The End of Animal Testing? by Brian Zhao, age 13


In this day and age, many of our medicines bring with them not only the ability to help our colds, but the end to thousands of animal lives. Animals are used in the millions to test different drugs, and most of them die in the process. According to Peta, 100 million animals go out this way and many more are permanently injured and scarred. We must stop the genocide of these animals. We must stop drugging them, then killing them and ripping up their bodies “in order to save human lives.” 

Animal testing is nowhere near accurate enough for it to be a viable method of testing drugs, medicine, and other medical experiments meant for humans. Animals such as guinea pigs, mice, and even primates like chimpanzees have a lot of differences in how they process food, medicines, and drugs. An example of this is penicillin. If this was tested on guinea pigs, then they would drop dead within minutes. This life-saving drug could have been dropped because the guinea pigs died. We are killing animals for no reason. 

Computers can predict whether a drug will succeed by an entire 90% greater accuracy than animal testing, according to a study done by the Computatanial Cardiovascular Science Team. Computers can model different cells in the body, like heart cells. They basically run tests on the cells and see how these drugs will affect the human body. The computer models are also cheaper and way faster than animal alternatives. 

Even if animal testing was remotely close to accurate enough to be considered a viable method of testing, there still comes the issue of animal cruelty. With many of these studies, animals are drugged and killed, many of them suffering torturing before they meet their grave. A lot of them die from drugs, mutilation, starvation, or lack of attention. According to Cruelty Free International,192 million animals were used for scientific purposes in 2015, including 207,000 tests on dogs and 158,000 on monkeys. Usage rates and death rates of some animals such as mice and rodents aren’t even required to be documented, as many view these animals as insignificant. According to PETA, the medical industry goes through hundreds of millions of such animals each year.

Many people say that animal testing, though it may be cruel to animals, is necessary if it can save human lives. But as shown before, this is not true. There are far easier and more accurate ways to predict a drug’s effectiveness rather than killing innocent animals. Some people think that if we don’t use animal testing, people could die because they don’t know what would happen. Before computer modeling, they didn’t have many ways to predict how a drug would work or how it would affect anyone, so they looked to things they thought were similar to the human body, such as monkeys and similar kinds of animals. But now with current technology, this kind of barbaric testing is not needed.

Even though peoples’ opinions may be hard to change, I hope that in time we are able to change the status quo and stop the killings of millions of innocent animals. It makes no sense at all that even though we have more effective methods that would be cheaper and less expensive, we are choosing this method of killing millions of animals. As we move into the future, we must think about not only the medicine on our shelf, but the things that come with it.

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