© 2019 Tapestry, Annual TAMUK Women & Gender Studies Journal

Best viewed at Screen Resolution 1280 x 1024 or higher.

This website is mobile friendly.

Maria Castillo

Animal Testing

            In the past few decades, the use of animals for research has been a concern that animal rights activists have been trying to fight. Every year, millions of experimental animals are used all over the world for testing. Animals are being abused, killed, and are feeling stress due to these experiments that can still affect humans even if it did not with the animals. Although the practice has developed our understanding of medical science in many ways in terms of saving human lives and improving health, it is inhuman to let these animals go through all that pain for our own benefit. As an animal lover and a future veterinarian, I see this as inhumane. With academic citations, I will propose different alternatives that have been tried, are in process, and can be eventually be a substitute for the testing of animals. The replacements are In Vitro testing, computer modeling, and human volunteers.

            The number of animals used for testing has increased throughout the years because these experiments have helped prevent harmful products, saved lives, and eased suffering of the human race. Although, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) offers numerous ideas that can replace experimenting on animals, some U.S. environmental organization demand operating on animals (Newkirk). The reason for this is because companies want to be certain that a product will not injure a person and encounter a lawsuit (King). Furthermore, because of how sensitive children and elderly are, companies test chemicals on animals to make sure it is safe for them to use (King). When animals are put in laboratories they suffer horrible deaths.

            With the use of animals, scientist test products, medicine and more in laboratories. To determine how dangerous a high dose of a chemical is, the substance is consumed, gasped, and rubbed in a creature’s skin to see its affect (Newkirk). To test irritation a product is wiped in a rabbit’s eye or shaved skin to see how it reacts (Newkirk). For the sensitivity of the skin, a guinea pig is used for these tests (Newkirk). In all of these experiments animals suffer seizures, bleeding, irritation, burning, blindness, and a lot more just so we cannot feel what they are feeling during all of these tests. Testing in schools can be an advantage during the process of learning, but animals ache during these experiments.

During school investigations, these beings feel a great amount of pain by restraining and abusing them. Universities in the United States conduct trials where they use a rat to learn about human stress and despair. During the experiment the rodent is shocked, forced to swim to eschew death, and many other tests are done for the use of research (Robinson). Genetic engineering majors generate an excessive amount of suffering to animals; many animals suffer from deformities, acquire diseases, or even die for an experiment that creates precise characteristics in an animal (Robinson). In numerous schools and colleges animals are being mistreated. Most of the time these experiments are not accurate, humans can react differently to products than animals do.  

            Testing of animals can affect a person in many different ways. According to a public health specialist, Dr. Aysha Akhtar, a drug that was passed by the animal tests can still be unsuccessful having a 10% chance of being effective to a human volunteer (Zacharias).  This shows that all experiments that abuse animals are useless and unnecessary. While being in a lab, the animals have caretakers that face a huge moral dilemma (Zacharias). These caretakers can get attached to the animals’ that scientists eventually test on, battling an unsettled internal struggle and conflict with themselves. What does all of this show to the human race? We chose to hurt innocent animals that cannot be heard instead of using other alternatives that technology can probably make possible.

            The alternative In Vitro testing was created by Harvard’s Wyss Institute. This is a chip that is made of human cells and imitates a human organ. Some companies have already had the privilege to work with this chip that can-do research for diseases, drug testing, and toxicity testing (Newkirk).  Evidence has shown that this chip is more rapid and accurate than animal testing because it replicates human physiology, diseases, and more. The advantage of In Vitro testing is that it works with actual human tissue and several species that test specific properties of drugs (Pearson). This type of testing can reduce the number of animal tests required for selection of new drugs, making this testing more humane.


            Computer simulation can make experiments more benevolent. Researchers have developed a variety of computer modeling that acts like a model of the human body (Newkirk). These models increase the safety and efficiency of the reaction of drugs in a person. Quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSARs) are computer-based techniques that can replace animal testing (Newkirk). These sophisticated models are being used for companies as a substitute animal testing of chemicals. The QSAR tools are based on the existing substances of a human body. Studies support the use of these models by accurately predicting the ways a new drug can react to the human body and can in fact replace the use of animals in research. People who are willing to volunteer for research can also end animal testing.

            A simple way to terminate experimenting on animals is using human volunteers during testing. A method called “microdosing” provides information of the safety of a drug that was experimented (Newkirk). Volunteers are given a small dose of a drug and with certain techniques the behavior of the drug is closely monitored. This type of testing can replace animal testing and help determine how certain drugs effect the body. What microdosing does to human volunteers is rebalancing them. People that have been doing this for a month are feeling better, sleeping better, and are beyond healthy (Martin). Microdosing has many advantages, it makes volunteers feel better and animals are being safe from all the horrific testing.

            Throughout the years, millions of animals have been abused, injured, and killed because of animal testing. Scientist have done numerous of unnecessary experiments on an innocent being, that most of the time, are unsuccessful in human trials. In the modern world that we live now, there are many different alternatives that were discussed in this essay that have many advantages and make the testing of products more humane.


Works Cited

Block, Kitty. “Alternatives to Animal Tests”. The Humane Society of the United States, <www.humanesociety.org/issues/cosmetic_testing/facts/alternatives_animal_tests.html>. Accessed 9 April 2018.

Doke, Sonali K, and Shashikant C Dhawale. “Alternatives to Animal Testing: A Review”. Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal Vol. 23, Elsevier, 2015. <www.sciencedirect.com /science/article/pii/S1319016413001096>. Accessed 21 March 2018.

King, Levi. “Animals in Science / Alternatives”. NEAVS, <www.neavs.org/alternatives/in-testing>. Accessed 9 April 2018.

King, Levi. “Animals Used in Cosmetics Testing.” National Anti-Vivisection Society, <www.navs.org/the-issues/animals-used-in-cosmetics-testing/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwqYfWBRDPARIsABjQRYxD5CdCOLZRAVqRtkcoSw1Iolyma48ru1CnKkGhT7KWAIr3wZA4DH8aAvpHEALw_wcB#.WsJaWmaZO8U>. Accessed 2 April 2018.

Martin, Michael. “What Is Microdosing?” Metro US, 7 May 2017, <www.metro.us/body-and-mind/health/microdosing-everything-need-know>. Accessed April 20, 2018.

Newkirk, Ingrid. “Alternatives to Animal Testing”. PETA, <www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-experimentation/alternatives-animal-testing/>. Accessed 9 April 2018.

Newkirk, Ingrid. “Product Testing: Toxic and Tragic.” PETA, <www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-experimentation/animals-used-experimentation-factsheets/product-testing-toxic-tragic/>. Accessed 2 April 2018.

Newkirk, Ingrid. “Testing Cosmetics and Household Products on Animals.” PETA, <www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-experimentation/cosmetic-household-products-animal-testing/>. Accessed 2 April 2018.

Pearson, R M. “In-Vitro Techniques: Can They Replace Animal Testing?” Human Reproduction (Oxford, England)., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Dec. 1986, <www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3818914>. Accessed April 20, 2018.

Robinson, Jill. “Harm and Suffering.” Neavs, <www.neavs.org/research/harm-suffering>. Accessed 4 April 2018.

Viceconti, Marco. “Stop Animal Experiments...Start Computer Simulations!” VPH Institute, <www.vph-institute.org/news/stop-animal-experiments%E2%80%A6start-computer-simulations.html>. Accessed April 20, 2018.

Zacharias, Nil. “5 Ways Animal Testing Hurts Humans.” One Green Planet, 8 Jan. 2014, <www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/5-ways-animal-testing-hurts-humans/>. Accessed 4 April 2018.