Below are just a few examples of horrific experiments that are done on animals in the United States that provide no direct benefit to humans.
The main problem with this kind of psychological testing is that animals are used in an attempt to draw conclusions about the human mind and human behavior.
The way that animals think is not fully understood but it is thought that they think a lot like humans. If their minds are similar to humans then these tests should be stopped immediately because of the great psychological distress they could cause. Think about the monstrous psychological experiments conducted on humans by the Nazis during WWII.
Psychological tests on animals can include administering drugs such as sedatives, antidepressants, stimulants, or sleeping pills.
Researchers may purposely cause severe brain damage, electrically shock or freeze the animal, withhold food, isolate the animal or force aggressive behavior.
Psychological tests provide almost nothing beneficial to humans and the amount of suffering they cause animals is morally reprehensible.
- Maternal deprivation test
Harry F. Harlow, a psychology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison was the first director of The Primate Research Center. His earlier work in the 1950’s included an experiment that purposely damaged parts of a rhesus monkey’s brains and then documented the resultant learning disabilities.
Shortly after, he devised the maternal deprivation test to understand why human children suffered so significantly without a mother or caregiver.
The maternal deprivation test removes infant monkeys from their mother immediately after birth. The infant is kept in isolation and introduced to a “surrogate mother.”
During Harlow’s experiments these “mothers” were either freezing cold, rocked violently to the point that the infant could barely hold on, or ejected barbed spikes at the infant.
Other methods to induce panic included releasing a king snake into the infant’s cage, leaving it alone with a strange monkey, or human researchers intentionally terrorizing the animal.
After 42 days of terror, the monkeys are killed and dissected.
Harlow concluded that infants will cling to their “mother” even if it causes them discomfort because they do not want to be alone. This experiment accomplished nothing other than confirming the already known fact that infant animals and humans need a caregiver.
Harlow also used baby monkeys to explore human psychopathology.
Young monkeys were placed into deep metal pits where they were left alone, unable to move. They quickly developed severe depression, spending the majority of their time in the chamber huddled in a ball.
The University of Wisconsin has recently renewed the maternal deprivation test.
Cosmetics and Household Products Testing
The testing of animals for cosmetics and household products is completely unethical. The tests performed are cruel and provide little benefit to people.
As previously discussed, Manufacturers of household products and cosmetics are only required to test on animals if they wish to use new and untested ingredients.
In some cases other countries will require American Companies to test on animals. China, for example, requires that all imported makeup products are tested on animals.
When asked about their animal testing policy, most American cosmetic companies give a response similar to Clinique’s, “We do not conduct animal testing on our products or ingredients, nor ask others to test on our behalf, except when required by law.”
This is a sneaky way around admitting that their company does test on animals when it is required by another country. There are some American cosmetic companies that never test on animals. They have made the admirable choice to forgo selling their products in countries like China because they refuse to test on animals.
If all American companies refused to test on animals it would force countries like China to drop their laws that require testing.
The opposition to the testing of these products is based on the fact that the burden outweighs the benefit. The types of test performed on animals for household and cosmetic products are horrific.
- Oral Toxicity Tests
These types of tests are used to determine the effects of ingesting a product. High doses of the product or chemical are administered through force-feeding or inhalation.
Most commonly rats, mice, and dogs are used in this type of testing.
Often a group of animals will be tested, each animal given a different dose. Side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, bleeding, convulsions, seizures, respiratory failure, paralysis and death.
An example of this type of test is the toxicity testing of pesticides where the animal is forced to inhale lethal doses. Sometimes as many as 12,000 animals may be killed in the testing of just one pesticide chemical.
The results of these tests have almost no relevance to humans.
- Draize skin irritation test
This experiment is used to test the toxicity of a product on an animal’s skin. Usually using dogs, rabbits or guinea pigs, a section of the animal is shaved and the concentrated product is applied.
The product is left on for up to two weeks causing redness, cracking, bleeding, swelling and ulcers. No pain-relief is given to the animal because researchers believe that it would interfere with the results.
This test produces questionable results because the animal’s skin is shaved first making it irritated and more sensitive than human skin would normally be.
- Draize Rabbit Eye Test
This acute toxicity test has been used since 1944 to determine if a product would cause injury to the human eye. It tests the irritancy level of products like shampoo, weed killer, pesticides and household cleaning products.
An albino rabbit is immobilized in stocks and its eyelids are held open with clips. A concentration of the product being tested is dripped into the rabbit’s eyes where it remains for 7-18 days.
The pain is so excruciating that sometimes the rabbits will break their necks trying to escape. Other reactions include bleeding, swelling, inflammation and blindness. Again, no pain-relief is given to the animal.
The animal is usually killed upon completion of the test.
This test is extremely controversial not only because it is so inhumane, but because it produces questionable results.
Rabbit eyes are very different from human eyes and are much more sensitive. Their reaction to a product is greatly different than the reaction of a human.
Just the other day when I was showering, a drop of my cruelty-free body wash flew into my eye when the lid snapped closed.
I’m not going to lie, it stung. Perhaps even a modicum more than a body wash that had been tested on animals, but guess what? I was fine after less than a minute of flushing my eye with water.
Moral of the story: don’t get shampoo or soap in your eye. If you do, you will live, even if it wasn’t tested on an animal.
So why are we blinding millions of animals so that our beauty products sting a little less in our eyes?
Why are we force-feeding animals products like bleach just to be assured of the already known fact that drinking bleach is deadly?
It is deplorable what we are allowing to happen to God’s precious creatures for such trivial things. It is our responsibility as Christians to protect animals from these pointless and cruel experiments.