Ethical Issues in Animal Research: Animal Testing

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Each year, a countless number of animals are used in animals research. Animal research can also be called Animal testing which is an experiment using non-human animals. We talked about the research method in chapter 2, and Animal testing can also be considered as a research method. The scientists use animals to test the new drugs and many more cruel experiments instead of using the actual human, and most of the animals are dead after the experiment. People can understand the behaviours and the brain functions in both human and nonhuman animals through the experiments. As we are studying the behaviours of the animals, we also can draw conclusions about our own behaviours.

Why Am I Interested in This Topic?

I am interested in Animal research because I am also an animal lover. Many animals have different kinds of body and brain structures than human, I wonder how we can use animals to study human diseases or behaviours. There are many protesters in all around the world to protest against the Animal testing each year, but the protesters still can not stop scientist using animals to experiment. Many experiments may treat animals humanely, but most of the experiments are making these animals suffering. Humans, as the most intelligent animal on earth, we are treating other species unequally.

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The Literature on the Topic

Animal experiments are not as same as people taking their pets to the vets.

Most of the Animals in laboratories are usually killed at the end of the experiment and only a few of them are being cured. The scholarly article by Tipu, John, and Ranga (2011) revealed, in the pharmaceutical industry, some new drugs are developed because they are expected to provide a financial pay-off, even though effective drugs for the condition in question already exist. Most people may think that scientists are working hard for the benefits of humans, but they are using Animal testing as a way to benefit themselves. Although Animal testing has helped scientists to study the behaviours, it can not be an effective way to test a new drug. According to Charu (2018), Similarly, for chemical risk assessment, the legacy animal-based methods do not reliably predict adverse outcomes on human health and the environment. Many animals have different body structures than the humans, and the drugs or a new medicine may act differently on different hosts. We should think from the perspective of animals, abandon selfish and beneficial reasons, and save these animals instead of killing them. Not only human, animals also have emotions. Many people are saying that dogs are the best friends of the human. They lick your face while you are sad and try to cheer you up when you are frustrated. When the scientists force our best friends to inhale the smokes into their lungs in order to study lung cancers. It is very cruel and sad to watch about human is torturing these dogs. The concept of costs to individual animals can be further examined through the growing body of research on animal emotion and cognition. Studies published in the last few decades have dramatically increased our understanding of animal sentience, suggesting that animals' potential for experiencing harm is greater than has been appreciated and that current protections need to be reconsidered (Ferdowsian & Beck, 2011). There are an increasing number of animals died each year, and I think most people do not want that human is the last species on earth.

With the development of science and technology, there are other ways to replace animal experiments. People are using animals to test cosmetics and therapeutic drugs, but there is an alternative way. Sugibayashi, Todo, Oshizaka, and Owada (2010) revealed, Ingredient concentration in skin can be precisely predicted using diffusion equations and partition coefficients through permeation experiments using a silicone membrane. The calculated in-skin concentration is useful for formulation studies of cosmetics and topical pharmaceuticals. Based on my personal opinion, I think this method is more accurate than testing on animals’ skins. Human skins are structured differently than the animal’s skins, so I think the technologies can predict more accurately. There is also a way for people to test medical drug instead of using animals. The alternative way is known as vitro method, Vitro method tests using human cells and tissues, computer modeling, and human volunteers. According to Rodger Curren, president of the Institute for In Vitro Sciences, the benefits of nonanimal testing are not lost on the pharmaceutical industry, whose clients include many large drug manufacturers. “There’s a significant drive to reduce animals,” which helps in the court of public opinion, he says. “But there’s equally a strong drive to get better information and to get it in an economically feasible fashion (Cited by Dolgin, 2010). Animal testing and computer modeling are not the only way for scientists to discover or invent new medications. As time goes by, people may find new easy and beneficial ways for both human and animals.

Relation to the Real Word

Animal Research is basically an experiment for people using non-human animals to study the effects on the human biological system or the physical behaviours. The death of the animals has saved numerous lives of the humans. This is a selfish act, but all animals on earth need to obey the laws of nature, the strong species will weed out the weak species. Human, as the strongest species on earth, we have killed many other species in order to decrease the death of our own kind. Many protesters want to forbidden Animal testing, but there is still an increasing number of animals died from animal testing each year.

At first, I thought Animal testing is only for medicinal purposes. The scientists use white mice to test new drugs or cure new diseases. After did researches on this topic, I found there are a lot more than that. People use various kinds of animals and uses them in different kinds of experiments. The ethical issues in animal research are very complex, but I hope we can reduce the amount of animals used in the experiments.


  1. Allison, F., & Jonathon, C. (2012). Animal Cognition. “Play It Again”: A New Method for Testing Metacognition in Animals,15(2), 187-199. doi:doi: 10.1007/s10071-011-0445-y
  2. Charu, C. (2018). Animals and Us: Research, Policy, and Practice. Keynote: Beyond Animal Testing: Working Towards a Paradigm Shift. Retrieved from
  3. Elie, D. (dec 2010). Nature Medicine. Animal Testing Alternatives Come Alive in US,16(12). doi:10.1038/nm1210-1348
  4. Hope, F., R, & Maccallum, B. N. (2011). PLoS ONE. Ethical and Scientific Considerations Regarding Animal Testing and Research (Revisiting the Ethics and Science of Animal Use,6(9). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0024059
  5. Tipu, A., John, S., & Ranga, Y. (24 february 2011). Nature. Animal Testing: TV or Not TV?,470(7335). doi:10.1038/470457a
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Ethical Issues in Animal Research: Animal Testing. (2022, March 18). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 18, 2024, from
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