Essay: Animal testing

Every year thousands of animals are tested on for human safety and die of agonisingly long and painful deaths. Animal testing is a valuable asset in scientific research, drug development, health and medical research and cosmetic manufacturing. Animals are frequently used as a test subject since their body are very similar to the humans and will react in a similar way to different substances. Do you want innocent animals suffer painful deaths just for your beauty?

Not surprisingly, many types of animals tested on are mice, rats, rabbits, monkeys, dogs, cats, guinea pigs, hamsters, birds and mini pigs. Mice are the most popular animal to be tested on due to their size, ease of handling, fast reproduction rate, availability and low cost. 7342 mice are used in worldwide labs everyday- one every 12 seconds! They are widely considered to be the prime model of inherited human disease and share 99% of their genes with humans. In 2012, 3,045,690 mice, 262,641 rats and 28,677 other rodents were used in the UK alone (83.1% of total animals used that year). In 2011, the statistics show animal use totalled to 3,792,857 animals. This equates to 10,391 per day, or one every 8.3 seconds.

Even though many people oppose to the idea of animal testing, it has saved so many human lives and helped with our knowledge of different drugs, cosmetics(etc.). For example, we now have the technology for organ transplants. Organ transplants have improved the quality- and length- of life for millions of people across the world. For example, the first human cornea transplant took place over 100 years ago, following research using rabbits. In 2007, 2,403 people had their sight restored by cornea transplants. In addition, of the 5,000 people to develop kidney failure every year in the UK, 1 in 3 would die without a transplant. The surgery behind transplantation itself but also method of tissue-typing and anti-rejection drugs were developed using dogs, rabbits and mice from 1950 onwards. In 167, the first human to human heart transplant finally took place. Few people knew it took 60 years to prepare for this using animal research. Professor Christian Barnard carried out nearly 50 animal heart transplants over 4 years. Heart-lung transplants were later developed using monkeys.

The animals tested on can either survive; they won’t react to the product or the animal will suffer in great pain a die from a reaction from the product. They can be infected with a disease, poisoning, burning skin, brain damage, implanting electrodes into the brain, and blinding. They are abused and tortured. Over 100 million animals are burned, crippled, poisoned and abused in US labs every year. When used in cosmetic tests, mice, rats, rabbits and guinea pigs are often subjected to skin and eye irritation tests were chemicals are rubbed onto shaved skin or dripped into the eye without any pain relief given. Some tests can involve a killing of a pregnant animals and testing on their fetus. This is inhumane.

Animals in labs live stressful, monotonous, and unnatural lives of daily confinement and deprivation. The only changes in their lives may come from being called into a research or testing protocol- which may include an invasive experiment, or a procedure whose endpoint id death. Imagine spending your whole entire life as a hospital patient or a prisoner.

Would you pay a high amount of money for designer make-up when an animal has suffered in great pain and lost their life for something that isn’t necessary in life?

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