Changing My Opinion About Animal Testing

I have never really thought much about animal testing because to be honest, I am not a huge animal lover. I don’t have pictures of puppies and kittens on my walls, and I think dogs kind of smell. I like Thanksgiving turkey as much as the next carnivore.  So, I guess I always considered animal testing as one of those “animal lover causes”, and therefore, not my concern.  

animal testing poster

Credit: http://www.aavs.org

However, If you follow me on Twitter, then you will know that earlier this week I watched a video that brought to my attention the seriousness of animal testing.

This video does not depict animals being tested on.  Instead, it is an actresses rendition of the testing procedures that are done on animals in the labs as if the procedures were being done on a human. It was part of a widespread protest against animal testing that took place in Lush stores across the world last year.

The video is here to watch, but I warn you that it’s not a happy video and even though it’s all an act, it’s still sad.


This video has definitely made me reevaluate the importance of cruelty free products.
It concerns me that big brands such as L’Oreal, Johnson & Johnson, Maybelline, and Sally Hansen haven’t moved on from animal testing, as unreliable as it has proven to be, even though there are new and more effective alternatives.

After watching this video, I was left feeling very conflicted. I was horrified by what I saw, but I know deep down that I can’t promise all of you that I will only buy cruelty free products in the future. Unfortunately, most of the biggest companies in the world today rely on animal testing (for example P&G). It has become integrated into our commercial products, and some of the most affordable brands are the biggest offenders.

bunny

I really could not, not have a bunny picture on Easter weekend. [Credit: http://www.rabbit.org]

However, what I can promise is that when choosing products in the future, I will be more conscious of and try my best to support those brands who are cruelty free. This includes brands such as bareMinerals, Urban Decay, Revlon, Liz Earle, Almay, Burts Bees, e.l.f, among many more.

I hope that one day, the United States will take the same approach to animal testing as the European Union.  The EU banned animal testing back in 2004 and just recently passed a law banning the import and sale of any cosmetics that have been tested on animals in the EU.

What are your opinions about animal testing? What are your favorite cruelty free brands/products? 

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11 thoughts on “Changing My Opinion About Animal Testing

  1. Emma @ Culturecopia March 29, 2013 / 9:11 am

    In business, it’s North American institutions who are the leaders in producing management literature, policies to increase efficiency… basically they typically are the catalysts for enhancing productivity. Where they lag however, is in addressing ethical and moral issues. I’ve witnessed and experienced first hand how the EU is more forward thinking with regard to issues like animal testing and gender equality. Here, these issues are less touchy to talk about. I do hope that the U.S. and Canada can take something from their book and become more willing to address these types of issues as well!

    • Sam March 29, 2013 / 9:59 am

      I was shocked by the number of North American companies still relying on animal testing which makes no sense! If the EU can sell cosmetics that haven’t been tested on animals, what is stopping us? It just seems like the EU has proved there is no reason for it, so why are we still doing it? Sigh. I haven’t heard much about gender equality in the EU. Is it really much better there? Are they still paying men and women different salaries for the same job?

  2. Olga K'ay - water.color.silk March 29, 2013 / 10:33 am

    My approach is similar. I do my best to buy only from companies who clearly state their no-animal-testing policies and preferably also don’t sell in China (where cosmetics animal testing is mandatory, although don’t have to be performed by actual brand).

    Being in EU doesn’t automatically make it safe to buy anything sold here, unfortunately. We still have L’Oreal and Maybelline and so on. I don’t know if the particular products sold here haven’t been tested or if the law hasn’t come into force yet.

    You can add Essence to your “safe to buy from” list btw :) You bought their mascara recently, I think?

  3. Carina March 29, 2013 / 10:52 am

    I think Revlon is actually not cruelty-free anymore. :( I’ve been reading up a lot about it as well. What’s your stand on companies such as bareMinerals, The Body Shop, or Urban Decay, who are cruelty-free but belong to parent companies who test? I’m leaning towards supporting them.

    How about those companies who are cruelty-free for the most part, but have stated that they will test on animals, if absolutely required by law, i.e. Estée Lauder and MAC?

    I’m so torn, because I’ve only just begun exploring MAC, and they’ve only stopped being CF when China mandated the animal testing requirement. EL was also CF for about 20 years but IDK, I guess they had a big market in China? I don’t know what I should do in that case, but I’ve banned myself from purchasing decidedly non-CF brands.

    • Sam March 29, 2013 / 11:21 am

      I mean, the way I say it, if you don’t support the companies who don’t test (even if they are owned by companies that do), they are going to end up going out of business, and a company that does test will probably take their place.

      Also, I can’t disparage a company for being forced to animal test because of law. That seems like more of the fault of the government enforcing the law (like China). However, the US does not require animal testing of cosmetics, which is why I find it confusing that US companies still animal test.

      Like I said, I can’t promise that I will only buy CF cosmetics in the future, but I will definitely try to funnel more support to those brands who are making an effort to do away with testing. Hopefully, in a few years the US will take a similar stance to animal testing as the EU.

      • Carina March 30, 2013 / 10:55 am

        Yes, exactly! That’s why I’m very torn about MAC and other such brands who end up testing because of laws like China’s. I think it’s really just a matter of them not finding it “worth it” to seek out alternatives to testing, even though other companies have done it before.

        Thanks for answering my curiosity-questions :) I’ve been thinking a lot about CF, too, and a chunk of my thought process seems to be similar to yours. I hope so, too!

  4. Silvia Flores March 29, 2013 / 1:16 pm

    This is crazy. I did not know these companies were still animal testing! There’s no reason to- unless the chemicals tested for aren’t suitable in the first place which means they SHOULDNT even be in our products to begin with.

    • Olga K'ay - water.color.silk March 29, 2013 / 2:12 pm

      Big brands like L’Oreal heavily rely on “innovative” ingredients as their selling strategy. Hens, they come up with new chemicals they want to put in their cosmetics and skin care products to boost the sales. All those stickers you see, like “New formula” and whatnot unfortunately do convince people to want to try stuff. Whether or not those chemicals were tested on animals still doesn’t guarantee they’re safe or should be used on humans. But hey, when a company goes corporate, it’s all about money-making.

  5. Vikki Sorensen March 29, 2013 / 6:57 pm

    I really do my best to only choose products from cruelty-free companies. Elf is my favorite, at this time but it’s the most affordable. Kudos to you for this post!!!!

  6. Karen March 29, 2013 / 9:51 pm

    Leaping Bunny is a website that will give you a list of all companies that are cruelty free. Tarte is my favorite cruelty free company!

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