“The question is not, ‘Can they reason?’ nor, ‘Can they talk?’ but, ‘Can they suffer?’”
– Jeremy Bentham
Each year, more than 100 million animals—including mice, rats, frogs, dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, monkeys, fish, and birds—are killed in U.S. laboratories for all varieties of experimentation, including cosmetics testing, according to Peta.org.
But surveys show that more people are aware of animal testing and more are objecting to it. Although makeup and other beauty product testing on animals may not seem like a big deal to certain people, many consider it to be animal cruelty.
The Journal of Medical Ethics reports:
The US is the world’s largest user of animals in experiments, and government data show declines in the use of cats, dogs, primates, rabbits, hamsters and other larger mammals. But the exclusion of the species most commonly used in laboratory research — mice, rats, birds bred for experimentation, and all cold-blooded animals — from federal regulations has resulted in an absence of published data on how many of these animals are used in experiments. To fill this gap, researchers at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) used Freedom of Information requests to obtain and analyse previously unpublished data collected by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) on the use of all vertebrate species at the top 25 institutions in receipt of its grants. The analysis showed that use of animals in laboratory research at these facilities rose by just under 73 per cent between 1997 and 2012. This was largely driven by increases in the use of mice while the use of other species remained mostly unchanged. Unregulated species made up almost all (98.8 %) of the animals used at these labs.
Cruel and even deadly testing is done on millions of animals. Beauty products such as face wash, various hair product, and makeup such as lipstick, foundation, and even eye makeup, for example, mascara and eyeliner, contain ingredients that are not only tested on animals, but are unsafe; causing pain, wounds, and even in many cases, death for these innocent animals.
Now finding this to be true, more and more people, specifically women (who tend to be the main audience for beauty products), have stopped using specific companies that test products on animals and are looking for companies that have stopped animal testing.
According to a worldwide study done by the Humane Society International, “88 percent [of respondents] agreed that animal testing ‘can cause pain and suffering to animals and it is not worth causing this kind of suffering just to test the safety of cosmetics, especially when there are safe ingredients already available.’ ”
The study continues to show, “70.2 percent support a nationwide ban on the testing of cosmetics and their ingredients on animals.’”
Because of this, more and more companies that are not well known, but are environmentally efficient have become up and coming. These animal-friendly companies include but are not limited to Lush Cosmetics, elf, and Milani.
But Johnson & Johnson, Clean & Clear, Dove, and Estée Lauder are just a few of the many companies that use animal testing for beauty products.
Can Animals Consent?
This being said, through a survey on Facebook, the questions were asked:
Did you know these companies tested on animals?
Would you continue to use their products? If so, why?
Stephen Geraci says, “I knew this. Testing beauty supplies is part of the job to get them to the market. However, animal testing covers a part of consent that I am on the fence about. Can the animal consent? And if so how is it being compensated for their efforts? If it is fair and there are no major side effects then it wouldn’t deter my usage of certain products but for companies that step up to cruelty instead of taking human subjects, I’d choose another brand.”
“I didn’t know Johnson & Johnson or Dove did. To be honest, if this is true, I would have to stop using their products. I have done reports of animal testing using makeup and I hardly wear makeup anymore. I know the effects of even “innocent product testing” and it’s sad. What a shame,” states Jessica Gerig.
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine looks positively for change when they say, “These results (decrease in cosmetic product usage due to animal testing) send a strong message to cosmetics companies and Congress: Consumers want to be able to purchase cruelty-free cosmetics products and believe that moving toward non-animal test methods is an important priority.”
Gaining large companies and even the government’s attention is a great gateway to the beginning of a worldwide ban on animal testing. As large companies such as Maybelline and Estée Lauder realize that demand for their products are decreasing, consumers and other animal lovers are hopeful that these companies and even the government will be aware of the cruelty occurring.
Thus bringing hopeful thoughts that will lead to nationwide, and eventually an international ban, on any animal testing in general, but specifically on beauty products.