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Animal Testing or Alternative Methods: Arguments For and Against

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Imagine a syringe being forced down your throat to inject a chemical into your stomach, or being restrained and forced to breathe sickening vapors for hours. That’s the cruel reality of animal testing for millions of mice, rabbits, dogs and other animals worldwide, the Human Society International estates. With today’s innovations and with the advancement of technology, other methods besides animal testing should be considered. The harm that is committed to these animals because they are not considered human is inhumane and not ethical. Most of the time, the experiments are often done without any painkillers, and the animals are subject to horrific pain and suffering. Not to mention the living circumstances these animals are obligated to be in. They are kept captive and lonely, while some are placed in artificial settings, never seeing natural daylight. They spend their lives in cages, stressed in agony and fear. In addition, most experiments have been considered pointless, due to the difference in the correlation of human physiology to those of animals. Certain drugs reactions are not the same in human and animals. Millions of animals are killed in laboratories and these animals aren’t legally protected and mistreated: this violates animal rights. Although it has become an acceptable way of testing, animal testing has been acknowledged to be unreliable and unsuccessful and alternatives of testing have been proven more effective and humane. However, it should be acknowledged that no product is worth the pain these animals suffer, and something must be done to change the federal laws of testing to protect and help defenseless, and innocent animals against human cruelty.

Unquestionably, testing on animals has been our method for experimenting for as long as we can go back in history. Some of the scientific community state that they have to test on animals to develop medicine and for many other biomedical advancements. Our society is under the perception that it’s our only way of keeping products safe for humans. However, with how much science has evolved, other methods have certainly proven to be better and have given accurate testing results. Organizations to protect animals have brought awareness of the inhumane ways used for testing. Social media has brought attention to cruelty during experimentation, and people are becoming more aware of the truth: and in the past recent years there has been a demand for change. Humane organizations are fighting for the rights of animals and exposing the truth worldwide. For instance, the organizations are making people aware that non- animal testing experiments give accurate results, and do no put humans at risk. Conversely, not all products that have been tested on animals can guarantee safety for humans 100%. In fact, the experiments on animals have many flaws. Dr. Elias Zerhourni, who has written articles on this matters states:

We have moved away from studying human disease in humans… We all Drank the Kool- Aid on that one, me included…The problem is that animal testing hasn’t worked, and its time we stop dancing around the problem…We need to refocus and adapt new methodologies for use in humans to understand disease biology in humans. (Zerhouni)

Today’s alternative methods are a lot more sophisticated and plenty of options are available, such as using human cells through a procedure called vitro. Vitro is an “organ-on-chip,” (Wyss) made, this chip contains the real human cells, and it’s essentially a copy of human organs. The design of the chip is exactly that of a human’s actual physiology, and it responds to drugs and or treatment and toxicity like a real human would. Vitro testing will not only protect animals; it is also more efficient with the outcome results. Statistics have shown that “what they found is that development and uptake of alternative technologies has been steadily gaining pace, culminating in an exponential rise since the millennium, indeed more than 70% of all in vitro assays captured by the survey were used since 2010, peaking at just over 190,000 in 2012,” (Chris Magee) verses animal testing that it has an outcome of 92% of the time the testing fail to give accurate results, making the experiment wasteful and expensive. With alternatives such as vitro that provides high accuracy for experiments, this method should be adapted instead of testing the old fashion way on animals. All in all, it has been proven that animals do not always give results or react the way humans would to certain products, therefore animals should not be the subjected to these cruel experiments have high failure rates.

Nonetheless, other computer advancements have been developed that have the activity of biology of humans. The computer models called in silico provide analysis of the human genome. It has been proven to precisely diagnose the reactions humans would have towards drugs, making it a method better than to test on animals. Thereupon, this is a sophisticated technology that mimic’s human’s bodies and pathology, and will allow the ability to adapt new ethical experimentation. Not to mention, in silico will also test for toxicity and chemicals. This computer method can be used versus using animals when testing for toxicity. When toxicity is tested on animals, they are forced to swallow and inhale huge qualities of toxic chemicals poisoning and causing pain and most end up killed. Testing for disease of the brain has also evolved, and computers can be used to safely to test and evaluate the brain. Techniques such as (MRI), which is a magnetic resonance imagine can be safely used on human volunteers to test for some products. What this does is “temporarily and reversibly induce brain disorders using transcranial magnetic stimulation,” (PETA) this would replace the testing on animals such as monkeys, cats and rats, preventing the cruel act of damaging their brains.

Whereas, for medical practice there has also been a huge advancement. Medical students can now replace animal testing with a “human- patient simulator,”

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(PETA) this simulator is called a TruamaMan, and it acts as a human, it breathes and bleeds, and has all the layers of skin and tissues humans have. Studies have shown that using TruamaMan, “will improve lifesaving skills better than courses that require students to cut into live pigs, goats, or dogs,” (Dr. Elias Zerhoui). This type of replacement will react like a human, and will allow better training for all medical professionals. Scientist have developed, so many modern methods to study the human health and potential risk of unsafe products, with options of using methods that correlate to a real human Experiments and studies that have accurately had many successes should continue being the primary source of testing.

