When on the hunt to purchase the perfect lipstick there are many questions that go through your head: What is the best shade of colour? Is it matte or glossy? Will it work for an everyday makeup look? However there is one very important question that many fail to ask themselves; is it cruelty free?
Cosmetic testing on animals was recently banned in the UK and will be in all other states in the EU in 2013. Whilst this marks a huge triumph for organisations such as the RSPCA and PETA for their continuous campaigning to put a stop to animal testing in Europe there are still many countries that must test cosmetics on animals in order to allow cosmetics to be sold there.
The United States is a perfect example. Despite the fact that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not require companies to do so and that there are many alternatives to animal testing (including growing human skin cultures which can test for skin irritation) animal testing still continues to take place. Some of the tests carried out involve dropping chemicals into the eye of an animal (rabbits in particular) to see how long it takes for the chemical to burn away the cornea. Not only is it shockingly cruel but also unnecessary due to scientific advances in alternative testing methods.
China is another country that has a policy stating that no cosmetics that have not been animal tested are allowed to be sold in the country. Nevertheless, as of this month, the country has lifted the mandatory testing of domestic products such as cleaning chemicals and soap on animals. Whilst this maybe a big step in the right direction as they also plan to lift mandatory testing entirely on all cosmetic products and switch to methods such as in-vitro testing, their cosmetics at this current time still require mandatory animal testing. Although the product we use in the UK will not have been tested on animals, the same brands being sold in countries like China have done so in order to be sold there. This includes well renowned brands such as Avon, Revlon and Estee Lauder. How far will our morals and ethics go? Should we still purchase items from brands that must have their products tested on animals in order to be sold in certain countries?
Although there have been massive breakthroughs in terms of both banning cosmetic testing on animals and finding and using alternative ways of testing, animal testing still continues to take place. In purchasing certain beauty brands we risk adding to the wealth of many companies that proceed to test on animals where it is mandatory in order to gain bigger profits. This practice is barbaric and inhumane and therefore the fight for cruelty free testing continues. No animal should have to suffer for the sake of our vanity.