It’s an issue we refrain from thinking about when possible. We, as consumers, like to distance ourselves from the dark process behind the shiny products on the shelf. Convincing labels, innovative packaging and clever marketing often distract from the grim reality behind closed doors.
According to Humane Society International, approximately 100,000-200,000 animals die every year due to cosmetic animal testing alone. This number rises significantly when we consider animal testing for skincare, household cleaners, medical training, and drug testing. Overall, millions of rats, mice, cats, rabbits, dogs, monkeys, fish and birds suffer and die during these gruelling tests.
According to a PETA, big brands such as L’Oréal, Avon, Revlon and Estée Lauder (and many others) still test their products on animals before releasing them to the public.
These animals are burned, poisoned and left to die in horrific conditions. Read more here. Two problems arise when considering the authenticity of animal testing.
- Animals are not human.
They will react differently to humans when exposed to the same poisonous substance.
- They cannot put pain into words. They can’t tell you how much it hurts, if they’re dizzy, or if they feel nothing at all.
So, why do companies still do it? Well, it’s simple. If a company is sued by an injured customer, the company can provide data from approved animal experimentations as defence.
However, change is happening and companies are noticing.
In 2013, the European Union implemented a law that made it illegal to sell animal tested cosmetics within Europe. A whole host of countries followed suit, including Australia (as of July 2017).
One thing I’ve noticed over the years is the growing popularity of newer, cruelty free brands of cosmetics; Tarte, Too Faced, Kat Von D, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Becca and Charlotte Tilbury just to name a few. Beauty gurus of YouTube are also getting on the cruelty free campaign, with many posting videos including their favourite cruelty free brands and makeup tutorials. Top to bottom, Rhian HY, Rachelleea & Dani Mansutti.
Two of my favourite go-to companies, including skincare, makeup and toiletries, are LUSH and The Body Shop. Surprise surprise. Aésop and Grown Alchemist are also top contenders.
LUSH is simply amazing. Slightly out of the box, LUSH create uniquely awesome products for the face, hair and body. The best thing about LUSH is that every product is hand made with fresh ingredients. How cool is that? Often, some of their products smell bad. Trust me, this is actually a good thing. It means there are no artificial or harsh fragrances that can irritate the skin.
THE BODY SHOP.
The Body Shop has been a go-to cruelty free brand for many people over many years. With their classic body butters and fluffy loofas, The Body Shop makes an effort with each and every product to enrich, not exploit. Currently, The Body Shop has 26 Community Trade suppliers in 21 countries of the world.
Lots of ingredients are featured on their website with extensive information behind where they come from, who harvests it, and how it benefits the supplier. I think this type of knowledge helps consumers decide why they want to buy cruelty free and fair trade products.
The future is uncertain for the cosmetic and skincare companies that still test on animals. What we do know is that change is occurring on a global scale. Governments are recognising the out-dated, cruel and unnecessary nature of animal testing. We, as consumers, hold all the power. We need to be armed with knowledge when we enter the supermarket or the makeup counter. I believe that if we begin to spend our money on products that we know are ethically produced, testing on animals may indeed be a thing of the past.
Thanks for reading,