The next time you are applying your make-up or washing your baby’s hair, take a moment to consider whether or not you can do so with a clear conscience. I have never understood the need for companies to test on animals, and I never will. I think it takes a very evil kind of person to subject these little creatures to the kind of pain and torture they endure. I know that we are all busy, and change is not always easy, but are you comfortable with the fact that the animals being used in these tests suffer and ultimately die, all in order to ensure that we can improve our appearances? Are humans morally more important than all animals? Is there a sliding scale with humans at the top and the simplest animals at the bottom? Or are humans and animals morally equal?
“Right now, millions of mice, rats, rabbits, primates, cats, dogs, and other animals are locked inside cold, barren cages in laboratories across the country. They languish in pain, ache with loneliness, and long to roam free and use their minds. Instead, all they can do is sit and wait in fear of the next terrifying and painful procedure that will be performed on them.” – PETA
I have done extensive research over the past couple of weeks in order to provide everyone reading this article with the correct information, and to compile a list of companies that do and companies that do not test on animals. My list focuses on beauty brands, baby and kids brands and household products.
What animal testing involves:
Toxicity tests to estimate the safety of products and chemicals were developed in the early 20th century. These include experiments that subjectively measure the irritation of chemicals in the eyes or on the skin of rabbits for example, and determine toxicity by the dosage of a chemical that kills half of the animals forced to consume, breathe or be injected with said chemical. These primitive testing methods, including the infamous Draize and LD50 tests, are, regrettably, still in use today.
The animals in the labs obviously go through unspeakable things and are subjected to excruciating pain. Every year more animals than you could imagine are tested on for cosmetic purposes. They are blinded, burned, mutilated and killed so we can wear a shade of lipstick or colour our hair. Inhumane and mindless cruelty taking place for the sake of ‘science’. I am not going to post pictures here of the things that these poor animals are subjected to, but if you are interested in this Google it. I dare you.
As animal lovers, it is our responsibility to steer clear of all products tested on animals… South Africa is slowly starting to come to the party in terms of cruelty free products. Even if the tests are not painful there are many factors other than the experiment itself that can have an effect, including conditions during breeding, transport, housing, handling and restraint.
Animal testing may take place in various stages of the manufacturing process, whether on the finished product or on the individual ingredients involved. This makes it very difficult to compile a 100% accurate list of brands as some products may not be tested on animals, but the ingredients might.
Animal Testing is used to assess the safety and effectiveness of everything from medication and household products to cosmetics.
Why I Believe It Should Stop:
The cost to the animals does not justify the research, vanity is not worth innocent lives.
I am not a scientist, but surely animal testing has become redundant in this day and age? There are many other methods of testing available to cosmetic companies, methods that are actually more accurate than animal testing. As of March 2013, the EU banned animal testing completely – why can we not follow in their footsteps?
What are the alternatives?
It seems the logical choice to move away from animal testing, not only because of the damage being done to animals, but because we can’t always be sure that the test results produced are even valid. Humans are so genetically dissimilar to the animals used in testing that it makes the process almost pointless.
Options to consider instead of testing on animals include computer modelling, avoiding ingredients that have not been proved safe, and using human volunteers or clinical trials. Science has greatly advanced since the development of the animal tests that are still in use today. Cell culture, molecular and computation methods (in silico methods) are now well-developed scientific tools. In vitro methods based on human cells and tissues are now being developed and evaluated for assessing toxicity. Toxicity testing, however, has not had the urgency and support of government funding programs that disease-based research has enjoyed. The best tests for human toxicity would be conducted using humans, which apparently is unethical.
What YOU Can Do To Make Make A Difference:
- Stop buying from companies that test on animals. If you do not support or fund them hey will have no choice but to change their methods or shut down
- Raise your children to be aware of Animal Cruelty Free products, teach them to respect all animals – big or small.
- Other avenues are being explored, but in the meantime, PLEASE print out this petition sheet, and have it filled. The SA government does not accept on-line petitions. You can post your completed sheet to: BWCSA, P.O Box 1156, Milnerton, 7435
- You can also donate to these organizations to aid in the fight against animal cruelty:
- Leaping Bunny
- Beauty Without Cruelty
I have compiled a list of some of my favourite companies/products that are not tested on animals. For the link to the full list, as well as where I got my information from, please see the end of the article. Many of these companies have only recently been certified with Beauty Without Cruelty and other organizations, so you won’t always see the bunny on the packaging. This list is not based on PETA’s list, but on the findings of Leaping Bunny and Beauty Without Cruelty.
