Animal Testing: a Necessary Evil?

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 860 |

Pages: 2|

5 min read

Published: Jan 30, 2024

Words: 860|Pages: 2|5 min read

Published: Jan 30, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Body
  3. Argument 1: Animal testing is necessary for scientific and medical advancement.
    Argument 2: Animal testing causes unnecessary harm and suffering to animals.
    Argument 3: Animal testing may not accurately predict human outcomes.
  4. Conclusion
  5. References


Animal testing has been performed since ancient times, and today it remains a controversial and sensitive issue. On the one hand, animal testing has contributed significantly to scientific and medical advancements, which have improved human lives and increased our knowledge of biology. On the other hand, many people argue that it is unethical and cruel to inflict suffering on animals for human benefit.

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The purpose of this essay is to evaluate both sides of the debate and present a well-reasoned argument regarding the issue of animal testing.


Argument 1: Animal testing is necessary for scientific and medical advancement.

Proponents of animal testing argue that it is essential for the development of new treatments and therapies. For example, vaccines for polio, hepatitis, and rabies were all developed using animal testing [1]. Similarly, surgical procedures and medications are commonly tested on animals before they are used on humans.

However, critics of animal testing often claim that animal models are not reliable indicators of human outcomes. For example, a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that nearly half of the drugs that showed promising results in animal tests failed in human trials [2]. Additionally, many animals react differently than humans to drugs and diseases, which can lead to inaccurate test results.

While these concerns are valid, animal testing advocates argue that alternative testing methods do not yet exist to replace animal testing. For example, computer simulations and cell culture models can provide some useful data, but they are limited in their ability to replicate the complex interactions of a living organism [3]. As such, animal testing remains an integral part of the scientific and medical research process.

Argument 2: Animal testing causes unnecessary harm and suffering to animals.

The use of animals in scientific experiments has been criticized on ethical grounds by animal rights activists and others who argue that animal testing constitutes cruelty. There have been many instances where animals have suffered needlessly in experiments, subjected to painful and harmful procedures or kept in inadequate conditions [4].

One counterargument to this claim is that the benefits of animal testing outweigh the harm inflicted on animals. Human well-being, it is argued, is more important than animal rights. However, advocates of animal rights assert that this is a false dichotomy, and that alternative testing methods do exist which do not harm animals. In vitro studies, mathematical models, and other methods are examples of this.

It is noteworthy that major pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer, Roche and Novartis have invested in non-animal alternatives and are working to replace animal testing in many areas [5]. These efforts could lead to significant reductions in animal harm in the future.

Argument 3: Animal testing may not accurately predict human outcomes.

Another argument against animal testing is that it may not translate well to humans. Although animals share many biological similarities with humans, they are different in many other regards, including genetics, physiology, metabolism, and behavior. Therefore, the results of animal tests cannot be extrapolated with certainty to human patients [6].

But can animal models really be used to predict human reactions to drugs and other treatments? Evidence suggests they do not always deliver accurate predictions that will benefit humans. An example of this is the sleeping drug thalidomide, which was tested on animals before it was given to pregnant women in the 1950s and '60s. The drug caused limb deformities in many babies which were born to mothers that had ingested the drug.

Rather than relying primarily on animal testing, it is necessary to develop more accurate alternatives that will better predict human outcomes. In this vein, human-on-a-chip technology [7], in vitro tests, and computational models have demonstrated great promise.

In summary, the limitations of animal testing mean that it may not be the most effective method of testing medical and scientific outcomes for humans.

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The issue of animal testing is complex, and both animal welfare and scientific progress must be taken into account. While animal testing is a fundamental element of scientific research, we should also strive to minimize animal harm and develop more efficient, animal-free testing methods whenever possible. Scientific progress can coexist with ethical animal treatment and reducing the number of animals used in testing is crucial. Only through a balanced and pragmatic approach can we fully assess the ethical implications of animal testing.


  1. Goldberg, A., & Prescott, J. (2002). Animal experimentation: A moral issue? John Wiley & Sons.
  2. Perel, P., Roberts, I., Sena, E., Wheble, P., Briscoe, C., & Sandercock, P. (2007). Comparison of treatment effects between animal experiments and clinical trials: systematic review. BMJ, 334(7586), 197.
  3. Barrett, R. (2011). Alternatives to animal testing: new solutions to meet scientific and regulatory needs. Drug discovery today, 16(3), 122-126.
  4. Arluke, A. (2009). The ethics of animal research: Exploring the controversy. Routledge.
  5. Drug Discovery News. (2014). Big pharma invests in non-animal alternatives. Accessed on September 17, 2021, from
  6. Speirs, C. K., & Hester, P. Y. (2012). Animal welfare concerns and knowledge of the research process among university undergraduates. Science and Engineering Ethics, 18(2), 253-266.
  7. Miranda, C. C., Castro, R. D., Borges, M. G., Maximiano, M. R., Gava, R., Pereira, C. A., & Simao, A. M. (2020). Human-on-a-chip: State-of-the-art and future directions. Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy, 20(12), 1433-1445.
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Animal Testing: A Necessary Evil? (2024, January 30). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 18, 2024, from
“Animal Testing: A Necessary Evil?” GradesFixer, 30 Jan. 2024,
Animal Testing: A Necessary Evil? [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 18 Jul. 2024].
Animal Testing: A Necessary Evil? [Internet] GradesFixer. 2024 Jan 30 [cited 2024 Jul 18]. Available from:
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