Thursday, May 10, 2012

Inside an Animal's Hell

            Are you an animal lover? Do you or your family own a pet? If so I’m sure your dog, cat, or whatever pet you have is extremely spoiled. My family owns a Lhasa Apso and he is the most spoiled dog on earth. My mom takes him for two mile walks almost every day and carries him when he gets tired. He destroys the house and causes all sorts of trouble, but no matter what he does he always seems to get away with things. Most animals don’t have this luxury where they can curl up in someone’s loving arms or sleep through the night knowing everything will be ok. Many different animals are torched each year from animal testing and many won’t make it through the night. But why are these animals being tested? Is testing on living things necessary? What are alternatives to animal testing? And what can we do to help?

Animals Used in Testing
Animals around the world are being used for animal testing. 25 to 100 million different animals such as mice, rodents, cats, dogs, monkeys, and many others are being used in experiments for cosmetics, toxicology, and other harmful tests. Most of these animals that are being testing on are tortured to death while the ones that survive through the night become fidgety and timid with fear. The animals that are still alive at the end of the experiment are killed because the scientists have no more use for them. A lot of the products that are tested such as cleaning products or harmful gases are placed on or in the animal causing them to bleed, become blind, and even let out blood curtailing screams. Some people believe that animals don’t have any feelings at all so testing on them isn’t an issue. This would have to be the worst argument because animals obviously feel pain. If you accidently trip over your dog or step on your cats tale they will let out a yelp or hiss. In these labs animals are screaming in pain and sheltering in fear in the back of their cages. They bleed and feel emotions just like human and saying that they feel nothing is a crazy thing to say. In 2002, more than 50 different drugs that were tested and then approved by the FDA were takin off the market. The drugs were causing death and illness in many humans. Later in 2006, the FDA claimed that 92% of the drugs that were tested on animals did not cause the animals any problems but affected the people during clinical studies. Another study that was testing tobacco and the side effects on rats had the same problem. The rats that were tested showed no side effect with tobacco because they didn't live long enough to express any signs of cancer. Now we know that tobacco is extremely harmful to our bodies and causes addictions and cancer after long term abuse. So animal testing isn't always affective because animals and humans are different. Our bodies are larger and operate differently than animals and most of the testing that is done on them won't necessarily be accurate because the testing could produce false data. Also, some drugs and poisons that are tested on animals and are confirmed dangerous are still something sold for consumer use. Some of the animal testing is completely unnecessary if the producer was going to sell the product no matter what. 

Cosmetic Testing on Bunnies
What kind of test are these animals going through? There are so many different tests that can be done on animals, such as testing different chemicals on the animal’s skin, consumption of the chemical, etc. Also, scientist use cosmetics on animals seeing if the product irritates their skin. In 1944, John H. Draize, who worked for the FDA, came up with the idea for testing eye irritation chemicals on bunnies. In his tests he would place a chemical in one eye of the rabbit and leave the other eye as his control in his experiment. So the rabbit couldn’t mess with its eye Dr. Draize would restrain the animal and record irritation in the rabbit’s eye for as long as three weeks. The bunnies would experience ulcers, bleeding, redness, and some even became blind. These tests are inaccurate because rabbits don’t produce as many tears as humans do so the irritation will stay in their eyes much longer. An alternative to testing on the eyes of rabbits is using chicken eyes from slaughterhouses. The chicken eyes are not used and are thrown away. By using the eyes scientists could eliminate most of the bunnies being testing on for eye irritation. Although this option still might not be accurate some animals still might be used for negative tests on the chicken eyes. This might not be the best solution but if it eliminates some of the animal testing then it is a start. Another test that is used on animals is acute toxicity which is used to determine the dangers that can occur when you are exposed to a chemical. This could either be breathing in the chemical, getting it on your skin, or consuming it. Over time these testing’s have included fewer animal but the tests have become more painful and inhumane. The tests now include the animals to endure intense amounts of pain, the loss of movement, convulsions, and seizures. Mice and rats are usually the animals that are being tested on and are killed at the end of the experiment so they can be dissected. The dissections are then used for determining the internal damage of the mice. An alternative is using human cells in the lab to estimate the doses of toxicity before testing it on mice or rats. This would eliminate a lot of the mice and rats needed in the labs although a few would still be needed, but again it would be a good start in eliminating animal testing completely. Test such as these, including many others, are tested in privately owned laboratories and even in colleges. It’s kind of hard to believe that colleges are doing some of the animal testing but in reality many of them are.
Dogs Used In Testing
Ohio State was testing dogs for heart problems by putting them on treadmills until they had a heart attack and died. At the University of Pennsylvania they would breed beagle that had a degenerative eye disease which caused the dogs to be born blind. After three weeks the puppies would then have their eyes cut out and they were soon killed. These are just some of the gruesome examples of college animal testing.

