Have you ever paid attention to the symbols and small print on the back of your shampoo bottles, make up products and medicine containers? I’m sure many people have not, but that small print contains a lot of important information, often including whether the product was tested on animals.

I know it might be extremely difficult to find products that have not been tested on animals, but it’s not impossible. For as long as I can remember, I have only purchased shampoo that clearly states, “Not tested on animals” on the back.

People generally view animals as unimportant when compared to humans due to their lack of intellectual development. They think animals don’t having feelings or don’t feel pain, but animals do have nerve cells.

Animals are just as prone to feel pain as humans. If it is not accepted to test dangerous products on human beings, it should not be accepted to torture monkeys, rabbits and all of the other animals used in research labs.

Humans have a long history of using animals to test potentially dangerous products or situations, including sending them into space. Photo courtesy of Tribune News Service
Humans have a long history of using animals to test potentially dangerous products or situations, including sending them into space. Photo courtesy of Tribune News Service

Also, scientists have proven multiple times that apes, chimpanzees and more have complex cognitive abilities. Some monkeys are even shown to have comparative intelligence to young human children. They can learn sign language to communicate with us, and they have even intermingled with humans by living in human households.

In my opinion, torturing a monkey is like torturing a four-year-old kid. Human brains might be more complex, but it is our job to protect other animals from unnecessary abuse. We should not use our strength against animals, but rather help them.

Animal testing isn’t necessary for product development because there are numerous humane options.

One such option is stem cell testing. For instance, using mice cells to gauge the toxicity of certain products. Also, using cells grown in a lab can just as effective as using a living, breathing animal for testing skin corrosion.

Even human cells can be used for the skin corrosion testing, completely avoiding any animal involvement. Human skin leftover from surgeries or that has been donated willingly can be used to measure the different rates that chemicals penetrate the skin.

In classrooms, instead of dissecting frogs, rabbits and cats, we can use models of the animals. These would be just as relevant to high school and college students.

Animal testing occurs rampantly in our modern world, and many people don’t even realize it. We teach that animals are not as important as humans, but that is not true at all.

If someone wanted to take your dog to test some chemical cleaning solutions to see if they burn your pet’s skin off, would you let them?

Stopping animal testing completely at this point might be an unrealistic goal, but I strongly believe that we can limit it tremendously. Next time you buy your eyeliner, deodorant or shampoo, think about checking the back for the words “Not tested on animals.” One person alone can’t change much, but they can definitely help.

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