Should People Use Animal Tested Cosmetics and Drugs to Protect Themselves from Dangerous Consequences?
It is widely known that animals have long been used as the objects on which people carry out various experiments for their purpose. Currently, people involve animals in various types of researches: in medicine (drugs and injections), in biomedical research, and in the design of cosmetics. Animals are used for economic purposes; however, the peculiarities of these processes are not highlighted for people in open access.
There are specific ethical issues concerning animal testing in various types of industries. I believe that the use of animals in the cosmetic industry is unethical and should be prohibited, while animal testing for medical purposes can be allowed, as it often saves human lives, but such testing should be thoroughly regulated by the law.
Pros and cons of animal testing
Despite the fact that animal testing sometimes brings benefits for humanity, the government has not developed unambiguous principles concerning the use of animals in cosmetic researches. That is why Peggs, in her investigation, argued that “more could be done to ensure transparency and to extricate the vested financial interests from the human health benefits” (624). It is due to the fact that each year millions of animals are under the threat of extinction from biomedical experiments, which are conducted for human health benefits. It becomes evident that many animal testing experiments are carried out for human health benefits. This fact forces us to look at the moral side of the issue. Thus, the articulation of an ethical code here is somewhat complicated. The law which exists today relates only to the use of animals in the creation of drugs and vaccines. But there are no identified principles concerning the use of animals in biomedical researches or in the cosmetic industry, which are widely developed today (“Background of the Issue”). It can be seen that the development and adoption of ethical principles concerning the use of animals as objects in various types of research is of crucial importance.
The situation with the cosmetics industry is much more complex and controversial. I believe that the cosmetic industry and biomedical investigations are entirely different concepts because their initial purpose is different. With the help of cosmetics people try to decorate themselves and improve those traits which are given by nature. Their health will not deteriorate without it. But for the development of various cosmetic substances, people make animals, primarily rabbits, suffer because of the severe impact of these substances on their bodies. In the majority of cases, animals feel severe pain. Here, it is necessary to think philosophically and place the ecosystem in the center when making any decision. The principle of ecocentrism inspires to treat nature and the ecosystem as equal to humans by their importance (Animal Ethics par. 2-3). People should maintain and support biodiversity which exists on the Earth because it ensures thousands of processes which allow people to live on the planet. It is difficult to justify animal testing in the cosmetic sphere. Alternative methods of testing cosmetics should be developed, as they will be crucial for both animals and people.
As it can be seen, animal testing is carried out for various purposes. Some of them can be justified, but others cannot be. The case of animal testing is easier to be judged because of its initial purpose. It is unethical and should not be conducted. Instead, other methods of cosmetic testing should be developed. Animal testing in the healthcare industry is more controversial. It can be provided with the aim to bring benefits to human health and save millions of people. But at the same time, such testing destroys the biodiversity of the planet and is harmful to all living beings. The only way here can be the creation of proper codification which will take into account both sides of the issue and follow it.
Animal Ethics. “Why We Should Give Moral Consideration to Sentient Beings Rather than Ecosystems.” Animal Ethics, 8 Sept. 2017, www.animal-ethics.org/sentience-section/relevance-of-sentience/why-we-should-consider-sentient-beings-rather-than-ecosystems/.
“Background of the Issue.” Should Animals Be Used for Scientific or Commercial Testing?, ProCon.org, 24 May 2016, animal-testing.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=006512.
Peggs, Kay. “An Insufferable Business: Ethics, Nonhuman Animals and Biomedical Experiments.” Animals, vol. 5, no. 3, 2015, pp. 624–642., doi:10.3390/ani5030376.
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