BY ZAINAB FATIMA
The topic of animal testing is brought up quite often, usually when people discuss cruelty-free cosmetics. Many companies have switched to making their product cruelty-free because of the increase in demand for cruelty-free cosmetics. In this article, we will be explaining how cosmetic animal testing began, and whether or not should still be used for the production of makeup and skin care.
Animal testing for cosmetics began in 1938, when cases of untested products became popular. A mascara called Lash Lure burned and infected people’s skin, causing 12 women to lose their eyesight. There was also a case of a cough syrup that had ingredients which weren’t safe for human use, and killed over 100 people. These events led to the passing of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, requiring all products to be tested prior to release.
Yes, animal testing began as way to ensure safety – of humans. However, that was decades ago. We don’t need to test cosmetic ingredients or products on animals to know whether or not they are safe for people anymore. Here are some reasons to why we should choose cruelty-free.
Firstly, we have better technology now than we did back in 1938.
“In the past three decades, scientists have developed many advanced alternatives to animal testing – methods that use human blood, cell lines, artificial skin, or computer models to test the safety of products, and many multinational companies have embraced these alternative test methods, reducing and in some cases eliminating their dependence on animal testing. As a result, they cut costs and save time; animal testing is expensive, slow, and because animals are not people, not always predictive.”
This statement is from Jim Moran, a former U.S. congressman on Scientific American. Moran brings up an amazing point: there shouldn’t be animal testing anymore because we have better resources available. Many people argue that makeup needs to be tested on animals because it’s for our own safety. However, this argument is very outdated because thanks to new and advanced technology, we don’t need animals to have safe cosmetics. Moran addresses many other benefits of the advanced technology as well: it’s cheaper, and because there are ways of using human DNA, it is much more accurate.
Secondly, animals that are tested on in the labs get hurt. When a chemical is harmful, it can cause serious injuries to the animal. This should also be taken into consideration because animals can feel pain, too. Since we have alternative options besides animal testing, there is no reason to keep harming animals. Rats, guinea pigs and rabbits are the species most frequently utilized for animal testing. However, dogs and cats are also used for this purpose. You don’t have to be vegan to buy cruelty-free makeup, because I know that many of us love animals, and wouldn’t want to support companies that hurt them.
Thirdly, you won’t be missing out on anything by purchasing cruelty-free cosmetics. It isn’t very difficult to find these companies, and there are both drugstore and high end cosmetic companies that are cruelty-free! This means that you can enjoy affordable, and luxury makeup. Yes, there are many popular brands that aren’t cruelty-free, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to use amazing makeup. Here are some examples of awesome cruelty-free makeup brands: Too Faced, E.L.F., Wet N Wild, Tarte, Urban Decay, Jeffree Star Cosmetics, NYX, BareMinerals, Burt’s Bees, LUSH, The Body Shop and Physicians Formula. One thing to note is that sometimes companies will claim to be cruelty-free, by saying that they don’t test on animal— with the exception that the country they’re selling their products in requires animal testing. This means that the company is not completely cruelty-free. You can find more information on cruelty-free brands on the Cruelty-Free Kitty blog or the PETA website.
These are some helpful logos to identify cruelty-free brands. But do note that some companies can be cruelty-free and not have these logos.
I hope that this article gave you some insight on animal testing, and why you should choose cruelty-free. All the information I’ve provided about the history and practices of animal testing is from the article Animal Cosmetics Testing: The Cruel and Unnecessary Truth by Planet Experts.