Professor J. Austin Floyd
English 101 S09
19 November 2012
For the Love of Animals
Most households today have a beloved cat, dog, rabbit, fish, or other pet of some sort that they unconditionally care for and protect. What if your pet had ended up in a laboratory, forced to undergo painful experiments, instead of in your care? Unfortunately, that has been the fate of millions of animals every year dating back since before the nineteenth century. Researchers believe they are helping people by putting animals through these cruel experiments, but it has been proven that most of the results end up being incorrect in human trials. Billions of dollars are being provided to medical universities, institutes, and companies for further animal research testing when we could be focusing this money on finding non-animal alternatives. Finally, animal testing is an ethical issue. Humans get consent, but animals are forced to take place in these experiments because there is no way for them to fight back. The pain and suffering these animals undergo is overlooked and underestimated. Animal testing is unreliable in its research, a waste of money, and just plain unethical. Banning animal research testing would the right solution to this worldwide issue. Animal experimentation is an ancient practice, started by the Greeks in the third and fourth centuries. Back in this time, it was only performed for scientific and religious reasons. It was once believed that animals did not have feelings and couldn’t feel pain from the tests, which is why scientists and researchers felt no guilt when treating animals as such insensitive objects. Cosmetics began to be tested on animals in 1933. There were many unfortunate incidents of products backfiring on costumers after being approved through animal research. As animal testing continued to grow, so did the animal protection organizations. In 1981, the John Hopkins Center for the Alternatives to Animal Testing was formed to improve health for both people and animals. Revlon and Avon were the first major cosmetic company to stop testing their products on animals in 1989. While these were steps in the right direction, animal experimentation is still being practiced actively today. Annually in the United States, “an estimated 70 million animals are maimed, blinded, scalded, force-fed chemicals, genetically manipulated, and otherwise hurt and killed in the name of science”(Animal Testing Facts). Rats, mice, guinea pigs, rabbits, dogs, and cats are all commonly victim to research experiments. These animals live in a cage until they are needed for a test, which can stunt mental and physical growth because they are not able to explore or get regular exercise. All kinds of pain inflicting tests are preformed on these harmless animals. Common substances, such as eye shadow, soap, furniture polish, and oven cleaner, are usually tested on rats, guinea pigs, and rabbits. The Draize Eye Test is an experiment that tests shampoos, pesticides, detergents, and gases irritancy by smearing these substances in a conscious rabbit’s eyes. Cats are used for stroke research, where the cat is actually forced to have a stroke. They are also frequently used to research the visual system causing most of the cats to go blind after they’ve been tested on. Even man’s best friend, the dog, is victim to some of the cruelest experiments. They are most commonly used in toxicology studies, where large amounts of a certain substance are pumped into their bodies, slowly poisoning them. Dogs are also used in studies of the human heart. In one case, at Ohio State University, dogs were forced to run on a treadmill until they collapsed from a heart attack. Their hearts were then surgically removed so that the damage could be studied. Most researches don’t even use anesthetics because they can interfere with the drug being tested. Even more heartbreaking, most animals are euthanized, or killed, after being involved in just...
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