Persuasive Essays On Animal Testing

If I say “animal testing,” which of the following two images comes to mind?

Image #1: Professional, ethical scientists carefully monitoring and testing animals and developing life-saving cures.

Image #2: People needlessly injecting, probing, and torturing defenseless animals.

While some of you may have an image that’s somewhere between ethical testing and torture, I’m sure many of you will either see Image #1 or Image #2.

Animal testing is one of those topics that can polarize opinions. It’s this extreme difference in opinion that can make this topic a good choice for a persuasive essay.

It’s easy to say you’re either for or against animal testing, but you can’t write an effective persuasive essay about the topic without evidence to support your opinion.

Use these animal testing articles to help support your persuasive essay.

Choosing Appropriate Animal Testing Articles

One of the most important things to remember about research and choosing articles for your persuasive essay is that not all sources are created equal.

Sources can be outdated, incorrect, biased, or simply not appropriate for your paper.

That blog written by your roommate about how to reduce stress and anxiety during exam week might provide some useful advice. But if you’re writing a research paper, you’re better off citing someone more credible, like a professor or doctor.

And because finding good sources takes time, don’t simply pick the first five sources you find after Googling “animal testing.”

Actually read the sources before you decide to use them for your paper. (I know, this adds some extra time to your research process, but trust me, it’s worth it.)

Wondering how to tell if a source is credible? Read How to Apply the CRAAP Test to Your Essay Sources.

Still not sure what credible articles might look like? Review the following animal testing articles to find support for your persuasive essay.

20 Animal Testing Articles to Support Your Persuasive Essay

Whether you’re for or against animal testing, your paper needs to do the following:

  • Provide readers with background information
  • Acknowledge the opposing view (learn more about opposing viewpoints and writing an argument here)
  • Persuade readers of your viewpoint through by using good evidence.

I’ve divided these resources into categories to help you find the most appropriate articles for your persuasive essay.

I’ve also included an MLA 8 citation and APA citation for each article.

Articles on the history of animal testing

1. Animal Testing and Medicine

Written by a cardiologist, this article provides a brief overview of the history of animal testing but ultimately argues that animal testing is necessary and beneficial. (If you’re writing an argument of your own, check out How to Write a Winning Argument Essay.)

MLA 8 Citation

Hajar, Rachel. “Animal Testing and Medicine.” Heart Views: The Official Journal of the Gulf Heart Association, vol. 12, no. 1, 2011, p. 42, doi.org/10.4103/1995-705X.81548.

APA Citation

Hajar, R. (2011). Animal testing and medicine. Heart Views: The Official Journal of the Gulf Heart Association, 12(1), 42. http://doi.org/10.4103/1995-705X.81548

2. Animal Testing: A Long, Unpretty History

This article provides a brief history of animal testing, including animal testing completed by the Greeks and Romans in the 2nd century and more recent testing on chimpanzees.

MLA 8 Citation

Scutti, Susan. “Animal Testing: A Long, Unpretty History.” Medical Daily, Newsweek Media Group, 27 June 2013, www.medicaldaily.com/animal-testing-long-unpretty-history-247217.

APA Citation

Scutti, S. (2013). Animal testing: A long, unpretty history. Retrieved from http://www.medicaldaily.com/animal-testing-long-unpretty-history-247217

3. Animal Welfare Act

Published on the U.S. Department of Agriculture website, this page links to the full text of the Animal Welfare Act (which requires specific standards of treatment for animals used for commercial purposes or in research). This is a government website, and thus, the information is reliable.

MLA 8 Citation

“Animal Welfare Act.” U.S. Department of Agriculture, www.nal.usda.gov/awic/animal-welfare-act.

APA Citation

U.S. Department of Agriculture. (n.d.). Animal welfare act. Retrieved from https://www.nal.usda.gov/awic/animal-welfare-act

Pro/con animal testing articles

4. Pros and Cons of Animal Testing

Included in this article is a brief overview of the pros and cons of animal testing, two short animal experimentation videos, and an infographic about animal testing and cosmetics.

Want to use a pros and cons structure for your essay? Read How to Write a Pros and Cons Essay Like a Pro for helpful advice.

MLA 8 Citation

“Pros and Cons of Animal Testing.” Health Research Funding, 26 Feb. 2014. healthresearchfunding.org/pros-cons-animal-testing/.

APA Citation

Health Research Funding. (2014). Pros and cons of animal testing. Retrieved from http://healthresearchfunding.org/pros-cons-animal-testing/

5. Should Animals Be Used for Commercial or Scientific Testing?

This page offers a variety of pro and con quotes about animal testing from authors, doctors, professors, and other credible professionals.

