The problem of animal testing is one of the most controversial issues of modern society. Animal testing or animal experimentation implies using animals in scientific researches for practical aims. The beginning of this practice is known to be dated back in 1859, when the evolutionary theory presented by Charles Darwin had to be proved. Nevertheless, some of the documentary evidences claim that a notion of animal testing was known even in 4th century BC. During that period, a philosopher Aristotle began using living animal for a variety of experiments that lately created a basis for his History of Animals writing. After him, the experiments were held by a Greek anatomist Erasistratus. After that, a Roman physician and surgeon Aelius Galenus used both living and dead animal bodies for his researchers works. Most of his theories were found out to be truthful, moreover, he created a background for the vivisection process. The next step in the science connected with testing on animal appeared in 12th century with Arabic physician Ibn Zuhr, who practiced surgeries on goats before implying them on people. The highest peak of animal testing was reached in 18th and 19th centuries, and continuous till the present day. As at first, animals were tested for anatomical and physician needs, in modern life they are used mostly for products testing, that was introduced in 1933 after the case of one woman lost her eyes after using the mascara. So, the federal government in 1938 applied the Act, according to which products need to be tested before their realization in the market. Moreover, animal testing became widespread not only in the field of medicine and products testing, it was also used by a Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov for demonstrating the classical conditioning on dogs. After that, Laika became the first dog to go into the outer space, and in 1996, the first cloning process was established with a help of Dolly the sheep. After the widespread usage of animals for testing needs, a number of laws needs to be created for regulating this process. The first law was the Cruelty to Animals Act that was established in Europe, in 1876. In the USA, the first governmental document concerning animal rights was Animal Welfare Act (AWA) that was passed in 1966. The last act regulates the use of animals in researchers, as well as PETA (People of the Ethical Treatment of Animals) organization deals with providing alternatives about the scientists` practices (Naik).
The organization of animal liberation PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) claim that animals are not for our eating, wearing, experimenting on, as well as, not for people’s entertainment or abusing. Rabbits and mice, cats and dogs, primates and pigs are the most common animals for testings as they have a lot of common features concerning the structure of their inner organism and body to the human one.
Mice and rats are known being the most popular victims of testing among other animals. More than 100 million of them are annually killed in the laboratories on the territory of the US. They are abused by a variety of different experiments from the toxicology tests to psychological experiments. Mice are usually electroshocked and mutilated, been pumped drugs like methamphetamine and cocaine. Moreover, rats and mice are given painful illnesses and tumors. These animals are so popular as the nervous system they have are similar to human’s one. Rats and mice can feel loneliness, pain, fear and joy. These animals are quite communicable with each other, though using sounds that are inaudible for humans. Moreover, rats are attached to each other as humans are, tend to love their families, express altruistic feelings while helping others in difficult situations. The point is that mice and rats are ones that are not protected by the law, that is why they cannot have painkiller while taking part in an experiment.
Rabbits are known to be frequent victims of animal experiments as they are easily to be handled and confined. There are about 241,000 of mild-tempered rabbits that are abused each year in the USA. Rabbits are used mostly in Draize eye irritancy test. Cosmetics, cleaners, dishwashing liquids, as well as other substances are dripped in the rabbit’s eye to see the reaction it may cause. The most common effects are eye redness, swelling, or even blindness. After the experiment, rabbits are usually killed. Moreover, rabbits are used for skin corrosion tests, during which their backs are shaved and chemicals applied for up to 2 weeks. Animals are not provided with the painkillers to observe their reaction better. Moreover, after this test they are also killed. In addition to that, cardiovascular diseases, spinal cord injuries and skin conditions are tested on rabbits. Deep incisions are cut, as well as implants are surgically inserted (“PETA”).