Cruelty in Cosmetics: Animal Exploitation
From the pleasant fragrance of perfumes, spicy colognes, and trendy makeup to our standard skincare products, cosmetics are an essential part of our lives. Hence, we become too trusting of brands due to the necessity or desire to have these products. Unfortunately, animals pay the ultimate price in order to make these highly demanded cosmetics. Numerous animals, including rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, and hamsters, are subject to the toxic environment of laboratories. With chemicals scorching their skins, shoved down their throats, and burning their eyes, thousands of animals suffer as companies test their cosmetics.
Emergence of Animal Experimentation
Cosmetics are notable for enhancing features, improving skin conditions, and promoting attractiveness. However, animal testing is not mandatory to test products, with the exception of hair dyes, some cleaning products, and antibacterial soap. In this case, companies are held accountable for their actions in regards to ensuring the safety of the ingredients used. In fact, animal testing dates back to the 1940’s in order to resolve skin conditions obtained from using unsafe beauty products. Hence, in response to legal actions taken for harmful products, companies engage in animal testing. They also utilize animal testing to examine new chemical compounds in regards to a certain demographic. This is done to test for allergic reactions, irritation, or corrosion to skin.
Brutality Behind Tests
Even top-notch companies, such as Estée Lauder, Maybelline, Benefit, and Avon test their products on animals. There are numerous types of cruel testing methods that certain companies tend to use without any regard to the distress of animals. For instance, in order to test for skin and eye irritation, scientists drop chemicals in the eyes or shaven skin of rabbits. Animals are also forced to consume these chemicals as scientists determine if a certain product can cause illness, diseases, or cancer. As a result, animals encounter cruelty in the form of internal bleeding, organ damage, blindness, swollen skin, or even death. Rather than providing pain relief, some scientists even go as far as killing these animals at the conclusion of the experiment.
Animal testing proves to be unnecessary due to the development of alternative methods through computer software, human blood, or artificial skin. As a result, these methods proved to be faster and cheaper, thus reducing the need for animal testing among many companies. These alternatives can accurately predict human reactions to chemicals in comparison to animal testing as a result of advancements made in science and technology. Also, companies can utilize ingredients that are generally considered safe after continuous testing over the years.
Many countries have passed laws in order to ban the usage of animal testing for cosmetics, thus indicating measures to end animal cruelty. This is primarily due to the #BeCrueltyFree campaign which prompted the European Union to ban selling cosmetic products that employ animal experimentation in certain countries such as Israel, India, Brazil, New Zealand, and the United States. Some core goals of this campaign include passing laws to ban animal testing in cosmetics, raising awareness to this form of animal cruelty, partnering with companies, politicians, and celebrities to move away from animal cruelty.
Take Action Against Animal Cruelty
Overall, the heinous actions of companies are done in an attempt to meet the demands of consumers in terms of ensuring a safe product. Thus, as consumers and change makers, we must take immediate action to end animal cruelty. One method to ensure this change is by buying cruelty-free products from brands such as Bath & Body Works, NYX, Nature’s Gate, or Smashbox. In fact, PETA’s extensive database contains brands that do or do not engage in animal cruelty. Also, you can educate others by sharing the news about the horrors of animal cruelty incorporated into the cosmetics we potentially use. To elaborate further, joining petitions and movement such as the #BeCrueltyFree campaign is a way to raise your voice to companies that still partake in this atrocious practice. Companies essentially care about the profits they make based on consumer demands. If we continue to demand for cruelty-free products, they will have no choice but to comply. After all, tormenting animals in order to make a profit is inhumane. We must remember that animals can feel pain too.