PERSONAL CARE & Cosmetics
African Extracts Rooibos
Charlotte Rhys Spa
Down To Earth
Fleur De Vie
Love My Hair
Oh So Heavenly
The One & Only Hotel Spa Range
The Victorian Garden
Rainbow Bath & Body
Tranquil Body Treats
The Tan Lab
Wema Cosmetics cc
Zambia Essential Skincare
BABY & KIDS PRODUCTS
Rain Africa – Rain Baby
The Victorian Garden Baby Range
Oh So Heavenly
Pick ‘n Pay Green Range (household cleaners with the leaf logo).
Woolworths Private Label
Some of these companies refuse to reveal their animal testing policies. These companies should not be considered cruelty-free until they make a clear statement on animal testing. Many of these companies are blatantly lying to their customers through their sales reps and websites regarding their animal testing policies – skin and eye irritation tests must be conducted on animals in order for cosmetic products to be sold in China, which are paid for by manufacturers.
Avon – Their reps and websites will tell you otherwise, but after extensive investigating by PETA it has come to light that Avon has been paying for tests on animals in order to sell their products in China—and they did not inform their consumers that their policies had changed.
Bobbi Brown – On Bobbi Brown’s website list of FAQs, the very first question is “does your company test on animals?” The answer? A firm “no”. “Bobbi Brown is committed to the elimination of animal testing.” Except that this is followed by: “We do not conduct animal testing on our products or ingredients, nor ask others to test on our behalf, except when required by law.” In other words, in order for them to continue marketing their cosmetics line in China, they have to test on animals.
Dolce & Gabbana
MAC – They have been paying for tests on animals in order to sell their products in China and they did not inform their consumers that their policies had changed.
Revlon – They have been paying for tests on animals in order to sell their products in China—and they never informed their consumers that their policies had changed.
The Body Shop – There has been some confusion regarding The Body Shop, and whether they test on animals. The Body Shop has always been very vocal in their anti-testing stance, and many consumers continue to buy their products due to the perceived animal friendliness of the brand. However, it was acquired by L’Oreal in 2006. L’Oreal is notorious for its extensive animal testing over the years, and outcry followed. Many protesters demanded a boycott of The Body Shop, not because it was testing, but because any money spent on its products is going to a parent company that does test. How L’Oreal Is Misleading Their Customers About Being Cruelty Free
Yves Saint Laurent
Clean & Clear
La Roche Posay
Nu Skin International
Head & Shoulders
Nice ‘n Easy
Soft & Beautiful
SOAP & BATH
Shower to Shower
Christina Aguilera Perfumes
Ralph Lauren Fragrances
Viktor & Rolf
TOOTHPASTE AND ORAL CARE
Lady Speed Stick
Soft & Dri
RAZORS & HAIR REMOVAL
Paul Mitchell, Badger Balm and Dermalogica products, while not tested by BWC, have been approved by the Leaping Bunny Program, which means that they adhere to international cruelty-free standards. However, they may contain ingredients that are required by law to be tested on animals after a specified cut-off date and are therefore not approved by BWC.
About Beauty Without Cruelty / Beauty Without Cruelty SA
Beauty Without Cruelty is an animal rights organization with a primary objective to educate and inform the public about the exploitation, abuse and suffering of animals and to offer humane non-animal alternatives to replace cruel and harmful lifestyle choices. Through peaceful and lawful means, we expose and oppose all cruelty to animals and will lobby national, provincial and local government in this regard.
Beauty Without Cruelty’s action plan:
Beauty Without Cruelty runs a progressive educational program, aimed at informing people about the suffering of animals and has initiated a number of campaigns, which focus on exposing animal abuse, specifically in the areas of vivisection/cosmetic testing, the exploitation of wildlife and in factory farming. Methods used to draw the public’s attention to these issues also include legal intervention, protests, lobbying central, regional and local government and other peaceful means.
For a full list of products – worldwide – that ARE and ARE NOT tested on animals, take a look at PETA’s website / click here. A more South African focused list of companies not testing on animals can be found on BWCSA’s (Beauty Without Cruelty South Africa) website / click here.
It may not always be easy to find products that haven’t been tested on animals, but only you can decide if you’re comfortable with sacrificing an animal’s wellbeing for your own beauty. The important thing is to make an informed decision. If you want to find out about a company or have any questions, contact me or comment here and I’ll find out what their testing status is.
*Please note, this post is NOT sponsored by anyone – If any of the products listed are not Cruelty Free and have been listed in error, please contact me and we will remove them or motivate my reasoning* Information obtained from PETA, Beauty Without Cruelty, Beauty Without Cruelty South Africa, Leaping Bunny Program, Vida Compassion, Nuffield Bioethics, http://www.navs.org/