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How to Write an Against Animal Testing Essay in 4 Hours

Animal testing has been a controversial subject for decades now. On one side are scientists who insist that the only way to test new chemicals, medicines and sometimes (and less convincingly) cosmetics is to use animals; on the other are animal rights advocates who object to making animals suffer for the benefit of humans. Both sides are supported by some good arguments, but this guide will be looking at how to write an essay opposing the use of animals in experiments. Whether you’ve been told to write an anti-testing essay or it’s your own personal viewpoint, it should give you some tips on how to write a good, convincing essay in four hours or less.

  • Firstly, give a brief history of animal testing and attitudes to it. Vivisection, carrying out surgery on living animals, was practiced by the ancient Greeks. Throughout the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance, when science began to advance rapidly, vivisection was commonly used by biologists. It was already opposed, though. Charles Darwin, the great 19th century biologist, accepted the use of animal testing for genuine scientific reasons but was disgusted by the thought of it being done out of curiosity, which was very common at the time. Opposition has grown greatly since the early 20th century.
  • Next, explain what modern scientists are trying to do with animal testing. In most cases they are attempting to find harmful side effects of a chemical or drug, and hope that reactions in animals can be accurately scaled to humans. The aim is to test new products as thoroughly as possible while minimising the risk to humans.
  • This introduces the main scientific argument against animal testing; many results don’t scale to humans. Even closely related mammals, like monkeys and chimpanzees, can react very differently to some substances than a human would. Testing human food additives on other mammals, for example, is often pointless. Many substances that humans can safely eat are extremely dangerous to animals commonly used in testing; for example dogs are easily poisoned by dark chocolate and many cats react badly to tea tree oil, but both substances appear to be harmless to humans.
  • The other principal argument against testing is the suffering inflicted on animals. While a case can be made that the development of new drugs might justify animal testing, cosmetics are also often tested on mammals and this is not necessary. Cosmetics are an optional luxury, and it’s perfectly reasonable to either test them on human volunteers or make clear that those who use them may suffer adverse reactions. However it’s not reasonable to cause pain to an animal to produce non-essential goods.

When writing the essay, take care to use terms accurately. Vivisection, for example, is often used when people actually mean animal testing in general; vivisection refers specifically to surgery, and doesn’t include drug or chemical testing. Try not to use emotive language or exaggerated comparisons; clearly presented facts will be more effective. Finally, give some idea of the scale of testing that happens in industrialised countries; this is a suitably shocking statistic that will make people stop and think.