COLUMN: Animal testing is inaccurate, unbeneficial
AT A GLANCE
Many people who are divided in the animal testing debate haven't seen pictures or videos of the affected animals. Exercise caution when watching the following videos, but understand that you cannot understand what animal testing truly entails without such a reference.
- Yes 59%
- No 41%
22 total votes.
Animal experimentation — we’ve all heard of it, we all know it’s happening. We brush it off because of the common lie that it’s doing the public some sort of good.
In case you’re one of these people, let me let you in on a little secret: It’s not.
The biggest argument for the use of animals in testing is that it can somehow bring about the advancement of medical technologies and practices. This claim is entirely false. The Animal Welfare Act was supposed to put an end to the use of most animals in research, but it seems that animal testing is still conducted without much government interference.
Animals are used for a variety of different tests that are somehow supposed to show how certain chemicals and products would effect humans. I’m not exactly a doctor, but the last time I checked, I was neither a mouse nor a rabbit, and I certainly didn’t have a similar body composition as one. I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t want life-saving technology being field-tested on an animal that is in no way similar to me.
Not sure what kinds of tests go on in “life-saving” laboratories around the world? Animals are used for all kinds of tests for medical, scientific and commercial purposes.
One of the most notable and widely used tests is called the LD50 test. LD50 stands for “lethal dose 50 percent.” In this test, scientists give a new drug or product to an animal to test toxicity with the intent of at least 50 percent of the animals dying from the poison.
Another test preformed on animals — rabbits in particular — is the Draize test. During this test, the animal’s head is locked in place and one eye is pried open so that researchers can rub or inject various cosmetics into the eye. The researchers then look for signs of irritation. This test usually results in the test animal's loss of sight. When the experiment is over, the animal is either killed or “reused.”
Writer and animal rights advocate Ingrid Newkirk explains that "animals from giraffes to gerbils are used for everything from forced aggression and induced fear experiments to tests on new football helmets and septic tank cleaners. Baboons are given AIDS-infected rectal swabs, great apes are purposely driven mad to make them crush their infant’s skulls in child abuse studies… Animals are burned alive in the cockpits of planes, exploded in weapons tests and forced to inhale pollutants until they choke to death. They are starved and shot… They are thought of as nothing more than ‘test tubes with whiskers.’”
When discussing the reliability and challenging the justification of the use of animals in consumer product testing, the Animal Alliance of Canada explains that toxicity tests done on animals are highly unreliable. Most of the time, animals die because of an overdose of the products, not because it was poisonous.
Studies done on animals using arsenic have even proved to be unreliable. Arsenic is a chemical that almost always causes cancer in humans. When arsenic is tested on animals, it has shown to rarely — if ever — cause cancer to develop in animals.
Countless animals suffer daily at the hands of humans who claim to be working toward a morally justified end. The means to gain this end result should not justify any good that comes of such means. Most of the advances made in medical science are not discovered through the experiments performed on innocent animals but rather through medical trials and observation of patients staying hospitals.
So why stick to this method of testing? If these products are meant for humans, they should be tested on humans. If they are too cruel for humans, they should not be tested at all.
Ty Johnson is a letters and music sophomore.