It is indeed extremely disturbing and sad that every year millions of animals are killed, tortured or mutilated in the United States of America in the name of animal testing (Judson 12). A range of institutions that include government and private laboratories, companies manufacturing cosmetics and household products, pharmaceutical companies, government bodies and agencies, academic and educational institutions and institutions and organizations committed to scientific development resort to animal testing, extending the premise that by engaging in animal testing they are doing a service to the humanity (Judson 12). There is no denying the fact that the testing of chemicals, drugs, cosmetics and consumer products on animals and using animals for scientific experimentation is indeed wrong and cruel. No amount of scientific development justifies extending a cruel treatment to speechless and innocent animals and animal testing is something that is utterly inhumane and detestable. The reality is that the issue of animal testing happens to accrue a highly emotive and polarized response from our society because varied sections of the society tend to evince conflicting attitudes towards animal testing. Many people who consider them self to be the upholders of scientific research do support animal testing as they believe that animal testing is something that is essential for the progress and propagation of science in the society. Such people also believe that allowing animal testing is something that is in the interest of the human progress and there is nothing wrong with animal testing. There are other people who oppose animal testing owing to a variety of reasons, ranging from religious beliefs and aspirations to ethical and moral theories and constraints. Animal testing should be totally banned and prohibited because the use of animals for scientific testing and experimentation causes immense suffering and pain to the animals.
It is a fact that the use of animals for testing purposes in psychological, medical and biological research and study causes untold suffering and pain to the innocent and speechless animals. Many a times animals like apes, monkeys, rats, rabbits and dogs are used for scientific testing because they tend to have the organ systems that happen to be quiet similar to human organ systems (Judson 16). Thereby scientists and research scholars use animals for scientific testing so as to enhance the knowledge as to how varied drugs, pharmaceuticals, consumer products and chemicals will impact the human body and the varied biological processes associated with it (Judson 16). Besides, the medical researchers resort to animal testing to understand the varied disease processes, for which they introduce the researched malignancies in the laboratory animals and inject a range of chemicals and drugs in them. The aspect of animal testing that most of the times remain hidden from the public view and which is mostly conveniently sidelined in the name of science is the acute suffering and pain that the animals have to bear with to pay for this so called human progress. Thousands of animals are subjected to vivisection procedures, or in other words, they are dissected or cut alive to study their organ systems and body processes (Judson 17). It is not difficult or impossible for the human mind to comprehend the pain and suffering involved in being cut and mutilated alive. Millions of animals form almost all species except humans are confined to the cold and cramped cages in laboratories around the nation or are restrained with the help of mechanical contraptions and devices, a practice that is bound to result in untold physical and psychological pain and suffering for the animals. Not only the act of being exposed to scientific testing and experimentation is really painful and disturbing for the animals, but many animal behaviorists have noticed that the very act of silently waiting in the cages, under laboratory conditions, apprehensive of being subjected to a possible pain and suffering cause utter stress and tension in the laboratory animals that makes them engage in self harming behavior like biting one’s body parts, hitting one’s body parts against the cage, pulling out the hair and abstaining from eating and drinking for long periods of time (Judson 41). This scientific observation is enough to prove that animal testing does result in excruciating pain, suffering and distress for the animals. The other thing is that in a majority of the cases at almost all the scientific laboratories and facilities, after being made to bear with this prolonged suffering and inhumane treatment, most of the laboratory animals either die of their own or are killed (Judson 87). A well informed and intelligent approach towards scientific experimentation should take into consideration all the ethical and moral factors imminent in scientific research, and the pain and suffering caused by animal testing in any scientific research is something that simply cannot be ignored. Thereby animals testing should be prohibited and banned with immediate effect because it deprives the animals of their natural right to lead a stress free and pain free life and it is an aspect of human development that puts the animals to extreme pain and suffering.
