Save the Animals: Stop Animal Testing


Amna Amjad, Contributor

Using animals in research, and testing the safety of products on them, has been a topic of heated debate for decades. A Pew Research Center poll found that 52 percent of U.S. adults oppose the use of animals in scientific research. Other surveys suggest that the remaining group that does accept animal experimentation, does so only because they believe it to be necessary for medical progress. While acknowledging the advances brought by animal experimentation, many people object to the use of animals in scientific studies, because the animals are denied their freedom and often suffer serious injury, discomfort, or death.

Congress has enacted several pieces of legislation to regulate animal experimentation and prevent animal abuse, including the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), first passed as the Laboratory Animal Welfare Act in 1966, and the Improved Standards for Laboratory Animals Act (ISLAA), passed as part of the Food Security Act of 1985. Each year, more than 100 million animals—including mice, rats, frogs, dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, monkeys, fish, and birds—are killed in U.S. laboratories for biology lessons, medical training, curiosity-driven experimentation, and chemical, drug, food, and cosmetics testing. Before their deaths, some are forced to inhale toxic fumes, others are immobilized in restraint devices for hours, some have holes drilled into their skulls, and others have their skin burned off or their spinal cords crushed. In addition, to the torment of the actual experiments, animals in laboratories are deprived of everything that is natural and important to them—they are confined to barren cages, socially isolated, and psychologically traumatized. In an article published in, The Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers found that medical treatments developed in animals rarely translated to humans.

Through their taxes, charitable donations, and purchases of lottery tickets and consumer products, members of the public are ultimately the ones who—knowingly or unknowingly—fund animal experimentation. One of the largest sources of funding comes from publicly funded government granting agencies such as NIH. Approximately 47 percent of NIH-funded research involves experimentation on animals, and in 2020, NIH budgeted nearly $42 billion for research and development.

Research with human volunteers, sophisticated computational methods, and in vitro studies based on human cells and tissues, are critical to the advancement of medicine. Cutting-edge non-animal research methods are available, and have been shown time and again, to be more accurate than crude animal experiments. However, this modern research requires a different outlook, one that is creative and compassionate, embracing the underlying philosophy of ethical science. Human health and well-being can also be promoted by adopting nonviolent methods of scientific investigation and concentrating on the prevention of disease before it occurs, through lifestyle modification and the prevention of further environmental pollution and degradation.

There are many organizations and interest groups whose main focus is to obtain a better lifestyle for animals and eliminate animal testing; one of major interest groups is called PETA. There are also companies which are specifically against animal testing, they have a cruelty free symbol on their cosmetics as a way of supporting this idea.