Globally, 120 million animals are abused, tortured and killed annually in the name of medical and product research.
Defenceless mice, monkeys, and rabbits are cruelly tested to check the toxicity of medical treatments, the safety of cosmetics, and for medical and scientific research. After these experiments, most animals are killed with no choice (Day). Even though some consider that animal testing is more convenient for humans, the US government must immediately ban it because it harms our natural environment, the results can be misleading, and ultimately is a waste of precious resources. In every single cruel animal experiment, ” a significant amount of waste” must be removed frequently (National Institute of Health).
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This waste includes remaining food, disposable caging, chemicals, bedding, needles, syringes, and unused medication. The hazardous chemicals involved anesthesia, sterilization, disinfection, sanitation, and the tested drugs. Well, what do the laboratories do with all this waste? They do this with a harming method called incineration. Incineration uses combustion of organic substances to get rid of waste ( Neavs.org).
When animal carcasses, supplies and experimental drugs are incinerated, gases and fine particulate matter are emitted. In 2010 alone, MPI Research, which is an animal research facility in Michigan, released 15 pounds of particulate matter, 164 pounds of carbon monoxide, 195 pounds of nitrogen oxide, 1.2 pounds of sulfur dioxide, and 11 pounds of other organic compounds. The gases and chemicals from these animal research centers is an addition to the increasing amount of greenhouse gases, which causes more global warming, an already existing problem today. Since 1880, the global temperature increased by 1.7 degrees fahrenheit (NASA). We cannot keep adding on to the crisis that is causing polar bears to lose their homes. Furthermore, the air pollution is becoming worse than it already is, which is causing many respiratory diseases to humans.
If animal testing was banned, our natural environment wouldn’t be so damaged and deleterious to every living thing. Despite that innocent and poor animals are being harmed for the sake of humans, there are many dangers humans can face too. “If you were volunteering for a clinical health trial, there is more than a 90% chance that the drug tested safe and effective in animals will be ineffective and unsafe on you” , says Doctor Aysha Akhtar, neurologist and public health specialist. Humans and animals are different living things, so experiments with same drug can end up with opposite results. For example, in March 2006, the drug TGN1412 was being tested on its safety, led by Tegenero (Akhtar).
It was first injected into mice, rabbits and monkeys, and was very successful. However, during a clinical health trial, all 6 volunteers were immediately suffering in pain. Although it is true that monkeys share 99% of their DNA with humans, and mice 98% similar to humans (ProCon), this same test had conflicting outcomes. In fact, cynomolgus monkeys, the best replicas of humans that are relevant to the drug, were abused in this test.
This proves that animal testing is not as accurate as it claimed to be. Then, if the drugs proven effective and safe in animals are actually not in humans, then are the drugs proven ineffective in animals actually safe in humans? Aspirin, a medication to treat fevers and pains, is used worldwide by an alarming number of people. In this experiment by the National Institute of Health, cynomolgus monkeys were drugged with aspirin, which resulted with a shocking reaction. Coronary atherosclerosis was initiated, which causes the arteries to become narrower, therefore slowing the blood flow (University of Ottawa Heart Institute). If cynomolgus monkeys were first tested with aspirin before humans, then it would have been considered ineffective, and the drug wouldn’t be available for millions of people today.
The extreme inaccuracy of animal testing is blocking humans from finding real cures and advancing medically. Since the chances of successful animal testing results are extremely rare, why waste money on it? Annually, the US government spends billions of taxpayer money on evil animal testing laboratories (PETA). The National Institute of Health uses around 47% of their funded grants on animal experimentation.
In 2015 alone, the NIH received 22 billion dollars, which 10 billion were squandered on unsuccessful animal experiments (Navs.org). Besides the NIH, other universities are using hard-earned tax money on useless studies. For instance, Northeastern University is given $300,000 for purposely injecting hamsters with steroids.
University of Utah is given $500,000 to provoke heart attacks to dogs. Oregon Health and Science University is given $1.6 million to transform mice and monkeys into alcoholics. In total, around 12 billion tax dollars are spent recklessly to torment animals for nothing. The United States government could definitely use the $12,000,000,000 on more advantageous causes.
For example, 12 billion dollars can supply a year long methadone treatment to 2.5 million people struggling with drug addiction (National Institute of Drug Abuse). Also, 3 and 4 year olds living under the poverty line could have an opportunity to attend preschool (Thinkprogress.org). As one can see, there are numberless causes that are far more crucial than conducting pointless animal research. It is time for the US government to think more wisely about spending precious money and care about what people actually need.
If it wasn’t for animal testing, the 120 million animals from every year’s experimentation would be in a perfect and safe condition. There is, however, just enough time to stop the next 120 million animals from unwillingly following its path to death. With our fast-paced world surrounding technology, there are many alternatives that we could try. Studying human cell cultures in a petri dish, artificial human skin and microfluidic chips are all options that could be more accurate than animal testing.
For the safety of all humans, economy, and our environment, we need to look forward into the future and change for the better.