In these contemporary times of manufacturing, different newly made products are laid before consumers everyday. These would range from personal hygiene, to food and drinks, to clothing, and so on. The numbers of these products are of massive quantities, designed to help improve the human life. But how can one be sure of the safety of that product? Or more specifically, how can they be sure that living things like human would not be harmed upon using these products? One way to approach these queries is by the use of animal testing. This technique employs animals as subjects for newly manufactured goods. And as for any scientific process, it is seen by society as having two sides – the negative and the positive.
One main advantage of using animals as test subjects for different products is its ability to stimulate potential effects and reactions that would occur upon using these substances, such as make-ups, shampoos and lipsticks. By first using them on animals, researchers and manufacturers can check first hand for any allergies or rashes that may form on the test subject. A shampoo, for example, can cause excessive hair loss when used on dogs. Or rashes might result in a cat’s skin when a new kind of powder is applied. The new products can then be discarder, treated or modified to ensure that these effects would be avoided by human consumers once they are put out in the market.
Another reason for using animals is the possible cause of long term illness, or even death, upon ingestion of newly created food products. Before a food product is to be brought out for public consumption, it must first pass some quality checks to confirm that it is free from any substances that might cause sickness when ingested. The problem here is that most of these qualities are only verified up to a short-term period. By first trying the food in animals, scientists can monitor their behavior for a longer time, and reveal more facts regarding the product. Also, researchers can adjust the consumption of animals, controlling the amount of food taken in per day. This way, a more precise and concise study can be done on the food product before being dispensed on the supermarket shelves.
Aside from these, the highlight of animal testing probably lies on its virtue of practicality and sensible approach. Firstly, considering money, it would be cheaper to invest in animals rather than in high technology tests that are designed to mimic human responses. Secondly, it is very impractical to be performing tests on human subjects, even on parts of human such as embryos, individual cells, and organs due to the million issues on human ethics. Acquiring permits and approvals to do these can be more laborious that the testing itself. For these, animals are seen as a better alternative as the required subjects.
Although having a number of advantages, animal testing still has its issues and concerns to deal with. Primarily, animal testing crosses the path of animal rights and its derivatives. These rights are similar to humans, such as the right to choose and the right not to be forced. In testing, the animals are not asked to make any informed decision. Upon getting approval from an agency, scientists can start their testing on the animals, no matter what the animal might feel or experience.
The use of animals can also bring about test results that are entirely different when done in humans. Most animals are not closely related to humans, and the vast number of their different characteristics can result to non-similar reactions. In a testing room, a dog might show no side effects for a certain drug, but this would not mean that it is a hundred percent safe for human use. Humans are genetically different from animals used as test subjects, and not all results on one would hold true for the other.
Additionally, animal testing would not only cause possible harm to the subjects, it can also kill them in the long run. Freshly made chemicals, without prior knowledge can be lethal to some animals. Testing can then cause the death of many subjects, and might even bring down the morality of men.
All in all, animal testing truly has both its negative and positive effects. Each of these is being supported by different claims and arguments, and is withheld by various groups. Animal activists would target animal rights and freedom while some researches would use the technological benefits. It is therefore important to be open to both sides, understand each fact carefully before coming to a decision on which side to take.