Animal testing: Get cruelty out of cosmetics

By Noor Anis Adila Omar

Animal testing for cosmetics has been going on for decades and now it’s still well hidden behind closed laboratory doors claiming for the sake of human safety products. It turns out that the ugly truth of the beauty industry is far beyond what you can imagine – the brutal treatment of animals testing on cosmetics. 

Nearly more than 100 million animals every year including rabbits, monkeys, dogs, cats, guinea pigs and mice were mutilated, injected with chemicals into their bodies leaving them to see their bodies’ reaction and some were drilled holes into their skulls, eventually disposing of their bodies like no more than disposable laboratory tools.

Fortunately, the largest animal rights organisation, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has shed light against animal suffering for cosmetics along with cruelty-free companies and animal protection groups urging to stop animal testing. 

However, relying on non-profit organisations animal activists isn’t enough to stop animal testing as most of the countries such as the United States and China legally allowed animal testing for the sake of mascara. Yet, other 40 countries seemingly ban or limit cosmetic testing on animals. How well do they enforce the law? We would never know.

But the question is how could we owe animals to put them in the cruelty of animal testing?

In April 2021, Humane Society International (HSI) released an animated short film under four-minute long video titled ‘Save Ralph’, depicting a horrendous life of laboratory rabbits suffering from cruelty experiments in the name of the beauty industry. Knowing their life-long fate as laboratory animals, the rabbit, without choice, had to sacrifice their vulnerable bodies for experiment, ensuring the safety for human use. 

HSI has run multiple campaigns to tackle animal testing for cosmetics, yet earlier campaign seems incompetent to bring awareness to stop cosmetic testing on animals than this stop-motion animated video. This stop-motion animated video has sparked public concern and rage among animal lovers on social media about the truth of the beauty industry.

Ever since that short film went viral, the concern escalated exposing the cosmetic brands that are tested on animals of which nearly all products we used in our households are in the list of animal cruelty.

Scientists argue that using animals for cosmetic testing is unavoidable and necessary to test the safety of products. But, when questioned about ethical procedures of animal testing, the answer is not what was depicted in the undercover footages. 

If you thought animal testing was simply putting makeup on rabbit intended to see the allergic reaction and effectiveness of the product would be, you are wrong. That’s why animal activists would go undercover inside laboratories to capture footage of horrendous animal handling to expose the truth about these useless tests on animals for cosmetics. 

Being biologically the same as animals does not mean animals should be tested for human products usage. In fact, the research found that animal testing is often ineffective, consequently harm to human health and million of animals are still used due to “affordability” of cosmetics testing.

They, animal cruelty-free organisations had fought for years raising awareness to ban animal testing for cosmetics, yet the authority still allowed animals for human research purposes. One way is launching a global campaign, mainly to disclose the reality of unnecessary animal testing for cosmetics.

There are always better humane options to produce safe ingredients without testing on animals. The non-animal experiment found to be more relevant to predict human reactions and the established combination of safety ingredients also proved to be safe for human use. 

Despite that, some brands simply used “cruelty-free” products term without actually regulated no animal testing. I am of the opinion that those companies aren’t ready to revert to the ethical way without losing millions of dollars of profit. 

Nevertheless, how we as a public help end animal testing in cosmetic?

We can help change animals laboratory fate by boycotting those brands and supporting non-animal testing brands. Buying cruelty-free products could make huge impact stopping animal cruelty globally. Next, ensuring that the products are not tested on animals by looking for the Leaping Bunny logo – a certified non-animal testing. Likewise, the cruelty-free products list are also available on websites based on your preferences and needs. 

Hence, it’s time for us switching to animal-friendly products and support the brands by purchasing non-animal testing cosmetics.

Imagine praising your favourite lipstick, knowing that these are the end result of cruelty experiments on animals. Imagine every single day countless rabbits filled with pain and misery knowing they would never survive in the hands of wicked experimenters.

For sure, animal testing is always morally and ethically wrong. 

None of the animals deserve to suffer in the name of beauty. ***

(This opinion piece was written as part of individual assignment series for Feature Writing class)

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