Is animal testing science or cruelty? Experimenting on animals has been a subject for debate for decades now, and society still doesn’t seem to have come to a conclusion. According to Humane Society International, more than 100 million innocent beings worldwide die in laboratory tests each year to advance science – or to come up with new cosmetics. Animal testing may be considered useful in the advancement of medicine by many, but it is cruel and immoral, it isn’t as reliable as one may think, and it is also highly expensive.
I believe animal experimentation is cruelty rather than science. These poor beings suffer a lot for our sake and they’re not even able to make their own choice, like human volunteers to medical testing are. According to philosopher Peter Singer, a diligent activist against animal abuse who has done groundbreaking work in the field, experimenting on animals is just like forcefully taking and caging mentally challenged persons or young children – who don’t understand what is happening and cannot fight back – to subject them to painful tests that may even kill them in the process. Is that science? Is that moral? Is that not cruel?
Furthermore, animal testing is not only gruesome, but also not as accurate and reliable as one might think. According toofficial FDA reports, 92% of the modern drugs that had been thoroughly tested on animals and considered effective and safe were then deemed dangerous or inefficient after entering human trials. And,according to an analysis of 39 studies conducted by a team of researchers at the University of Toronto, the mere 8% that do pass the trials are often side-effect-ridden and can lead to hospitalization and even death because of the adverse reactions. This is because, however similar in some respects, animals are still considerably different from us and thus are not perfect models for human biomedical research. Furthermore, even if some species are close enough to us, there are still many other factors that can influence results, such as the stress and the unnatural living conditions the poor beings are subjected to constantly.
Another reason why scientists should focus on finding alternatives to animal testing is that it is simply too slow and expensive. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, the Humane Society International and the National Research Council all agree that the cost of these experiments far outweighs the benefits. Test animals require specialized housing, food, and medical care to mention just a few, and the experiments themselves are also extremely expensive, the costs adding up to $4 million for just one substance, according to NEAVS.
Animal testing supporters might say that science has come a long way only due to such experiments and it will not be able to progress without them. However, one may claim that, without Dr. Mengele’s horrid tests on humans, medical knowledge wouldn’t be what it is today. Even if it were true, would it make his actions less immoral, less cruel, less monstrous? Animal testing is a beastly act and it is not even as efficient, reliable, or cost-effective as we may think it is. It is wrong at it should be stopped.