BLOG: The Philosophy of vivisection – Judith Snaith

Why have we as a society agreed that experiments on non-human animals is “okay”? Is it okay because it is for the greater good, because it is necessary … or because we don’t actually know what it entails?

I know what you’re thinking; “I haven’t agreed to animal experiments”. Well the hard truth is that by buying products tested on animals you are not only agreeing with the practice, but you are funding it too. Whether it’s cosmetics, toiletries, household products or medication, you are voting with your pound.

Vivisection is the practice of performing operations on live animals for the purpose of experimentation or scientific research. Live animals, we are live animals, would you ever consent to being experimented on? To be made to inhale smoke for six hours each day until 50 per cent of your group die and then you are killed too (beagles, effects of tobacco). To receive repeated blows to the head whilst confined (monkeys, to study head trauma). Burned alive with a flamethrower until your flesh comes away (pigs, to see the effects of burns on live tissue).

The list is extensive and gruesome, and these things may be done to you without painkillers (to get a true reaction), with your vocal cords cut (so no one has to hear your screams).  Animals cannot consent, therefore it is our own morals at question when we treat sentient beings in this way.

Now I’ve got you thinking, so what will you swap out? Will you sacrifice your favourite make-up brand, the toothpaste that dentists recommend, that surface cleaner that does the job, how about the medication you receive when you are ill? By switching to cruelty-free products we can move the corporations in the right direction, success, but what about non-human animal testing for science?

For the greater good; the idea that sacrificing the happiness of the minority to ensure the happiness of the majority. Let’s break this down into context, millions of animals are experimented on yearly, millions of animals are killed in the name of science, yearly. More than 100,000 humans are killed yearly by prescription drugs that passed animal testing. Animal research is not the final phase, 90 per cent of drugs that pass the animal tests fail in human trials. So if we have to test on humans to be accurate, can we not skip out the middle monkey?

Yes! Alternatives to vivisection exist; in-vitro testing, computer modelling, epidemiological research, volunteers, organ donations and microchips that mimic human organs.

Without necessity, we are left with the undeniable fact that that non-human animal research is cruel, immoral and unethical. That means it’s time for us all to boycott companies that test on animals and show our support for cruelty-free medical research. Open yourself up to knowledge, help spread the word to others and we can finally lift the veil on our societies wrong doings, in turn moving into a kinder era.