Have you ever seen a pig wear lipstick? Or a cat wear mascara?
Animals don’t wear makeup, perfume, or use lotion. So how is it ok to perform animal testing on cosmetics that a human will use?
It’s not ok that 100 million animals are being experimented on worldwide each year.
It’s not ok that cats, dogs, pigs, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, fish, rats, and birds are tortured and killed EVERY SINGLE DAY for us humans….
So today I’m going to educate you on:
- Animal Testing 101
- Explain animal testing policies in the US, EU, and China
- Tell you how you can support changing this barbaric practice.
I’ll warn you now that some of this information will be disturbing. But if you continue to ignore the problem then you won’t be apart of the solution.
Animal Testing Information
Animal testing is the procedure performed on living animals for the purpose of scientific research. Scientist conduct experiments to learn about basic biology and disease, the effectiveness of new medicines, and for human health and/or environmental safety. Cosmetics, household cleaners, food additives, pharmaceuticals, and industrial/agro-chemicals are common products that are tested on animals.
Frequently used animals for experiments are:
- Guinea pigs
Types of Experiments
- Force-feeding or breathing of toxic substances.
- Injected with harmful chemicals.
- Exposed to high levels of drugs or infectious diseases that will cause pain, illness or death.
- Genetic manipulation
- Surgical removal of organs or tissues to deliberately cause damage.
- Being injured or burned to study healing
Once the experiment ends there are few options left for the poor creatures. They can be used for another experiment, killed, or just die as a result of the experiment.
“The history of cancer research has been a history of curing cancer in the mouse….we have cured mice of cancer for decades- and it simply didn’t work in humans.” —Dr. Richard Klausner, Director of the National Cancer Institute
Animal Testing Policy
Anytime you hear about cosmetics and animal testing China will be thrown into the mix. They are one of the few countries that require animal testing on cosmetics. Knowing about their policy will help you determine if a product is cruelty-free.
Since I’m an American living in Germany, I will also go over the animal testing policies of the US and EU. But first, let’s talk about cosmetics….
Cosmetics are any substance that is applied to or placed into contact with the external parts of the human body for the purpose of cleansing, deodorizing, beautifying, or altering appearance.
This definition varies slightly for each country but they all classify the following products as cosmetics:
- Nail Polish
- Hair Color
- Shampoo & Conditioner
The United States Cosmetic Animal Testing Policy
The Federal Drug Administration, FDA, does not have a concrete policy on animal testing. They are neither for or against it and do not require testing for approval before a product hits the market.
“It remains the responsibility of the manufacturer to substantiate the safety of both ingredients and finished cosmetic products prior to marketing.” But in cases where animal testing is used, “FDA advocates that research and testing derive the maximum amount of useful scientific information from the minimum number of animals and employ the most humane methods available within the limits of scientific capability.”
In my opinion, there isn’t a real humane way to conduct animal testing and the FDA policy is very wishy-washy. So US-based cosmetics companies need to step up. They should make the decision to be cruelty-free from the beginning and not wait for the government to regulate their morals.
European Union Cosmetic Animal Testing Policy
The EU consists of the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
On March 11, 2013, a full ban on animal testing went into effect. This ban prohibits the marketing and testing of finished cosmetic products and ingredients on animals in the EU. Even though this ban is in effect not all products in the EU are considered cruelty-free because they are sold in China.
Does China Require Animal Testing?
Now let’s talk about China. Many American and European companies want to enter China’s market. There are literally billions of dollars to be made and many want a piece of the pie.
In China, cosmetics fall into two categories, non-special use, and special use.
- Non-special use: hair care, nail care, skin care, perfumes, and makeup
- Special use: Hair growth products, hair dye, hair perm, hair removal, breast shaping, deodorant, sunblock, and skin-whitening.
Non-special use cosmetics manufactured in China do not require animal testing.
However, special use cosmetics manufactured in China and foreign cosmetics imported to China require mandatory tests at an approved facility…
And guess what they use for the test….animals!
So even if a product is manufactured elsewhere and is cruelty-free in that country, once imported to China that status is revoked. There aren’t any options to get around this testing at the moment but change is in the air. The infographic from Ethical Elephant really explains China’s animal testing laws well.
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
Choose to be Cruelty-Free
Cruelty-free adjective: (of a cosmetic or other product) developed without being tested on animals; pertaining to a product created without being tested on animals.
cruelty-free. (n.d.). Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. Retrieved February 2, 2018, from Dictionary.com website http://www.dictionary.com/browse/cruelty-free
Cruelty-free products must meet the following criteria:
- Have not been tested on animals
- Have ingredients and formulations that have not been tested on animals
- A cosmetic product that is not sold in mainland China.
…but what about vegan products?
Well, vegan is a person who doesn’t eat animals nor uses products made out of animals. However, not all vegan products are cruelty-free.
For example EDTA
It is preservative and chelating agent found in many cosmetic and household products. Since it is not animal based ingredient it is considered vegan. However, at some point, EDTA has been tested on animals so it is not cruelty-free.
I hope that makes sense…:)
Honestly….Your best bet is to look for a product that is certified cruelty-free!
“When we are motivated by compassion and wisdom, the results of our actions benefit everyone, not just our individual selves or some immediate convenience. When we are able to recognize and forgive ignorant actions of the past, we gain strength to constructively solve the problems of the present.” —Dalai Lama XIV
Related: Ultimate List of Cruelty-Free Brands
There are three organizations that certify a brand’s cruelty-free status; PETA, Leaping Bunny, and Choose Cruelty-Free. They are determined to end all types of animal cruelty & abuse and to help consumers find and support cruelty-free products.
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals): One of the most well known and largest animal rights organizations in the world. Their mission is to help stop the suffering of animals in a variety of industries, educate the public, investigate animal cruelty accusations and much more.
Leaping Bunny (CCIC) & Cruelty-Free International: Internationally recognized animal rights organization. Originally founded by several animal rights groups coming together with a mission to help consumers easily shop for animal-friendly products.
Choose Cruelty-Free: Australian based non-profit organization that actively campaigns to end animal testing in all cosmetic and household products.
Note: All logos are used with the permission of PETA, Leaping Bunny, and CCIC.
Be sure to look for and buy one of the products with one of these logos on your next shopping trip!
What can you do to support change?
For thousands of years, women have found natural ways to make themselves feel beautiful. I mean I really doubt Cleopatra tested her infamous milk bath recipe on a random dog in ancient Egypt. There are numerous alternatives to animal testing but not all companies are embracing that change.
“The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men.” Alice Walker
Show your support today by following these 4 simple steps…..
- Stop buying products from companies that test on animals!! Look at my Brands That Test on Animals post for the brands to avoid.
- Support the companies that are doing the right thing and buy cruelty-free products!
- Share what you have learned with friends and family members so they can be part of the cruelty-free movement!
- Join the cause...donate or volunteer at one of the organizations below to start making a difference today.
Cruelty-free international: https://www.crueltyfreeinternational.org/
Choose cruelty-free: https://www.choosecrueltyfree.org.au/join-or-donate/
Leaping Bunny program: http://www.leapingbunny.org/
Humane society U.S: http://www.humanesociety.org/?credit=web_id475280676
Humane society international: http://www.hsi.org/
European Coalition to end animal experiments: http://www.eceae.org/
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: http://caat.jhsph.edu/
Beagle Freedom Project: http://bfp.org/
National Anti-Vivisection Society: http://www.navs.org.uk/home/
New England Anti-Vivisection Society: https://www.neavs.org/
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