethical and immoral to do this to creatures that cannot speak for themselves. What would they say if they could speak?
In conclusion, it is extremely dangerous to compare data retrieved from one species to another species as they would not have the same genetic make-up. Animals do not need to be killed in order to find out that ingesting any cleaning product such as bleach will cause harm to a human or that applying cream into the eyes will cause irritation. Moreover, cosmetic, personal and household products cannot be linked to life changing applications such as medical testing can and therefore the use of taking a life away for it should be questioned. Also, the fact that all drugs are tested on humans in clinical trials before being released makes no sense that animals are used before. You could also argue that it is prejudiced to take the animals life if the tests only benefit us and not the animal itself. It is also nefarious to ignore the life of a non human organism when the death of a human in an experiment would amount to murder. The death of innocent animals by testing cosmetic products on them, which is unnecessary, is unforgivable. There are many companies which do not test their products on animals and are profited from as well as any other product. Therefore, there is no need to test products on animals. Another argument is that the purpose of the medical field is to sustain and improve life. However, animal testing completely contradicts this as millions of lives are lost every year trying to save "more precious" lives. Overall, testing on animals produces faulty results. It is unscientific as you cannot directly apply the results to humans. "In silence they suffer, in loneliness they die."
Overall, animal testing should also be prohibited because there have been other discoveries with enormous impacts. For example, scientists have decoded the entire human genome. This is the genes of the entire human body. Therefore, it makes no sense that scientists investigate the effect of drugs on monkeys and other primates because their DNA is the closest match to ours when they know all the genes that make up humans and could replicate our bodies using this information. The genome could be used to treat thousands of disorders that affect humans. Henceforward, there is no need to assess the use of medication on other organisms which will not even produce reliable results. Another reason why animal testing should be abolished is because scientists have produced cell based tissue models that replicate human skin by cloning. Cosmetics and household products should be tested on this artificial skin rather than being applied to animal skin where first degree burns are formed. Not only is it preventing permanent damage to an innocent animal but it is more reliable as the effects are on a human sample so the results are also as accurate; animal testing could never provide such accurate results. Finally, stem cells can differentiate into any cells which can fundamentally grow into organs. Incredibly accurate and reliable results would be produced from these experiments as the cells are collected from adult humans or embryos which would mean that they have exactly the same DNA. This would replicate exactly how a drug or a product would react to a human. The stem cells can also be influenced to develop into diseased human tissue. The cells can then be used for drug screening. The discovery of stem cells could revolutionise medicine and ultimately replace animal testing.
"There are no alternatives to animal experimentation, for one can only talk of alternatives if these replace something of the same worth; and there is nothing quite as useless, misleading and harmful as animal experimentation."
-Professor Pietro Croce, M.D.
The monkey is being tested for the effects of marijuana on the eye to determine whether it would help people who suffer from glaucoma. However, the results will be incredibly inaccurate as the monkey does not have the disease. Therefore, its eye will react completely differently. No anesthetics are given during the process.
A Lethal chemical is injected into the
cats brain to see the effects of it for research
purposes. We can clearly see there is brain damage here
as one pupil has fully dilated and the other one has not.
The skin irritancy test involves the experimenter removing roughly seven layers of skin by shaving the fur off and attaching tape and removing it several times. This skin is then exposed to chemicals which often cause swelling and abnormal tissue growth in the area.
The Draize test (eye irritancy test) involves the use of rabbits as their eyes are fairly large. They are completely restrained. The experimenter places the chemical into one of the rabbit's eyes while the other one is used as a control. The rabbits eyes often burn as they are fully conscious and are not administered any analgesics. They often become blinded during the process of experimentation.
Rabbits are repeatedly used in the pyrogen tests.
The pyrogen test involves rabbits being restrained and having a probe inserted into their rectum. They often struggle and become fixated with each other as they go insane from being immobilised for hours. A substance is injected directly into the rabbit's ear vein repeatedly.
At the end of the test surviving mice were killed in this gas chamber.
Botox Testing. The mice are injected with botulinum toxin which is one of the most toxic substances known to man. The mice become paralysed and suffocate from not being able to breathe. To aid their death the experimenters break their necks using a pen. However, they sometimes break their backs instead. The lucky ones who survive from a lower dose are killed in a gas chamber.
Animal testing defies logic, morality and ethics.
They were killed by being exsanguinated (bled out)
These highly intelligent and sensitive animals lived a life of deprivation, fear, torment and toxic poisoning