Cosmetic Testing on Animals: NEVER Pretty, NEVER Worth It
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Cosmetic Testing on Animals: NEVER Pretty, NEVER Worth It

A look into the truth behind this industry.

Cosmetic Testing on Animals: NEVER Pretty, NEVER Worth It
Waranya Mooldee

Imagine if your makeup made the same noises as the animals that had been tested on for it made. Imagine opening a new tube of lipstick and hearing the anguished cries of a cat, or unscrewing the top to your mascara and hearing the squeals of a rabbit that had been restrained and blindfolded and tested on for days until its body finally gave out. Imagine how easy it would be to make a change from cosmetics that tested on animals to cruelty-free cosmetics if only it was something we had to live with. It’s easy to avoid the subject of animal testing because it isn’t something anyone has to experience on a daily basis.

Everyday, animals are tested on for cosmetics such as eyeshadow, lip plumpers, lipsticks and many more products that could easily be developed without being tested on animals. I, like most other teenage girls, use makeup. In a beauty-obsessed world, most women use makeup in their everyday life. While it is understandable that makeup be used by women, there are many top-notch brands that refrain from animal testing. Companies such as Urban Decay, Anastasia Beverly Hills and Smashbox. Not only does this make humane options available, but it also proves that the testing of cosmetics on animals is completely unnecessary. There are no laws in the united states making the testing on animals a legal requirement for any cosmetics company. Animal testing is cruel and unnecessary and should therefore be illegal.

Animal testing is inhumane and can truly be a type of torture. The regulations for testing on animals are few and far between. This is just one of many reasons that is should be completely banned, as it is in many other countries. These facilities that are used for testing animals are regulated by just 115 inspectors. These inspectors must all look over 1,700 different labs. According to NEAVS, “The USDA’s 2009 Annual Report indicated that researchers used more than 76,000 (AWA-covered) animals in research that caused unrelievedpain and distress to the animals”. This means that these animals were put through excruciating pain for endless amounts of time with no sort of relief. The most disturbing part is that each of these animals was federally licensed, and there were no sort of restraints or regulations set in place to keep them from this endless torture.

Regulations on animal testing are almost nonexistent, in fact. There is only one federal law that pertains to animal testing in any way. This law says that labs must be monitored, but does not specify how often. It provides minimal protection for some primate species, but none for others. Species like rats, mice, birds and rabbits have absolutely no laws protecting them. This means that any form of experimentation is completely legal and does not hold the labs liable for anything. Even those few species that are protected by law are still in danger. The law only states that the other species must be well-fed and kept in specific, safe conditions. Even this does not say what can and can’t be done to animals when being tested on.

Testing on animals for cosmetics is not something legally required in the United States, so any company that does test on animals does it willingly. The Humane Society of the United States claims that, tests conducted can range from skin and eye irritation tests, where scientists rub irritants onto shaved animals’ skin and eyes with no pain relief, to "lethal dose" tests.

Skin irritation tests are when scientists shave a specific part of an animal and rub something onto their skin. These irritants have not been tested previously so their effects can range from mild irritation rashes for animals up to even death in the animals being tested. Skin irritation tests are inhumane and put animals in extreme and unnecessary discomfort for their entire, short lives.

In lethal dose tests, animals are forced to swallow large amounts of whatever the chemical being tested is until they die, in order to determine the lethal dose for humans. These tests are obviously inhumane, as there is no way these animals make it out of the testing lab alive. They are brought in to be murdered. These animals will never see the light of day or know what the outside of a small cage looks like.

As inhumane as these tests sound there must be no alternative, right? It seems that there must be no alternative to these cruel tests. That is simply not true.

Those in favor of animal testing will say that there is simply no other way to make sure the cosmetics being used are safe for humans. However, there are numerous alternatives to animal testing. As stated by The New-England Anti-Vivisection Society, some alternatives include in vitro, or micro-tests, where micro amounts of a drug are injected into human patients and scientists study the effects.

In-Vitro testing is where a group of cells is extracted from a person and grown in a culture. Over time, these cells multiply and give scientists ample space for experimentation. Not only does this option mean no animals are harmed, but it is more accurate. Testing on actual human cells has proven to have better results than testing on animals, who have drastically different genetic makeup than that of people. Micro testing is where a small amount of a drug is injected into a person through a shot. This gives the same results as it would to a person on a larger scale, but without anyone being injured. The small amount makes it that it is not dangerous and the results are once again better than if it were an animal. Even stem cell or genetic cell testing has recently become a valid testing method. With all of these perfectly viable testing options, why test on animals- especially when testing on animals doesn’t tend to yield good results.

As previously stated, testing on animals versus on humans is very different. The Huffington Post recently analyzed a published study. In this study, the spinal cords of numerous animals were crushed and then drugs were tested on them. Of these animals, only one yielded the same results as on humans. This means that of the dozens of animals that were tested on and suffered, only one animal reacted to the tests in the same way as humans did when scientists moved onto human testing.

There are many other examples of large scale animal tests that ended with no positive results. There tends to be a negative reaction for humans even when products that were tested on animals exhibited positive reactions. Obviously humans and animals don’t share identical genetic makeup, so why not experiment on cultured human cells, and cut out all harm to living creatures? The genetic makeup of animals and people is very different. The only animals with close genetic makeup to humans are primates, but the testing on human-like primates is also illegal, so why not other animals too, especially when these tests aren’t accurate?

Animal testing is already illegal in most countries, and in many cases is not required by the government and is a company’s own choice. No one is saying that in order to end animal testing, women must stop wearing makeup. All it takes is educating yourself on the brands that do and don’t test on animals. Once big businesses start to lose money because of their actions, they will be forced to look at what they are doing and hopefully change it.

It’s easy to brush things away when they aren’t visible. It’s easy to not talk about the things happening across the world- the wars, the hunger, the genocides. It’s easy to pretend that everything we do is just and with good reason, but sometimes it just isn’t. It’s hard to fight something that has been accepted as a social norm for so long, but someone has to stand up for these animals. No one hears their cries when they use makeup. No one feel the burning sensation they felt on their skin when they’re trying their new foundation out. There will never be a day where everything is just and right, but we have to fight for the rights of these animals. For now all we can do is fight to use products that advocate for the well-being of animals and hope that one day animal testing will be completely illegal everywhere.
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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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