A Speech Against Animal Testing

By Eileen Hernandez, 12th Grade

Everyone can easily and doubtlessly say that they love animals and are against animal abuse. However, if you buy cosmetics, fragrances, and other products whose companies test on animals, you are doing the opposite of what you preach. You would not believe the abundance of companies that test on animals. The purpose for this is to determine whether ingredients are safe before allowing it on the market. But, despite that it is not required by law in the U.S., animal testing is still commonly used today. I am not going to explain everything that goes on in animal testing because I would be standing here forever. But, I will emphasize how we can each contribute to make a change and put an end to this living nightmare.

Animal testing is more agonizing than you think. It is not simply putting lipstick on a bunny and spraying cologne on a mouse. According to Cruelty Free International, over 115 million animals are used for animal testing worldwide every year. These innocent animals include bunnies, guinea pigs, mice, and monkeys. These innocent animals are subjected to a plethora of cruel and unimaginable experiments for humans’ benefit. These innocent animals have only known a short life of suffering, terror, and loneliness before they are killed and are just another number in the statistics of murders. Some of these tests include forced feeding, forced inhalation, infliction of burns and wounds, dripping of chemicals in eyes, and endless more unthinkable experiments. At the end of a test, animals are simply killed, either by suffocation, neck-breaking, or decapitation. I don’t even want to tell you that dogs and cats are used for experiments too. Beagles are actually a common subject because of their calm and obedient nature; an exploitation of purity. Can you imagine your own pets in these laboratories? And if your pets were being tested on, would you still buy from companies that test on animals? If you wouldn’t force an animal to drink chemicals, then you shouldn’t support companies that do. The sad part is, while animal abuse is generally considered a crime in the U.S., these protective laws don’t apply to laboratory animals. This is absolutely senseless because all animals experience pain and abuse has no justification.

At this point, animal testing for cosmetics is unnecessary. It is outdated, unreliable, and there are numerous alternatives for it. With over 7,000 ingredients that are already proven safe, companies can choose from those to create products, rather than continue to harm and murder animals to find new ingredients. Technology has also brought endless possibilities for research, therefore if companies want to continue their innovations, they can use alternatives such as the popular in-vitro testing. The introduction of this method was a heaven-sent miracle for the poor laboratory animals – they were a step closer to freedom and a chance at life. This substitute uses artificial human cells, tissues, and skin for testing; leading to more accurate and reliable results, and less waste of money. We shouldn’t rely on animal testing because humans are a completely unique species, which prevents valid results. This is proven to be true in cancer research; despite successfully curing mice of cancer for decades, we still have not found one for humans, and many cases of drugs proven harmless for animals have been detrimental for humans, such as the sleeping pill thalidomide which caused birth defects, and the arthritis drug Vioxx that brought thousands of deadly heart attacks. This is why we must support ethical beauty companies that use animal testing alternatives.

So, how can you, a mere high school student, possibly contribute to ending this horror? You can vote with your money. That is, shopping cruelty-free. There are endless great brands of cruelty-free products to consider, from both mainstream and independent companies. Money is the Achilles’ heel of cosmetic companies; if masses of people boycott companies that test on animals, they would surely consider going cruelty-free to stabilize or improve their business. The bright side of all this is that entirely banning animal testing is not at all impossible. Governments worldwide are ending this practice, such as The European Union, Israel, India, Norway, Switzerland, South Korea, and New Zealand, therefore the U.S. should take note of this. We must be the suffering animals’ voices and let all the greedy cosmetic companies know that this must stop. These animals are currently confined in their cages, desperately waiting for us. Please educate yourself on what goes on behind closed doors of cosmetic industries, and persuade your family, friends, and peers to do the same. Remember that animals were put in this world with us, not for us. Together, we will march towards a new and compassionate era, where we’ll look back at this issue and condemn its initial existence.