Testing: Animals are routinely cut open, poisoned, and forced to live in barren steel cages for years, although studies show that because of vast physiological variations between species, human reactions to illnesses and drugs are completely different from those of other animals. The main animal tests carried out for toiletries and cosmetics include tests for substance irritants, skin sensitivity, photo sensitivity, and toxicity tests. The effects on animals can range from mildly unpleasant to extremely unpleasant, depending on the substance tested and the type of test done.
What is Class B Animal Abuse?
Animals used by laboratories for testing purposes are largely supplied by dealers who specialize in the trade. These include breeders who supply purpose-bred animals; businesses that trade in wild animals; and dealers who supply animals sourced from pounds, auctions, and newspaper ads. Animal shelters may also supply the laboratories directly. Some animal dealers are reported to engage in kidnapping pets from residences or illegally trapping strays, a practice dubbed as “bunching”. The customers of animal dealers are universities, medical and veterinary schools, and companies that provide contract animal-testing services.
Animals shouldn’t have to die for things we don’t even need, like, would you die without makeup? No, but animals do die for it, and there’s nothing they can do about it.
Alternatives: Most scientists and governments say they agree that animal testing should cause as little suffering as possible, and that alternatives to animal testing need to be developed. The “three Rs”, first described by Russell and Burch in 1959, are guiding principles for the use of animals in research in many countries:
- Replacement refers to the preferred use of non-animal methods over animal methods whenever it is possible to achieve the same scientific aim.
- Reduction refers to methods that enable researchers to obtain comparable levels of information from fewer animals, or to obtain more information from the same number of animals.
- Refinement refers to methods that alleviate or minimize potential pain, suffering or distress, and enhance animal welfare for the animals still used.
Two major alternatives to in vivo animal testing are in vitro cell culture techniques and in silico computer simulation. However, some claim they are not true alternatives since simulations use data from prior animal experiments and cultured cells often require animal derived products, such as serums. Others say that they cannot replace animals completely as they are unlikely to ever provide enough information about the complex interactions of living systems. Other alternatives, not subject to this criticism, involve the use of humans for skin irritancy tests and donated human blood for pyrogenicity studies. Another alternative is so-called microdosing, in which the basic behaviour of drugs is assessed using human volunteers receiving doses well below those expected to produce whole-body effects. (Alternatives abstracted from Wikipedia.)
The next time you wish to purchase an animal tested product, be it cosmetic, skincare products or shampoos, look at these photos again and decide.
We can’t control the whole world to stop animal testing, but we can do our parts by not supporting animal-tested product. Put yourself into their shoes, if it hurts you, it probably hurts them too.