Furthermore, another issue is cosmetic testing, the testing process used is horrific. Chemicals are forced down their throats or tested in their eyes, “This is the ugly secret of the beauty industry,” (PETA) that they administer unrealistic massive amounts of toxic and chemicals to these animals just to determine what would cause death, blindness, bleeding of skin, and many more terrible side effects. When these companies have the alternatives to use modern methods and provide products that are safe for humans. Options of cruelty free are in the market, and the fact that the cosmetic companies continue to test on animals is unnecessary, the resources to stop cruel testing on animals are an option. Not to mention that is has been proven, that the alternatives have better results then testing on animals. One alternative for the cosmetic industry is “artificial human skin, “It’s a very powerful tool for doing away with the traditional experiments, “ (Dr. Carol Barker) states who is the founder of XCellR8, a model that mimics the human skin. The advantage of the XCellR8 is that the “models are 3D, contains all the critical layers that human skin contains including our skin barrier, which is very important in assessing cosmetic function and cosmetic safety,” (Dr. Carol Baker) with this in mind, the cosmetic industry should be regulated to adapt ethical testing, because its humane and most importantly more accurate while providing safety for humans. Overall cosmetic testing is a cruel act and unnecessary.

With all this said, the testing of animals is flawed and not always valid and the lack of credibility of results not relevant to humans. The results can differ and be unreliable as there are many limitations and different species who respond differently, just as many humans respond differently to drugs and products. Therefore, most testing has been irrelevant and unsuccessful and does not guarantee the safety of humans. These problems have been acknowledged and ignored. For instance, keeping animals in certain environments alter behaviors in animals, and can have a different outcome for a test “ Cortisone levels rise in monkeys watching other monkeys being restrained, blood pressure in and heart rates elevate in rats watching other rats being decapitated,” (The Flaws and Human Harms of Animal Experimentation) the stress and fear will cause a different outcome on the experiment giving inaccurate results. The lack of results produced by testing on animals has been acknowledged, yet these methods continue to be used. The fact that its apparent that animals’ responses are altered due to the state they are kept in; the reactions they have do not correlate with those of humans making this a reason why testing on animals be replaced with those of modern testing.

Correspondingly, general points of proponents have been made of why it is essential to animal test. These proponents claim that new developments are successful due to animal testing “the development of many life-saving treatments for both humans and animals, that there is no alternative method for researching a complete living organism, and strict regulations prevent the mistreatment of animals in laboratories,” ( has claimed that it’s a requirement for the safety of humans to test on animals first. Stating as well, that animal testing has allowed for many advancements of new medical breakthroughs and biomedical research, as well as contributed to the understanding of many diseases such as “breast cancer, brain injury, childhood leukemia, cystic fibrosis, malaria, multiple sclerosis, tuberculosis, pacemakers,” the pros of testing have greatly been argued by proponents: that it would not have been discovered any other way. Another reason claimed by proponents to test on animals is that they have a shorter lifespan, allowing scientist to test an entire life cycle and are able to evaluate the outcome. Another example used is that animals do not have cognitive ability and therefore should not be treated as humans. In addition, its stated that similarity of animals and humans help research, “Chimpanzees share 99% of their DNA with humans, and mice are 98% genetically similar to humans” therefore making these species ideal for testing.

In contrast, its debated by the Human Harms of Animal Experimentation and the FDA and many other researchers, that animal testing is inaccurate, and most of the experiments done on animals fail to give results of how humans would respond to treatment, because of the difference in diseases in animals and humans. For instance, animals were induced with the cancer to study the biochemical properties and possible treatments “significant limitations exist and the ability to faithfully mirror the complex process of human carcinogenesis; the limitations are evidenced by the highest of any disease category, clinical failure rate of cancer drugs,” the difference in our nervous system versus animals does not allow for accurate results, despite any DNA similarities. Its been stated by the FDA “that animal testing has increased in failure and its percent has gone up to 96%, animals predicted a passing test when in reality they were not safe. “(Human Harms of Animal Experimentation), the recognition that testing on animals does not help develop any biomedical research is evident.

Debates on unethical treatment of animals have become a concern, and those who oppose demand humane treatment for all animals. After all, with so many alternatives that have proven to show accurate testing such as vitro and the TrumaMan the need to test on animals should be eradicated. Additionally, more laws protecting the animals should be enforced. Animals should be treated with care and compassion as they do feel fear and pain just like humans. Speaking out against the cosmetic industry, laws to ban testing on animals should be applied, since other alternatives of testing that are far more superior and will have a successful outcome and are available. Scientist has scientifically validated alternatives, and the government should be urged to reduce animal use. The government’s involvement will help regulate companies to use alternatives to testing, instead those of unethical of testing on animals.

The harm committed on animals should not be ignored, in conclusion, animals should be protected and have rights. Nonetheless, the failure rate of testing on animals is high and the standards of the way we test should be changed. Animals used for experiments live in fear, pain, stress and agony. This is a cruel act, these animals can’t defend themselves or tell us they are in pain, it is our job to fight for them and help them. Not to mention, that this is unnecessary because the accuracy of results have been proven over and over to be flawed. Non- bias administrations such as the FDA state “92 out of every 100 drugs that pass animals test fail in humans,” (FDA) it’s wasteful and misleading to test on animals. They are subject to a life of suffering for irrelevant research that does not guarantee safety for humans. Furthermore, we have the technology and its cost less and faster, its time we move forward and start testing in modern, sophisticated ways versus unethical.

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Animal Testing or Alternative Methods: Arguments For and Against. (2022, March 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 8, 2023, from
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