Once upon a time there was a freshman in college who had to write an argument paper on a topic she was passionate about. The topic could be about almost anything, with a few exceptions, and the girl got to thinking right away about a topic that would capture not only her interest, but the audience’s as well. As she sat thinking one day about issues going on in the world that she was concerned about, a commercial for the ASPCA came on the TV, and immediately a bell (oddly, not a light bulb) went off in her head: she had her topic. She was going to write a passionate, argumentative essay about the woes of animal abuse, specifically animal testing in the cosmetic industry, and wow her teacher with the research and description of the issue. She did not have any immediate problems or troubles starting her research because there were countless articles on the Internet that proved beneficial for her research; she researched with ease and excitement, yearning to understand the reasoning behind such an awful practice, and she developed quite a good assortment of sources. They were from credible sources and she thought it brought a sense of intelligence and prestige to her paper, one an opponent would have trouble finding fault in. When coming to the point of the actual writing, she developed a bit of a writer’s block because she was having trouble deciding how to break up her paper and make it as informative as it could be without overwhelming the audience. After gathering her thoughts for a second time, she came up with an outline that would include multiple small paragraphs instead of her standard five-paragraph essay, which she was so inclined to use throughout high school. With passion she wrote her rough draft, eager for her peer to read it and dissect the flaws that she would make better. The review session went better than she hoped for; her partner was consistent in her critique and did not mind letting the author know exactly what she thought about certain aspects of her work. The young writer went back to the writing desk and critiqued her paper like a woman on a mission because it was her duty to make this argument as clear and clean-cut as possible. As she completed the last few sentences of her paper, the girl sat back and gave a sigh of content and relief for she knew her paper was ready to be read. And she knew her argument would be won.
My plan so far for this paper is to research animal testing for cosmetic products, and attempt to persuade the reader that animal testing should be illegal. I think this is a very intense topic for me to pick because I know there is a lot of debate on whether or not animal testing is necessary. Senior year in high school I did a debate on this topic and ever since then I cannot get the topic out of my head; the data, pictures, and horror stories that I came across in research actually pained me, and I became very passionate about not using any cosmetic products that had been animal tested. The position I am taking in my paper is that animal testing for cosmetics should be illegal because there are enough cosmetics already made for scientists to determine whether or not a certain formula would hurt humans. I am careful to not write my paper on illegalization of all animal testing because even I cannot deny medicinal tests should not be performed on humans until scientists know how it reacts with a living organism. Therefore, I have chosen to focus mainly on cosmetic testing. I plan on taking this position by giving the reader the truth; provided with alarming statistics and positive alternatives to animal testing, the reader should agree with my stance after reading my paper. I want to appeal to the emotional side of every reader by including some horrible stories of animals and the way they are treated. I am eager to take on this project because it is something I am passionate about and I know I can write a well-documented composition that will prove my position that animal testing for cosmetics should be illegal.
“Cosmetic Testing: Facts.” In Defense of Animals. IDA, n.d. Web. 4 October 2011. http://www.idausa.org/facts/costesting.html
I found this source online from a Google search of the terms “animal testing”. The entire page is dedicated to informing readers on why animal testing is wrong and why it should be illegal. It is split into four main key paragraphs, which go into details on their respected topic.
This source talks about the negative sides of animal testing for cosmetics because the organization that made the page is in defense of animals. The majority of the page is trying to convince the reader that animal testing is not only terrible for animals, but the FDA does not even make animal testing mandatory. There are much more effective, cheaper, and reliable ways to test cosmetics that do not involve making animals suffer extensive pain. One section of the article is dedicated to informing the reader on some of the painful, and often deadly, tests that these animals are subject to, including putting substances in rabbits’ eyes and injecting the substance into the animal until it is killed. The page also provides the audience with a link that lists companies who continue to test on animals, and it encourages everyone to contact cosmetic companies urging them to stop this inhumane behavior.
This source would be a valuable addition to my paper because it contains a lot of detail and important facts on the negatives of animal testing which is exactly what my paper is on. I am going to incorporate this source by quoting directly from, specifically the facts about how the FDA does not make it mandatory for cosmetic companies to test, and I also want to paraphrase their paragraph about alternative tests for cosmetics.
“Cosmetics and Household-Products Animal Testing.” People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. PETA, 2011. 4 October 2011. http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-experimentation/cosmetic-household-products-animal-testing.aspx
I found this source by using Google and searching animal testing. It is a web source and also a very credible source because the sponsoring organization if from PETA, a credible source when it comes to animal protection. This page also has a very informative video; it has some very disturbing images that are effective in making the audience think seriously about animal testing.
