I’ve always wanted to write about this subject, but it’s hard to sum it all up in one post. So I guess I have to start somewhere and start this debate on this blog.
Animal testing began as early as the dawn of modern civilization, when some might argue was necessary. That I do understand – how else would we have known the level of toxicity of ingredients in household and cosmetic goods? We had to start somewhere, and we couldn’t experiment on humans. How else could we explore the intricacies of the mammal body and come up with cures and treatments? It is completely understandable to me that at one point, animal testing was necessary.
But is it necessary today? We have gotten so advanced in the scientific research on so many things. We know what shouldn’t swallow cosmetics, and we know that bleach is toxic. We know that cleaning products contain poisonous ingredients, and we know that there are pesticides in our foods. We know that asbestos can be fatal, and we know that certain things shouldn’t go into our eyes. So why do we continue to subject animals like dogs, cats, primates, rats, rabbits to horrific testing when we know it will hurt and kill them? Why do they have to continue to suffer when so we already know so much?
Then there is medical research. I’ve seen some pretty horrific images of primates being dissected alive while researchers poke at their organs, cats’s skulls exposed while being tested for sleep deprivation, beagles’ skin burned, animals forced to ingest poison, mice given cancerous tumors, and so on. I’m so saddened by this but there is the bigger question of whether this is necessary.
I’m conflicted. I believe that humans are superior beings and we do come first in this world, despite my compassion and love for animals and that I do not in any way wish them harm and suffering. As we advance in medical research every day, there seem to be a need to experiment on animals so that we can live longer, healthier. Without the animals, we would have to test on human subjects even more than now. This conflict lies in the very nature of human significance over the lesser mammal, and I know that this may never end. Thanks to animals, we live, and our animal companions live as well. I know that if my veternarian didn’t attend Cornell Feline Veterinarian School, where I presumed he dissected all sorts of animals, he wouldn’t be as good a doctor to my cat today. Some things are just necessary.
Of course, if there was another way, I will be all for it. I love animals and wish that one day there will be NO animal testing AT ALL. That doesn’t excuse the horrible ways in which animals are experimented. I KNOW that there are more humane ways to treat them and test on them. What are your thoughts?
P.S. buy non-animal tested consumer products please!