Pros And Cons Animal Testing Cosmetics Essay

Using Animals for Testing: Pros Versus Cons

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 11 Mar 2018|*Discuss


There are many pros and cons to the practice of animal testing. Unfortunately, neither seem to fully tip the scale to a side that pleases everyone – including the general public, government and scientists.

Pros or Postives of Animal Testing

1. Helps researchers to find drugs and treatments:
The major pro for animal testing is that it aids researchers in finding drugs and treatments to improve health and medicine. Many medical treatments have been made possible by animal testing, including cancer and HIV drugs, insulin, antibiotics, vaccines and many more.

2. Improves human health:
It is for this reason that animal testing is considered vital for improving human health and it is also why the scientific community and many members of the public support its use. In fact, there are also individuals who are against animal testing for cosmetics but still support animal testing for medicine and the development of new drugs for disease.

3. Helps ensure safety of drugs:
Another important aspect to note is that animal testing helps to ensure the safety of drugs and many other substances humans use or are exposed to regularly. Drugs in particular can carry significant dangers with their use but animal testing allows researchers to initially gauge the safety of drugs prior to commencing trials on humans. This means that human harm is reduced and human lives are saved – not simply from avoidance of the dangers of drugs but because the drugs themselves save lives as well as improve the quality of human life.

4. Alternative methods of testing do not simulate humans in the same way
Scientists typically use animals for testing purposes because they are considered similar to humans. As such, researchers do recognise the limitations and differences but the testing is done on animals because they are thought to be the closest match and best one with regards to applying this data to humans.

Cons or Negatives of Animal Testing

1. Animals are killed or kept in captivity:
In animal testing, countless animals are experimented on and then killed after their use. Others are injured and will still live the remainder of their lives in captivity.

2. Some substances tested, may never be used for anything useful:
The unfortunate aspect is that many of these animals received tests for substances that will never actually see approval or public consumption and use. It is this aspect of animal testing that many view as a major negative against the practice, as it seems that the animal died in vain because no direct benefit to humans occurred.

3. It is very expensive:
Another con on the issue of animal testing is the price. Animal testing generally costs an enormous amount of money, as the animals must be fed, housed, cared for and treated with drugs or a similar experimental substance. On top of that, animal testing may occur more than once and over the course of months, which means that additional costs are incurred. The price of animals themselves must also be factored into the equation. There are companies who breed animals specifically for testing and animals can be purchased through them.

4. Animals and humans are never exactly the same:
There is also the argument that the reaction of a drug in an animal's body is quite different from the reaction in a human. The main criticism here is that some believe animal testing is unreliable. Following on that criticism is the premise that because animals are in an unnatural environment, they will be under stress. Therefore, they won't react to the drugs in the same way compared to their potential reaction in a natural environment. This argument further weakens the validity of animal experimentation.

Personal Choice

While there are numerous pros and cons of animal testing, the ethical aspect overshadows both of them, which means that emotion may be the ultimate determining factor in whether a person believes the benefits of animal testing outweigh the problems associated with the practice.

For more information about the ethics of animal testing on this site, read the following features:

1. The controversy of animal testing
2. Medical treatments that have been found as a result of animal testing
3. Medical trials on humans.

External Resources

Read around the subject at external sites - here are two very good resources:

The BBC education page on animal ethics

The Government legislation relating to animal testing

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Woah, people, slow down. Please don't call each other names, I know you have different viewpoints from other people, but insulting them will not help you prove your point. Just because you're behind a computer screen does not give you the right to say those things. Keep it civil, please. As for me and my stance on animal testing, it's a bit complicated. I am against the way we treat the animals we're testing on, like please if you're going to be doing all of those horrible things USE SOME GOSH DARN PAINKILLERS! And if what your testing the animals for has no use for humans or other animals, then don't do it. it is unnecessary. Plus if there are other alternatives to using animals then they should either be used or seriously considered. But I am happy that we have all of these life-saving medicians, that is great. I'm just not ok with how we treat them. I literally cry when I read about the stuff that has been done. It physically hurts me to know that they have suffered so much.

Cats are great - 11-Mar-18 @ 2:00 PM

BumpADump you are a moron. Scientist are helping us out completely. They have saved lots of us by testing on animals. Yes some animals have died but really if they didn't animals would be running the world. So they ARE doing a good job, and you need to shut up.

SuperAwesomeBRO - 9-Mar-18 @ 4:53 PM

Well I can see your point there doc but honestly they are killing millions of animals just to see if they can a cure a sickness for humans. But if you really look into it more than half the test they do on animals don't even help humans out. So really all they're doing is killing animals just to find out they did nothing to help.

