I would venture a guess that the majority of human beings want to use cruelty free cosmetic/beauty products. I don’t think people walk around saying, “I would like my perfume to be worn by a rat first please.” Or “I’m a smart sentient being who would never shove lipstick into my eye, but if you could please put lipstick into a monkey’s eye to be double sure it’s safe, I’d appreciate it. Thanks.”
So why does animal testing on beauty products exist?
Animal testing on cosmetics began when the U.S. Congress passed the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938 in response to manufacturers selling unsafe products. Instead of the companies meeting new standards by testing products on humans they turned to animal testing. It was cheap. But the accuracy of animal testing has always been questioned because animals metabolize ingredients differently than humans.
Several companies and non-profits offer cruelty free certification. One of the more famous certifications is PETA’s Beauty without Bunnies List. Companies on the PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) list, “either signed PETA's statement of assurance or provided a statement verifying that they do not conduct or commission any animal tests on ingredients, formulations, or finished products and that they pledge not to do so in the future. “
The good news is the estimated number of animals used in the testing of cosmetics in the US has declined by 90% since 1980s. In part, due to increased consumer demand for products labeled cruelty free.
Right now the European Union leads the US in finding, and adopting alternatives to animal testing. In 2004 they banned the testing of finished products and their components on animals. Then strengthened that original bill in 2009.
Helping stop animal testing is as easy as two steps:
Write your government representative, and tell them to enact a firm definition of Cruelty Free.
Stay educated as a consumer, and only purchase products with a strict stance against animal testing. Look for companies, which support the search for alternatives to animal testing.
Animals don’t look good in cosmetics and beauty is never cruel. If you’d like to feel even better right now about your Cruelty Free stance take the cruelty free pledge here.