Replace, reduce, or refine

Kristen Davis '17

Kristen Davis ’17

Is the welfare of humans more important than the welfare of non-humans? As the dominant species, our answer will often be prone to choosing human beings. We are the ones that have our hands on the test-tubes of animal experimentation. Sadly, we find it justifiable to manipulate animals on our quest for supposedly better health.
As stewards of God’s creation we have the responsibility to defend and care for the voiceless animals that cannot stand up for themselves. Therefore, when does it become moral to put animals in danger for the sake of ourselves?

Kristen Davis '17
Kristen Davis ’17

In the beauty and pharmaceutical industry, animal testing is a common practice to assess the safety and effectiveness of human-made products ranging from medication to cosmetics.
But, in the event that the product has been incorrectly made, the experimental error affects the animals that were involved in the testing of the product. Over 100 million animals are burned, crippled, poisoned, and abused in labs in the United States every year, according to dosomething.org
Beyond the pharmaceutical industry, scientific researchers justify animal extermination as a necessary procedure in biomedical research. Researchers rely on in its effectiveness in diagnosing and treating diseases, as well as creating cosmetics, while not harming human lives. The lives of the animals involved in the experiments are not often considered. 
Undeniably, the disregard for the welfare of animals results in unnecessary abuse to God’s creation. In willingly allowing these experiments, humans neglect their obligation to care for His creatures who do not have the ability to defend themselves. Therefore, God calls us to protect the voiceless animals and use alternative methods to not harm them.
The long battle against animal experimentation continues as nations realize the damaging consequences their products have on the lives of animals. Thankfully, some countries and individuals are taking action.
The European Union, India, Norway, and Israel issued a ban on the sale of new cosmetics that are tested on animals. Now, animal testing only occurs if there is no other viable alternative to the methods, according to huffingtonpost.com.
In contrast, the United States currently has no federal law prohibiting animal testing, not even one that requires companies to seek alternative methods before resorting to testing animals. With the absence of action at the federal level, three states including California, New Jersey, and New York have passed laws mandating that available alternatives to animal tests be used for the production of cosmetics, according to washingtonpost.com
Celebrities, like Colbie Caillat and Paul McCartney, have also voiced their support for an end to cosmetic animal testing through their involvement in The Humane Society of the United States
Consumers also have the opportunity to join the fight against animal experimentation by buying cruelty-free products. Companies like Maybelline, Revlon, L’Oréal, MAC, bareMinerals, and Smashbox, are among many members of the cosmetic industry that have sworn against the use of animal experimentation, according to nottested.co.uk
Needless to say, animals depend on humans for tender love and care, and my hope is that someday all products will be cruelty-free. Therefore, I challenge researchers of the United States to replace a procedure that uses animals with a procedure that does not, reduce the number of animals used in a procedure, or refine a procedure to minimize potential animal pain.
Kristen Davis, Staff Writer