MLA 8 Citation

“Should Animals Be Used for Scientific or Commercial Testing?” ProCon.org, 7 April 2017, animal-testing.procon.org/view.answers.php?questionID=001887.

APA Citation

Should animals be used for scientific or commercial testing? (n.d.). Retrieved from http://animal-testing.procon.org/view.answers.php?questionID=001887

6. Animal Testing Cons: What Every Person Should Know

As the title indicates, this article focuses on the negative aspects of animal testing, such as the cost, the lack of protection for animals, and the fact that some tests are, in the end, simply pointless.

This article is a blog post published by Udemy, “…a global marketplace for learning and teaching online.” Though the article provides valuable information, keep in mind that blog posts may not be appropriate for all research papers.

(Check with your prof, and read the assignment guidelines to make sure you’re allowed to cite blogs.)

MLA 8 Citation

Klazema, April. “Animal Testing Cons: What Every Person Should Know.” Udemy.com, 13 June 2014, blog.udemy.com/animal-testing-cons/.

APA Citation

Klazema, A. (2014, June 13). Animal testing cons: What every person should know [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://blog.udemy.com/animal-testing-cons/

Pro/con animal testing websites

When citing full websites in APA, keep in mind that APA doesn’t require an entry in your references list. The APA citations below put the websites into formatting for the reference list in case your prof requires you to do it this way.

If not, then follow APA guidelines on citing full websites if you’re citing an entire site or for individual web sources if citing a particular page or article from a website.

7. Speaking of Research

The website Speaking of Research was “founded in 2008 by Tom Holder and inspired by the British student movement ‘Pro-test'” (www.pro-test.org.uk).

The organization “…aims to change the tide of the controversial animal rights debate in the United States by encouraging students and scientists to speak out in favor of the lifesaving medical research developed with animals.”

MLA 8 Citation

Speaking of Research. speakingofresearch.com/.

APA Citation

Speaking of Research. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://speakingofresearch.com/

8. Understanding Animal Research

This website offers a variety of resources for journalists, scientists, schools, and policymakers. It also links to a number of news articles and other resources.

MLA 8 Citation

Understanding Animal Research. www.understandinganimalresearch.org.uk/.

  APA Citation

Understanding Animal Research. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.understandinganimalresearch.org.uk/

9. International Association Against Painful Experiments on Animals

Founded in 1969, this organization argues against all forms of animal testing.

MLA 8 Citation

International Association Against Painful Experiments on Animals. www.iaapea.com/.

APA Citation

International Association Against Painful Experiments on Animals. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.iaapea.com/

10. PETA

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is the self-proclaimed largest animal rights organization in the world and focuses on ending animal cruelty.

MLA 8 Citation

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). www.peta.org/.

APA Citation

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.peta.org/

Animal testing news articles

11. How Animal Experiments Paved the Way for the CIA’s Torture Program

The author of this article, a neurologist and public health specialist, reveals that government torture of humans was directly inspired by similar animal testing. She also advocates for the government to stop its continued systematic experimentation on animals.

MLA 8 Citation

Akhtar, Aysha. “How Animal Experiments Paved the Way for the CIA’s Torture Program.” HuffPost, Oath Inc., 21 Jan. 2015, www.huffingtonpost.com/aysha-akhtar/how-animal-experiments-pa_b_6462706.html.

APA Citation

Akhtar, A. (2015). How animal experiments paved the way for the CIA’s torture program. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/aysha-akhtar/how-animal-experiments-pa_b_6462706.html

 12. New Law Gives Cats and Dogs in Research Labs a Second Chance At Life

Published by HuffPost, this article discusses a 2016 law that states, “All state-funded research labs must make dogs and cats used as test subjects available for adoption—as opposed to euthanizing them—when testing is complete.”

MLA 8 Citation

Hanson, Hillary. “New Law Gives Cats and Dogs in Research Labs A Second Chance At Life.” HuffPost, Oath Inc., 17 Aug. 2016, www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/law-dogs-cats-adoption-testing-beagle-freedom_us_57b4b2b4e4b0fd5a2f40d552.

APA Citation

Hanson, H. (2016). New law gives cats and dogs in research labs a second chance at life. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/law-dogs-cats-adoption-testing-beagle-freedom_us_57b4b2b4e4b0fd5a2f40d552

13. U.S. Research Lab Lets Livestock Suffer in Quest for Profit

This lengthy New York Times article describes a variety of tests, surgeries, and other experiments a giant research lab is using in an attempt to re-engineer farm animals. While the animals are a potential benefit to both the farms and the consumer, the harm and pain inflicted on the animals are extreme.

