For years, scientists have been testing new drugs on animals to see if they are suitable for humans; however, the test results are not always accurate and cost a large amount of money. Most importantly, it is inhumane and cruel, which is why it needs to be stopped.
According to “Understanding Medical Research,” 94 percent of drugs that pass in animal tests fail in human clinical trials. This is because many anatomic, metabolic, and cellular differences exist between the animals being used and humans.
Although many of the animals that are part of these experiments have a DNA make up that almost completely matches that of humans, the two organisms still function very differently.
Similarly, drugs that do not pass animal testing may be found beneficial to humans. Scientists have no way of making sure that the drugs they discard or shelve because of failure in animal experimentation could help humans.
The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) spends $14 billion dollars out of its $31 billion dollar budget each year on animal testing. There is no point in spending so much money if most of its results are not valid.
An unbelievable amount of money is being wasted annually on something that is not making a difference in medical advancement. This money could instead be used for different types of technological research that might be able to find cures and benefit us.
In addition to animal testing being invalid and unreasonably expensive, it is cruel and inhumane. During the process of research, animals are treated with almost no respect. They are forcibly fed, suffer physical restraint, and for the purpose of pain medication, are hurt and wounded.
Freshman Kendra Stephens says, “How would it feel if it were humans in the place of animals? We do this to avoid hurting humans, so then why are we hurting other animals?”
If drugs are being tested on animals so that humans do not suffer, then animals having to suffer instead takes away the purpose of finding cures to pain. Animals feel pain, too, and are not even given anesthesia for relief while they are being tested upon.
In 2010, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported that 97,123 animals suffered pain without anesthesia that year. This included 1,395 primates, 5,996 rabbits, 33,652 guinea pigs, and 48,015 hamsters.
Animals are not just objects that should be tortured and used for the purpose of medical research; they are also living things just like humans. It does not make sense if animals are being mistreated for the purpose of human benefit because both are living creatures.
Freshman Esha Patel says, “Animal testing is just putting a life in danger so that other lives are not in danger. It does not make sense and is not fair.”
A way that would avoid all of these negative effects is called in-vitro or in-glass testing. Cell cultures can be tested in a petri dish, instead of conducting invasive experiments on animals. This also produces more accurate results because human cells can be used so there would be less chances of accidentally shelving a useful drug or continuing experiments with a harmful one.
A new study also introduced Microfluidic chips, which simulates human organs and recreates their functions on a chip lined with human cells. Computer models could use this to then predict the toxicity of substances.
If there are new ways to advance in medicine, why are animals still being used as test subjects?