Throughout the world, thousands of animals are subjected to cruelty for the sake of beauty products. It needs to stop now.
Rabbits, mice and rats, and many other animals, suffer in silence as companies expose them to chemicals and products to determine their level of reaction. Potentially harmful ingredients are injected, inhaled and ingested or even applied directly to the skin or eyes. Animals are then left to endure the pain while scientists watch for reactions, including everything from bleeding, burns and ulcers to blindness, tumours and death. Even those that survive are killed for biopsy or once they are no longer useful to the experiments.
It’s not all about the experiments either. Outside of the grotesque treatments, test animals are left to live in cramped living conditions that in no way meet their welfare needs.
Is cosmetics testing necessary?
The very fact that many companies are successfully making and selling products that are not tested on animals shows how unnecessary these experiments are. There is already a huge bank of ingredients shown to be safe for use on humans that companies can use in new products without testing on animals. There are also many alternative testing methods including human blood, artificial skin and computer simulations and models. And these are often cheaper and quicker than animal testing anyway!
Do all countries test on animals for cosmetics?
No! Thankfully, we are making progress in this area and countries are starting to ban these unnecessary tests. Cosmetic testing is banned in the UK and EU as well as at least 40 other countries worldwide. In 2020, three US states – California, Illinois and Nevada – made the leap and banned the sale of cosmetics tested on animals. This is a great start, but there is lots more to do.
How do I know if a product is tested on animals?
As individuals, the best thing we can do is pledge to use cruelty-free products that have not been tested on animals at any stage. That means the individual ingredients as well as the finished product. And it doesn’t necessarily mean vegan – the two are different things!
The leaping bunny logo is a good place to start as it shows the products have not been tested on animals. There is also the NatureWatch Compassionate Shopping Guide and our AnimalKind pages are full of great suggestions on how to live an animal-friendly lifestyle.
Image: Janet Stephens (photographer), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons