Animal Testing Essay, Research Paper
Animal Testing Using animals for testing is wrong and should be banned. Theyhave rights just as we do. Twenty-four hours a day humans are usingdefenseless animals for cruel and most often useless tests. Theanimals have no way of fighting back. This is why there should be newlaws to protect them. These legislations also need to be enforced moreregularly. Too many criminals get away with murder. Although most labs are run by private companies, oftenexperiments are conducted by public organizations. The US government,Army and Air force in particular, has designed and carried out manyanimal experiments. The purposed experiments were engineered so thatmany animals would suffer and die without any certainty that thissuffering and death would save a single life, or benefit humans inanyway at all; but the same can be said for tens of thousands of otherexperiments performed in the US each year. Limiting it to justexperiments done on beagles, the following might sock most people: Forinstance, at the Lovelace Foundation, Albuquerque, New Mexico,experimenters forced sixty-four beagles to inhale radioactive Strontium90 as part of a larger ^Fission Product Inhalation Program^ which beganin 1961 and has been paid for by the US Atomic Energy Commission. Inthis experiment Twenty-five of the dogs eventually died. One of thedeaths occurred during an epileptic seizure; another from a brainhemorrhage. Other dogs, before death, became feverish and anemic, losttheir appetites, and had hemorrhages. The experimenters in theirpublished report, compared their results with that of other experimentsconducted at the University of Utah and the Argonne National Laboratoryin which beagles were injected with Strontium 90. They concluded thatthe dose needed to produce ^early death^ in fifty percent of the samplegroup differed from test to test because the dogs injected withStrontium 90 retain more of the radioactive substance than dogs forcedto inhale it. Also, at the University of Rochester School Of Medicinea group of experimenters put fifty beagles in wooden boxes andirradiated them with different levels of radiation by x-rays.Twenty-one of the dogs died within the first two weeks. Theexperimenters determined the dose at which fifty percent of the animalswill die with ninety-five percent confidence. The irritated dogsvomited, had diarrhea, and lost their appetites. Later, theyhemorrhaged from the mouth, nose, and eyes. In their report, theexperimenters compared their experiment to others of the same naturethat each used around seven hundred dogs. The experimenters said thatthe injuries produced in their own experiment were ^Typical of thosedescribed for the dog^ (Singer 30). Similarly, experimenters for theUS Food and Drug Administration gave thirty beagles and thirty pigslarge amounts of Methoxychlor (a pesticide) in their food, seven days aweek for six months, ^In order to insure tissue damage^ (30). Withineight weeks, eleven dogs exhibited signs of ^abnormal behavior^including nervousness, salivation, muscle spasms, and convolutions.Dogs in convultions breathed as rapidly as two hundred times a minutebefore they passed out from lack of oxygen. Upon recovery from anepisode of convulsions and collapse, the dogs were uncoordinated,apparently blind, and any stimulus such as dropping a feeding pan,squirting water, or touching the animals initiated another convulsion.After further experimentation on an additional twenty beagles, theexperimenters concluded that massive daily doses of Methoxychlorproduce different effects in dogs from those produced in pigs. Thesethree examples should be enough to show that the Air force beagleexperiments were in no way exceptional. Note that all of theseexperiments, according to the experimenters^ own reports, obviouslycaused the animals to suffer considerably before dying. No steps weretaken to prevent this suffering, even when it was clear that theradiation or poison had made the animals extremely sick. Also, theseexperiments are parts of series of similar experiments, repeated withonly minor variations, that are being carried out all over thecountry. These experiments Do Not save human lives or improve them inany way. It was already known that Strontium 90 is unhealthy beforethe beagles died; and the experimenters who poisoned dogs and pigs withMethoxychlor knew beforehand that the large amounts they were feedingthe animals (amounts no human could ever consume) would cause damage.In any case, as the differing results they obtained on pigs and dogsmake it clear, it is not possible to reach any firm conclusion aboutthe effects of a substance on humans from tests on other species. Thepractice of experimenting on non-human animals as it exists todaythroughout the world reveals the brutal consequences of speciesism(Singer 29). In this country everyone is supposed to be equal, but apparently some people just don^t have to obey the law. That
