Say No to Animal Testing
What is it about using natural skin care products that appeals the most to you? Is it that you appreciate the integrity of the ingredients, or perhaps that you value harmony between humans and Mother Nature? You know that when you choose gentle, natural ingredients in products that are crafted with respect and integrity that you are not only doing the best for your skin, but also the environment. When you care this much about values of the companies and products that you choose to spend your money on, it is just as important to know, and agree with, their stance on animal testing. Once you take a look at the many animal testing cons, it becomes a simple decision to opt for animal cruelty free products.
Animal testing is the process of using animals, such as mice, rats, rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters, in a laboratory setting to evaluate the effects of certain chemicals and ingredients on a living creature. Animal testing is used primarily in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry, where the products are tested for safety and negative side effects. This type of testing puts laboratory animals in a position where they are forced to undergo experiments that are painful, unnecessary – and often lethal -- to guarantee the safety and quality of cosmetic products. However, rest assured that there are animal cruelty free cosmetics available.
Animal testing is so unnecessary, and inhumane, that nations such as the European Union, Norway, Israel and India have completely banned its use in the cosmetic and toiletry industry. Additionally, in developed countries, an overwhelming majority of adults are opposed the use of animal testing and there is progress in anti-cruelty rights and developing legislation the world over to prove it. This is important information to have, but you may be wondering what it means for you? If animal testing is so unnecessary, why is it still in use at all and how can you make sure that the products that you use are in fact safe? Let’s go over briefly why this practice is unnecessary and ineffective.
- When taking a look at the pharmaceutical industry, which relies heavily upon animal experimentation, it is worth noting that of all the drugs that pass animal testing and proceed onto human drug trials, an overwhelming majority of the medications fail. This tells us that there are serious limitations to how accurate the results of animal testing are when applied to a human subject.
- The testing which is done on animals generally does not mirror typical human use. Animals have smaller bodies, they are physiologically different and the chemicals are applied in larger than suggested amounts for an extended duration of time. This methodology does not reflect typical usage, and therefore the results cannot be guaranteed.
- Animal experimentation is simply wasteful. Think for a moment of the expense that is involved in building facilities to breed and house laboratory animals, the costly tests and the animal lives that have been lost in the process of achieving inaccurate and unusable results. Now, take another moment and think of the possibilities if these resources were put towards more humane, more accurate and more human-relevant research.
- And finally, animal testing is inhumane. The types of tests that the animals are forced to undergo almost always involve discomfort and pain, for which they receive no anesthesia, and more often than not, the animals are euthanized once the trial period is over. This is a sad and useless disrespect for the natural world around us. The question remains what can we do to further the relationship between human and nature, rather than promote the disintegration of it?
In order to promote and protect the harmony with nature, we must be informed consumers. As a consumer, you are completely in the right to question the quality and safety of your skin care and cosmetic products. As a consumer, you might also be interested in knowing that there are several well reputed and respected alternative methods of testing products that do not in any way involve the inhumane use of animals. These methods, which include the development of artificial human skin tissue and test tube methods where chemicals are tested for toxicity, are among the exciting emerging methods of non animal testing.
While the development of new scientific processes that do not involve the use of laboratory animals is a great thing, we can go a step further in how we choose which products to buy and which companies to support with our hard earned money. The best way of doing this is to always go with the most natural choices. The cosmetics and skin care industry has access to literally thousands of ingredients that have proven themselves to be safe and effective over time. With this incredible arsenal at their disposal, there is no need for any cosmetics or skin care company to reach for ingredients that are unknown. Secondly, nature provides a bounty of healing, soothing and refreshing ingredients that we share the earth with every day.
