Too Cruel for School


Picture by Cody Wilson

   About 25 million animals are used each year for scientific and commercial testing in the United States. Millions of animals are killed in a selfish attempt to benefit humans. Innocent animals are forced into chemical and drug exposure, wherein they develop genetic mutations, experience prolonged periods of physical strain for observation and examination, endure water and food deprivation, and suffer from infliction of pain for the study of physiological effects. Animal testing is inhumane and cruel, and it is in some cases ineffective and outdated due to new scientific discoveries. Animal testing should be stopped immediately.

   Animal testing dates as far backs as 500 B.C. Animals are used to develop medical treatments and to ensure safety of products designed for human use. In the United States, animal testing is regulated by the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA). It is allowed on all warm blooded mammals, especially chipmunks and mice, because they share more than 80% of the human DNA.

   Because the cons far outweigh the pros, animal testing should no longer be allowed. First of all, it is an immoral act; some even call it torture. Although, it is true that animals might not feel the same emotions or have human intelligence, they do feel pain. According to Marc Bekoff, evolutionary biologist and author, “Mammals share the same nervous system, neurochemicals, perceptions, and emotions, all of which are integrated into the experience of pain.” Some might argue that there is a good cause behind using animals instead of humans. However, it is a selfish way to ensure humans’ safety, regardless of the lengths and actions that are needed to do so.

   According to Life Science, “chimps share more than 98% of the human genome.” That means there is 2% of the genome that separates a monkey from a human. Physically compared to a human, monkeys are nothing alike! Hair, intelligence, bone structure, emotions, and many significant factors make a chimp different than a human. So, even though animals have a huge percentile of similarities with humans, 2% makes a huge difference in science. According to NEAVS, the New England Anti-Vivisection Society, the FDA reports that “92 percent of drugs approved for testing in humans fail to receive approval for human use.” This failure rate has increased from 86 percent in 1985, in spite of all the “advances and refinements” intended to “make animal tests more accurate.”  Therefore, animal testing is usually not reliable and fruitful for actually helping people. Animals make a poor model of the human form.

   There are alternative ways of medical experimentation besides animal testing. The first, and perhaps the most rational, way is to use human volunteers instead of animals. There are people who are willing to donate their bodies for scientific research. Those who have deadly diseases and have a short time left can be used instead of animals. Older men and women, all with their consent, will make better test subjects than rats under a microscope. Plus, there are petri dishes to produce and grow human cells, artificial human body parts, and computer models. With the quick advancement in science and technology, hopefully scientists will stop their cruel and barbarous act of killing animals in the name of science.