Many people may not realize that the majority of products in their own home have been tested on animals; from lipstick and shampoo to dish soap and foot powder. Even the white ink on an M&M has been tested on animals. To some, this statement may be alarming and even disturbing – to others it may not mean much at all. Either way, the debate over animal testing has gained much popularity in recent decades.
Animal testing has been done since at least 500 BC; even Aristotle experimented on animals for scientific reasoning. Around 200 AD, dissecting animals in public was actually used as a form of entertainment, people would actually go and watch someone perform a vivisection on an animal. Vivisection is when an organism is dissected while it is still alive (“Animal Testing”). The public did not start objecting animal testing until the 19th century, which was around the time when more people started to adopt domestic pets. In 1875, the first group to protect animals from testing was formed, called the Society for the Protection of Animals Liable to Vivisection (“Animal Testing”).
Through the 20th century, companies began testing products on animals before they would be put on the market. It was not until recent years that scientific evidence revealed that animals experience pain much more than what was originally believed. Unfortunately, the agonizing cries of the animals was not convincing enough for the scientists of the past. This is where the animal testing controversy begins (Scott). Animal testing is unnecessary, inhumane, and unreliable.
There are many pros and cons that come along with animal testing, but there are usually more cons of animal testing, then there are pros. Animal testing is unnecessary. Some people who are for animal testing believe that there is no other comparative test subject because of the similar biological systems between animals and humans, meaning that animals are the closest organisms to humans (Ferdowsian). Even though animals might be the closest organisms to humans, it does not mean they are the same, humans are very much different from one another. Paul Furlong, who is a professor of Clinical Neuroimaging at Aston University, states “It’s very hard to create an animal model that even equates closely to what we’re trying to achieve in a human…the anatomic, metabolic, and cellular differences between animals and people make animals poor models for human beings”. So, again, Dr. Furlong is saying that there are many differences between animals and humans (Ferdowsian).
Animal testing is also unnecessary because of the technology advancements scientists have made. There are now many alternative testing methods that do not require animals. For example, there is now a testing method called in vitro, which is a way to study cell cultures. This method is reliable and accurate because human cells can actually be used. Another alternative to animal testing, is testing on people who volunteer (Scott). Why test on...