The fact that animals do constitute a part of the human diet since times immemorial and that animals are also hunted and raised to extract products like furs, bones and organic materials from them no way serves as an excuse to justify the torture and abuse of animals in laboratories and at scientific facilities. There is no denying the fact that a large number of humans are accustomed to a life where people eat animal meat, wear leather and go to zoos and circuses to seek entertainment at the cost of animals. The irony is that this prolonged human dependence on animals for food and many other things has made the humans insensitive and callous to the suffering and pain of the animals, and thereby there are many people who believe that animal testing is not something abnormal but is rather something that is totally in line with the established human approach towards animals (Judson 21). Hence, many a times the humans are totally unable to grasp the fact that animals do actually feel pain and irrespective of the historical human dependence on animals for food and other things, there needs to be a limit up to which the human community must be allowed to inflict pain and suffering on the animals and that animal testing is something that is totally immoral, inhumane and an aspect of human progress that the humans can do without (Judson 21). Like humans, animals also have the right to live a life free of unnecessary suffering and pain and inflicting untold and immeasurable pain and suffering on the animals in the name of scientific experimentation that many a times happens to be vague and inconclusive is irrational and insane (Judson 37). The human society needs to set a limit to the extent to which it could subject animals to suffering and pain. The other thing is that the fact that many a times just because the animals are not able to express and communicate their pain through conventional means of communication like speech and language, the human are not able to quantify the pain that animal testing subjects animals to. Yet, it does not take an extraordinary capacity for empathy and emotional sensitivity to grasp the fact that just because the animals cannot talk, they are still capable of experiencing pain and suffering. It is a commonsensical fact that when it comes to pain and suffering almost all animals are as much capable of experiencing pain as any human being on this planet. The capacity to feel pain is an attribute that unites the humans and the animals. Hence, it is not impossible for the human beings to empathize with the pain felt by animals subjected to testing. To large extent animals happen to be just like humans and they do have the capacity to feel and be sensitive to pain, happiness, joy, loneliness, anger, suffering, and isolation. Thereby, though the human community being on top of the food chain does have the right to benefit from animals, yet, as being the most evolved species, humans also do have the responsibility to take into account the extent of pain that is inflicted on the innocent animals while attempting something that has direct repercussions on the well being of the animals. Human beings being the most evolved organisms do have a moral obligation to be sensitive to the pain inflicted on the organisms in all the activities undertaken by them. Nobody can deny the fact that animals do have life, and thereby by the very dint of being living organisms they do also have the right to be abstained from unnecessary and avoidable suffering. Hence, animal testing should be prohibited to save the animals from much unnecessary suffering and pain.
The excuses extended by the supporters of animal testing not only happen to be totally inconsiderate of the pain experienced by animals, but also most of the times they happen to be unreasonable and faulty (Judson 36). For instance varied supporters of animal testing say that animals tend to be inferior life forms as compared to the humans, hence humans do not have the responsibility of caring about their pain and suffering. The thing is that just because an organism happens to be superior to another organism in some respects, this does not extend to this so called superior organism an absolute right to treat the inferior organisms the way one likes. Even, amongst humans, individuals tend to differ in their mental capacity and physical charm. Going by this logic, would it be justified if a person who is more intelligent and beautiful treats a person who is intellectually or academically less accomplished and less attractive with outright cruelty and contempt? Certainly not! Going by the same logic, just because humans happen to be superior to the animals in some respects, it no way gives them the absolute right to inflict avoidable pain and suffering on the animals through animal testing.
Humans expose millions of animals to animal testing every year. This is done with the intention of bettering the human life, being totally insensitive to the fact that animal testing exposes animals to immense pain and suffering. Now is the time for the human civilization to acknowledge the fact that animals also have a right to live a live that is free of pain and suffering. The humans need to set a limit to the extent and magnitude of pain they intend to inflict on the animals. Hence, animal testing must be totally banned as it inflicts great pain and suffering on the animals.
Judson, Karen. Animal Testing. New York: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark, 2006. Print.