Even though most Americans reportedly oppose animal testing, each year over 100 million animals are tortured and killed in laboratories for “biology lessons, medical training, curiosity-driven experimentation, and chemical, drug, food, and cosmetics testing.” While some people believe animal testing is a necessary evil for the betterment of humanity, the facts just don’t support this belief. An article published in The Journal of the American Medical Association demonstrated the dubiousness of these animal experiments, with the researchers concluding that medical treatments developed in animals can rarely be applied to humans. For example, while researchers have cured cancer in mice and HIV/AIDS vaccines have been successful in non-human primates, none of these studies are applicable to humans. Not only are these animal testing practices wasteful and unnecessary, but they are also incredibly disturbing and grotesque. To learn more about the cruel reality of these labs, read the five examples below.

1. Eye and Skin Irritation Tests

Source:  Lush Cosmetics North America / Youtube

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Although cruelty-free cosmetic brands are becoming more and more ubiquitous, many brands still subject rabbits to cruel tests. The most common of these are eye and skin irritation tests which involve forcibly immobilizing the rabbit and applying the products into their eyes as well as exposed skin. The reaction of the product can yield results such as bleeding, blindness, and ulcers. When not being actively tested on, these rabbits often live in uncomfortable cages and are treated like objects rather than living beings. These tests are not only cruel, but they’re also completely unnecessary! Plenty of drug stores and high-end brands have proven that great products are not contingent on the torture of rabbits!

2. Drilling Holes in Monkeys’ Skulls

Source: news.com.au / Facebook

Aside from cosmetics labs, animals are often tested on in scientific studies. One popular practice involves researchers drilling holes into the skulls of animals in order to monitor their brains. As shown in the video above, electrodes are implanted in the brains of rhesus monkeys and then cement is used to attach fixation rods to their skulls. Not only is this practice alone horrific and stressful, but in order to make the monkeys compliant, researchers starve them. As with many other animal-tested experiments, these findings are not applicable to humans and are only used to satisfy the sick curiosity of the researchers. These experiments are not exclusive to this lab, nor are they exclusive to monkeys. For example, until 2015, the University of Madison Wisconsin was conducting similar experiments on cats. Luckily, after a successful PETA campaign, they vowed to end their cruel studies, giving hope to other animal rights activists.

3. Breeding Diseases

Source: PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) / Youtube

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Institutions such as Royal Veterinary College in Hertfordshire and Texas A&M University have taken to the practice of breeding animals with diseases, specifically in their cases, breeding dogs with Duchenne Muscular dystrophy. Breeding dogs with terminal diseases is cruel enough, but these dogs will also never know a loving, comforting home. They spend their lives in cold, metallic cages with their only contact being the lab researchers who subject them to intrusive examinations. Although the researchers claim their goal is noble, seeking a cure for this disease, their efforts have been fruitless and don’t show much promise. In fact, according to a scientific review, “results from DMD dog studies have so far failed to translate to patients because of unavoidable ‘physiologic differences between animals and humans.’

4. Poisoning

Source: The Humane Society of the United States / Youtube

Royal Veterinary College in Hertfordshire and Texas A&M University are not the only research institutions that favor experimenting on beagles and hounds. Due to their size and docile personalities, these breeds are favored among animal labs. In fact, over 70,000 beagles are tested on each year in the United States. Some of these tests include poison experiments shown in the video above. Like all lab animals, these dogs live their lives inside metallic cages and are forced to undergo horrific procedures. The experiments shown in the video above include forced ingestion of poisonous substances, grotesque surgeries, device implants. Fortunately, the company funding these experiments has stopped testing on dogs, however, many labs across the world with similar practices continue.

5. Misc Mice/Rat Tests

Source: PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) / Youtube

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Because of their small size, short lifespans, and ability to reproduce quickly, rats and mice are widely used throughout scientific research, with more than one hundred million of them dying each year in the name of scientific discovery. However, as you can see in the video above, many of the experiments are cruel and add nothing to the body of scientific research. These poor animals are given painful tumors and illnesses, put on hot plates, subject to unnecessary amputations, and given surgery without proper anesthesia. Rats and mice are also often used in university classroom labs so students can replicate previous studies. This practice is completely redundant and unnecessary. Scientific findings can easily be taught and learned without the exploitation, torture, and death of animals.

What Can You Do

The animals experimented on in labs are subject to some of the most despicable torture imaginable. If you have found any of these videos horrifying, I’m sorry to tell you that your tax dollars are likely funding these experiments. Over $12 billion in taxpayer money is estimated to fund these cruel studies. Similarly, such studies account for 40% of all research funding from the National Institutes of Health.

Fortunately, numerous companies are now taking a stand against animal experimentation and the USDA has promised to eliminate some mammalian testing by 2035. Although activists have made great progress with exposing the horrors of animal labs and getting many shut down, there is still a long way to go. We must all work to end these despicable experiments once and for all!

In the U.S., you can take action to help animals that are used in labs by asking legislators to endorse the Humane Cosmetics Act. Make sure to shop cruelty-free and check products to see if they were tested on animals before buying them. If you are a university student, urge your university to end their testing on animals and find humane alternatives.

You can also sign these petitions:

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