While some people may believe animal experimentation is ethical and good for the general welfare, the extent to which animals are mistreated for the sake of testing products for humans highlights the need for change by educating the masses on how animals are treated, why experimentation is ineffective and how there are alternatives such as cruelty free products. In most cases, people don’t believe experimentation is inherently wrong yet human experimentation is frowned upon in almost every part of the world. Hearing the words “animal experimentation” doesn’t always strike the same kind of response. Why is that? Because of how normalized animal experimentation has become, humanity is so desensitized and often, end up overlooking the fact that animals are living creatures just like humans and don’t deserve a poor quality of life just because they can’t speak for themselves to detest experimentation. Due to the lack of proper education on what animals go through during testing, people often conclude that animal experimentation is not an issue that needs to be addressed or paid much attention to.
The most important matter to recognize is the full extent of the injuries that many animals who are being used as test subjects are sustaining. This is often the undisclosed aspect of experimentation that scientists leave out. A mockumentary produced by the Humane Society entitled, Save Ralph highlights the extent of which animals are injured by going through the life of a test rabbit. A rabbit named Ralph is shown at the start of the film to be blind in his right eye as well as deaf in one of his ears. As you get further into the film, you see him sustain more and more injuries such as the chemical burns that litter his body, his spinal cord being completely exposed, losing his left eye, as well as horrendous injuries to his neck. In this film, the main character Ralph is normalizing what is being done to him which reflects exactly what society does everyday. We normalize the suffering of animals who have barely begun their lives for our own selfish and greedy needs. Towards the end of the film, the main character closes by saying without animal testing, he would be out in a field “like a normal rabbit”(Save Ralph) which showcases how the lives of animals have been completely altered to suit humanity’s needs. In an effort to bring awareness to ban animal testing around the world, this short film shows the importance of proper education and highlights how “no animal should suffer and die in the name of beauty” (Save Ralph).
Animal experimentation can be defined as the usage of animals in scientific studies to gain further knowledge through experiments. Despite the definition, experimentation does not produce as much new information as society assumes. Associate Professor of Archaeology and Space Studies at Flinders University, Alice Gorman, wrote in an article about the first hominin in space that “Jane Goodall, an expert in primate behavior said she had never seen such terror in a chimp’s expression”(Gorman). It’s rather alarming to hear an expert who worked with animals for so long say that they have never seen an animal so scared before but in regards to an experiment where the animal is sent to space, it’s a no brainer that fear instantly struck the chimpanzee. From this experiment, there wasn’t a whole lot of information gathered besides the chimpanzee’s behavior before, during, and after the flight to space which demonstrates how inconclusive most experiments are. Kitty Block, President and CEO of the Humane Society published a blog post in which she covered an undercover investigation where a series of tests were being conducted on beagles that were being poisoned with pesticides and drugs and were then killed at the end of testing. These tests were being conducted by a group of scientists working for Dow AgroSciences, one interesting thing that was mentioned in the blog post was that the tests were “universally deemed as unnecessary, including by Dow scientists”(Block). Many tests like these are often proven to be completely unnecessary and it’s mind boggling that anyone would still believe that testing on animals is in any way moral when more times than not, it’s unjustifiable torment of innocent animals. Even if there was an actual cause, it’s virtually impossible to justify torturing animals that have done no wrong. Along with how most tests can be proven to be unnecessary, animal experimentation is also often proven ineffective. An article by Cruelty Free International, an animal protection and advocacy organization for the abolition of animal experimentation supports the idea that animal experimentation is ineffective and therefore, unreliable as it states, “Using dogs, rats, mice and rabbits to test whether or not a drug will be safe for humans provides little statistically useful insight”(Arguments). Humans share many characteristics with other animals, yet our biological makeup is tremendously different than that of animals. This also goes for animals in that a disease that targets a specific bird species isn’t going to affect a frog whatsoever so testing would become irrelevant at that point. All in all, every species is unique and will not harbor the same reactions as other species so testing on animals to determine whether something is safe for humans is entirely redundant.
One of the biggest arguments against switching to cruelty free products is that they may be more expensive and harder to find in stores. This could not be further from the truth as there are cruelty free products offered essentially everywhere you can find non-cruelty free products. It’s fairly easy to come upon cruelty free and/or vegan products and they are often just as inexpensive as typical products. It’s equally important to talk about the alternatives to animal-tested products as it is to talk about animal experimentation. With how much society has progressed, why humanity has still resorted to testing on live animals is still an unanswered question today. According to Sentient Media author, Grant Lingel, there are quite a few alternatives to animal testing such as in vitro testing, computer modeling, research using human volunteers, as well as testing human tissues. “In vitro testing involves testing products on human cells in a test tube… There’s no cruelty or pain involved with this”(Lingel). This is an obvious alternative as there is no aspect of cruelty and it allows for more reliable testing. Computer modeling can allow for 3D models of human organs to be produced and can show how different organs will react to certain stimuli. Similarly to in vitro testing, using human volunteers and testing on human tissues eliminates the cruelty aspect from scientific experiments and is more effective than animal testing.
Animal testing is an inhumane means of developing new technologies and products. Millions of animals each year suffer for the sake of humanity when there are alternatives that would make testing more reliable and less cruel if humanity were able to commit to them. Instead, we choose to ignore these alternatives and continue the cycle of mistreatment by continuously buying into products that have been tested on animals. The only way to stop unnecessary and cruel testing, is to first recognize animal testing and how heavily integrated it is in our society. Recognition is one of the first of many steps to ultimately banning animal experimentation in all countries.
“Arguments against Animal Testing.” Cruelty Free International,
Block, Kitty. “HSUS Undercover Investigation Shows Beagles Being Poisoned with Pesticides and Drugs, Killed at Animal Testing Lab.” A Humane World, 14 Mar. 2019, https://blog.humanesociety.org/2019/03/hsus-undercover-investigation-shows-beagles-bei ng-poisoned-with-pesticides-and-drugs-killed-at-animal-testing-lab.html.
Cheng, Andrea. “Why You Should Care about Vegan Beauty.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 26 Feb. 2019,
Gorman, Alice. “Apes, Robots and Men: The Life and Death of the First Space Chimp.” The Conversation, 30 Jan. 2021. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints,
https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/LPTYHS909746575/OVIC?u=pima_main&sid=bookmark -OVIC&xid=dee0c727. Accessed 11 Oct. 2021.
Lingel, Grant. “Animal Testing Is Cruel and Doesn't Work: Here's Why.” Sentient Media, 7 June 2021, https://sentientmedia.org/animal-testing/.
McArthur, Jo-Anne. “Taking Suffering out of Science.” The Humane Society of the United States, https://www.humanesociety.org/all-our-fights/taking-suffering-out-science.
“Save Ralph.” YouTube, uploaded by The Human Society of The United States, 6 April 2021, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G393z8s8nFY
Wright, Sarah. “The Cost and Benefits of Natural Cosmetics.” Grand Central Magazine | Your Campus. Your Story., 30 Mar. 2021,
Jasmine Piñon is a 17 year old Senior at Empire High School in Tucson, Arizona. She is currently apart of an Early College Program where she is working to finish her Freshman year of college prior to enrolling at the University of Arizona where she plans on double majoring in Biochemistry and Business as well as minoring in Marine Science.