Rina Factor/ Contributing Writer
Despite the many alternatives available and many protests, animal testing still remains in high demand. It’s estimated that approximately 100,000-200,000 animals — rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters and more — suffer and die for cosmetics every year around the world, according to Humane Society International.
Many people often don’t think of animals as highly intelligent, but the reality is that many animals are. We should respect animals because they’re living creatures that can feel pain just as much as humans do. Spreading awareness is a key component in ending animal cruelty.
Just imagine your furry, four-legged friend undergoing cruel treatment and testing — dogs can cry and have anxiety and emotions just as people do. If you think euthanizing animals is painful for you, imagine the pain and fear the animal must feel. Imagine that suffering pain when they’re undergoing harsh chemical testing — without any anesthesia.
Animals coexist on this planet with us and contribute to the earth’s natural ecosystem, so who are we to force pain and cruel treatment on them.
We have the resources an ability to find viable alternatives, and almost without exception, companies have a choice about whether or not to test on animals. But animal tests continue because some companies insist on developing and using “new” ingredients.
Instead of keeping with the same methods, knowing that they are harming our environment and its creatures, companies need to change the way they operate, but society needs to demand for that change.
With today’s technology, there’s no reason why animal testing for beauty products should continue. Take King’s College in London for example, which has discovered a cheap method of growing layers of human skin that can replace animal testing for cosmetic products. If cosmetics are meant for human usage, then of course, there’s no better way to test cosmetic products than on actual human skin.
To end animal cruelty, society needs to reform the laws regulating animal testing as well as raise awareness about the alternatives. The Animal Welfare Act is a federal law that regulates the standard treatment of animals in research facilities. However, the AWA only covers 95 percent of animals and excludes other animals such as rats, mice, birds and fish.
Additionally, these laws don’t have serious penalties, and many labs don’t face any consequences. Facilities are also not inspected properly, so a lot of what goes on behind the scenes is ignored or bypassed.
Such facilities that perform animal testing should be severely punished — shut down even. They have the ability to produce new, safe and exciting beauty products, simply by manufacturing the cruelty-free way. We, as consumers and as caring people, just have to demand it.
Ending animal cruelty begins with us. We first need to gain support by spreading awareness of the realities of animal testing. Check the labels the next time you buy a product and make sure the company doesn’t test on animals. If they do, don’t give in to purchasing the product, even if it is your favorite Maybelline mascara or Victoria’s Secret perfume.
Demand that your company choose principle over profit by wisely using your wallet and raising awareness about the cruel reality that is animal testing.
The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of Panther Press Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.
Photo taken from Flickr.