is, in New York and some other states, licensed laboratories are immunefrom ordinary anticruelty laws, and these places are often owned bystate universities, city hospitals, or even The United States PublicHealth Service. It seems suspicious that some government runfacilities could be ^immune^ from their own laws (Morse 19). Inrelation, ^No law requires that cosmetics or household products betested on animals. Nevertheless, by six^o clock this evening, hundredsof animals will have their eyes, skin, or gastrointestinal systemsunnecessarily burned or destroyed. Many animals will suffer and diethis year to produce ^new^ versions of deodorant, hair spray, lipstick,nail polish, and lots of other products^ (Sequoia 27). Some of thelargest cosmetics companies use animals to test their products. Theseare just a couple of the horrifying tests they use, namely, the DrazieTest. The Drazie test is performed almost exclusively on albinorabbits. They are preferred because they are docile, cheap, and theireyes do not shed tears (so chemicals placed in them do not wash out).They are also the test subject of choice because their eyes are clear,making it easier to observe destruction of eye tissue; their cornealmembranes are extremely susceptible to injury. During each test therabbits are immobilized (usually in a ^stock^, with only their headsprotruding) and a solid or liquid is placed in the lower lid of one eyeof each rabbit. These substances can range from mascara to aftershaveto oven cleaner. The rabbits^ eyes remain clipped open. Anesthesia isalmost never administered. After that, the rabbits are examined atintervals of one, twenty-four, forty-eight, seventy-two, and onehundred an sixty-eight hours. Reactions, which may range from severeinflammation, to clouding of the cornea, to ulceration and rupture ofthe eyeball, are recorded by technicians. Some studies continue for aperiod of weeks. No other attempt is made to treat the rabbits or toseek any antidotes. The rabbits who survive the Drazie test may thenbe used as subjects for skin-inflammation tests (27). Another widelyused procedure is the LD-50. This is the abbreviation of the LethalDose 50 test. LD-50 is the lethal dose of something that will killfifty percent of all animals in a group of forty to two hundred. Mostcommonly, animals are force-feed substances (which may be toothpaste,shaving cream, drain cleaner, pesticides, or anything else they want totest) through a stomach tube and observed for two weeks or untildeath. Non-oral methods of administering the test include injection,forced inhalation, or application to animals skin. Symptoms routinelyinclude tremors, convultions, vomiting, diarrhea, paralysis, orbleeding from the eyes, nose, mouth. Animals that survive aredestroyed (29). Additionally, when one laboratory^s research onanimals establishes something significant, scores of other labs repeatthe experiment, and more thousands of animals are needlessly torturedand killed (Morse 8). Few labs buy their animal test subjects from legitimate petstores and the majority use illegal pet dealers. There are many stolenanimal dealers that house the animals before, during , and aftertesting. These ^farms^ most frequently hold animals between testswhile the animals recuperate, before facing another research ordeal.These so called farms in question are mainly old barn-like buildingsused as hospitals and convalescent (recovery) wards are filthy,overcrowded pens. At one farm in particular dogs with open chestwounds and badly infected incisions, so weak that many could not stand,were the order of the day. These dogs were ^recuperating^ fromopen-heart and kidney surgery. Secondly, a litter of two-day-old pupswere found in a basket, with no food provisions in sight (Morse 19).In every pen there were dogs suffering from highly contagiousdiseases. An animal^s road to a lab is seldom a direct one. Whetherhe^s stolen picked up as a stray, or purchased, there^s a de tour firstto the animal dealer^s farm; There he waits- never under satisfactoryconditions- until his ride, and often life, comes to an end at thelaboratory (23). Every day of the year, hundreds of thousands of fully consciousanimals are scalded, or beaten, or crushed to death, and more aresubjected to exotic surgery and then allowed to die slowly and inagony. There is no reason for this suffering to continue (Morse 8). In conclusion, animal testing is inhumane and no animal should be forced to endure such torture. Waste in government is onething; it seems to be an accepted liability of democracy. But thewasting of lives is something else. How did it ever get this way?
Fox, Michael Allen. The Case For Animal Experimentation. LosAngeles: University Of California Press, 1986. Jasper, James M. and Dorothy Nelkin, eds. The Animal RightsCrusade. New York: Macmillion Inc., 1992, 103-56. Morse, Mel. Ordeal Of The Animals. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-HallInternational, 1968. Sequoia, Anna. 67 Ways To Save The Animals. New York: HarperCollins, 1990. Singer, Peter. Animal Liberation. New York: Random House, 1975.