Animal testing is a very controversial topic in society today. While many people say we need it to make sure our products safe, the truth is that most of the ingredients used today are already shown to be safe/not safe. Do we really need to cause these animals to suffer for the purpose of human beauty products? You be the judge.
When I was a sophomore in high school, my teacher wanted us to choose a controversial topic to write a persuasive essay about. I knew I wanted to pick a topic having to do with animals, but I struggled for a few days to find a good one. At first, I thought about writing it on the benefits of being a vegetarian, but since I was not yet a vegetarian (I did become one very soon after) I couldn’t input my experience. Then it came to me- Animal testing. The topic was perfect for me. I cared enough to not procrastinate and I ended up handing in all the rough drafts on time. This paper ended up changing my life and my goals for the future. It opened up my eyes to the abuse that lab animals endure to make sure our windows look shinier or that our hair is just a little bit less frizzy. Some of these animals suffer and/or die to make sure our teeth are whiter than usual. I ended up throwing out most of my cosmetics because I had no idea certain companies tested on animals! I also persuaded some of my close friends and family to do the same by informing them of what I learned.
Since people do not want to risk killing a human being, they decide testing on an animal for the sake of human kind is a better idea (for humans). Now, I can’t really tell you my opinion on animal testing until I give you the facts about it first. Ninety-four percent of animal testing is used to determine the safety of cosmetics and household products. This leaves only 6% for medical research. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require animal testing for cosmetics. Yet, most popular brands of eye shadows, eyeliners, and mascaras are still being tested on rabbits, mice, and even dogs! It’s true! When people think of cosmetic testing done on animals, they usually think that lipstick is just smeared on the animals lips or something like that. But that’s not what they do at all! There are many different ways they test makeup on animals. In Defense of Animals tells us:
“Product testing is commonly performed on animals to measure the levels of skin irritancy, eye tissue damage, and toxicity caused by various substances used in the manufacture of cosmetics. In the Draize test, caustic substances are placed in the eyes of conscious rabbits to evaluate damage to sensitive eye tissues. This is extremely painful for the rabbits, who often scream when the substances are applied and sometimes break their necks or backs trying to escape the restraints.”
Every time I see a CoverGirl or a Maybelline commercial, it makes me want to scream at the TV. Why? Because I know they test on animals! AND THEY DON’T EVEN NEED TO! In fact, most makeup ads that you see on the TV are companies that test their ingredients on animals before they sell the final product to you.
THESE POPULAR PRODUCTS ARE TESTED ON ANIMALS: Maybelline, CoverGirl, L’Oreal, Pantene, Dove, Windex (Yes, they do test this on the eyes of animals), OxiClean, Aussie Products (Shampoo & Conditioners), Ralph Lauren Fragrances, Old Spice, ect. To get a full list of products, click here. Now, the major companies that I DESPISE WITH A BURNING PASSION are:
- Proctor & Gamble (Crest, CoverGirl, Downy, Tide, Bounce, Mr.Clean, Pantene, Head & Shoulders, Febreze, IAMS pet food, Scope, Old Spice) People, words can not express my utter HATRED towards this company. I have so much hate, that it makes me sick to my stomach. If an award were given out for Company-that-Inflicts-Pain-On-Animals, it would go to Proctor & Gamble. If you look on their website, they state that they do not test their products on animals unless they absolutely need to. But if that were the case, then why wouldn’t they say “This product was not tested on animals” on ANY of their products?! Wouldn’t they advertise it if it were true? All of the other cruelty free companies say it directly on the product. If P&G truely cut out all animal testing, it would say so on the brand name items. I’m not buying their bullshit. You shouldn’t either. To learn all about how P&G carries out testing done on animals, click here.
- Johnson & Johnson (is the maker of Acuvue, Aveeno, Clean & Clear, Listerine, Lubriderm, Neutrogena, Rembrandt, ROC)
- Unilever (Axe, Comfort, Dove, Lever Bros., Lux, Ponds, Suave, Sunlight, Sunsilk, Surf, Vaseline)
- Dial Co. (Dial, Purex, Right Guard, Soft & Dri, Soft Scrub)
- Clorox (Armor All, Ever Clean, Formula 409, Fresh Step, Glad, Green Works, Pine-Sol, Scoop Away, Tilex)
The other day, I was looking at this list (where I got all of this information about companies) and I got so angry when I saw Green Works was on the list of products tested on animals. The reason for this is because it states on the back that the product was not tested on animals. I had been using this product to clean my windows and mirrors. So of course, as an animal activist, I got extremely mad. So mad, I wrote an angry letter an email I found on Green Works’ website. This is what it said:
“Hi. My name is Alyssa. I use Green Works, but do you want to know the only reason why I use it? I use it because it clearly states on the back of the bottle “not tested on animals”. Well, today I was looking at the list of companies that DO test on animals, and guess what company was on there? GIVE UP!? YEAH, GREEN WORKS WAS ON THERE! And you know what Mary Seltzer? I’m kind of pissed off. Unless of course, they made a mistake and put Green Works on there. Which I don’t think happens too often. Look, I do like your product. But I really need to know if this product is tested on animals or not (which it shouldn’t test if you say this product is a “green product”, seeing if it were actually “green” no chemicals would be used and you wouldn’t need to test on cute little animals). I want an honest answer, no bullshit. If you don’t reply to this email, I’ll take it as a “Yes, we do test this product on animals.” And I’ll add Green Works to my new blog to alert others that your company hurts animals for making windows a little bit cleaner. PLEASE RESPOND AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! I need to know. “
I gave them a week or so to write back to me. They never did. Therefore, I am letting you know not to use Green Works. If you need to clean your windows or mirrors, get products from Seventh Generation. Because they are awesome.