BumpADump - 9-Mar-18 @ 4:49 PM

Animal testing has lead to many life saving cures, sure you may argue "It's cruel and inhuman" If we didn't do animal testing we wouldn't be able to find life saving cures, such as when we tested on the cow We found a cure to smallpox, or the zebrafish who can help control metabolism,Also people probably will never change from animal testing because one it takes people to long to change,and get used to it. Two because it would probably cost even more than animal testing does. Finally because once they mastered this they would have to find the way to cure whatever, and they can't use animals for it. So if the plague came back and we weren't able to use animals we would probably all die.

doc - 9-Mar-18 @ 3:49 PM

my school is doing argumentative essays. I need some information Can you help?!

freddy - 8-Mar-18 @ 10:13 PM

This is your fault VroomVroomLyndie

BumpADump - 7-Mar-18 @ 7:02 PM

Who ever said kill all the monkeys, I have one thing to tell you. Those monkeys are my bros and they don't deserve to die. I dedicate my time to save all the monkeys and this is what I get, they all die. So you better shut your mouth and leave my monkey bros alone.

BumpADump - 7-Mar-18 @ 7:00 PM

did you know that inslin came from dogs pancreases being removed

Anoymous - 7-Mar-18 @ 12:31 AM

Well honestly think about it this way antibotics cure (almost) any bacteral infection, an that came directly from animal research.

Anoymous - 7-Mar-18 @ 12:26 AM

I hope that animal testers are reading this right now so that they know people (like me)hate them for all the animals they tortured. If you were involved in any un ethical testing just ask yourself why. Then think about yourself killing and torturing animals for some shampoo thatwon't hurt someones eyes. People are drilling holes in puppies heads with little to none painkillers just to test how a disease would react if it was directly placed into the brain. Some people are just sick and should be charged with murder for every innocent animals life they take.

mom - 5-Mar-18 @ 2:11 PM

Stop animal testing and find other alternatives, live and let live

Mann - 1-Mar-18 @ 2:14 AM

The people who support animal testing for medical use but not cosmetic use are hypocrites.

Student - 22-Feb-18 @ 7:57 PM

i wish people would stop being so cruel

turtle - 20-Feb-18 @ 5:41 AM

I wish people would stop using animals they use mice, chimps, frogs, fish why do they do that.

love cookies - 30-Jan-18 @ 8:42 PM

I would rekon that we should stop this Testing .because we are humen being .if we will do this.what diffrent us and animal. It is a sin

Bharti - 13-Dec-17 @ 1:58 PM

I personally believe that animal testing is ethically wrong, however, I am still in support of it. Yes, animals are in pain and suffer, but the benefits to animal testing are many. As previous commenters have pointed out, life-saving medications have been developed through animal testing. While the shampoo-test (I do not recall the exact name of it, but it involves albino bunnies eyes being held open, while the shampoo product is placed in their eye) is a source of nightmares, would you rather a bunny lose its sight, or another person? Animal testing is horrible and completely ethically wrong to me, it is still necessary until an equally effective alternative method is found.

Aulumn - 8-Dec-17 @ 11:57 PM

Wow there are so many things to take in from the comments and the actual article. This is one of the things that will always be debated as even though i myself am a great animal lover, would i willingly give my life up this second, the truth is... no but it hurts to know that animals are being tortured so we can look good.There is also the fact that without animals to test on how would we find cures for diseases or something like polio and leukemia. It is not just humans that benefit from this,animals do as well,because from this as vaccines for parvovirus in dogs and feline leukemia were made possible wholly from animal testing.Animal testing has also bought animals back from the brink of extinction. However there are some times when humans prove themselves to be absolutely sick like when they let animals be used to study the risein blood sugar levels caused by heating and animals skin temperature had reached 131.5'C *even though boiling point is 100'C* . Is it really worth all the misery and suffering or Who would you rather be alive : animals or you? To be honest even I don't know what I would choose.

Anon - 4-Dec-17 @ 8:32 PM

Thank you I used this in my report about animal testing and the articlewas very helpfulthere was so many pros and cons to animal testing but I decided to choice that animal testing was wrong becuase animals have rights

Student - 7-Nov-17 @ 3:20 PM

Animal testing is wrong in so many ways. Animal testing is a cruel and selfish practice that only benefits humans. It goes to show just how humans take advantage of anything they can because they believe they have the authority to control everything in their sight. Animals are being tested on products that they will never have any use for, and these products do not make a difference in their lives.Animals are not able to have a say since humans are stronger. This essentially means, humans are denying animals’ rights and are visualizing them as lesser beings.Testing products on animals is in many cases murder, we are letting them test products to see how harmful they are and what the effects will be, leading many of them to die. Animals are not our property, we should not be taking them out of their habitat, out of their lives, to use them in ours selfishly and unnecessarily. They should not be used for experiments, entertainment, or any other abuse towards them. Animal testing is like slavery- it is separating a group of living beings, it is using them selfishly, and denying their rights. Animal testing should be banned at all causes, and should never be subjected to the practice.

