Animal testing remains to be the most common procedure when it comes to experimental drugs and products. Researchers have worked on laboratory animals to test for a possible cure for certain diseases and to verify the efficacy of products.
In the past few decades, we have discovered many treatments for deadly diseases by using animals. No wonder animal laboratory testing is still prevalent and is expected to carry on within the next few years.
However, the controversy regarding animal testing remains a subject of heated discussion. A lot of organisations are fighting for the abolition of animal testing as they claim it to be unethical and unnecessary. But why?
What do we mean by animal testing and why does it happen?
Animal testing, also considered animal research or experimentation, involves lab animals that are controlled to achieve a state that is favorable to the variable being tested. This can lead to animal harm or potentially induce death at the end of the experiment.
Since human trials can compromise the health and safety of people, researchers rely heavily on experimental animals to conduct biological research as well as drug and product testing. The analysis of vaccines is eminently associated with lab animals to make sure it can cure diseases and will not cause any side effects.
Moreover, thousands of drug companies prove the efficacy of their brand through animal research. The results from such experiments pave the way for a breakthrough in the pharmaceutical industry. With the continuous search for a cure for terminal diseases and the extensive use of drugs and cosmetic products around the world, it is indeed a multimillion dollar industry.
How common is it?
Reports claim that over 100 million animals of various species are subjected to animal experimentation annually. In Australia, more than six million animals are being used in biological and medical research as well as drug and product testing each year. Statistical data showed that in 2016, Australia had utilised more than 11 million animals for experiments and researches.
The most common lab animals are mice, rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, and frogs. Dogs, cats, fish, and monkeys are also used for some research trials.
These animals are often being subjected to one of the following:
This type of testing involves research facilities in universities and other institutions and is considered to be the most common practice that uses animals for research. It is responsible for validating theories and hypotheses based on the data gathered from animal testing. Its aim is to understand the biological and physiological effects of variables being applied to animals.
Testing for regulation heavily involves the drugs, vaccines, and products from commercial pharmaceutical companies. Animal testing is done to ensure that the particular substance being studied doesn’t have harmful side effects and is effective to use for humans.
The drug or substance being tested is either consumed orally, applied or injected to the lab animal and then monitored for its effects. It can take weeks to months or even years, depending on the reliability of data gathered.
There are hundreds of widely-known line of products that are still paying for tests on animals, including:
• Victoria’s Secret
• Sephora Brand
• Johnson & Johnson
Why is it bad?
When animals are used for testing, they are usually subjected to harm and pain that leave them helpless. Some of the most common procedures done on animals include exposure to toxic substances or radiation, forced consumption of experimental substances, induced development of fatal diseases and the use of internal organs for further study.
A lot of organisations, such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), claim that all of these procedures are cruel and unethical. They deem it unnecessary and unreliable due to the following reasons:
9 out of 10 drugs tested on animals fail in clinical research.
Researchers try to artificially develop the disease in animals and induce the symptoms for the drug to be tested. However, the formation of the disease in animals is very much different from that of humans, making the drug effective for animals but ineffective for humans. Some of the diseases they are trying to cure for decades now are diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and AIDS.
It’s a waste of time and resources.
Drug developers have been trying to produce viable products for the past couple of decades, but only a few get approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The industry invests billions of dollars for years, only to get insignificant results. The cure for cancer in mice had already been discovered decades ago, but there is still no progress for humans.
What are the alternative methods?
Since PETA is determined to abolish animal testing, it funds several advancements to become possible alternatives to using animals. As of today, there are already research methods that laboratories use. These include:
Humans are being studied with the process of introducing a small dose of a drug, which is known as microdosing. From this, advanced monitoring techniques are applied to study the effect of a drug. This alternative doesn’t use a single lab animal and can rule out ineffective products immediately.
In vivo testing
Researchers have found a way to create an organ-like copy of the human organ system through the use of chips. This breakthrough paved the way for more accurate and precise drug and product testing since it is being tested on actual human cells. The nature of diseases and the physiology of the body is better understood with this alternative.
Some cruelty-free products we highly recommend
As mentioned above, some well-known cosmetic and skincare brands are heavily involved in animal testing. However, there are a few lines of products that are 100% natural and not tested on animals, like Aequora.
Our skincare brand prides itself on cruelty-free products. We highly recommend that you try the following natural and organic Aequora line:
Exfoliating Body Scrub
This award-winning product is made of botanical extracts that gently exfoliates dead skin cells to reveal younger and healthier skin. It is free of harmful chemicals and is vegan-friendly.
Hydrating Facial Mist
This plant-based hydrating facial mist keeps your face fresh and hydrated. It is packed with antioxidants and essential oils that all play a role in keeping the skin moisturised and free of age spots.
Hydrating Hand and Body Wash
Total hydration of the skin is easily achieved with this hand and body wash as it leaves your skin cleansed and rejuvenated after every use. This plant-based product doesn’t contain chemicals and is not tested on animals.
If animal testing is totally abolished, it would make way for new alternatives to dominate the research and product regulation industry. This can also mean taking down the biggest cosmetic and skincare brands on the market that are still involved in animal testing. With that said, it’s best to shift to vegan-friendly products as early as now.
Your skincare products don’t have to be cruel, so invest in plant-based ones for a safer and more ethical way of living!