MLA 8 Citation

Moss, Michael. “U.S. Research Lab Lets Livestock Suffer in Quest for Profit.” The New York Times, 19 Jan. 2015, www.nytimes.com/2015/01/20/dining/animal-welfare-at-risk-in-experiments-for-meat-industry.html?_r=1.

APA Citation

Moss, M. (2015, January 19). U.S. research lab lets livestock suffer in quest for profit. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/20/dining/animal-welfare-at-risk-in-experiments-for-meat-industry.html?_r=1

14. About Cosmetics Animal Testing

Posted by Humane Society International, this article includes an overview of the testing of cosmetics on animals, as well as links to activism sites.

MLA 8 Citation

“About Cosmetics Animal Testing.” Humane Society International, 6 March 2013, www.hsi.org/issues/becrueltyfree/facts/about_cosmetics _animal_testing.html.

APA Citation

About cosmetics animal testing. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.hsi.org /issues/becrueltyfree/facts/about_cosmetics_animal_testing.html

15. To Kill a Lab Rat

Many animals used in testing are euthanized after experiments by being forced to inhale carbon dioxide. Animals feel distress during this process, and this article reports that labs, because of the pain and discomfort felt by animals, are being asked to use anesthesia.

Many, however, question whether this practice will be effective as it too may cause some distress to animals.

This article highlights the controversy surrounding the topic of animal testing. If you’re completing your own research on the subject, take a look at How to Write Perfect Survey Questions for Your Paper.

MLA 8 Citation

Grens, Kerry. “To Kill a Lab Rat.” The Scientist, LabX Media Group, 4 Nov. 2014, www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/41378/title/To-Kill-a-Lab-Rat/.

APA Citation

Grens, K. (2014, November 4). To kill a lab rat. The Scientist. Retrieved from http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/41378/title/To-Kill-a-Lab-Rat/

16. “Shocking” Animal Rights Exposés by Newspapers Were Nothing of the Kind

This article argues that, while it’s clear that some animal abuse occurs during experimentation, some newspapers sensationalize the reports. It further argues that only a handful of abuse cases can be substantiated.

MLA 8 Citation

Fox, Fiona. “‘Shocking’ Animal Rights Exposés by Newspapers Were Nothing of the Kind.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media Limited, 7 Oct. 2014, www.theguardian.com/science/2014/oct/07/animal-rights-uk-newspapers-buav.

APA Citation

Fox, F. (2104, October 7). “Shocking” animal rights exposés by newspapers were nothing of the kind. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/oct/07/animal-rights-uk-newspapers-buav

17. Animal Experimentation Up 73%, Study Says

The animal rights organization PETA claims that the use of animals in federally funded labs has increased 75% in the past 15 years. The article also includes the opinion of the National Institute of Health, who argues that PETA has used the data inappropriately and, thus, dismisses the study.

This article is published by CBS News and is a credible news source.

MLA 8 Citation

Casey, Michael. “Animal Experimentation up 73 Percent, Study Says.” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 26 Feb. 2015, www.cbsnews.com/news/peta-study-finds-animal-testing-in-federal-labs-on-the-increase/.

APA Citation

Casey, M. (2015). Animal experimentation up 73 percent, study says. Retrieved from http://www.cbsnews.com/news/peta-study-finds-animal-testing-in-federal-labs-on-the-increase/

18. Companies Are Making Human Skin in Labs to Curb Animal Testing of Products

Published by CNBC.com, this article explains that the cosmetics company L’Oreal is growing human skin (called EpiSkin) in labs. The lab-grown skin is used to test cosmetics and help reduce the number of animals used in testing.

MLA 8 Citation

Woods, Bob. “Companies Are Making Human Skin in Labs to Curb Animal Testing of Products.” CNBC.com, 28 May 2017, www.cnbc.com/2017/05/25/loreal-is-making-lab-produced-human-skin-to-curb-animal-testing.html.

APA Citation

Woods, B. (2017). Companies are making human skin in labs to curb animal testing of products. Retrieved from http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/25/loreal-is-making-lab-produced-human-skin-to-curb-animal-testing.html

19. The Price of Killing Off Animal Testing

Published in Newsweek, this article reports that, if animal rights activists achieved their goal of ending all animal testing, many people would suffer. The president of the Foundation for Biomedical Research even claims it “…would be a death sentence for millions of people around the world.”

