The Flaws in Animal Experimentation
Animal experimentation has been around for a numerous number of years and has always been a controversial topic. The two sides of this debate are the ones who believe that animal testing is beneficial and will save lives, which is true. On the other hand, animal testing has is ethically wrong and is not accurate to the genetics of humans. Animal testing has been marked as inadequate by Cambridge. Their studies suggest that an animal’s behavior may be influencing the end result of the experiment. Such as being in an enclosed space could cause distress and even abnormal behaviors within the certain animal. The choice to carry out animal experimentation does not have a correct answer and will never have one.
The main debate of animal experimentations begins at the thought of the tests being cruel and inhumane. Commonly, in animal research, the subjects are treated to force feedings, lack of water or food, and even infliction to pain such as burns from the chemicals. (These burns are usually to test the healing process.) Every year nearly 100 million animals are subjected to harm during the animal testing. In today’s world, the United States has the technology to do innovated research, but they still go back to the barbaric use of animal experimentation. The use of animal experimentation usually leads to the animals to be crippled, burned, and even poisoned. Animal testing has been a popular controversial topic and is shown to be cruel. Animal experimentation has been around for many years and has served a variety of purposes in society.
Additionally, millions of animals that are used in experiments are discarded, like trash. The National Institute of Health (NIH) reported that just in eighteen months, from the years 2011 to 2013, over 1.5 million pounds of animals were placed in waste collection. The animal waste is extremely dangerous to human health because the waste is contaminated with the chemicals, and even infectious diseases/viruses used in past experiments. Some companies disagree with discarding the waste by incinerating the animals’ corpses, but that leads to emitting gases into the air.
“The New England Anti-Vivisection Society (NEAVS) reported that: “a recent study found that 2.1 million deaths have been associated with human-produced fine particulate matter – a main component of smog”
Animal experimentation is an expensive use of study. Some animal experiments could take up to months and even years to perform and analyze. The cost alone would be an insane amount due to the time of the study. For example, it takes almost a whole decade with 3,000,000 dollars to complete an entire experiment while abiding all the laws. At the end of the experiment, it only would register one single pesticide to the US Environmental Protection Agency. Evaluating each of the chemicals can take up to millions of dollars, and many years to complete the experiment Also, companies can lose a ton of money if the tests do not account for how humans would correctly respond to the treatments. Fewer than 10 percent of potential drugs make it to the human trials. According to the Humane Society, drug companies spend an average of four billion dollars to fully develop a new kind of drug. And if that drug fails, then billions of dollars went down the drain. So why waste the time? Because maybe it can help the lives of humans.
Humans and animals are not exactly the same. Many drugs that can appear safe and effective in animals may not be the same with humans. The drugs could cause significant harm or even death. In 2004, a study was conducted by the US Food and Drug Administration that 95 percent of drug trials in animals failed to reach clinical trials in humans. Of the ones that are approved, more than half are withdrawn due to serve lethal effects that were not detected in the animal experiments. Thalidomide, a sleeping pill, was introduced in the 1950s, which resulted to about 10,000 babies to be born with deformities. The pill was examined by animals first, but the experiment did not show the symptoms in animals as it did to humans. Thusly, concluding that animals should not be reliable to human health.
Replacing animals used in experimentation would improve the quality and the humanity science of health. Technology has been growing for years, and new non-animal methods have been developed. Types of non-animal methods include cell cultures, human tissues, volunteer studies, and computer models. Scientists have managed to grow 3D cell structures, that can even behave as miniature organs. These structures provide a more realistic way to test new therapies, which can also be more accurate than animals. Cells have been used to create innovative devices that can accurately mimic the heart, lungs, kidney and even gut. Cell cultures have already been in key developments in areas such as sepsis, kidney disease, cancer, and AIDS. Human tissues are another way to study the human physiology. Human tissues can be donated from surgery such as biopsies and transplants. Using human tissues can replace the cruel tests that animals have to face and will prevent the study passing false information. The Humane society also advocates the comparison between using human replications from animal tests.
“The expensive and time-consuming two-year rat study to assess whether a substance is cancerous to humans is only able to predict human cancer 42% of the time. A cell-based test (CTA), which has been in use for over 50 years, can predict 90% of known human carcinogens.”
Ultimately, animal experimentation is a complex subject. Many people can deliver different opinions of the subject matter, which none of them could be the “correct” answer. Animal experimentation has given light on human health, but also effects the lives of the animals. The facts about animal testing are clear, millions of animals lose their lives for the sake of human health, but is that really worth all the death? Using alternative methods can save the lives of animals and improve the accuracy of the tests run for human health.
Akhtar, A. (2015, October). The flaws and human harms of animal experimentation. Cambridge quarterly of healthcare ethics: CQ: the international journal of healthcare ethics committees. Retrieved October 20, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4594046/.
Cornett, E. M., Jones, M. R., & Kaye, A. D. (2019, May 11). Ethics of animal experimentation – springer. Ethics of Animal Experimentation. Retrieved October 20, 2021, from https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-99124-5_25.
Humane Society International. (2019, March 31). Limitations of animal tests. Retrieved October 20, 2021, from https://www.hsi.org/news-media/limitations-of-animal-tests/.