student - 6-Nov-17 @ 11:49 PM

Animal testing has a good cause if it is to find cures that save human lives. However, why do we need to test cosmetics on animals? Why do we need to test and risk hurting animals for something that humans don't need? This is my view on animal testing

TheRussianBagel - 26-Oct-17 @ 12:54 AM

test it on humans. there are too many of them, and 3 animals shouldn't be killed for one human.

science - 11-Oct-17 @ 6:40 PM

I agree with VroomVroomSexual on this situation no more animal rights, kill all the monkies

VroomVroomLyndie - 6-Oct-17 @ 3:58 PM

People clearly dont understand the benefits of animal testing. Educate yourself before you post about the 'poor' animals.

Student - 28-Jun-17 @ 12:19 PM

whats wrong with using organ chips, the chips succeed in finding a cure most of the time and then animals won’t be badly treated and be put through excruciating pain. the chips and identical to the human body so they are reliable.

Elly - 27-Jun-17 @ 7:58 PM

what is wrong with the world, animals can't speak for themselves, they feel pain. would you want to have shampoo in your eyes, someone to inject cancer into you and to wrap barbed wire around your heart to give you a heartattack, it isnt fair for an animal to go through this pain, just think, would you want to go through what these animals are going through? 95% of tests fail causing the animals to die.

Elly - 27-Jun-17 @ 7:45 PM

Thx,this was very helpful for my school homework and will really help me with my test on Monday :)

Dr.Blue - 17-Jun-17 @ 4:37 PM

Animal testing allows for new extraordinary medicines that help millions of people.

Kara-zor-el - 4-Jun-17 @ 6:21 PM

This website and comments are being really helpful for a class debate on animal testing coming up next week. Thanks!

Steph - 22-May-17 @ 1:49 AM

This is actually really useful for my debate coming up!

Student - 18-May-17 @ 12:21 AM

It isn't even tested on animals until a variety of other tests are made first. People don't understand this.

TBP64 - 15-May-17 @ 8:45 PM


Pros and Cons of Animal Testing: (Helpful or Harmful?)

Scientists around the world believe in the power of animal testing. There are laws in place for the protection of animals, explaining the guidelines to keep animal testing ethical, but there are people and companies that are refusing to test on animals and advertising that they are cruelty free. The question remains, what are the pros and cons of animal testing?

Benefits of Animal Testing

Testing on Animals Has Saved Countless Lives

Testing on animals can be attributed with almost every medical breakthrough in the last 100 years. Animal testing has been a tool in scientific discovery since 500 B.C. In recent years, animals have been used to test cosmetics, medicines, vaccines, and multiple other experiments. As an example, if dogs had not been used as test subjects in the removal of their pancreases, insulin would never have been discovered. Polio, childhood leukemia, malaria, tuberculosis, and many other discoveries would not have been made had it not been with the help of animal testing.

No Other Testing Options

It can be argued that there are other ways to test cosmetics and certain medicines, other than on animals. In petri dishes for example, but the results are not nearly the same or as reliable. Animals are as close to the human body as science can get, without using a human. Having an organism with similar whole-body systems is vital in determining if a test is successful or not. Most tests being done require an endocrine and immune system. Petri dishes are only surface tests and cannot determine if the immune system will react negatively or positively to a test. As a result, using animals as test subjects is the most reliable and cost effective means of testing.

Animals Are Similar to Humans

Even though animals walk on four legs, their DNA is very closely related to that of humans. Chimps’ DNA is a 99% match to humans and mice are a 98% match. All mammals have organs that function in essentially the same as a human because humans are also considered a mammal. With the help of a central nervous system, circulatory system, and organ function, animals are the biological match to a human. This makes them the best option for live testing. Since animals are so closely related to a human, they are susceptible to many of the same illnesses and diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. With systems that closely mimic that of a human’s, it is obvious why science prefers animals over petri dishes for testing.

Animals Benefit From Testing

Most of the tests done on animals are to benefit humans, but there are numerous occasions where the tests performed on animals were for animals. Animals have died from anthrax, rabies, distemper, feline leukemia, infectious hepatitis, and parvo. If these tests had not been done on animals, for animals, millions would have died from these diseases. Animal testing, for the betterment of animals, has helped save black-footed ferrets, koalas, and numerous other endangered animals from extinction.

