Animal testing is a cruel way to advance medicine

James Keller, Copy Editor

In today’s age of highly advanced and incredibly knowledgeable medical researchers, animal testing has passed its point of being useful. Killing various types animals or forcing them to suffer through often painful diseases is a cruel and unusual punishment.

In many cases, animal testing can be completely avoided. Chemicals like soaps, perfumes, and cleaners that will one day be used by people should not be tested on animals first. The FDA has made it clear that medicine has advanced to a point where we can simulate the many functions of a human that can, in the majority, be more accurate and realistic than the reactions provided by animals.

Another substitute for animals are bacteria and microorganisms. Cancer research often begins on the microscopic level, moves through animals, and ends at humans. In a large majority of experiments, anything beyond small scale testing is really unnecessary.

It can be argued that animal testing is necessary to save lives. Being able to simulate treatments and reactions on a more life-like scale is incredibly useful for a better grasp on how things will react with the human body. Conversely, many of the reactions seen in animals can be predicted and prevented by using chemistry to calculate how the medicines or chemicals will react.

Imagine an innocent and helpless animal being injected with a medicine that has a high likelihood of killing the “experiment.” Now, put your dog, cat, hamster, or lizard in this same position. Is that something you really want them to go through? Me neither.

The USDA reported that in 2010, 97,123 animals were tested on and had to endure large amounts of pain without being given anesthesia. This included “1,395 primates, 5,996 rabbits, 33,652 guinea pigs, and 48,015 hamsters.”

In a society that practically revolves around the idea of consent, animal testing is completely unethical. Are these animals willingly entering into a trial which ultimately results in their death and dismemberment?

Why is it okay for us, the protectors of the environment, to harm innocent creatures for our own health? If a cure is really that revolutionary, shouldn’t we be able to find volunteers who are willing to take the risk? While there are some benefits to animal testing, the cruelty is excessive and unnecessary. Technology has reached a point where we no longer need to use helpless animals to prove whether or not medicine is viable for use on humans. This cruelty needs to stop.

James Keller is a Copy Editor for The Patriot and