Are there any alternatives for animal testing? There are many different ways we could end animal testing and scientists would get better results. The Humane Society defined alternatives to animal testing as

By using the 3 R’s scientists will become more humane to the animals and think more about the procedure and if animal usage is really necessary. This proses will eliminate a lot of the animals used in experiment and reduce a lot of the pain and animal is force to go through during tests. Also, we are living in a technological world where people are creating new ideas and new machineries that grow and grow as the year’s progress. With all this new technology, universities, our governmental agencies, as well as privet own laboratories are starting to use human cells and tissues for their tests. Also, new computer models and other technology are starting to replace animal testing. Even though these methods are more expense they are more humane because no animals will be used in tests and the scientists will produce more accurate data. Because the machines would be replacing animal’s scientists will have to verify their work with other labs. This will make sure that the data is completely accurate and will be safe for human use. Some other alternatives are having human volunteers who have a fever causing contaminates in their blood to donate their blood for testing. By doing so many rabbits will be saved from testing and data will again become more accurate because you would be using human blood instead of rabbit blood. Also, cosmetic testing could almost stop completely because we already know thousands of different cosmetic materials that are already ok for human use. There are over 50 different alternatives to animal testing, but the big challenge is having companies switch over to these new ideas.

What organizations are against animal testing and how can I get involved? There are many different organizations that fight against animal testing and for animal rights. Some of these organizations include Peta, the Humane Society, and AAVS (American Anti- Vivisection Society). Peta is an organization that is against all animal abuse. They strive to put an end to animal testing along with animal abuse through protests, videos, and more. The Humane Society is located all though out the United States and helps animals by investigating animal cruelty, promote animal laws, campaign, and even have rehabilitation centers, clinics, and emergency shelters to help out animals in need. Finally, the AAVS is a non-profit organization who is against animal testing in research and education. For each of these organizations you can get involved by donating. For Peta you could write blogs about animal testing on their website and for the Humane Society you can volunteer your time to helping out the animals. Also, at AAVS you could get a job at the organization to help end the animal testing. There are many ways you can get involved to end animal testing and any step you take is a huge step in saving an animal’s lives.

            In conclusion, animal testing is wrong and inhuman. Millions of different animals are tortured every year and many don’t survive through the night or are killed at the end of the experiment.  Many people are pet owners and I’m sure if you own an animal you couldn’t bear to see them in so much pain. Just think of your dog, cat, bunny, or other pet in an experiment being constrained as chemicals are forced down their thought or see large open wound all over their bodies. It’s not a pretty sight to see and knowing that it is happening to so many animals is sickening. So please join the movement in stopping animal testing.  There are so many different ways to get involved and just speaking to other people about it is a huge step in ending animal testing. Speak up against animal testing because silence is never the answer.

Print Work Cited

William S Stokes (k, et al. "Non-Animal Replacement Methods For Veterinary Vaccine Potency Testing: State Of The Science And Future Directions." Procedia In Vaccinology 5.International Workshop on Alternative Methods to Reduce, Refine, and Replace the Use of Animals in Vaccine Potency and Safety Testing: State of the Science and Future Directions (2011): 60-83. ScienceDirect. Web. 8 May 2012.

Sandra Coecke, et al. "Alternative (Non-Animal) Methods For Cosmetics Testing: Current Status And Future Prospects-2010." Archives Of Toxicology 85.5 (2011): 367-485. Environment Complete. Web. 8 May 2012.