When it comes to animal testing on cosmetics, you don’t need to be a scientist to understand this unnecessary and unethical practice. This issue was brought into awareness when European activists helped make the ban for animal testing in cosmetics possible back in 2009. However, there are still three types of animal testing that are allowed to give cosmetic companies some extra time to discover safer, alternative cosmetic testing.
Although the date for the complete banning of all animal testing for cosmetics was set for 2013, this date may actually be extended till up to 10 years!
Let’s dive into this controversial issue into more detail.
Uses of Animal Testing (Then and Now)____________
Animal testing has been here for a very long time and has been here since the 2nd to 4th century, when Greeks would dissect animals to understand how surgery would apply to human patients. In almost all experiments involving medical education, it’s difficult to replace animals with nonliving subjects as a way to understand whether or not certain drugs or medical procedures would work properly (i.e., penicillin, heart bypass surgery).
Since then, animal testing has been expanded to non-medical advances, such as for discovering allergens in household products (i.e., laundry detergents) and now cosmetics (i.e., lipsticks, mascaras).
However, due to more and more comestic companies using animal testing to test beauty products, the concept of “animal testing” is getting an increasingly bad rap. Since beauty and cosmetic products are not “life-and-death” situations and are used for aesthetic purposes, should we ban cosmetic companies from conducting animal testing?
Pros & Cons________________________
So, we know that many scientists do animal testing in laboratories, but what’s the debate for animal testing when it comes to cosmetics?
- Animal testing discover allergens in cosmetics. “Dermatologist tested.” and “Hypoallergenic” are just a few phrases that are used to show consumers that the beauty product is free of [most] allergens.
- No need for actual humans as experimental subjects to test the product. (Can you imagine being put through a series of tests just to see if you will get an adverse or allergic reaction to a lipstick? Ouch!).
- Animal testing is one of the cheapest forms of experimental testing. If one animal gets a bad reaction from a beauty product, that animal is easily replaced, whereas human life is revered.
- Cosmetics is a part of aesthetics, where most believe that cosmetics are not considered a “life-and-death” application towards everyday life.
- Many animals get hurt or die from repeated experiments. Even though humans are not the subjects, in order to ensure safety of one beauty product, multiple experiments must be conducted on multiple animals.
- Despite that animal testing is one of the cheapest forms of experimentation, costs add up.
Despite the advantages, there have been companies who have been able to create animal cruelty-free beauty products while having minimal-to-no allergens on human skin. In result, it seems that animal testing may not really be crucial when it comes to testing cosmetics since after all, cosmetics are not required to preserve human life.
What Celebrities Are Saying/Doing______________
European animal activists are pretty heated about the date of the animal testing ban, hence coalitions such as the BUAV and the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments have joined forces to protest against animal testing for cosmetics.
Celebrities and UK politicians are also joining these coalitions to eliminate the extension of the 2023 date. Some of the well-known celebrities include (see 2nd image):
- American Singer, Kimberly Wyatt (from all-girl pop group, Pussycat Dolls)
- British Model, Jodie Kidd
- American Celebrity Blogger, Perez Hilton
- British actress, Jenny Seagrove
What You Can Do!______________________
Even if you are not European, like myself, you can still be a part of the protest! There are several ways of making a difference and getting your voices heard against the date extension and animal testing overall.
1, Sign the official online petition (they include in several languages as well!). Go here. (There are about 12,000 signatures to date).
2. Spread the word! Facebook, tweet, face-to-face, text, etc. There are countless of ways to spread the news!
3. Start your own online petition. On Petition Online you can actually start your own online petition and get people from all over the world to sign it. It just takes a bit of time to fill out the details, but at the end, it can be worth the trouble!
4. Sign the ongoing PETA campaign. Despite its silly celebrity collaborations, PETA is still a good organization to be in when it comes to protecting animal welfare. You can sign the ongoing petition here.
5. Purchase Animal Cruelty-Free Beauty Products. There are many cosmetic companies who endorse animal-cruelty free products. Just look for labels (depending on your country, it will vary) or phrases like “No animal testing” on boxes/bottles. (Look at last image for more details on beauty companies).
- Leaping Bunny
When it comes down to animal testing in the medical field, it may be crucial to keep animals as subjects due to the increased vulnerability posed on human subjects. However, if some companies can still make profits and condone animal cruelty-free environments, why can’t other companies follow their lead, too?
For more information about banning animal testing for cosmetics in Europe, you can visit the following websites:
- No Cruel Cosmetics
How do you Chictopians feel about this controversial issue? Voice in your opinions here!