The debate of the morality of animal testing has been around forever. According to a poll taken in 2012, 67% of people polled opposed animal testing, while 28% supported it (the remaining 5% didn’t pick either side). While there are some positives to animal testing, the negatives simply outweigh them. Animal testing is unethical, and quite frankly, should be banned, as it violates the rights of animals, wastes precious government money, provides results that are only sometimes accurate, and can be replaced by new alternatives that don’t harm the subjects.
When a living being is capable of feeling pain and suffering, of feeling emotions, of having intelligence, they deserve basic rights. Animals, like humans, are capable of feeling and having all of these qualities. While said qualities can vary between human and animal, there are more similarities than there are differences. Though animals do not have the capability of communicating and reasoning like we do exactly, they still have the right to live their lives in an undisturbed, torture-free manner. By locking animals in cages and mutilating their bodies, scientists are robbing them of this right. “[Animals] are scalded by chemicals on their skin and eyes, shoved into tubes no larger than their bodies and forced to breathe noxious fumes,” according to PETA. Animal testing labs are, in every aspect, complete and utter torture.
There is always a first time for everything, and there is always the possibility of mistakes. Thousands of animals could be tested for a single product - it could pass every cruel and twisted test out there - and there’s still a chance that something will go wrong when introduced to humans. As noted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), “92 percent of all drugs that are shown to be safe and effective in animal tests fail in human trials because they don’t work and are dangerous.” As if torturing innocent beings isn’t enough, it is only beneficial to us a mere 8% of the time. Furthermore, “reactions to the exposure of these products vary among species, making it difficult to extract data from animal tests and apply them to situations in which humans are exposed.”
In addition to the violation of animal rights and the inaccuracy of animal testing, another reason animal testing is unethical is because there are so many alternatives that don’t require the unnecessary abuse of animals. However, most people believe that there are no reliable alternatives to animal testing. As the New York Times states, “Many diseases that once killed millions of people every year are now either preventable, treatable or have been eradicated altogether… Without animal research, these vaccines would not exist.” This is simply not the case. For cosmetic products, “testing facilities can use human or animal corneas supplied by eye banks, frozen corneas supplied by hospitals, or tissue cultures composed of cells from a cornea.” Likewise, PETA states that “we can now test skin irritation using reconstructed human tissues, produce and test vaccines using human tissues, and perform pregnancy tests using blood samples instead of killing rabbits.” If all of these alternative methods exist, why are we still testing on animals? Why do we continue to implement these pure, unadulterated sins onto innocent beings? And most importantly, why haven’t more people noticed a problem with this?
A final reason as to why animal testing is immoral and unethical is the funding. As reported by New York Times, the estimated amount of money spent by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) each year on experiments involving animals is between $12 to $14.5 billion. Spending all of this money on something so unpromising is like building a house made out of glass during tornado season. It is completely absurd. It is, more or less, destined for failure. This money could be going towards the previously mentioned alternatives, or to retirement homes for the animal subjects.“Experimentation using animals persists not because it’s the best science but because of archaic habits, resistance to change, and a lack of outreach and education,” PETA says.
It is natural for people to stick with what they know to be true, to be correct, but sometimes it’s necessary to look at things from a different angle to get the full picture.