The main ingredient in beauty: Animal cruelty


Photo courtesy of: Humane Decisions

The Humane Decisions organization protests the use of animal testing with an effective emotional appeal.

Rae Rectenwald, Assistant Features Editor

Animal testing is infused into the beauty industry. Countless items from your favorite beauty brands are all considered culprits in abusive testing on our cherished critters. Brands primarily target mice, rabbits, hamsters, and non-human primates to research and find flaws in their products. Our ecosystem is already at a loss, and even more evil against animals is being hidden under our noses.

   What is animal testing exactly? It is a process that uses animals to check the effectiveness of products and their safety by exposing these animals to the chemicals and compounds used in the products. According to PETA, more than 100 million animals have been killed just in U.S laboratories for specific tests. Although procedures are considered to cause only “mild” discomfort for the animal, the animals undergo severe trauma and distress in the lab setting and either die due to the harsh circumstances or are executed at the end of the experiment. If they survive, then they are considered a test subject for future experiments and forced to endure the same conditions, of  “[f]orced chemical exposure in toxicity testing, which can include oral force-feeding, forced inhalation, skin or injection into the abdomen, muscle, etc.,” according to the Humane Society International. The list of trauma continues from burns to electric shock and contraction of infectious diseases. 

   Animal testing cruelty through the ages dates back from the 1800s and continues until this day. An Animal Welfare Act is in place, as well as a couple of other laws to protect our environment. Unfortunately, companies who profit off of the wrong-doing of animals often find loopholes to avoid these laws. 

   A poll conducted by the Pew Research Center found that 52 percent of U.S adults oppose the use of animals for scientific research. However, other surveys suggest that the shrinking group that does accept animal experimentation does so only because they believe it to be necessary for medical progress. Animal experiments are not only wasteful, but often unreliable because they don’t accurately replicate the effects seen in humans. Multiple cancers have been cured within mice, and then when the trial is conducted on humans, the antidote fails miserably. 

Numerous beauty name brands have been exposed for their acts against animals. This list includes Clinique, L’Oréal, Maybelline, OPI, Victoria’s Secret, and NARS, according to a PETA report. These companies pay for the poison and death of animals in China for the effectiveness of their product.

I encourage you to avoid these brands and instead, focus on brands that offer cruelty-free cosmetics, such as Love Beauty & Planet, Burt’s Bees, Suave, NYX Professional Makeup, and Colorbar Cosmetics.

Information used for this editorial: Unsustainable Magazine, HSI Sentient Media, and PETA.