Animal testing – right or wrong? This week’s article from a Young Reporter

Do you know that animal testing has been going on for a lot longer than you realise?  The history of testing on animals goes back to the 3rd and 4th centuries BC. Early Greek physicians such as Aristotle and Erasistratus performed experiments on living animals. Some people are outraged that this is still happening, whilst others argue that it is not as bad as it seems.

Each year, more than 100 million animals in the US alone  (including dogs, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, monkeys and more) are  unfortunately tested and killed in laboratories for chemical and cosmetic testing. Some of this testing is for drug testing, make-up and for school dissection. It is a raging debate which has been going on for a long time now so the question is what are the positives and negatives about animal testing?

Starting off, without animal testing we wouldn’t know much at all about drugs and treatment of human illnesses. Human health can be improved by extensive medical research as well as the products we use. By testing on animals, we know if a chemical can hurt us and how to combat illnesses, and disease. It guarantees safety to humans and helps researchers to find treatments and know what to put into products. However there is a huge financial expense to research and in some cases the treatment is never brought to market meaning it may never be used for something useful.

There is also the theory that animals are inferior to humans so how can the same medical procedures be applied to humans from an inferior species?

Even though testing may result in harm or death to an animal, it means that human health could be improved. What’s more, some of these animal groups can also benefit from the testing as results can be passed on and used by vets to improve the health of animals.  As well as this, results of animal testing have led to several medical advancements for humans.

However, there are cons to this. The biggest argument is how unfair it is to animals. Animals are often caged and isolated with limited access to exercise and affection.

If it is unethical to test on humans, why is it right to test on innocent animals that don’t have a say? Animals involved in cosmetic testing have to endure powder, mascara and perfume sprayed in their faces, and creams and solutions applied to their skin. In medical testing it is much worse – dissection, burns and cuts to name a few. Can we really ever justify hurting animals just so humans can look good?

So, how can you help around the issues of animals suffering in experiments? Something that would help a lot is if you simply purchasing cruelty-free products by checking the labelling. Look for cruelty free products when shopping. Or, look online to find animal testing free cosmetics, soap and toothpaste. Finally, educate others and support charities such as PETA that are trying to stop cosmetic testing.

Are animals and humans really the same? Do all treatments tested on animals actually have the same effects on humans? Should human health and beauty be put above the lives of animals? Is it right or is it wrong? The debate continues.

Personally I feel testing on animals for cosmetic purposes should be banned because it does not only violate the rights of animals, it also causes pain and wastes the life of animals.

And now I’m going to cuddle my cosmetic free cat, Cookie who I could never bear to think about being used for any sort of testing. She is part of my family and not just an animal. Could you imagine your own pet in that situation? Think about it.

Article by Young Reporter Olivia
First appeared in Grimsby Telegraph 29th October 2019