Animal Testing: An Unnecessary Evil.


Arman Mehrrostami

I adore animals—especially dogs. Their fluffy bodies, goofy smiles, loving personality, what is not to love? As a child, I was oblivious to the idea that somebody would ever want to hurt such kind-hearted creatures.

I first learned of animal testing when I was eleven and a companian introduced me to Scraps—an eight-year-old beagle who had been left for dead in a ditch: he was covered in flesh wounds, missing a leg, and his face was covered in chemicals that had blinded him. A veterinarian explained that Scraps’ condition was likely caused by a series of animal experiments andlike many others—he had been tossed aside after outliving his usefulness. Had somebody done this to a human, it would be a crime—yet when done to animals, it is nothing more than “science”. Animal testing is an outdated and barbaric procedure that needs to be replaced.

Currently, corporations abuse over 115 million animals every year to test the safety and effectiveness of their products, and more than 100 million of them perish painfully from side effects; sadly, these numbers are a substantial understatement because, according to PETA, “mice, rats, birds, and cold-blooded animals,” which make up over “99 percent of animals used in experiments,” are uncounted because they are offered no protection by the Animal Welfare Act.

To justify this crime, people claim that animal testing has saved lives by bringing about medical advancements. But the truth is that animals are terrible test subjects because they react differently than humans towards diseases and drugs; according to Humane Society International, “nine out of every 10 candidate medicines that appear safe and effective in animal studies fail when given to humans”. These failures not only endanger the lives of volunteers, but also squander precious time and resources. 

For years, corporations have insisted that animal testing is a necessay evil. But they lie, they refuse to change because they are afraid: afraid to take a risk; afraid to do something different, despite the facts staring them straight in the face. According to Cruelty Free International, alternatives to animal testing have already been developed: cell cultures, donated tissue, computer simulations, etc. These alternatives are superior because they test human products on human subjects—rendering animal testing an obsolete practice. Animals do not deserve to suffer when it is not necessary, they feel pain like we do, loneliness like we do, and they deserve happiness just as much as we do. 

As citizens, we have a responsibility to address the errors of those in power. It is time to get rid of the old and bring in the new. It is time we replace animal testing with alternative methods. Please, for Scraps and other victims like him.