Animal experimentation, also known as animal tests or science, refers to the act of using animals to evaluate the efficacy or protection of something. Animals act as “testers” for humans in discoveries and studies ranging from drugs to food coloring, cosmetics, and consumer goods, as well as how human bodily functions function and how they can be controlled. Although the literature indicates that animals were commonly used for medical experiments by the Greeks and Romans in medieval times, the first recorded dissection involved Galen, who conducted research on pigs and goats by dissection. Although benefiting humans tremendously, organizations such as PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) among others continue to advocate for banning of animal experiments. In the laboratories, animals are subjected to unthinkable scientific studies which when viewed outside the laboratories would be viewed as a felony. Experimental animals like rats, mice, dogs, cats rabbits, etc. endure long nights of drug doses meant to interfere with their physiology and psychology in confined places. This persuasive essay therefore seeks and hopes to persuade its reader(s) on the wrongness of animal experiments and tests.
Unethical experiments: PETA’s exposure of sound-localizations tests at the University of Madison reveals that experimental cats had holes drilled into their skulls while steel coils were implanted in their eyes. Although PETA’s follow up eventually led to its laboratory shutdown, the pain, discomfort, and distress inflicted on the cat remains unjustifiable (Sauer, 2015). Animal tests do not equate to the normal family pet taken to the veterinary for examination. According to a 2016 UK report, 35% of drug-related tests cause moderate to severe suffering in animals. Rats or monkeys subjected to the tests are DELIBERATELY harmed by exposing them to radiation, surgically removing their organs, subjecting them to frightening situations to create depression and anxiety and inhalation of toxic gases.
Additionally, the death of an animal is crucial in some experiments (Doke, 2015). Regulatory tests for vaccines and Botox for instance require a lethal dose where 50% of animals are killed or die. Laboratories, on the other hand, are sterile grounds which restrict animal movement and freedom. Some are confined in their cages with no company (Doke, 2015). While humans can be grounded and still access their phones or laptop for comfort, these experimental creatures (like they treat them) have the plight of resorting to nothing but brood over the impending peril that awaits them. This is why,
Lab rat 1 🙁 shouting to all the rest) ‘run!’
Lab rat 2: (interrupted while nibbling a pellet) oh great, it’s the Sapien and his syringe, once again. Hasn’t Global warming proved to him that his endless experiments will be the death of his entire species?
Lab rat 3: Only one way to find out my experimental friends, run!
Lab rat 1: The other injection is making me so drowsy I can’t lift my limbs.
(A state of pandemonium is seen in the cage as already intoxicated rats move about in confusion)
Scientist 1: which one sir, they all seem to be drowsy. (Scribbling down notes)
Was this sign undocumented for sir? What do we do?
Scientist 2: Add another 50mg dose of the opiate. We see what happens tomorrow.
Animal tests are unreliable. Only 19% of the 93 side effects of drugs have been to be predicted by scientists according to the European Medical Agencies. In parallel, using rats and mice in testing for drug safety is only 43% accurate. The year 2016 has been the year of the cancer. In retrospect, it has been a year for the mouse. The mouse has served as the drug testing subject ever since cancer begun digging its decimating claws amongst the Human race. Recent studies on the same reveal that almost half of the 48 approved drugs in cancer treatment indicate no survival benefits (Sauer, 2016). Again, even in situations where survival benefits were seen, the difference was ruled out as clinically insignificant. Further cancer drugs have the lowest success rates of 5%, followed by psychiatric drugs with 6% success rate and the neurology drugs with an 8% success rate- despite this unbelievable success rates animal lives are still deemed unimportant. Also, despite promising outcomes, 90% of drugs fail in human trials. Using dogs, rats, or even rabbits to test drug safety provides little statistical insight (Sauer, 2016).
In fact, drug tests for side effects used on monkeys display the same degree of impotence as those used in other animal species. Neurological findings on Fialuridine, a drug used to treat Hepatitis B, also indicate to cause severe liver damages. Five out of seven patients died. The supposed drug had been tested first on animals. This only proves the imminent danger that lurks within the economy and the general populace. Other animals’ lives are at risk. The only remaining species in its Genus after its other species underwent extinction, and perhaps the most advanced species faces a threat too. The Homo Sapien is endangered. Man is in danger evidenced by the allergic reaction outbreak at Northwick Hospital in the UK that nearly killed volunteers after scientist attempted to test a new antibody treatment in 2006. Testing on animals also poses health risks to its users (Sauer, 2016).
Statistical analysts by the American Drug regulators indicate that despite the 115 million used in drug testing globally; only 22 new medicines are approved. Most of which are used to cure rare conditions. Animal testing is wasteful. Annually, USA spends approximately 16 Billion dollars on animal testing at the expense of taxpayer’s money while mismanaging the taxpayer’s dollar. Of all 101 basic science discoveries on animal experiments, only 5% of the approved drugs merged as cures within 20 years. Spending on massive dollars on over sensitized experiments for example addiction and obesity is a strain on the economy. The National Institute of health has its 40% of its budget allocated to animal research. Of the plethora research institutes to conduct animal tests, Harvard University receives 16% on drug addiction experiments on monkeys (never mind that the human species possess more complex sociological interaction and more advanced brains than monkeys). 49% of the experiments are financed by the taxpayers’ money (Doke, 2015). With the taxpayer in mind, animal tests should be conducted only when necessary. This is a strain on me, the common American citizen working two jobs a day, and any taxpayer who genuinely works hard to survive in this hard-knock economy.
When all my concerted ranting’s over, as a pro-animal, I insist that animal testing is unethical, archaic, wasteful, bad science and unnecessary. It is unethical because, scientists INTENTIONALLY cause fear, loneliness, and pain in animals which is morally wrong. We all know how we humans fidget in our seats when we see that nurse gleam that syringe before your eyes. It is wasteful because waiting for human cures from experiments that always and have always failed instead of opting for relevant human resources milk’s the economy dry. I beg my reader (s) to pardon my unintended deviation from academic paradigms, but I assert, the ugly scientific side about experimenting on animals is not the way animals are inhumanely treated while in confined laboratories, but the statistical aspect of it. 9 out of 10 drugs fail clinical tests as they also fail to predict its effects on patients. So archaic is this act that when cheaper and faster methods of research like human patient simulators and sophisticated computer modeling could be deployed, animals still undergo inhumane treatments. Even as I press my last keys in this essay, remember that animal testing is unnecessary. The world does not need eyeliner, detergent or drink at the expense of these animals lives. So, PETA we go!
Doke, S. K., & Dhawale, S. C. (2015). Alternatives to animal testing: A review. Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal, 23(3), 223-229.
Sauer, U. G. (2016, February). German Society of Toxicology Working Group on Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing: Quality criteria for in vitro methods and in vitro research work. In Naunyn-Schmiedebergs Archives of Pharmacology (Vol. 389, No. 1, Pp. S18-S18). 233 Spring St, New York, NY 10013 USA: Springer.