Silence of the Labs

Animal testing remains a widespread practice, despite frequent public opposition. But the stats don’t back it up.

By Luke Turton: @LukeTurton13 | Photo by Robert Simpson: @handsandpawsphoto

In 2017 the United Kingdom tested on 3,789,373 animals. Even in the cases where these tests showed positive results, 90% went on to fail in subsequent human trials. With such an outrageously small success rate, it is time to bring to an end the needless animal suffering. It is time to explore the possibility of a new approach, one that yields higher rates of success and causes less suffering to its subjects. A system that either eradicates animal testing altogether, or only practices it when a justifiably strong case can be made that the product is essential for humans, and we are not just performing these trials for the sake of it.

Is the life of an animal really worth testing a new shade of lipstick?

Cosmetics have no proven benefits to people, so many would argue that, if there was another way of testing them, how can animal testing still be justified? Surely, in 2019, we should only be testing products that bring about real benefits to us as a species. Different medication has gone through animal testing and saved lives, which is both an incredible thing and justifiable. But is the life of an animal really worth testing a new shade of lipstick?

Animal testers will doubtlessly counter that the safety of any product to its potential consumer is of primary importance, as selling a potentially dangerous, untested item could be potentially damage the health of the user, and the financial future of the company. But if these companies cannot find alternative modes of testing products that do not endanger the lives of animals, then they should not be creating those products on the first place, or at least only use chemicals, ingredients and items that have already been proved to be safe for human use.

As consumers, why should we have to worry about how much blood has been spilt bringing a new product to market? Should we have to research each and every product we put into our supermarket baskets in order to discover how many living creatures have been harmed, maimed or killed in its testing? It seems a ludicrous proposition when written down, but is the reality that we are faced with still.

95% of animals, including rats, mice, fish and birds, are not covered by the Animal Welfare Act. Why are those animals that are used for farming or kept as pets more highly valued than the animals listed above?

How much longer can humans justify the use of animals for testing, despite the enormous technological advances we have made? Despite becoming far more enlightened in other areas, as a species we should have moved past this barbaric practice in 2019. The end cannot always justify the means, and a worldwide move toward cruelty-free, simulated testing is long overdue.


Magazine and website celebrating Nottingham's stories.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s