To test or to not test


Did you know that some of the products you use every day were produced as a result of  animal testing? For example, Clorox, Downy, Tide, Chapstick, and Crest still inhumanely test on animals. 

Humane International defines animal testing as, “Procedures performed on living animals for purposes of research into basic biology and diseases.” 

Forced chemical exposure, exposure to infectious diseases, genetic mutilation, food and water deprivation, infliction of wounds and burns, infliction of pain to study its physiological effect, electric shock, forced swimming, and neck breaking are all common practices of animal testing according to Humane International, which has brought significant controversy and debate between its beneficiaries and animal rights groups. 

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the largest animal testing organization in the U.S. The most common animals they test on are mice, fish, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, birds, cats, dogs, and mini-pigs. 

In the argument for animal testing, there are the significant benefits the experimentation has brought to the medical field. Research with rats and other small animals have led to vaccines for polio, meningitis, typhus whooping cough, and smallpox, according to the Kent Scientific Corporation. 

Presently, brain and ovarian cancer vaccines are showing promise at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute and Cleveland Clinic thanks to animal testing. 

Alex Eisbach, ‘23, who owns two golden doodles says, “I think animal testing could be necessary for things that we would use on humans, just to be safe. We have had many good outcomes in the medical field because of it.”  Dogs are one of the most tested on animals, specifically beagles. This is because of their size and great sense of smell as explained by KPBS. 

Pain relievers, blood pressure medication, insulin, pacemakers, organ transplants, and treatment for blood diseases all have been established by animal testing, according to NAP National Academies. These good outcomes may have not been produced in a humane way, with large companies testing on animals. 

Is there a more ethical way or better option than animal testing? Well, there has been a chip developed called “organs on chips,” which is made from human cells and can already mimic the heart, lungs, stomach, and kidney, according to Cruelty Free International. These chips have been showing very promising results. 

The app Tik Tok gives an interesting look into the animal testing world. Under the account name of “Sam and Ted the beagle,” Sam uses her platform to promote cruelty free brands, explains all that Ted went through, and speaks for the animals that are in animal testing. 

Riley Heiar, ‘25, is a fan of the social media duo. “I like how Sam is very calm in her videos but still gets a good point across. She doesn’t get all upset. She also has shown me some products to stay away from and those to support because I do not want to be buying brands that test on animals.” 

If you are aiming to stay away from animal testing brands, Wahlert students have some suggestions. Sarah Bandy, ‘25, recommends the makeup brands ELF, and Too Faced. “These are both brands that don’t test on animals or have other companies test for them,” says Bandy.

Kate Richardson, ‘23, suggests the brand Aveda, which is a hair care brand and Rare Beauty, which is vegan as well.