These Alternatives to Animal Testing Are Taking Over
Humane alternatives to animal testing yield human-applicable results and are superior for many reasons. How telling is it that a former National Institutes of Health director, Dr. Elias Zerhouni, said that experimenting on animals to help humans has been a major L? Sis popped off:
“We have moved away from studying human disease in humans. … We all drank the Kool-Aid on that one, me included. … The problem is that [animal testing] hasn’t worked, and it’s time we stopped dancing around the problem. … We need to refocus and adapt new methodologies for use in humans to understand disease biology in humans.”
—Dr. Elias Zerhouni
Experiments on animals are cruel, time-consuming, and ineffective. Forward-thinking scientists are working to cancel animal experimentation by developing humane methods to study disease and test products. Stop trying to make human-relevant animal testing happen—it’s not going to happen.
Here are some state-of-the-art methods that can replace animal testing:
In Vitro Testing
- Researchers have created “organs-on-chips” with human cells. The chips can replicate human physiology more accurately than animal experiments can—and they can be used to study disease and test drugs and toxicity. Sheesh!
- Scientists can use cell-based tests and tissue models to assess the safety of drugs, chemicals, cosmetics, and products. Opting to use rabbits to test a chemical’s ability to corrode the skin despite having humane options is giving small heart energy.
- There is now a three-dimensional tissue model of the deepest part of the human lung, and researchers can use it to study the effects of inhaling chemicals, pathogens, and e-cigarette smoke.
- Devices can expose human lung cells in a petri dish to chemicals in order to test the effects of inhaled substances. Now, nobody needs to go putting rats into little tubes and forcing them to inhale toxic substances for hours on end before killing them.
- Modern researchers are using human blood cells instead of animals to detect potentially dangerous contaminants in drugs. Anyone who still thinks it’s a good idea to inject rabbits with drugs and probe their rectums to see if they have a fever can kindly check themselves into rehab.
- Everybody’s so creative! More than a century ago, experimenters found that injecting horses with the diphtheria toxin and draining huge amounts of their blood allows them to harvest the animals’ antibodies. Today, scientists can create human-derived antibodies capable of blocking the toxin that causes diphtheria, so the “fun” with horses can stop.
Computer (in Silico) Modeling
- Using animals to test drugs ain’t it. Sophisticated computer models can accurately predict how new drugs will react in the human body.
- Quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSAR) can replace animal tests by making sophisticated estimates of a substance’s likelihood of being hazardous to humans.
Research With Human Volunteers
- A method called “microdosing” can determine the safety of experimental drugs before they go to large-scale human trials. This helps screen out drug compounds that won’t work in humans and avoid tests on animals.
- Advanced brain imaging and recording techniques with human volunteers can replace experiments involving damaging the brains of rats, cats, and monkeys. This technology even allows modern researchers to study the human brain down to the level of a single neuron!
- Lifelike computerized human-patient simulators that breathe, bleed, convulse, talk, and even “die” are teaching students about human physiology and pharmacology better than cutting up animals.
- High-tech simulators mimic illnesses and injuries and biologically respond to medical interventions and medications. All medical schools across the U.S., Canada, and India have completely replaced the use of animal laboratories in medical school training with simulators.
- Systems like TraumaMan replicate breathing, bleeding human torsos and have realistic layers of skin and tissue, ribs, and internal organs, imparting lifesaving skills better than cutting into live pigs, goats, and dogs.
It’s the “torturing countless animals despite having effective, non-animal methods” for us. PETA entities fund the development of many alternatives to animal testing, promote their use to scientists around the world, and publish research on their superiority to animal tests. You can take action for animals abused and killed in useless experiments by shopping cruelty-free and spreading awareness to your friends and family.