Last month, California made it illegal for pet stores to allow adopting of dogs, cats and rabbits that are not rescue animals.
While this law was a big step in the fight against animal cruelty, there’s another issue that needs to be tackled next: stopping the inhumane testing being done on animals, particularly within the cosmetics industry, by supporting companies that do not test on animals and are cruelty-free.
In order to be given the label of cruelty-free, the Leaping Bunny, a global organization dedicated to educating and advocating against animal cruelty, has set the standard that a brand must not test on animals at any point in their production, can’t receive supplies from companies who test on animals and can’t sell in countries that require animal testing.
Millions of animals each year are subjected to testing for the drug, food, cosmetic and chemical industries.
Often, animals will be forced to inhale or eat toxic chemicals to determine how much of a substance is lethal. The animals will have their fur shaved and have toxic chemicals applied to the skin, or have those toxic chemicals forced into their eyes.
There are hundreds of types of tests done, but the methods are always cruel and the result is always the same: the animal dies slowly and painfully.
In the cosmetics industry alone an estimated 500,000 animals are killed each year through testing, according to the Humane Society.
The most common animals used include guinea pigs, rats, rabbits and mice. They’re often force-fed toxic chemicals for a period of time and are then examined after death to observe chemical damage. Some side effects include bleeding from the eyes, nose, and ears, as well as seizures, paralysis and convulsions.
Animal testing is not only inhumane, it’s also unnecessary. It’s not required by law and is even banned entirely in the European Union, according to the Leaping Bunny.
There are alternatives to animal testing that are already being implemented around the world, like using synthetic human skin, stem cell testing and even computer simulations.
One of the best ways to fight animal cruelty is to support the companies that don’t test on animals. The cosmetics industry, while mostly makeup, includes products that everybody purchases like shampoo, deodorant, acne treatments and soap.
If consumers only purchased cruelty-free products, the big companies would be forced to reconsider their inhumane testing methods.
There has also been a debate on whether or not to support brands that are cruelty-free but are owned by a parent company that does test on animals.
For example, the smaller makeup brands Urban Decay and N.Y.X. are cruelty-free but are owned by the cosmetics giant L’Oreal. L’Oreal products are sold in China, where it is mandated by law that all cosmetics sold must be first tested on animals. N.Y.X. and Urban Decay do not sell in China.
By supporting sub-brands that are cruelty free, it could show the larger parent company that it’s important to consumers that their products are completely cruelty-free. It may seem small or insignificant but if everyone supported cruelty-free companies, the bigger players such as L’Oreal will begin to notice its consumers needs and begin to change.
Animal testing is inhumane and unnecessary. If everyone made the switch to purchasing only cruelty-free products, it could help end the suffering and deaths of millions of animals every year.