Issues > Household & Personal Care > Animals > Animal Testing
"Animal testing rests on a logical contradiction. It is 'because animals are like us' that experiments are useful, yet it is 'because animals are not like us' that makes it morally okay to experiment on animals." Prof. Charles R. Magel
People want to know that what they're buying is safe. Whether it is medication, food, cosmetics, or other household items, various tests are performed to confirm their safety. Unfortunately, many of these tests are conducted on animals. This might include forced exposure to toxic chemicals or diseases, asphyxiation, extended physical restraint, food or water deprivation, genetic manipulation, forced feeding, and more. To make matters worse, most animals are killed at the end of the test. But is all this actually necessary?
Despite putting millions of animals through this every year, it is unclear whether this approach is actually the most effective. Human biology often differs significantly from those of the animals used in testing. While animal studies can be useful as a first step, the conclusions don't carry over to humans in most cases. One study found this was true 64% of the time! This is not only a massive waste of life but needlessly expensive and time-consuming.
Animal-free methods of testing product safety are being developed, including sophisticated tests using human cells and tissues (also known as in vitro methods), advanced computer-modeling techniques, and studies with human volunteers.