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Discussing Pros and Cons of Animal Testing

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An animal activist and scientist Jane Goodall once said, ‘I’m always pushing for human responsibility. Given that chimpanzees and many other animals are sentient and sapient, then we should treat them with respect.’ Unfortunately, animals today are living a life no better than puppets manipulated by brutal humans. Shut-in cramped cases less than 35cm long for the entire life and end their lives on a cold experiment stand and tremble in fear and loneliness. Animal testing is one of the most common methods to test the product’s safety all over the world. It filters out products that can be seriously harmful to humans. It might sound helpful for humans. However, if you look at the hidden truth behind animal testing, everyone all over the world including the government should strongly oppose animal testing.

First, animal testing is against animals’ rights. According to Animal Testing written by Karen Judson, she stated that animal testing was even more inhumane than the present. Judeo-Christians in the past believed that God had given people dominion over animals. In fact, early scientists only had little knowledge about animal nervous systems which made them believe nonhuman animals were incapable of feeling the pain and not able to use anesthetics. Currently, there are 3Rs representing reduction which is using as few animals as possible, a refinement that efforts to minimize pain and distress for animals, and replacement which is using an alternative when possible. This resulted in people thinking that currently, animals are safely protected and tested under fair law. Do you think this is true? No, not even close. This is completely wrong. According to Animal Legal Defense Fund, out of that more than 1 million animals used in U.S. laboratory experiments, about 85% to 95% of these animals are not protected under law.

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Secondly, animals have different biological structures and reactions to chemicals than humans. According to Antidote Europe, “For an experimental object to be considered as a suitable study model, it must respond identically to the original, or else, provide a significantly similar result, within the framework of clearly defined laws and principles.” Contrasting with the human, the animal has a unique genetic code. Especially, each protein, which plays the main role in animals’ biological functions, has a unique structure and form. Consequently, two identical-looking genes can produce two completely different proteins. Not only it has a different structure, but animals also have a different reaction to chemicals than humans. Navs.org states that we cannot assume animals, who by nature are more different, cannot accurately predict humans’ response. Some people might say since animals share some genetic data with humans, it may be at least helpful to humans’ response. However, even though we can predict, we should consider if that data can be accurately applied considering the genetic diversity of humans.

Last but not least, there are more efficient alternatives rather than animal testing. In the past, most companies were in favor of animal testing due to the cheap cost. Now, we have alternatives that are cheaper, but more accurate. Organs-on-chips created by Harvard’s Wyss Institute is considered a method with a high possibility of the future. According to peta.org, it states, ‘Organs-on-chips contains human cells grown in a state-of-the-art system to mimic the structure and function of human organs and organ systems.’ Recently, many companies including Harel Corporation started to use this method. Some tests are using tissue models or cell-based. Currently, MatTek’s EpiDerm is well known for its 3-dimensional, human cell-derived skin model. It follows key traits of normal human skin more accurately compared with animal skins. Even though many companies are paying attention to the alternatives, there are still many animals suffering from pain each day. I strongly believe your attention to animal testing will change society.

Ask a question to yourself. “Is it right to see more than 100 million animals sacrificed each year without any convincing excuse?” Now is the time for a change. To return an ordinary life to our innocent animals. Now is the time for people we should pay attention to the major issue among our whole society. As a member of society, I strongly ask you to protect our dear friend, animals.  

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