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Animal Testing, the Immorality of it All.
Pain, Torture, Deprivation and Death
Each year more than one million animals are tested on around the world. These animals are forced to undergo the testing of chemical exposure, drug exposure, genetic modification, ear-notching, tail-clipping, surgical procedures, painful wounds, painful behavioral experiments, medical manipulations, they are deprived of love, water, and food, and they are restrained during the majority of these “humane tests”. The end result is death. These captive creatures undergo this torture for cosmetic testing, medical experimentation, and psychological testing because the powers that be tell society that this is needed in order to churn out products that the world needs; this has been the case since the 1920s.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines cosmetics as, “articles intended to be applied to the human body for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance without affecting the body’s structure or functions (FDA)”. Basically, cosmetics (according to the FDA) are skin creams, lipstick, perfume, eye and facial make-up, nail polish, hair color, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, etc. While the majority of consumers are happy to buy products that are considered safe for us, many do not realize that the testing of cosmetics on animals in the United States is not required. The FDA does not require animal testing on cosmetics and since this type of testing has been around since the 1920s, one would reason that enough testing has been done in the past and there should be plenty of data on file. So how exactly are animals harmed during the testing of cosmetics? They just get a little lipstick and blush right, wrong! During the process of testing cosmetics on animals, the animal (mice, rats, rabbits, guinea pigs) will undergo skin and eye irritation tests where chemicals are rubbed onto the shaved skin, and even dripped into their eyes all while they are being restrained with no form of pain relief (humanesociety.org). These animals are also force fed these chemicals and “products” over a series of months in order to see if there are any adverse reactions and if the animal perishes. Not bad enough yet, it gets worse. The animals are also forced into “lethal does” tests where the animals are forced to swallow lethal doses of chemicals to determine if the product can cause death or not (humanesociety.org). After all of this torture, the animals are then murdered by asphyxiation, decapitation, or neck breaking. The United States government does not feel that pain relief is an important aspect of this torture, so the animal feels everything, except love. The animals that are submitted to this torture are never given love, they live a life of pure agony until they are murdered.
As if cosmetic testing were not bad enough, enter medical experimentation. Every medication, vitamin, etc. that you place inside of your body has undergone animal testing. Many people do not care, especially since they believe that only rodents are subjected to this form of testing; this is false. Not only are mice, rats, hamsters, rabbits, and gerbils used in medical testing; dogs, cats, sheep, pigs, kittens, puppies, monkeys, chimpanzees, etc. are also used in this form of testing. These animals are not given pain medication while they are restrained and mutilated in order for us to have new medication that do not work 90% of the time. These living, breathing souls are often tested on until they become addicts, they are deafened, have holes drilled into their skulls, they skin is burned off, spinal cords manipulated and sometimes crushed, they are made to grow tumors because the “scientists” give them large amounts of medications for “testing purposes”. As if this is not enough torture, these animals are blinded, infected with diseases, they are forced to have devices implanted into their bodies, their brains are poked and prodded and implanted with micro-chips; the list goes on. The FDA claims that this is due to the fact that new medications are created and need to be tested. Have you ever taken a medication that requires you to have a hole drilled into your scalp? I didn’t think so. If these animals survive this torture, they do not last long because they are exterminated.
Psychological testing seems harmless enough, but you are mistaken. While psychological testing is not has torturous as other forms of testing, it is still heart-breaking at its core. When animals are forced to undergo this form of testing, they are psychologically broken. This form of testing can (and does) include induced stress through social isolation, induced and prolonged fear, forced aggression, food deprivation, electric shocks, brain damage, drugs, and an experiment known as farm animal behavior (iaapea.com). In order to see how separation anxiety works, infant animals are taken away from their mothers during testing and both parties are isolated until they are broken. In order for these “scientists” to see how stress and fear affect humans, they not only isolate these animals, they also restrain them and administer electric shocks and they use immobilization to test their stress levels. They also use electric shocks (and other painful measures) to induce fight and flight to see how animals react to fear and stress which in turn can cause severe aggression. There are reports of tests where “researches” trap mice in tubes and deprive them of food and water for days to see how they react and if they will turn on one another when stressed. As if these horrendous tests were not bad enough, these “researches” and “scientists” will crack open the skull of animals and “play with” and/or remove parts of their brains in order to see what part of the brain causes brain damage and what parts of the brain they can live without. Literature has shown that there is not justifiable reason to do this type of research because the animal brain does not necessarily respond as the human brain will (iaapea.com). During farm animal behavioral studies, these individuals will keep sheep, calves, and lambs in illuminated areas for extended amounts of time to see how they react to constant light. They will also (once again) deprive maternal needs from a mother and infant animal in order to see how the animals react. These “researchers” will use pigs (in this situation) to “understand” their drinking behaviors by depriving the pigs of water and then they will induce thermal effects to see how this influences drinking. For instance, they will add heat to the pigs scrotum to increase drinking, and remove the olfactory bulbs to see if it has a reaction to how the pig eats or drinks.
Animal testing reached its prime in the 1920s but various forms of testing have been around since 800 BC. With all of the data on file, we really need to take a long hard look at this system and determine what needs to be done. So many new cosmetics and drugs are created on a daily basis and they are not needed, especially since most new drugs only end in lawsuits and most cosmetics die out due to fads. Is it really necessary to dominate and torture these poor souls, no it is not? We can do something about this, do research, and find out if there are animal testing facilities in your area. As a matter of fact, visit the humane society’s website and see for yourself. Right to your local governmental office, sign petitions, get out there and make your voice be heard. Together we can do something to change these awful practices. You can choose to purchase “Cruelty Free” products and hope that the labeling is true. As Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world”, get out there and do something. Show compassion to all animals, not just the domesticated animal that you harbor as a pet.
Human Society International (2013). About Animal Testing. Retrieved from: hsi.org/campaigns/end_animal_testing/qa/about.html.
Psychological and Behavioral Animal Experiments and Research Testing. Retrieved from:.iaapea.com/psychological_experiments.php.
You Can Save a Life
You Can Make a Difference.
Purchase "Cruelty Free" products.
Visit the Humane Society and how to be "Cruelty Free".
Use your voice.
Use social media and make the cause be known.
Write to Congress (I'd have to wish you luck with this one).
Join activists groups.