Using animals to attempt to understand human disease has been a dominant practice for decades. However, experimenting on animals won’t save sick children or adults. In fact, there is overwhelming evidence that the tests hinder scientific progress and put patients at risk.
According to Emily Trunnell, a neuroscientist and research associate for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), “The United States wastes almost half its research funding on archaic animal experiments. Meanwhile, more than 90 percent of highly promising basic science discoveries don’t lead to treatments for humans, and up to 89 percent of research is irreproducible — a fundamental step in science — wasting $28 billion every year.”
It is interesting that many animal experiments aren’t about medical breakthroughs at all. In experiments conducted at Duke University, monkeys were caged alone and kept thirsty to force them into partaking in experiments. The experiment included the monkeys using computer touch screens to select logos of popular commercial brands, like Pizza Hut. The experiment would supposedly show that the animals can develop a preference for brands associated with sex or social status. Why were monkeys required to participate rather than humans, the ones who use the products? Also, why are taxpayers required to endorse these experiments, whether they agree with them or not? These questions alone prove the nonsensical cruelty of animal experimentation.
Not only is it expensive, but a 2018 Pew Research poll found that most Americans oppose the use of animals in experimentation. So why continue experimenting on animals? Proponents of animal experimentation believe that the “harm experienced by animals is outweighed by the benefits to humans.” However, the facts don’t support this belief. According to peta.org, experiments on animals revealed that “93 percent of the studies examined should never have been approved, because of the high levels of harm to the animals and outcomes that generated little to no benefit to humans.”
Our economy has developed human-relevant research methods, which would quickly outperform animal experiments. With greater investment in exciting and innovative non-animal methods, far more cures and treatments for humans can be developed as well. This will alleviate the unimaginable suffering of millions of animals and humans. USF student Marissa Cauley states, “If it’s expensive, hurting animals and humans, then what exactly is the point? There doesn’t seem to be any positives.”
Regardless, there is still much work to be done to end cruel experiments on animals that also happen to be expensive and irrelevant to humans.