- Reckitt Benckiser (Air Wick, Easy-Off, Finish, Lysol, Mop & Glo, Old English, Resolve, Rid-X, Spray ‘N Wash, Veet, Woolite)
- L’Oreal (L’Oreal, Maybelline, Garnier, ect)
I used to use a lot of Maybelline makeup. That was before I learned that they tortured cute animals to make my eyes look pretty. When I did discover this, I immediately switched to Origins eyeliner. Both eyeliners work great, the only difference is the cost and that one kills animals. Origins is a rather expensive store, but I know that Hard Candy and Revlon have inexpensive makeup that doesn’t test on animals & it works just as good.
- S.C. Johnson (Drano, Fantastik, Glade, Nature’s Source, Pledge, Oust, Scrubbing Bubbles, Shout, Skintimate, Windex)
- AND MANY MORE!
People who support animal testing say “It’s better than testing it on our own children” or “We need to make sure that the ingredients in a product are safe before using it or letting our children use it.” Animals and humans are not the same. Just because something worked on a mouse doesn’t mean it’ll work on Timmy over there. Sure, animal testing has proved successful for certain things. But science is improving and alternatives to animal testing are becoming more well known.
Animal testing really doesn’t need to continue. This is proven by the many companies that have sworn off of them from the start! They care for animals and have refused to test their products on them. To name a few:
Burt’s Bees, Bath and Body Works, Dermalogica, Greenwood Naturals, Hard Candy, Mary Kay, Nature Clean, Pangea Organics, Seventh Generation, The Body Shop, Urban Decay (found in Sephora) Revlon, Origins, Tom’s of Maine (all organic toothpaste/soap company), Avon, Paul Mitchell, and many more.
** This is a VERY small amount of companies listed here. There are actually a lot more than just this. Click “many more” to get a full list of companies. I only named the larger companies. **
Make sure you read the labels on your makeup to see if they test or not. The one way to be 100% sure your makeup isn’t tested it to look for the Leaping Bunny symbol.
A lot of companies that have tested on animals in the past are coming out with products that claim they are not tested on animals. A good example of this is L’Oreal Paris EverPure line of hair care products. They CLAIM it’s sulfate-free shampoo and that they didn’t test it on animals. I have mixed views about this subject. Of course, I think you should support their decision to go vegan with their products. Maybe if a large amount of people buy the EverPure products, then this will convince the company to change the way the company test their products. However, there are many different ways companies such as L’Oreal could invest the money they make from this vegan line. Who’s to say they won’t invest in more animals to test on? This thought stops me from buying anything from a company who hasn’t phased out animal testing all together. I suggest you buy from a company that has never tested on animals before. Just to be safe.
Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) is a non-profit organization that is looking for new ways to replace animals with non-animal methods, to cut down the number of animals being used, or to refine methods and make them less painful and stressful for the animals involved. I think this is great, but I hope they invest most of their efforts in finding non-animal methods.
Lots of places have fazed out animal testing all together. Cosmetic testing on animals is banned in Belgium, the Netherlands and the U.K.. Europe. Sadly, animal testing still continues in the United States of America. I hope that in the future, people will become more informed of the companies that do test on animals and stop using them until they show some compassion and quit using animals in labs all together.
How to become a Compassionate Consumer:
1.) Look at the back of your cosmetics and/or household cleaners. If you see any of the company names I talked about that test on animals OR if it doesn’t say anything about being cruelty-free, throw it out. If you’re one of those people who doesn’t want to put things to waste, give it to someone. Just make sure you let them know why you’re not using it anymore.
2.) Research cruelty free products. A lot of the cosmetics that are organic and vegan can be very expensive. But you just have to keep looking! There are some cheap vegan products out there, I promise!
4.) Buy the products. Then try them out. Let me know how they work for you! If you really like them, tell your friends to stop using products tested on animals and try the cruelty-free products. If everyone would do this, maybe one day, we’ll stop animal testing all together. Now that’s a nice thought!