Animal testing has come in for a lot of flack in recent years and with good reason. The conditions which animals endure to test our products are horrendous, yet many argue that this is a necessary evil, but is this really the case?
Supporters of animal testing have a few arguments up their sleeve and on the face of it, they seem to have a point. When you dig a little deeper however, it does seem that this is an outdated practice that really needs to be replaced with something much more humane.
One strong argument would be that we need animal testing to ensure that we can produce effective medicinal cures for humans. There are a few reasons why an alternative would be better however, and one of those is money. Animal testing costs billions each year, and until we improve our lifestyles, a lot of the work is futile. The worldwide obesity rate is soaring. We can come up with all of the medicines we like but if we overeat and don’t exercise we will still get sick. Surely it makes more sense to channel billions into helping people live in a way that does not make them sick or increase their mortality rate. Much better than spending billions on animal testing to cure them.
Animals are not protected legally whilst being tested either. They are submitted to burning, shocking, poisoning, starvation and much more. Painkillers don’t necessarily need to be used either so the suffering is unthinkable. We need to live in harmony with other species a little more, such behaviour is unethical.
Pro animal testing folks will argue that we don’t have an option but to use live animals. We can’t do testing on humans and this is true. But with the advances in stem cell technology, computer simulation and human tissue creation, we could invest in finding other ways. In fact, medical schools have already moved on from animals, with disection and experimentation not being required anymore.
Animal testing is a classic case of preserving the status quo in the face of a new reality. It’s time to re-think this issue and move away from cruelty and wasting resources. The potential is there, all that is lacking is the will.