What Is Animal Testing and Why Should We Prevent It? (by Brianna Ison)

BriannapicAs you are reading this post, millions of animals are imprisoned in laboratories and locked in barren, stainless steel cages. They are suffering in pain, aching with loneliness, and longing to live their lives with their families in their natural environments. All they can do is sit and wait in fear for the next terrifying and painful procedure to be performed on them (2015, PETA). This is the life of an animal victim of animal testing. The term “animal testing” refers to procedures performed on living animals for purposes of research into basic biology and diseases, assessing the effectiveness of new medicinal products, and testing the human health and/or environmental safety of consumer and industry products such as cosmetics, household cleaners, food additives, pharmaceuticals and industrial/agro-chemicals (2015, Humane Society Int.). This past year, over 100 million animals (80 million dogs and 54 million cats) were victims of animal experimentation worldwide (2014, Animal Welfare Act). Experimental animals are virtually tortured to death and somehow this unfair and unjust treatment is tolerable simply because it is on animals and in the interest of human welfare. The problem with this reasoning is that the animals’ safety and well-being is not in consideration. That aside, why is it illegal for this treatment of animals outside of laboratories but inside is perfectly justifiable? While volunteering at the animal shelter, I realized how often animals are taken for granted and unappreciated. There beautiful lives put to waste rather than living to their full potential simply because of us selfish humans. It is time that we all come together and start appreciating the lives of the precious creatures.


Hundreds of household products, many of which we use every day, go through a standard animal testing process before they are able to sell and import them to certain countries. While they may claim that they are against animal testing, they are not on the animal cruelty free list because they are still choosing to sell to countries that require animal testing. Household products such as Febreeze, Glade, Windex and Clorox are all products that are regularly tested on animals. Companies such as Absolute Green and Astonish Cleaning Products, are cruelty free products that do not test on animals and are mostly available in the same variety of stores in which you buy your usual household products. Now that you know this would you be willing to spend a few extra dollars on your window cleaner or air freshener to know that you are saving an innocent animals life?

It is not only cosmetics and household products that are tested on animals before becoming available for public use, but many pharmaceutical drugs as well. The shocking truth about this is that there are hundreds of drugs that were deemed safe for human use after extensive animal testing, but which were later found to cause serious side effects. Aspirin, Prilosec and birth control pills are only a few of these drugs. Not only are those poor animals suffering from being constantly tested, poked, pricked, shocked etc. but the scientists are still giving the okay for products that didn’t even pass the tests. So why are these animals being tested on in the first place? Most Americans, when asked to consider how the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) spends their tax dollars, don’t typically picture dogs being shoved into metal chambers and forced to eat or inhale pesticides until they go into convulsions. Nor do they imagine rows of rabbits in full-body restraints vainly attempting to save themselves from the industrial solvents that researchers swab into their eyes. But the sad reality is that this horrific treatment of animals happens routinely at the direction of the EPA (Sandler, 2013).

Even though these are shocking truths, there are ways that we can individually and as a community come together to stop this from continuing.

How to Get Involved:

. Start looking for products that advertise not being tested on animals. Companies that do use animal testing do not legally have to disclose that information.

. Inform yourself on products that are cruelty free and then inform others as well! There are so many lists online of cruelty free products!

. Go vegan! It may be hard to even think about but keep in mind that eating meat costs billions of animals their lives.

. Protest!

. Only donate to cruelty –free charities

 The Research

. “About Animal Testing.” Humane Society International. N.p., 2015. Web. <http%3A%2F%2Fwww.hsi.org%2Fcampaigns%2Fend_animal_testing%2Fqa%2Fabout.html>.

This article, while disturbing, is very helpful in that it gives very descriptive details of what animal testing consists of and the most common procedures performed. If those two things alone weren’t enough to persuade the reader into being anti- animal testing, then the animal statistics and unreliability aspect will. The author ends with a quote from the British Medical Journal,“The claim that animal experimentation is essential to medical development is not supported by proper, scientific evidence but by opinion and anecdote. Systematic reviews of its effectiveness don’t support the claims made on its behalf.” This statement right here shows that animal testing is unnecessary and unreliable. After reading this article it just completely confirmed to me why I am so passionate about stopping this process which is reflected in my writing for this project.

. Dunnuck, Heather. “Save the Animals: Stop Animal Testing.” Save the Animals: Stop Animal Testing. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Aug. 2015. <http://www.lonestar.edu/stopanimaltesting.htm&gt;.

This is such a fantastic article that talks about how and why we should be eliminating the process of animal testing. It gives multiple shocking facts about the harm done to these poor little creatures who have fallen victim of animal experimentation. The author, just like me, feels very strongly about this appalling ongoing practice. The title simply says it all: “Save the Animals: Stop Animal Testing,” which directly relates to my research question.


. Sandler, Jessica. “Against Animal Testing.” CCF Official Site RSS. N.p., 29 May 2013. Web. 12 Aug. 2015. <http://www.choosecrueltyfree.org.au/against-animal-testing/&gt;.

While this article may be a little lengthy, it is jam packed with useful information on the topic of animal experimentation. It talks about how animal models are not predictive, and that while they have similar internal attributes as we humans do, there are actually many intricate differences. It is in fact those differences that will alter the impact when it comes to assimilating drugs. Towards the end of the article there are a list of some examples of pharmaceutical drugs which had been deemed safe for human use after extensive animal testing, but which were later found to cause serious side effects. I love this article because it talks about things that nobody really thinks about when considering animal testing. That is what I hope my writing about this topic was able to do as well.






  1. Sharlene Lal

    I really enjoyed reading your article, and it was very informative. Although I know that there are many products that are tested on animals, I never realized they were such common products that I use so often. I also never realized how many animals were actually tested on. In your introduction, you state how over 100 million animals have been tested on this passed year, and I think it was very effective to put that information at the very beginning. It made me a lot more interested in the topic you were writing about, and it made me want to read about what exactly scientists are doing to all these animals. Being really passionate about animals, it really effected me that all these things are happening to them that I had no idea about. I am still in shock that I use these products quite often, and have never known about the animal cruelty that comes with it.
    Your writing really inspired me to get involved, and share information about what exactly is happening to these animals that we don’t know about. It has made me want to research and ind what products are okay to use, that haven’t been tested on animals. It devastates me that this is even legal. I think a very strong point in your article is when you state that this is illegal, but suddenly when scientists are in a lab, then it becomes okay. Good job on your project, I think it was very thorough, and I am not sure how you could improve it!

  2. JJ

    This piece has left me very disheartened. Why? Because I had hoped that animal testing had gone away, or was going away, considering how many years it has been that people have been objecting to it. Your article has shown me that it is still going on, and that is simply unacceptable. Your writing shows that you have done your research and know what you are talking about.

    I do already look for cruelty-free labels on products. I appreciate that you offer additional ways for a regular person to live out their belief that animals deserve our compassion and not our torture. If I could want one more thing from your article, it might be a section addressing how medical advances would be impacted, if at all, by stopping all animal testing. You hinted at it with the quote from the British Medical Journal (and that was a great quote to pick), but a few specifics in your piece would help the reader come away from your article with a deeper understanding.

    You have a way with words that brings out a strong emotional response in your readers. This is a gift, and I hope you continue to use it to advocate for animal welfare!

  3. Nathaniel Bilton

    Wow, Brianna, the descriptive language you used really cemented the idea of the environment these animals suffer in. It made me interested in reading about how to resolve their plight. I liked the resources to get involved. How can a person find which charities are animal-cruelty free?

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