Chapter 2: Cosmetic Animal Testing

Chapter 2: Cosmetic Animal Testing

Unfortunately, when it comes to testing on helpless animals, the general public usually justifies this issue when it comes to life threatening diseases.  But what about cosmetic animal testing?

The FDA defines cosmetics as such: “articles intended to be applied to the human body for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance without affecting the body’s structure or functions.”   This includes toothpaste, acne treatments, deodorant and more.

These are not life threatening concerns for human beings, but they are for the subjects.  Even if the company does not test on animals, some countries (such as China) require imported cosmetics to be tested before they can be sold to consumers.  It is heart wrenching  to know that these companies who avoid this cruelty, will in turn harm other beings regardless.

It is important to realize that animal testing on cosmetics is NOT required by law in the United States.  This is something companies do for the “safety” of their clients, even though it has been proven that animals react very differently to chemicals than humans.  Which brings up the question: Do you know where your shampoo came from?  And are you comfortable with knowing you buy a product that has millions of deaths behind its label?  That is why is it important to stay informed on what you are putting on your body.

Then how can companies avoid using animal subjects?

1.) Use the thousands of available chemicals that are known to be safe.  There is no need for new tests because these chemicals have been safely used for decades.

2.) Use non-animal tests that are already available (see chapter 1 for more information). According to the Human Society, “Nearly 50 non-animal tests have been validated for use, and these modern alternatives can offer results that are not only more relevant to people, but more efficient and cost-effective”.

The Humane Cosmetics Act

This law was recently proposed in the United States.  If enacted it would prohibit animal testing for cosmetics and all imported animal-tested cosmetics. Europe has already banned all animal testing for cosmetic products and the sale of all newly animal-tested cosmetics.   However, lobbyists have delayed the enactment for 20 years and recently they requested another 10 years.  This is devastating for the animals who have no voice.

Link to List of Companies that DO NOT Test on Animals:

http://www.mediapeta.com/peta/PDF/companiesdonttest.pdf

Link to List of Companies that DO Test on Animals:

http://www.mediapeta.com/peta/PDF/companiesdotest.pdf

WARNING: This list involves MANY well-known, everyday use companies that are very shocking.  Hopefully after seeing these brands my readers will consider this the next time you visit the supermarket.  Remember, there are lives behind these brands, being tortured as we speak…

Bonus Quick Link! (Only 4 minutes long)*

Ingrid Newkirk, President of PETA, talks about the wastefulness of animal testing.  Not only are we moving into an era of biotechnology where animal subjects are clearly being surpassed by computerized technology, but it is also a huge waste of federal funding that goes nowhere.

References

http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/cosmetic_testing/qa/questions_answers.html

http://features.peta.org/cruelty-free-company search/cruelty_free_companies_search.aspx

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Chapter 1: An Introduction to Animal Testing Alternatives

Chapter 1: An Introduction to Animal Testing Alternatives

Scientific research and testing has been performed on animals for hundreds of years.  The general public believes this sacrifice is needed for the welfare of the human race.  Animals used in experimental procedures are subjected to inhumane eugenics for the entire duration of their short and miserable lives.  This controversial issue is extremely relevant to those entering the healthcare field.  Will you be comfortable taking a life when the research demands it?  Most researchers who have experience with this issue will tell you “Eventually you get used to it” or “After a while you stop feeling the remorse”.  Ignoring the problem will not solve it, in fact it only makes it worse.  But what if there was an alternative?  (This page may contain disturbing images.  If you believe they are too troubling to view…imagine how they feel).

Quick List of the Alternatives to Animal Testing [1]

  • in vitro
  • computerized patients/models/simulations
  • stem cell/genetic testing methods
  • microdosing humans
  • non-invasive imaging techniques

Benefits of non-animal testing [2]

  1. Reliability: for example, according to http://www.neavs.org, experiments on animals revealed false assumptions about the links between fiberglass and cancer.  Only after studying human subjects did the Occupational Safety and Health Administration label fibers as cancerous.
  2. Cost-effective:  testing pharmaceutical drugs and their effects using animal subjects can take up to five years per substance as well as cost millions of dollars.  Non-animal alternatives, such as in vitro, are able to test hundreds of substances in a week for a fraction of the cost.  It is a huge misconception that developing non-animal alternatives prices are through the roof.
  3. It is the Right Thing to Do:  the most obvious benefit to non-animal alternatives, that unfortunately continues to be overlooked.  The general public does not know the extent of animal cruelty that occurs daily.  The over-breeding, the force feeding, the infliction of pain, burns, physical restraint, inhumane side effects, the ignorance of basic rights, the disrespect for life, the ignorance of their blatant suffering is a disgrace to our human intelligence.

“Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals. He sets them to work, he gives back to them the bare minimum that will prevent them from starving, and the rest he keeps for himself.”
-George Orwell, Animal Farm [3]

References

  1. “In Testing | Alternatives to Animal Testing and Research.” In Testing | Alternatives to Animal Testing and Research. New England Anti-Vivisection Society, 2015. Web. 17 Sept. 2015.
  2. “Should Animals Be Used for Scientific or Commerical Testing?” Explore Pros and Cons of Controverisal Issues. ProCon.org, 2015. Web. 18 Sept. 2015.
  3. Orwell, George. Animal Farm. N.p.: n.p., 1945. Print.