By Skylar Letteer
According to Cruelty Free International, an animal test is any specific experiment in which a live animal is forced to undergo research that will cause them pain and suffering. Using animals for experimentation isn’t related to taking your household pets to get their monthly check up, animals are used in laboratories where they are continuously tortured with traumatic experiments. There are a variety of testing methods including: injection or force feeding, exposing animals to radiation, surgically removing organs or tissues to cause damage, and subjecting animals to frightening situations to cause anxiety and/or depression. The US alone focuses on using rats, mice, fish, and birds as they are not defined as animals. The European Union reported that within each establishment, the suffering ranges from moderate to severe. The benefits of animal testing have contributed greatly to advancements in medical and cosmetic research. Although scientific experimentation has evolved, there are multiple horrific accounts of animals being relentlessly abused during their examinations.
I understand that not everyone chooses to focus on the images showing animals ripped apart limb by limb then left in their tiny confined cages to rot away, and I certainly understand the scientific aspect of animal testing. But when does a life become less valuable? When it develops four legs and lacks a voice to cry out for help? We lose our sense of morality for beings that don’t act or look the same as us, making it easier to harm them. Animal testing is barbaric and immoral, especially when focusing on the role it plays in the cosmetic industry. How does a person wake up in the morning knowing they’re going to most likely cause ridiculous amounts of pain towards a now helpless creature and feel good about themselves? Has humanity really began to lack so much empathy to the point where forcing an animal to do something is no problem? It’s bad enough that we attack each other in horrendous ways, but now we must go after creatures who were less capable of defending themselves from the start. This weighs heavily on me personally, not because I’m some “PETA worshipper”, but because I imagine what it would be like to see those tests first hand. To see someone holding down a rabbit by the throat and cutting away, or injecting pigments into their eyes all for the sake of cosmetic human needs. We’ve come far in medicine and science in general thanks to animal testing, but morally I could never feel at ease with the suffering that may occur.