This article focuses more on the fact that even though new and improved methods have been discovered for cosmetic testing, there are still companies that test on animals. It names some very popular name brands who should want to please the consumers and discontinue testing on animals, but due to their lack of vision for improved techniques still use old-fashioned testing ways. According to this article, dropping the cosmetic substance on a donated human cornea will yield an accurate reading; also, human skin grafts can be grown to test for irritancy testing. These methods are a lot cheaper to use and are also more agreeable with the general public. The article ends with a PETA video that explains in detail the old testing ways and gives suggestions for new methods. The video appeals to ethos because a lot of the images are disturbing.
I think using this source will add credibility to my paper because PETA is a well-known agency that has years of extensive research and is a prominent organization in the world. I definitely want to quote this source when it talks about companies resistance to change and how PETA even got an inside source to disclose the reason for the resistance. Also, the video has some very valuable facts that would greatly help my paper.
Abbott, Alison. “Animal Testing: More Than a Cosmetic Change.” Nature: International Weekly Journal of Science. Nature, 9 November 2011. Web. 7 October 2011. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v438/n7065/full/438144a.html
I found this source online when doing a Google search of the terms “positives for cosmetic animal testing” and it was the second result that showed up. It is an online journal article published by Nature journal, an international science journal. Alison Abbott wrote this particular article, which concerns the European push towards newer and better technology regarding cosmetic testing.
Alison talks about the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM), an Italian group focused on using toxicology to reduce the number of animals used in testing. She acknowledges the reason for animal testing came from a number of early twentieth century incidents in which consumers were hurt after using untested products. The cost of testing chemicals is well into the billions of dollars range, but with ECVAM’s research, the number of animals is being reduced which in turn diminishes the cost. The research center is also working to provide a better test to measure the level of toxicity in products because the animal tests run now use many animals and the results are usually inconclusive because of the differences between animal and human anatomies. The company’s goal is to drastically reduce the number of animals used in research, not only for ethical reasons, but also because scientists are developing improved technologies that will also help make chemicals even safer for human use.
I will use this article mainly to extract different facts about animal testing, such as the fact that while still high, the number of animal test subjects has drastically been reduced. Also, this is a very credible source and I will want to quote the doctor a lot.
“Animal Testing.” FDA U.S. Food and Drug Administration. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 22 April 2011. Web. 7 Oct. 2011. http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/ProductandIngredientSafety/ProductTesting/ucm072268.htm
I found this source online using Google and typing in “cosmetic animal testing”. I wanted to see the other side of the story and whether or not my other sources were credible in saying the FDA does not mandate animal testing for cosmetics. This is a credible source because it comes from the FDA, which is an established organization that has been around for a long time.
This article says that the FDA does not require cosmetics to be tested on animals but it does recommend all cosmetic companies to take appropriate and effective measures to ensure that their products are safe. The FDA supports many animal welfare acts and public services that work towards protecting lab animals, and they also advocate that research is derived from a lot of scientific research and that the minimal number of animals be used. It also says that the FDA believes that companies should explore other options of research before they experiment on animals; in 1997, the FDA joined 13 other federal agencies for form a committee on researching alternative methods to animal testing. They are also working towards to harmonizing alternative toxicological methods to present to the U.S. Federal Government. This site also provides links to other sites that promote non-testing on animals and offer other insights into alternative cosmetics testing.
I would want to use this article to expand on the fact that the FDA does not require animal testing. Also, it supports my argument because a major organization does not condone animal testing and joined a committee that is working to explore alternative testing methods.
Blue, Laura. “How Much Does Animal Testing Tell Us?” Time Health. Time Magazine, 17 June 2008. Web. 8 October 2011. http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1815241,00.html
I found this article online from a Google search of “why animal testing is necessary.” I wanted to show the other side of animal testing and how it is necessary for certain areas of research, but cosmetics do not fall under that category. It is an article written by a Times Magazine journalist.
This article is written in an interview format in the sense that the writer asked Frankie Trull, president of the non-profit Foundation for Biomedical Research, a question about the promise of pre-clinical trials and the rest of the article is his response. His response enlightens the reader on why animal testing is necessary for certain research because they are biological organisms, and have the same organs and systems that humans do. He says that rats and mice are mostly used in testing because of their short life spans; cats and dogs are very rarely used except when scientists are testing to determine how a certain neurological or cardiovascular compound reacts with a living being. He also says that scientists are looking for non-animal models to provide more answers because not only do they decrease the number of animals used, they provide a speedy drug approval process. He hopes that one day soon, animals will not be needed in testing at all but he cannot see it happening in his lifetime. Animals are nowhere close to being humans which results in some faulty hypothesis’ and results, but they are the closest things we have.
I like this article because it gives an in-depth look at someone’s perspective whose life is affected by animal research. I would use this article to talk about the counter point to my argument, animals are needed for testing, and I think it will provide a good edge to my paper.