Opinion: Animal testing is wrong

Alli Couture, Staff Writer

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Sixty-eight percent of U.S. households, or about 85 million families, own a pet. I’d bet that everyone in this room with a pet probably loves it, and if anything were to happen to them you’d be heart broken. Why does this change when the poor, innocent animal is put in the hands of a merciless scientist.

The tradition of Animal testing is cruel and inhumane. According to Humane Society International, animals used in experiments are commonly subjected to force feeding, forced inhalation, food and water deprivation, prolonged periods of physical restraint, the infliction of burns and other wounds to study the healing process, the infliction of pain to study its effects and remedies, and “killing by carbon dioxide asphyxiation, neck-breaking, decapitation, or other means.” [47] The Draize eye test, used by cosmetics companies to evaluate irritation caused by shampoos and other products, involves rabbits being incapacitated in stocks with their eyelids held open by clips, sometimes for multiple days, so they cannot blink away the products being tested. It’s awful how these animals are treated and how the people who treat them this way get off harm free because it’s in the “name of science.

Even with all the cruel and inhumane testing, animals are very different from human beings and therefore make poor test subjects. The anatomic, metabolic, and cellular differences between animals and people make animals poor models for human beings. [52] Paul Furlong, Professor of Clinical Neuroimaging at Aston University (UK), states that “it’s very hard to create an animal model that even equates closely to what we’re trying to achieve in the human.” Alternative and more effective methods such as in vitro (or in glass) testing, such as studying cell cultures in a petri dish, can produce more relevant results than animal testing because human cells can be used.

To further show the irrelevance animals should have in drug testing, the 1950s sleeping pill thalidomide, which caused 10,000 babies to be born with severe deformities, was tested on animals prior to its commercial release. Later tests on pregnant mice, rats, guinea pigs, cats, and hamsters did not result in birth defects unless the drug was administered at extremely high doses. Also, 94% of drugs that pass animal tests fail in human clinical trials.According to neurologist Aysha Akhtar, MD, MPH, over 100 stroke drugs that were effective when tested on animals have failed in humans, and over 85 HIV vaccines failed in humans after working well in non-human primates.

In conclusion, animals don’t deserve the cruel, unnecessary treatment that these drug testing labs put them through. All their suffering is put to waste in the need due to the lack or relation between humans and these lab animals.