Animal Testing Should Be Stopped – This I Believe

A few months ago, I took a biology course at a university. During one of the lectures, the professor put up an x-ray photo of a lab rat who had undergone an experiment and had a brain tumour that covered half of its head. One of the students exclaimed, “That is such a big brain tumour!” His tone was not sympathetic but fascinated. No one else expressed concern for the animal either. Later on, the same student told me over lunch that he was furious at his mom because she had stepped on his cat. Most people understand that cruelty to animals is wrong, so why is animal testing, which is undoubtedly cruel, still so widely accepted? I believe that animal testing should be stopped.

Imagine you, your family and friends being forced to ingest lethal chemicals until half of you die and the other half are then killed and dissected. Animals who have been experimented on suffer: diarrhea, convulsions, loss of muscle control, bleeding from the eyes, nose and mouth, internal bleeding, bleeding stomach ulcers, vomiting, respiratory problems and in general, complete agony. Often, they don’t even suffer ‘for a good cause’ such as a substantial medical advancement. They suffer for trivial things such as ‘new and improved’ shampoo and washing powder. Doesn’t it seem unreasonable to put a living animal through so much pain for something we can do without?

Some people argue that animal testing is necessary to create new medicines to cure diseases. However, is it really humane to smash a dog’s head with a hammer even if it could verify whether a newly discovered medicine to stop blood clotting really works? Hurting others, even animals, in such a cruel way for our own benefit is selfish, yet still some people claim ‘better them than us’. These people, besides being inhumane, are wrong. Animal testing is a scientific hoax and doesn’t help but instead harms the development of medicine. There is so much that is different between animals and humans. Less than 2 percent of human illnesses are seen in animals. This leads to a lot of dangerous drugs being put on the market. The anti-arthritic drug, Opren, that was approved after animal testing caused more than 70 deaths and 3500 other serious side effects and had to be withdrawn. Hopefully, all of you unbelievably selfish people who approve of animal testing care for yourselves, if not the animals.

Scientists know that animal testing is not reliable. Up to 90 percent of animal tests are discarded because they are irrelevant to humans. So why do they still do it? When asked, they reply, “It’s part of the procedure,” or “How else are we going to get an idea of what works and what doesn’t?” In other words, they don’t know where to start and use animals as scapegoats to please the public. To me, that seems rather immoral.

That said, I am not a vegetarian meaning I eat meat (dead animals) like most people. Someone once asked me, “If you are against animal testing, then why do you eat meat? Animals have to be killed all the same!” Well, humans need protein to survive and though protein can be found in some vegetables such as beans, it has been proven that eating meat is healthier.

Here, one can accuse me of being selfish. I am, but not to the extent of animal testing. I feel that killing to eat is only natural since almost all animals do so and we are merely part of the food chain. There is also the difference in how the animal is killed. A lion kills a deer by sinking its teeth into the neck and letting the deer bleed to death. It is true that this is not a pleasant death but there is no doubt that suffering with deliberately inflicted cancer weeks on end before death is worse. Also, when an animal is killed to be eaten, there is a reason for its death and its body is not being dumped into a rubbish bin on a pile where the rest of its family lays. This is why eating meat is okay but animal testing is most definitely not.

This probably isn’t the first article you’ve seen that protests against animal testing and while reading, you were most likely thinking, ‘Not again!’. There is indeed a lot of argument on the topic of animal testing but obviously not enough from the opponents because somehow, a group of well educated teenagers who, unlike some adult scientist, have not been ‘hardened by the difficulties of life’ feel not even a little sympathy when just a few blocks away, an innocent being is being killed painfully for absolutely nothing.