by: Lydia Hanicak
Every year, over 100 million animals are injured and often killed in United States laboratories for the testing of cosmetics. The animals undergo debilitating tests including inhalation of toxic fumes, dripping of chemicals in their eyes, burning of skin, and drilling of holes in their skulls-- all usually for the slight benefit of a skin product or shampoo.
Oral force-feeding chemical tests lasts for weeks, even months-- in order to find signs of illness. "Lethal dose" experiments are used to determine the dose of a specific chemical that causes death-- the animals are forced to swallow large amounts of the chemical that causes blindness, bleeding skin, internal organ damage, convulsions, and eventually death.
The most common animals used in experiments are mice, rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, and hamsters. However, other animals such as dogs, cats, and monkeys have been used for chemical experimentation as well.
The following are common makeup and skincare companies that test on animals:
- Aveeno, Clean and Clear, Clearasil
- Clinique, Covergirl, Garnier
- MAC, Maybelline, Neutrogena
- Panoxyl, Revlon, Rimmel, St. Ives
If a major cosmetic or skincare product is not listed above, it is most likely that the company does not test on animals. However, before purchasing a product, be sure to check the labels to be sure. If a product DOES test on animals, there will be no indication, but if it is cruelty-free, it will be clearly stated on the product.
So many people seem to think that animal testing is not a modern issue, and that the people of today's society have the decency to speak out against animal cruelty, and that this will eventually end it for good. If people were aware of the abuse that takes place in order to create the products that they use, this might be the case.
However, companies do not label that they use animal testing on the products for obvious reasons; people would become outraged and boycott the products. It is up to us to speak out against animal cruelty and laboratory testing for cosmetics. You can take action by writing to your local representatives, using the PETA website to sign the petition against animal testing, boycotting companies, buying cruelty-free products, and educating others about this topic.
Education is the most valuable tool - teach yourself about animal testing by watching documentaries ("Earthlings" is an excellent documentary that exposes the abuse that animals face in everyday life through scientific testing, entertainment, the food industry, etc. Beware: It is graphic), looking up facts, and sharing what you have learned.
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