MLA 8 Citation

Ericson, John. “The Price of Killing Off Animal Testing.” Newsweek, 20 Feb. 2014, www.newsweek.com/2014/02/21/price-killing-animal-testing-245548.html.

APA Citation

Ericson, J. (2014, February 20). The price of killing off animal testing. Newsweek. Retrieved from http://www.newsweek.com/2014/02/21/price-killing-animal-testing-245548.html

20. The 6 Craziest Animal Experiments

Just as it sounds, this article provides a brief discussion of six strange and sometimes controversial animal experiments.

MLA 8 Citation

Wolchover, Natalie. “The 6 Craziest Animal Experiments.” LiveScience, TechMedia Network, 1 August 2011, www.livescience.com/33420-6-craziest-animal-experiments.html.

APA Citation

Wolchover, N. (2011). The 6 craziest animal experiments. Retrieved from http://www.livescience.com/33420-6-craziest-animal-experiments.html

Finalizing Your Research

It’s probably safe to say that, although this blog post contains 20 credible animal testing articles to support a persuasive essay, not all of the articles included here will work for your paper.

This, of course, means you’ll need to do more research.

Remember, finding good sources takes time, so don’t just use the first animal testing articles listed in your Google search. In fact, Google isn’t even the best way to complete your research (really!).

Google is a great start, but there are other places to find credible resources. Where, you ask? Read the 5 Best Sources to Help with Writing a Research Paper to find out!

Looking for even more help writing a persuasive essay? Read these posts:

Want to see what other students have written about the topic ? Check out these example essays about animal testing.

Need someone to review your finished paper? Have a Kibin editor help revise and edit!

Psst... 98% of Kibin users report better grades! Get inspiration from over 500,000 example essays.

Using animals in research and to test the safety of products has been a topic of heated debate for decades. According to data collected by F. Barbara Orlans for her book, In the Name of Science: Issues in Responsible Animal Experimentation, sixty percent of all animals used in testing are used in biomedical research and product-safety testing (62). People have different feelings for animals; many look upon animals as companions while others view animals as a means for advancing medical techniques or furthering experimental research. However individuals perceive animals, the fact remains that animals are being exploited by research facilities and cosmetics companies all across the country and all around the world. Although humans often benefit from successful animal research, the pain, the suffering, and the deaths of animals are not worth the possible human benefits. Therefore, animals should not be used in research or to test the safety of products.

First, animals' rights are violated when they are used in research. Tom Regan, a philosophy professor at North Carolina State University, states: "Animals have a basic moral right to respectful treatment. . . .This inherent value is not respected when animals are reduced to being mere tools in a scientific experiment" (qtd. in Orlans 26). Animals and people are alike in many ways; they both feel, think, behave, and experience pain. Thus, animals should be treated with the same respect as humans. Yet animals' rights are violated when they are used in research because they are not given a choice. Animals are subjected to tests that are often painful or cause permanent damage or death, and they are never given the option of not participating in the experiment. Regan further says, for example, that "animal [experimentation] is morally wrong no matter how much humans may benefit because the animal's basic right has been infringed. Risks are not morally transferable to those who do not choose to take them" (qtd. in Orlans 26). Animals do not willingly sacrifice themselves for the advancement of human welfare and new technology. Their decisions are made for them because they cannot vocalize their own preferences and choices. When humans decide the fate of animals in research environments, the animals' rights are taken away without any thought of their well-being or the quality of their lives. Therefore, animal experimentation should be stopped because it violates the rights of animals.

Next, the pain and suffering that experimental animals are subject to is not worth any possible benefits to humans. "The American Veterinary Medial Association defines animal pain as an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience perceived as arising from a specific region of the body and associated with actual or potential tissue damage" (Orlans 129). Animals feel pain in many of the same ways that humans do; in fact, their reactions to pain are virtually identical (both humans and animals scream, for example). When animals are used for product toxicity testing or laboratory research, they are subjected to painful and frequently deadly experiments. Two of the most commonly used toxicity tests are the Draize test and the LD50 test, both ofwhich are infamous for the intense pain and suffering they inflect upon experimental animals. In the Draize test the substance or product being tested is placed in the eyes of an animal (generally a rabbit is used for this test); then the animal is monitored for damage to the cornea and other tissues in and near the eye. This test is intensely painful for the animal, and blindness, scarring, and death are generally the end results. The Draize test has been criticized for being unreliable and a needless waste of animal life. The LD50 test is used to test the dosage of a substance that is necessary to cause death in fifty percent of the animal subjects within a certain amount of time. To perform this test, the researchers hook the animals up to tubes that pump huge amounts of the test product into their stomachs until they die. This test is extremely painful to the animals because death can take days or even weeks. According to Orlans, the animals suffer from "vomiting, diarrhea, paralysis, convulsion, and internal bleeding. Since death is the required endpoint, dying animals are not put out of their misery by euthanasia" (154). In his article entitled "Time to Reform Toxic Tests," Michael Balls, a professor of medial cell biology at the University of Nottingham and chairman of the trustees of FRAME (the Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments), states that the LD50 test is "scientifically unjustifiable. The precision it purports to provide is an illusion because of uncontrollable biological variables" (31). The use of the Draize test and the LD50 test to examine product toxicity has decreased over the past few years, but these tests have not been eliminated completely. Thus, because animals are subjected to agonizing pain, suffering and death when they are used in laboratory and cosmetics testing, animal research must be stopped to prevent more waste of animal life.

