The next time you apply your lipstick, dab your wrists with cologne, or lather yourself in soap, spare a thought to an innocent animal in a laboratory, living in a small cage, awaiting the next session of agony.
Most animals in experimentation laboratories are born and bred here. They’ve never breathed in the fresh air, saw the sunlight, or felt the grass beneath their feet. Worst of all, they’ve never been loved. They live their entire lives in fear of the next painful experiment. Some are forced to inhale fumes. Others have toxic substances rubbed and dripped into their eyes, until they lose their life to that final fatal experiment.
Wendy Higgins, the communications director of Humane Society International, tells OGP, “Globally, we estimate that around 500,000 animals die annually for cosmetics animal testing.”
However, this isn’t an entirely true figure, as few countries publish their statistics. And, as Wendy Higgins says, “The law doesn’t recognize laboratory birds, rats and mice as “animals” that require recording in national statistics. As mice and rats make up a very large proportion of the animals typically used in cosmetics testing, you can imagine how much this affects the figures.”
Their Dirty Secret
Cosmetics companies paint over their hidden gory secrets with beauty and glamor. Labels dazzle us with persuasive phrases, like “soothing,” “revitalizing,” and “smoothing,” leaving us blinded to the gruesome truth that hides behind “gloss” and “shine.” The truth is that dogs, cats, birds, monkeys, rabbits, mice, and pigs are all suffering every single day of their lives.
“They have chemicals dripped into their sensitive eyes and applied to their raw skin––often without any pain relief,” Justin Goodman, director of PETA’s Laboratory Investigations Department, tells OGP.
He further remarked, “Animals are force-fed increasing amounts of a substance until 50 percent of them die,” and “Animals in the highest-dose groups may endure severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, convulsions, seizures, paralysis, and bleeding from the nose, mouth, and genitals before they ultimately die.”
Animals live in fear, all the time. When they do eventually meet their death through experimentation, they are thrown away, as disposable as food packaging. Shouldn’t they be treated with respect and courtesy, after all they’ve suffered for human beings?
Instead, they leave the world in an undignified way, after being exploited to the nines.
Why This Continues
When we question why animal testing continues, Wendy Higgins of Humane Society International, explained to OGP, “In the main, scientific and regulatory convention lies at the heart of it. Animal testing has been the “norm” for decades, it’s what companies and regulators are used to, so it’s familiar regardless of the well-known scientific drawbacks.”
However, compassionate and determined organizations are working hard to change the system, by campaigning to governments and decision makers that there are much more ethical and time saving alternatives to barbaric, old fashioned animal testing.
As Higgins says, “In some countries where we’re working – China for example – we’re witnessing the regulatory system starting to accept modern non-animal test methods for the very first time.”
PETA is also working with China. Testing on animals is required for cosmetics in China, which is why more animal advocacy organizations are pushing to put an end to this requirement.
PETA’s Justin Goodman tells OGP, “PETA is working hard to help the Chinese government end its requirement for animal tests. Since we uncovered and revealed their policy early in 2012, we have funded scientists at the Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS), leading experts in the field, to work directly with Chinese officials.”
“The Chinese government will soon officially accept the first non-animal test for cosmetics ingredients,” Goodman says.
Beauty Without Suffering
There must be a way, we consumers, can purchase our beauty essentials with a clear conscience. Indeed, there is. Communications director for Humane Society International, Wendy Higgins, tells us more:
“Yesterday 133 cosmetics companies declared their full support for the Humane Cosmetics Act. The Act seeks to ban all animal testing for cosmetics in the USA and would bring the United States in line with the 28 countries of the European Union, as well as Norway, Israel and India, all of which have banned such testing.”
So companies that do not put innocent lives through lifelong misery and torture do exist. If you want to find companies that do not test their products on animals, you can either search on PETA’s database or use the Leaping Bunny as your online guide to cruelty-free cosmetics. You can also help the HSUS’s Be Cruelty-Free USA campaign by urging your local representatives to support the Humane Cosmetics Act by clicking here.
Lead image source: Fae/Wikimedia Commons