Home Academy Not All-or-Nothing: Animal Testing Justified in Medical Research, Not Cosmetics

Not All-or-Nothing: Animal Testing Justified in Medical Research, Not Cosmetics


This opinion piece was produced by a student in the Madison365 Academy. It reflects the opinion of the author, not necessarily the opinion of Madison365, its staff, board of directors, sponsors or funders. To learn more or support our educational programs, visit madison365.org/academy.

Scientific testing on animals has allowed us to produce a lot of medical treatments. But is it justifiable to test cosmetics on animals to enhance our looks and promote our attractiveness?

First, animal testing has always had very unpleasant and cruel effects on animals. They are restrained and undergo inhuman treatment; for example, in the Draize test, rabbits’ eyelids are held back for at least 72 hours while ingredients are applied to them that can be very painful and harmful to these animals, which may eventually die from the test. Another example of an inhuman test is the inhalation test where the animals are sprayed, put into inhalation chambers and forced to inhale potentially harmful chemicals. Most of these test performed on animals can only predict human reaction with approximately 65 percent accuracy in most cases, and many ingredients that are tested are never put into use.

I strongly believe that we shouldn’t test cosmetics on animals because there are already ingredients in the market that are deemed safe to use. The FDA does not require cosmetic products to be animal tested. There are so many other ways to test the effects cosmetic products have rather than using animals (in vitro, stem cell, genetic testing, etc). Cosmetic companies that do not test on animals can also test their products on human volunteers or in clinical trials. Also testing on animals can be really expensive because you have to provide them with food, care, and shelter.

However, testing for scientific purposes is an entirely different matter. It has helped us better advance comprehension of how to treat medical conditions like breast cancer, cystic fibrosis, malaria, etc, as well as creating vaccines. Scientific testing on animals has made it possible for us to obtain information that can’t be learned in others ways. Animals can provide experimental models that would be nearly impossible to replicate using humans. They make for great models when studying specific diseases because some animals have biological similarities as humans. Studying a process that involves more than one organ requires the use of an animal because it’s impossible to replicate using a culture dish.

Some people might not agree and think cosmetic testing on animals is necessary and acceptable. Also some companies have said that they need to test products on animals in order for there products to be sold many other countries. But this isn’t fact not all true, because the companies have chosen for their products to be sold in countries where it’s required for the products to be animals tested before they are sent out into the market.

In conclusion I believe that’s it isn’t justified to use animals to go undergo very painful procedures just so that we can produce new products and ingredients to make us look more attractive. Especially if there are already ingredients that’s are determined to be safe for use. Scientific medical testing on animals is justified, however, because we are actually trying to improve human health by finding treatments and other medications that could potentially extend someone’s life.