int. sem 2 rough draft

Abella 1

Christopher Abella

Int. seminar 2

Sebastian Grant

26 April 2019

Animal Experimentation

Animal experimentation has been beneficial in the medical field for many years. It helped

with the development of the asthma inhaler and the discovery of vaccines against polio. On the

other hand, cosmetic companies have taken advantage of its legality in cruel ways. The animals

are forced to eat or inhale poisonous substances, or they are often burned or injected with

chemical toxins before being killed. The cosmetic industry should be banned from experimenting

on animals because there are many other alternatives such as organic chemicals, pure minerals

(both do not require experimentation), or even hiring human volunteers willing to be

experimented on. We should also add and enforce strict federal laws in order to prevent innocent

animals from undergoing strong, harmful, and traumatic procedures.

People for the Ethical treatment of Animals (PETA) is an organization that was founded in

1980. PETA is dedicated to making a global impact on society’s perspective on how we view,

treat, and respect the individual life’s of animals. PETA started off by conducting private and

undercover investigations where they recruited people to work in farms, laboratories, and other

animal testing locations. By 1981, they exposed an experimenter and a research facility of all

their animal abuse. This resulted in the first conviction of an experimenter for animal abuse and

the first-ever police raid on a laboratory. PETA’s concern and action on cruel animal testing

started a new movement against animal experimentation and awareness about the painful,

unnecessary procedures animals go through, so over the course of thirty-seven years, PETA has

taken the initiative to invest on discovering alternatives to animal testing for a wide range of


The first U.S Supreme Court case for animal experimentation was in 1981. Alex Pacheco,

one of PETA’s founders began to work undercover in the Institute for Behavioral Research, a

laboratory funded by the government and run by Edward Taub (an experimenter with no medical

training). PETA collected detailed log notes from Alex and secretly taken photographs of the

animals terrifying living conditions to present them to the police department. The specific case

that Pacheco investigated involved monkeys deprived of food, receiving electric shock, pliers

being latched to their skin and testicles as tight as possible and much more horrendous

treatments. Both PETA and the police department took quick action to take this case to court as

soon as they received all evidence.

Harvard’s wyss institute created a digital device promoted by PETA on their website, that

contains human cells grown to mimic the structure and function of human organs and organ

systems. They called it “organs on chips.” This chip contains real human cells and can be

experimented on by adding different chemicals. Because it is made up of actual cells, it would

have the same reaction as a live human. Organs on chips can be used to replace many animals

from undergoing painful procedures.

The European Union Reference Library for Alternatives to Animal Testing is another

organization that focuses on protecting animals. They developed five different types of tests, one

of which consist of using human blood cells to identify contaminants in drugs that might be

dangerous. This organization also created what is called the “computer (in silicon) modeling,” a

method that mimics the human biology. It later shows how developing diseases have progressed

and makes a prediction on how the new drug will react in the human body. They have also

experimented with human volunteers as an alternative. The administration used a method called

“microdosing” which is providing a person with a very small portion of the drug being tested.

The drug is then carefully watched to see how it reacts at a small scale prior to continuing the

experiment at a larger scale. This method helps with determining whether continuing the

experiment at a larger scale would be too dangerous or not.

Some may say that these are medical experiments that have nothing to do with

alternatives for the cosmetic industry, but the reality is, that it does. Although these alternatives

were not created or intended for cosmetics, they can definitely be applied to it. For example,

organs on chips is one alternative that the cosmetic industry could use. Although many people

don’t know it, the skin is an organ. It’s an organ that protects us from microbes, helps regulate our

body temperature, and permits the sensations of touch, heat, and cold. Therefore, testing a

cosmetic product with the organs on chips method would give more accurate results than on an

animal because you would be using human cells.

Dr. Simon Festing said in an interview that despite the differences, animal testing was

necessary because of its similarities to real life. If modern technology has allowed for more

accurate experimentations through the use of digital chips or systems that either contain real

human cells or mimic a humans biology, why is it necessary to still use animal testing? Festing

also stated that the use of animal testing is to “save human lives and prevent people’s suffering.”

As humans, we should realize the arrogance that exists in causing the pain and suffering on other

species to better our lives. It is our job as the intelligent beings on this earth to create new

technological advances to prevent suffering from all life and species.

Animal testing may have been necessary in the past decades when research was not as

advanced, but thanks to organizations like PETA and many others, we don’t have to invest so

much money or cause pain and suffering when experimenting a new drug or product. These

organizations have developed what is truly necessary, the advanced methods that can accurately

represent a human reaction.

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