In our day and age, we have access to a large variety of food and drugs deemed safe to use. Modern technology can test the efficacy and safety of products in many different ways, but animal testing has been one of the most controversial methods. Medicine and food are essential for humans to survive, so scientists must decide whether or not something is safe to be put out on the market. Thus, many organizations have been performing experiments on living animals to understand whether a drug, food, or cosmetic item can be safely applied without having any unintended side effects.
However, this process has been very ethically controversial due to animals being exposed to harmful chemicals which could permanently damage or even kill them. Along with this, the conditions many animals are placed in cause them to develop trauma and unnatural behavior after being caged for long periods of time and used for testing. Unfortunately, animal testing is a common practice in many countries, some even requiring it by law to guarantee the safety of products before being given to humans. It is even estimated that over 100 million animals die due to the significant and direct effects of experimentation per year. Not only is this number astoundingly large, but also this method is currently continuing in mass practice by many corporations and countries.
Though some may argue that animal testing is necessary for keeping humans safe from being exposed to unintended side effects, these experiments have been proven not to be a definite answer to a product’s safety. An animal’s biological composition is not a clear indication of a human’s reaction to certain chemicals, which shows how animal testing is not only unethical but also open to a major error. This would mean that countless animals would be subjected to cruel treatment for a test that would not yield complete or accurate results.
Thankfully, new technology has come forth to aid in determining the safety of chemical products for humans without the need for live animals. The European Union, along with many other countries following in their footsteps, have issued a ban on the use of animal testing for such purposes. Instead, they have started to adopt new procedures in which separated human cell and tissue reactions are studied along with various computer modeling techniques to further define a product’s safety. The world is starting to move in the right direction of finding new solutions for analyzing food and drug safety, but animal testing is still present in many nations. Though animal testing may arguably help the expansion of modern medicine and the safety of humans, it is simply an inhumane practice that needs to be replaced.
“Cosmetics Testing FAQ.” The Humane Society of the United States, www.humanesociety.org/resources/cosmetics-testing-faq.
“In Vitro Methods and More Animal Testing Alternatives.” PETA, 19 May 2021, www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-experimentation/alternatives-animal-testing/.
“The Truth About Animal Testing.” PETA, 19 May 2021, www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-experimentation/animal-testing-101/.