There is no gray area, no exception…
Our position is based not only on ethical grounds, but on scientific findings.
Animals used in tests range from rats, rabbits, pigs, dogs, cats, cows, goats and gnats. There is no animal excluded from this practice. There is an entire industry that breeds animals for testing. In some states class B dealers, which are one source for laboratory animals, procure cats and dogs from shelters and off the streets. In fact, some states such as Iowa, Minnesota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Utah actually require shelters that receive state funding to sell animals to class B dealers. Imagine the cat or dog that lay comfortably at your feet living instead in a laboratory being tested on. There are a growing number of stolen animals sold to class B dealers as well. So, if Buddy disappears from your driveway, there is a chance he will spend the rest of his unnatural life being tested on for cigarette addiction, topical reactions to household cleaning products, or even how much intake of baking soda it requires to kill him. A few facts: http://soundearth.com/SafeClean/?p=414
Many products are tested, then retested, and retested again. Some of the ingredients in products being tested are already known to cause cancer in humans. Take formaldehyde as an example. It is in hundreds of products, and also a known or reasonably expected to cause cancer in humans: http://soundearth.com/SafeClean/?p=434.
There are negative environmental impacts caused by testing on animals. For example, the disposal of the tested animals is itself toxic: http://soundearth.com/SafeClean/?p=235
Apart from the ethical debate, much of the data is inaccurate; so much so that human testing is then required. So what is actually being gained? I certainly understand there has been medical advancement due to animal testing decades ago: polio and diabetes, for example. However, we should be light years ahead by now, and there simply hasn’t been a high enough demand for alternatives.
I have recently had a significant reminder that there are people not only in favor of animal testing, but asking for more of it. Their position is based on fear, speciesism and a misguided belief animal testing provides results that benefit humans.
Animals live in agony; some for great lengths of time, only to result in misinformation on the safety of products. I remember getting a makeover last year, and the makeup artist missed my eye lid when applying eyeliner. The burning sensation I had for about 10 seconds was excruciating. All I could think of was how an animal lives and dies by that feeling throughout its life as an animal being tested on. The particular line of product was not one that tested; as she pointed out many of the European cosmetics had already tested on animals, and there was no more testing to be done.
Advancement in science should be leading us away from this practice. Thankfully organizations like the Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) are moving us in the right direction. Even the NIH is beginning to acknowledge the validity of in vitro testing: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2721892/