There Are Regulations In Place

Laws are in place to keep animal experimentation ethical. In 1996 the Animal Welfare Act was passed to ensure that the testing is being regulated. Laws also specify how large the enclosures should be, temperature standards, and access to food and water. This act also indicates regular inspections to be done by veterinarians to ensure these regulations are being met. An Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee must approve animal research. These committees are set up to ensure that facilities are going to be testing in humane ways. With laws and regulations in place, facilities that are using animals for research must follow the rules.

Animals Are Treated With Care

Science is begging for accurate and reliable answers, so the animals that are tested on are well taken care of. There are vets and specialists on site to keep the animals healthy. If an animal is stressed or over crowded, the test results are considered to be unreliable due to the extraneous circumstances. In one facility, dogs are given exercise twice a day and have toys rotated, providing an opportunity for play.


Cons of Animal Experimentation

Animal Testing Is Inhumane

The Humane Society International has discovered that animals used in experimentation are subject to force feedings, food and water deprivation, physical restraint, and forced inhalation. Often time’s wounds or burns are inflicted on the animal to see how quickly they heal.

An example of this inhumane treatment is The Draize eye test, used by cosmetic companies to evaluate irritation from shampoos and other products. This test involves rabbits being restrained with their eyelids clipped open, sometimes for multiple days. The product is placed in their eyes and their reaction is studied. The animal is unable to run away, blink the product out, or even rub it out. Tests often include finding out what amount of product it would take to kill 50% of the animals being used. Animals suffer pain with no anesthesia for relief. In 2010 alone, 1,395 primates, 5,996 rabbits, 33,652 guinea pigs, and 48,015 hamsters were used in studies that inflicted pain upon them without the use of any pain relief.

There Are Alternatives

In vitro, or in glass, is a great way to test products and can produce a more reliable result. Human cells can be used in petri dishes to test certain products and medications. Testing on humans is also an option. The experiment would need to ensure that subjects are volunteers and nonlethal doses are used. This is called microdosing. By administering very small doses, no severe reactions will occur and the results could be examined through blood analysis. A new product, called microfluidic chips could also replace animal testing. These chips have human cells formed on their surface and recreate the functions of human organs. Since they mimic the exact reactions of the population the product is being designed for, there would be no need for animals to be tested on.

Animals Are Different From Humans

Although animals and humans share very similar DNA it is not a 100% match. Since they are different, the tests performed on them can be unreliable. There are cellular, metabolic, and anatomic differences between humans and animals. Due to these differences, it is difficult to say whether or not a test was really accurate. The differences have caused numerous medication experiments to be wrong.

For example, in the 1950’s thalidomide was released as a sleeping aid This medication was tested on animals before being released but caused 10,000 babies to be born with severe deformities. The drug was removed from the market and tested on pregnant mice, rats, guinea pigs, cats, and hamsters. The results were clear, no animals were born with defects unless administered at extremely high doses.

Vioxx is another great example of failed animal experimentation. This drug was designed to help with arthritis. The drug helped preserve the hearts of mice, but caused more than 27,000 heart attacks and sudden cardiac deaths among humans before being pulled from the market. Even a 1% difference in chemical and biological makeup makes a very big difference.

Using animals as research experiments fail 94% of the time when tested on humans. The tests are not reliable. According to neurologist Aysha Akhrar, MD, MPH, over 100 drugs designed for strokes tested effective on animals and failed in humans. The same applies to 85 HIV vaccines. These vaccines failed in humans but worked well on primates. Just because something is similar, does not make it the same. Just because we are mammals and chimps are mammals, we are still completely different. So, animals testing is a waste of innocent animal lives.

95% of Animals Are Not Protected

As stated earlier, animals do have protection under the Animal Welfare Act. But, the AWA does not protect rats, mice, fish, and birds which happen to make up 95% of the population being tested on. The Animal Welfare Act covers about 1,134,693 animals used for testing in 2010, leaving about 25 million animals uncovered. These 25 million animals have no protection under the AWA and can be subject to extreme cruelty.


The Animal Welfare Act is also not successful in preventing animal abuse. In 2009, the Humane Society found 338 possible violations of the AWA in a federally funded lab in Louisiana. It was found that primates were extremely stressed and were self-mutilating, ripping wounds open in their arms and legs. There was footage of baby chimps screaming as they are forcibly removed from their mothers while other infants were awake and alert during painful experimentation. The Davis Center for Neuroscience in California was no different. Three baby mice were found sealed alive in plastic bags and left unattended on a laboratory counter. There are always loopholes in the law, and the AWA has some very large holes.

As a Result

Animal testing has been used for generations of scientists. It is believed that animals experimentation is more ethical since they are just creatures. Laws have been passed to ensure that animals are protected, but we can see that many can still be abused. Which leads to the question, is it really worth it?

For more pros and cons lists; check out our page on GMOs 


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