The Debate on Animal Testing: Do we really need it?

Studies show animal testing has contributed to many life-saving cures and treatments


Emilee Astore

Students in Ms. Shimel’s biology class learn to dissect a cat near the end of the school year.

Phoebe Potter, Local News Editor

Many students here at Bellwood-Antis care about animals and most of them have pets themselves, so it was difficult for some students to come to terms with animal testing and experimentation. Most students learn about genetics and testing in biology class, which is taught by Denise Shimel.

Ms. Shimel stated, “It’s a difficult question to answer simply. I think it is beneficial, useful, and informative. I am also thankful that it has helped with life-saving treatments and cures.”

Roughly 26 million animals are used for scientific and commercial testing in the US, every year. Although most people in favor of animal testing say that there is no alternative to animal testing, some experts say that methods such as studying cells in a petri dish could produce a more accurate result than animal testing due to the fact that the cells would be those from humans.

While the debate could go on, and on, and on, it does not matter which subject they decide to test because we as humans are also animals so no matter who is tested scientists will still be testing animals. On another note, some people believe scientists should conduct their tests on criminals or convicts; however, testing on those subjects could and would be considered cruel and unusual punishment.

No matter what way you look at animal testing, it is, in fact, inhumane. However, animal testing is, without a doubt, essential to all humans and, in some cases, animals as well. What most people don’t realize is that animal testing has enabled to development of many life-saving treatments for both humans and (other) animals.

Junior Revel Southwell expressed his views on the matter. He stated, “Animal testing has contributed to many life-saving cures so it is a good thing that we have it. It’s a justified scientific tool and method.

“Without animal testing we, as a society, would not be as medicinally advanced as we are. Not even close.”

Whether you believe scientists should do tests on humans or other animals, at the end of the day, no matter what the subject there will always be animal testing and there really is no way around it.

Even if scientists study human cells in a petri dish that could still be considered animal testing.

Even then people will still complain, “Oh you’re hurting those poor cells,” or, “just because they can’t speak up doesn’t mean they don’t have a voice.” People need to realize the role animals play in society and how beneficial they are to our existence.

Southwell also said, “I don’t think there is a suitable alternative because a whole animal is much more useful and gives better results rather than using human cells.”

Without hunting or animal testing humanity might not even exist. Organizations like PETA preach that animals should not be used for eating, wearing, testing, etc. but let’s be real here, there was no tofu in ancient times and being a vegan was nonexistent.

Without animal testing we, as a society, would not be as medicinally advanced as we are. Not even close.

— Revel Southwell

Although we do need to completely abuse other animals and exploit them, would you rather it be you than the animals? Would you rather it be criminals over animals? Even if that were the case (I revert back to the fourth paragraph) it could be considered cruel and unusual punishment to conduct tests on criminals and convicts and the people in charge of conducting the tests would be in huge trouble.

So to answer the question of whether we need animal testing, I say 100% yes. Although some forms of animal testing are cruel and unjust, most cases of animal testing have contributed to life-saving research, and that on it’s own should be enough reason sustain it. Look at it this way, would you rather watch someone you love die (even though there is a cure for whatever disease they have but would involve animal testing) or let an animal parish to save the life of someone near and dear to you?

It’s your choice…