In today’s world, consumerism has got the better of our senses, and in our effort to have almost anything that we can lay our eyes on, we often overlook the fact that someone else is a paying a hefty price for our desires.
The world of animal testing is one such arena. Our choice of cosmetics plays an important role in whether an animal will be harmed or spared.
The Myths Of Animal Testing
Animal experimentation, animal research, and in vivo testing or rather in lay man’s terms ‘animal testing’, means experimenting on non-human animals.
Most animal testing happens for research purposes. It is often done to assess the effectiveness of consumer products such as medicines, cosmetics, food additives and industrial chemicals like household cleaners and pesticides.
Based on the results of these tests, companies are able to tell if their inventions are safe for human consumption and the environment.
Animal testing undeniably and undoubtedly implies torture, suffering, and eventually death for humanity’s well being. However, there are alternatives to animal testing nowadays, such as this human liver on a chip.
Watch this video in which The Big Bang Theory’s Mayim Bialik (who is also a real-life neuroscientist!), debunks animal testing myths to help advocate for the millions of animals used in laboratories worldwide!
Are You Supporting Cruel Cosmetics?
The procedures used for animal testing can never be mild enough. Each and every one causes physical suffering, emotional and mental trauma to the animal involved.
The mere act of trapping the animal is itself pure torture. Most are very young and are barely done nursing.
They are brutally kidnapped from their mothers, natural habitats and brought to environments that are totally alien. What business do primates from the Amazon have in New York?
Today, there is no dearth of farms that especially breeds animals for laboratory experimentation. Some common examples are rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters.
You also have more common domestic animals like cats, dogs and pigs being used. Their ears are notched and tails are clipped for identification.
Animals are animals and often traumatised in new spaces. To reduce unwanted behaviour they are deprived of food, drugged and sedated or exposed to short and long periods of physical restraint.
When it comes to testing the potency of drugs, the animals must first be exposed to a deadly virus or infected with an illness so that appropriate tests can be carried out. In other words, healthy animals are forcibly exposed to biological and chemical hazards.
There is a deliberate infliction of injuries which range from broken bones to first and second-degree burns and even superficial and deep wounds. Unwanted surgeries are performed as well. Organs are removed and foreign objects are inserted. Their bodies are mutated for scientific studies.
Often studies are conducted on pain management. That means the infliction of pain on the innocent animal in various degrees. There is no mercy on the amount and duration of infliction.
It can range from electric shock to near-drowning experiences. Based on their reaction to the various degrees, studies are done on both the physiology and treatment.
There is no guarantee of the animal making it out alive. In fact, death is bliss, because to live maimed and unwanted or to be re-used in subsequent experiments is to literally be the living dead.
The road that leads to this particular ‘bliss’ is often the worst. Most times they are killed with asphyxiation. Small animals have their necks broken or they are beheaded.
How To Choose Cruelty-Free Cosmetics
Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way, says PETA’s famous slogan.
Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Be conscious of what you are consuming. Read the labels on the goods that you intend to buy. Make sure they reach the consumer, cruelty-free.
It is one thing to be in the dark about animal testing. You are not anymore. It is only natural that you take an active stance and that too if not in a big way then in small day to day choices.
Going vegan is the best way forward but none of us can be a 100 % vegan. It is not possible in this day and age but you can try your very best.
In India, here are some of the cosmetic brands that officially test on animals. There are countless others but very few come out in the open about the activities conducted behind closed doors.
A List Of Cruel Cosmetic Brands:
- Estée Lauder
- Mary Kay
- Ralph Lauren Fragrances
- Giorgio Armani
- Procter & Gamble
- Gucci Fragrances
- Gillette Co
- Escada Fragrances
- Lacoste Fragrances
- Herbal Essences
- HUGO BOSS
- H2O Plus
- Head & Shoulders
- Old Spice
- Shiseido Cosmetics
- Johnson & Johnson
- Shower to Shower
- Clean & Clear
- Victoria’s Secret (Limited Brands)
A List Of Cruelty-Free Cosmetics:
Here is a list of cosmetic brands in India that do not test on animals.
- Aloe Veda
- Amoha Apcos Naturals – Just Herbs
- Bath & Body Works
- Body Shine Organics Pvt Ltd
- Brillare Science Private Limited
- Cholayil Pvt Ltd
- Earth Organic Soaps
- Forest Essentials
- Herbal Strategi
- Inglot Cosmetics
- Kama Ayurveda
- Kryolan Professional Make-Up
- La Flora Organics
- Lotus Herbals
- LUSH Cosmetics
- Prakriti Herbals
- Rustic Art
- Shahnaz Husain
- Soap Square
- Splurge Cosmetics
- Surya Brasil
- The Body Shop
- The Nature’s Co
- Vicco Laboratories
But since it’s impossible to actually remember these lists, many cosmetics companies use labels to identify products that are not tested on animals.
Some of these are official labels vetted by a third-party and others are not. The image of official and unofficial logos below will help you tell the difference.
When we know better, we do better. Now that you know which brands conduct animal testing, you can avoid them. To follow a more compassionate lifestyle, choose the brands that do not test on animals.
Good luck with your beauty regimen.