It is extremely important that you, as an informed consumer, do your research into which companies support the ideals and values that are the most important to you. Understand that in the United States, animal testing is not illegal. Some companies will make claims of not using animal experimentation on products sold to you; however they might still use some form of animal testing on their products that are exported to other countries, such as mainland China. Mainland China has been known for its pro animal testing stance for years, mostly due to the fact that any cosmetic produced or sold in China was required to undergo animal testing. Their laws about this are changing, but it is still required in many cases. This means that some of the companies that you value for their cruelty free practices, may in fact be participating in animal experimentation for the sake of oversea sales.
Perhaps you have always felt passionately about cruelty free products, or maybe your focus has been on quality, and that has steered you toward natural products. No matter the journey, the fact is that you have arrived. You are at a point where you see the value in natural skin care and cosmetics, and you know without question the integrity of the quality of these products. You might also be someone who is just beginning the journey into natural, cruel free care and you’re interested to know more. There are many advantages to choosing cruelty free, natural products, including:
- Avoiding Chemicals: It is estimated that the average woman applies and is exposed to a shocking five hundred different chemicals per day. Many of these chemicals come in the form of cosmetics and skin care. Additionally, many of these unnatural chemicals are testing on animals before making it into any product. By eliminating any skin care product that has been tested on animals, there is a good chance that you are also reducing your exposure to countless chemicals.
- Keeping Your System Balanced: Many of the ingredients that are tested on animals can actually disrupt your normal physiological processes. Artificial fragrances, for example, contain phthalates, which are known endocrine disruptors, and have been connected to increased rates of obesity and developmental delays.
- Glowing Skin: There is a reason that companies feel the need to test on animals before allowing their products to reach you. This is because many of the chemicals used are actually bad for your skin. The result is the need to add additional ingredients to counter the negative effects of others. Soon, you have an ingredient list that is excessively long. The solution to this is to stick with naturally based, soothing ingredients that react with your body in a holistic way.
- It Feels Good To Do Good: When you make responsible choices and when you make sound ethical decisions, you grow as a person. There is something about doing the right thing that makes you feel good on the inside. We all know that this is where true beauty starts.
Over the past couple of decades, hundreds of companies have taken an animal cruelty free stance. Even the scientific world’s support of the end of animal testing is growing with a great number of well respected members vocalizing their disapproval of the unnecessary practice. John Hopkins University has become an industry leader in the development of non animal based testing techniques and esteemed scientists and government officials are recognizing the deficits that relying on animal testing create. From a scientific standpoint, we can see that while maybe over the years there has been some value to the testing processes, it has also opened up the question of what we might have missed by testing so extensively on animals. The issue of animal testing is one that has both physical limitations and moral consequences. This is an issue that is as much about the protection of humanity as it is about the protection of the animal world.
The truth is that it there is no way that one should be able to justify ineffective and cruel testing on animals in order to put one more mascara, lipstick, eye serum or shampoo on the market. Animal testing is a process that makes ugly an industry that is meant to bring forth beauty. The fact is that when we know better, we do better. We are fortunate to have the science today that is able to support a cruelty free environment. We are also fortunate enough to have choices. The only certain way of stopping the cruel use of animals for cosmetic testing is to use your voice and your wallet. You can help eliminate the use of animal experimentation by only purchasing from companies that are aligned with your no cruelty stance. You can also be vocal to others about which companies produce cruelty free products and which ones are the known animal testing powerhouses. Look at the big cosmetic and skin care companies and their animal testing policies, and then contact them and urge them to change their practices so that their products can once again be enjoyed by the people who demand safe, natural and cruel free.With the voice and determination of a socially conscious consumer population we have the ability to one day in live a world where you will know for certain that luxurious conditioner you used on your hair or the silky moisturizer you carefully applied under your eyes was crafted in a cruelty free environment. Not only will your conscience rest easy, but you will also know that each time you use your treasured animal free products that you are doing a service to your body, the environment and the world that you live in. For now, the best we can do is to continue to speak up and make ethical and healthy choices, like continuing to use gentle, natural skin care and cosmetics that build and support the valuable relationship that we have with Mother Nature and all of her creatures.