We should stop testing on animals
Animal testing is widely used to create new medicine and to determine the safety of the products. According to the “Animals(Scientific Procedures) Act”, research on great apes was banned in 1986 and animal testing for cosmetics or their ingredients was banned in 1998. This act officially drew the world’s attention to the question of whether testing on animals is the most appropriate choice. Some people say that it enables the development of many life-saving treatments for both humans and animals and that strict regulations prevent the mistreatment of animals in laboratories. Others contend that it is both ethically immoral and practically inefficient. It is undeniable that animal testing has already helped human beings achieve breakthroughs in medical fields, but, it is not worth the pain that animals suffer and the harm brought to humans due to unreliable results.
Due to the fact that animals can feel as much as people can, it is inhuman to conduct experiments on them and they deserve the equal consideration that human received . Millions of animals are locked in cages all their lives until their death due to experiments. Specifically people running animal testing feel no guilt about the pain they bring to animals because they consider animals as their property. This lack of empathy is explained by Ingrid E. Newkirk, the PETA President who says that “In the same way that racist and sexist views allowed us to discriminate against minorities and women, speciesism allowed us to inscribe an inferior status on animals and to regard them not as individuals, but as objects and means to fulfill our desires” (Newkirk). According to Peter Singer, a creature’s “capacity for suffering” is “the vital characteristic”( Singer3) that gives this creature the right to equal consideration. Therefore, animals deserve the equal consideration that humans give each other. There is a kind of widely used animal testing called the Draize Test which is a good example of not giving animals equal considerations. Scientists drip milliliters of whatever it is they want to test into albino rabbits’ eyeballs without anesthetics, and they observe the lids to see whether they are swollen after a day. This test is only used to know what will happen when those chemicals get into a human’s eyes. Scientists would be criticized as inhumane if they conducted such experiments on people because people tend to show empathy and humanity when they know others are feeling pain. When such an experiment is conducted on humans, they can scream and announce to the public how much they suffered. This “known” suffering makes the public feel the pain themselves as they hear it in the same way that people will “feel” pain if they hear others cut by knives. Such first-hand experience inspires human empathy and justice for inhumanity and cruelty, which leads them to fight against such experiments to be conducted on humans. However animals cannot talk during the experiments and their different appearance from people weaken people’s feeling for the pains that animals suffer. Still, people cannot deny the fact that animals can feel pains during the experiment, and such experience determines that they should be treated equally as humans. If we are not prepared to use a human infant in such pitiless testing, then we should not treat animals cruelly.
While the mistreatment of animals can harm animals, it also brings damage to humans because it makes people more violent. Experiments on animals promote violence to a certain extent. Humans have an ingrained superiority complex that they have a transcendent position compared to animals. Such superiority complex diminishes the psychological barriers to harm other beings.People’s beliefs will turn into actions. When we see the homeless pets on the street, we can tell they were abused by their owners; when we see people hunting for sports, we know wild animals are living in fear. The tendency of increasing violent characteristics affect nowadays society but future too. People who believe they rule over animals will pass this belief to the next generation. Children, the future constructors, are now young and undereducated people who have low self-awareness and can be easily affected by adults. More often than not, children follow the wrongdoings instead of emulating the good deeds done. They imitate everything they see and hear that adults do and treat their values as the right ones. Therefore, they will assume hurting animals is the right thing to do when they witness adults’ attitudes towards animals. For example, five-year old John’s babysitter witnessed John repeatedly blowing a loud horn into his dog’s ear, “laughing at the animal’s obvious distress”. The lack of self-awareness makes children use violence without recognizing it but, according to FBI criminal profiler, John Douglas, that “serial offenders’ earliest acts of violence are often the torture and/or killing of pets or wildlife, and then finally engaging in domestic violence”( Kohl). Treating animals cruelly makes people embrace the increasing violent characteristic and increases their levels of aggression toward people as well.
Animal testing is also risky for humans physically due to the unreliable results of the final product, but the development of technology has already introduced people alternative testing methods which provide more reliable data. Only using human subjects can ensure the validity of human outcomes. However, experiment animals are not little humans. They do not share the same cells and genes with us, which makes animals respond to medicine differently. Some life-saving medicine on animals may appear useless or even fatal for humans. According to Dr. Richard Klausner, former Director of the National Cancer Institute, “We have cured cancer in mice for decades — and it simply didn’t work in humans”( Los Angela Times). Inspiringly, alternative methods now exist to replace animal testing and provide more reliable results. For example, In-Vitro testing enables people to study cell culture by conducting experiments in tubes by using the components isolated from the usual biological surrounding of an organism. This allows a skin sensitive test which previously injected chemicals into guinea pigs and mice, now use a human skin tissue sample to determine allergic reactions to chemicals by using actual human cells(Thousands of Guinea…).
It is irrefutable that pain should be avoided if possible. However,some may argue that it is not plausible and state that in face of great benefits, some sacrifice can be accepted. Therefore, the suffering and even the death of animals as worthwhile because they bring huge medical benefits to humans. In fact, this statement may have appears correct before 1990s, but it is not adaptable for todays situation. Animal testing was a must in the old days because of the limitation of choices. But nowadays, technology offers people new possibilities, which they can choose. This freedom of choice makes the animal testing become more of a gratuitous violence, which is unwarranted and promotes inhumanity. The urgency of coping with the threat of abominable actions and violence concerns the whole current society. Animal testing, a manifestation of humans’ arbitrary mind, however addresses the threats. People tend to be more violent due to the diminishment of the psychological barriers. Compared to the lost cost by animal testing to human both morally and practically, it is wise for humans to stop testing on animals.
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Bentham, Jeremy. “A Utilitarian View.” The Principles of Morals and Legislation. Chapter XVII, Section 1. 1789: Page1. printed.
Ingrid E. Newkirk. “What Is Animal Liberation? Philosopher Peter Singer’s Groundbreaking Work Turns 40.” http://www.peta.org/about-peta/learn-about-peta/ingrid-newkirk/animal-liberation/. Peta. Unknown published date. Web. November 5, 2016.
Wright, David, Cole Kazdin and Lauren Efferon. “‘Zoobiquity’: 7 Diseases Animals Share With Humans.” http://abcnews.go.com/Health/zoobiquity-diseases-animals-share-humans/story?id=16549555. abc News. June 12, 2012. Web. November 6, 2016.
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Kohl Rhiana. “Childhood Animal Abuse and Violent Criminal Behavior: A Brief Review of the Literature.” http://www.mass.gov/eopss/docs/doc/research-reports/briefs-stats-bulletins/summaryofanimalabuseliteraturefinal.pdf. Ellen Bickelman, State Purchasing Agent. October 17, 2011. PDF. November 13, 2016.
Johnston E Joni. “Children Who are Cruel to Animals: When to Worry.” https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-human-equation/201104/children-who-are-cruel-animals-when-worry. Psychology Today. April 27, 2011. Web. November 13, 2016.