Today, animals are used for testing new drugs and other things such as cosmetics. This practice goes back to the ancient Greeks. However, it does not come without a cost. About 100 million animals die each year from testing. And that is not the only problem.
According to Humane Society International, animals in experiments are often subjected to cruel treatment, such as substance deprivation, force feeding, long periods of physical restraint, and the infliction of pain.
One particularly cruel experiment occurred during the Cold War by Soviet scientist Vladimir Demikhov. The head and front paws of a puppy were grafted onto the neck of an adult dog. There is a video of it that shows the grafting, as well as the two dogs drinking milk. The puppy appears to be lively while the older dog is more subdued.
Not only are these tests cruel and inhumane, but many of them are unnecessary. In the Draize tests, which test the toxicity of cosmetics, rabbits were held in restraints while chemicals were dripped into their eyes or put onto their shaved skin. All of this suffering was done to test the effects of shampoo.
Animal testing is also impractical. Humans and other animals obviously have different body structures. Therefore, drugs that work on animals might not work on humans, and vice versa. Aspirin, used commonly, is quite dangerous to many animal species. The British Medical Journal reviewed five human diseases, and found that drugs that worked for animals only worked for humans 50% of the time.
This flaw has proved to be quite damaging. One case is the drug thalidomide. When tested on pregnant rats, thalidomide caused no birth defects or other problems. However, when pregnant women used it, their babies were born with extreme deformities.
One argument is that animal testing is the only way to test drugs. However, it is not. In-vitro testing is where cells are grown in a test tube. This could replace animal testing in many cases or lessen the amount that has to be performed on animals by testing the reaction human cells have to drugs.
In-vitro testing could have easily replaced the rabbits in the Draize tests by growing human skin and eye cells. Not only can human cells be used, but no living being would have to be in pain.
With the incredible cruelty of animal testing as well as a viable alternate solution, animals should definitely not be used for testing. Just like humans, they are living, breathing, and can feel pain

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