It’s cold, damp and dark. You shiver with fear not knowing where you are or how long you’ve been here. Crippled and bruised you’ll await your next appointment, you have no choice and it might be the only glimpse of sunlight you’ll ever see.
For a lot of the products we use every day, be it cleaning products, beauty products or even medically acclaimed products, the life described to you above is not a made up horror story. Cold dark and damp is the only life test animals know.
Why do animal testing?
Animal testing, animal experimentation, animal research, and vivo testing, are the use of non-human animals in experiments. Cosmetic companies are legally required to prove that their products are safe and ready for use by consumer protection regulations. Regulations vary from country to country and regulations that apply to animals in laboratories vary across species. China stands at the top of the podium requiring all their products to be tested on animals while the EU has banned animal testing with a law passed out against it in 2013. However in the US there is still some debate on the matter and according to the Animal Welfare Act, “Any procedure can be performed on an animal if it can be successfully argued that it is scientifically justified.”
Is it really necessary?
Because of misleading information provided by tests conducted on animals, countless people have died. Animals are genetically and biochemically different from people – they absorb and metabolise chemicals differently from humans which is why it can be extremely hard to predict if test will have the same results on people as it does on animals. Shockingly 92% of experimental drugs used on animals had no negative effect on the subjects, however these same drugs were deemed dangerous and unfit or they simply did not work during human clinical trials. So there was no point in these tests what so ever.
A recent example of a drug that was passed safe during animal testing was Vioxx – the animal-tested arthritis drug. It was cleared and worked successfully during animal testing but it was soon taken off the market after causing 140,000 heart attacks and strokes. There are countless other examples like AIDS test that have been conducted on chimpanzees (even though the disease isn’t deadly to these primates).
Statistics behind animal testing:
In 2012, 19.5 million animals were killed due to the conducting of research through experiments and in that same year 1.13 million animals (not including mice and rats) were used for the testing of agricultural experiments. The amount of animals Statistics were verified on the 24 of July 2012 by the animal Welfare association. In addition to these statistics, surplus animals are bred but never used and therefore disposed of because they did not provide a purpose. Surplus animals are not counted and therefor the numbers will never be as accurate.
What’s really going on in the labs?
During 2012 genetically modified (GM) animals (mostly mice) have increased by 22%. Animals are specially bred and manipulated by having genes added or removed to achieve a desired result, anything from abnormal growths to diseases or symptoms. Usually the outcome of the animal cannot be determined and should the GM animal not adhere to certain criteria it is put down and the process repeated on another animal.
In 2011, 71% of all experiments were conducted without aesthetic, researchers explained that the drug would only influence the whole procedure and therefore the results. Animals living conditions are horrid as well. Kennels and cadges make up their homes and comfort or stimulation is out of the question because, again, it might affect the outcome of the results.
Types of test and studies conducted:
The most common tests conducted on animals are product safety tests where animals are exposed to poisonous chemicals purely to determine symptoms should the product be ingested. Sometimes even these tests are unrealistic because the amounts of chemicals the animals are exposed to are unheard of (people just can’t eat that much soap – it’s impossible). Animals like dogs and cats are usually the main focus; the product would either be squirted into their eyes, rubbed on their fur or the animal will be forced to ingest the product (which is an agonising procedure and one unworthy of sharing)
Animals are also used to determine different levels of pain. They are also used in psychological tests where they are literally driven mad. These and countless other tests are being conducted, warfare research, monitoring stress and stamina and medical research.
Products you’re using tested on animals:
This list is compiled and is updated several times a year by PETA as part of their Beauty without Bunnies program. Visit peta.org for their cruelty free company search where they have a listing of all the “do’s” and “don’t” on animal tested products.
- Air Wick
- Estee Lauder
- Avon Products, Inc.
- Johnson & Johnson
- Gillette Co.
(To name a few)
Beauty without bunnies list:
- Bee Mine Products, Inc. www.beemineproducts.com
- Bubble & Bee Organic www.bubbleandbee.com
- CiCi Cosmetics www.cicicosmetics.com
- Forever New International www.forevernew.com
- Henna Colour Lab www.hennacolorlab.com
- LUSH Cosmetics www.lush.com
(More mentioned on the list)
Senseless doesn’t even begin to describe some of the things animals are used for. I’m not going to be hypocritical about the situation and I know that animals have made a huge contribution to the world of science, but when did vanity and beauty become the dictators of a creature’s life. Look out for household and beauty products that are free from animal testing and think about the puppy in the kennel the next time you apply your Mascara.
More information can be found on www.peta.org