Finally, the testing of products on animals is completely unnecessary because viable alternatives are available. Many cosmetic companies, for example, have sought better ways to test their products without the use of animal subjects. In Against Animal Testing, a pamphlet published by The Body Shop, a well-known cosmetics and bath-product company based in London, the development of products that "use natural ingredients, like bananas and Basil nut oil, as well as others with a long history of safe human usage" is advocated instead of testing on animals (3).Furthermore, the Draize test has become practically obsolete because of the development of a synthetic cellular tissue that closely resembles human skin. Researchers can test the potential damage that a product can do to the skin by using this artificial "skin" instead of testing on animals. Another alternative to this test is a product called Eyetex. This synthetic material turns opaque when a product damages it, closely resembling the way that a real eye reacts to harmful substances. Computers have also been used to simulate and estimate the potential damage that a product or chemical can cause, and human tissues and cells have been used to examine the effects of harmful substances. In another method, in vitro testing, cellular tests are done inside a test tube. All of these tests have been proven to be useful and reliable alternatives to testing products on live animals. Therefore, because effective means of product toxicity testing are available without the use of live animal specimens, testing potentially deadly substances on animals is unnecessary.

However, many people believe that animal testing is justified because the animals are sacrificed to make products safer for human use and consumption. The problem with thisreasoning is that the animals' safety, well-being, and quality of life is generally not a consideration. Experimental animals are virtually tortured to death, and all of these tests are done in the interest of human welfare, without any thought to how the animals are treated. Others respond that animals themselves benefit from animal research. Yet in an article entitled "Is Your Experiment Really Necessary?" Sheila Silcock, a research consultant for the RSPCA, states: "Animals may themselves be the beneficiaries of animal experiments. But the value we place on the quality of their lives is determined by their perceived value to humans" (34). Making human's lives better should not be justification for torturing and exploiting animals. The value that humans place on their own lives should be extended to the lives of animals as well.

Still other people think that animal testing is acceptable because animals are lower species than humans and therefore have no rights. These individuals feel that animals have no rights because they lack the capacity to understand or to knowingly exercise these rights. However, animal experimentation in medical research and cosmetics testing cannot be justified on the basis that animals are lower on the evolutionary chart than humans since animals resemble humans in so many ways. Many animals, especially the higher mammalian species, possess internal systems and organs that are identical to the structures and functions of human internal organs. Also, animals have feelings, thoughts, goals, needs, and desires that are similar to human functions and capacities, and these similarities should be respected, not exploited, because of the selfishness of humans. Tom Regan asserts that "animals are subjects of a life just as human beings are, and a subject of a life has inherent value. They are . . . ends in themselves" (qtd. in Orlans 26). Therefore, animals' lives should be respected because they have an inherent right to be treated with dignity. The harm that is committed against animals should not be minimized because they are not considered to be "human."

In conclusion, animal testing should be eliminated because it violates animals' rights, it causes pain and suffering to the experimental animals, and other means of testing product toxicity are available. Humans cannot justify making life better for themselves by randomly torturing and executing thousands of animals per year to perform laboratory experiments or to test products. Animals should be treated with respect and dignity, and this right to decent treatment is not upheld when animals are exploited for selfish human gain. After all, humans are animals too.

Works Cited

Against Animal Testing. The Body Shop, 1993.

Balls, Michael. "Time to Reform Toxic Tests." New Scientist 134 (1992):31-33.

Orlans, F. Barbara. In the Name of Science: Issues in Responsible Animal Experimentation. New York: Oxford UP, 1993.

Silcock, Sheila. "Is Your Experiment Really Necessary?" New Scientist 134 (1992): 32-34.

Heather Dunnuck

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