Animal testing essay example

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Animal testing argumentative essay

Animal testing or animal experimentation is the use of non-human animals for scientific, medical, or cosmetic research and testing. It has been part of experiments and testing products that are aimed to produce medications and assess the safety of cosmetic products. 

Typically, scientists and researchers use many animals for their experiments, but the most common include rats, birds, mice, reptiles, and amphibians.

As tests and research increased in medicine (drugs), research, and cosmetics, so did animal experiments. 

As per various sources, the United States alone performs over 100 million animal tests each year for various purposes. The country does not have proper regulations in place to check the way animals are treated in laboratories.

With growing cognizance about animal testing and its consequences on animals, organizations like PETA, ASPCA, and HSUS in America are campaigning for animal rights to end the suffering of animals.

It is widely accepted that testing drugs or vaccines on animals have caused animals immense pain. Although these kinds of testing may benefit humans, it is not morally acceptable to cause agony to a living being.

Moreover, medications developed via animal testing methods are not always effective, as certain drugs are not suitable for human use.

It is a well-known reality that more scientific research will be conducted in the future in various fields for human benefit. If the current tendency continues, a greater number of animals will undoubtedly fall victim to it. 

Hence, animal activists and many animal welfare organizations are now demanding a ban on animal experimentation in America.

It is intriguing to observe that the US has no strict rules regarding animal experimentation despite being a developed country. While the European Union has regulations to look after cosmetic animal testing issues, America does not have any such rigid regulations‌. 

Animal testing is a longstanding debate in the country, and the public stand has been divided on this issue. However, there have been improvements ‌‌and one can see that there are calls for a nationwide ban on cosmetic animal testing.

It is positive to observe that people are turning towards cruelty free products and are championing for ethical treatment of animals. 

So far, six states – California, Illinois, Nevada, Virginia, Maryland, and Maine have forbidden cosmetic animal testing. Furthermore, the Humane Cosmetics Act has been reintroduced, and the situation is turning hopeful.

Although the public appears to be conflicted about animal testing, here are the top three reasons why America should ban animal testing:

  • Animal testing is incredibly expensive, and almost $20 billion of taxpayer money goes into these tests
  • Animal testing is highly ineffective, with the failure rate as high as 96%.
  • The USA performs the most animal tests each year.

While these are the cons of animal testing, it must also be noted that America cannot implement the ban in the same way as Britain. The reason for this is less number of research institutions and scientists in countries like Britain and Scandinavia. 

In this situation, American scientists have three options: 

  • Mandated/legislation regulation
  • Self-regulation, or 
  • Combination of the above two

Of these three, self-regulation seems to be the optimal choice out of these options.

It reflects the success of animal protection organizations in raising scientists’ awareness about the humane treatment of experimental animals by:

(1) reducing the number of animals used for experimentation, 

(2) avoiding unnecessary duplication of experiments, and 

(3) limiting pain and distress.

Although scientists are working on a self-regulation program or programs, this approach will be based on the scientific process. It will not fully address the discrepancies between scientific and animal welfare groups. 

Scientists are concerned with “the moral and ethical responsibility for the humane treatment of animals in experimentation.” However, animal rights organizations are concerned with “the moral rights of animals…”

An example of this situation is the recent developments during the pandemic, which sparked the debate over animal cruelty again. It all started with scientists racing against time to produce vaccines against coronavirus, battling the scarcity of genetically modified mice.

The situation was such that it demanded swift action, and many scientists bypassed the animal testing step to develop a vaccine. However, many scientists were skeptical about skipping animal testing. Nonetheless, there were companies that took up the challenge and upped the game by employing alternative methods.

For instance, Moderna Therapeutics employed a synthetic copy of the virus genetic code to create a vaccine instead of a weakened form of the virus. The trial was a success, and FDA authorized Moderna’s proposal to commence clinical trials on a coronavirus vaccine. 

Innovations such as these indicate that there is a possibility of bypassing animal trials with‌ the help of the latest technology. Moreover, experimenting on animals does not guarantee that the vaccine, drug, or cosmetic product is 100% safe for human use. Hence, we can do away with the practice of animal testing by finding new ways to conduct our experiments and research.

Any living organism has the right to life on this earth and we as human beings must uphold the ecological balance.

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