I strongly believe that cosmetic testing on animals is unethical as well as unnecessary. These tests on animals have been around since 1944, and only recently have people begun to fight for a stop to it (VI). I will prove that testing on animals is unethical and unnecessary by focusing on the types of tests done to the animals and the negative affects they have on the animal’s health, the benefits of alternative testing, and lastly the fact that animal testing does not affect the success of a company.
Cosmetic labs use many tests on animals like guinea pigs, rats and even rabbits. These tests could cause minor things like blisters or skin irritation all the way up to death of the animal. Some tests are designed for an extended period of time and then the animal is killed to observe the organs and tissues (VIII). One of the tests done on rabbits is called an eye irritation/ corrosion test. For this test, the substance is applied to the rabbit’s eye and they may have symptoms like redness, bleeding, ulcers, or blindness (VII). Another test used in these labs is acute oral toxicity. This test is mainly done on rats. The researcher will force-feed the rat the substance and the rat could then have diarrhea, convulsions, bleeding from the mouth, seizures, paralysis and even death (VIII).
Some may argue that these tests are only affecting animals that are in abundance and are not very common household pets, but I believe that all animals should be looked at as equals. One animal should not be valued more than another just because it is a more common choice for a household pet.
According to The National Institute of environmental Health Sciences, “Alternative test methods are test methods that reduce, refine, or replace animal use in research and testing.” It also describes that by reduce they mean decreasing the number of animals used in testing, by refine they are lessening or eliminating the pain endured by these animals, and by replace they are referencing other methods that could replace the animals in laboratories all together (XII).
Many people believe that using these alternative-testing methods could put consumers at risk but in reality these alternatives may be more beneficial to the consumer (IV). Aside from the obvious, that animals are not being killed, there are countless other benefits of alternative testing. For example, these tests use cells and tissues from humans so the researchers can get a better idea of what it will do on the actual consumer as opposed to guessing the effects on humans, due to the fact animals do not always react as humans would. Most animal tests predict the human effects accurately only 72% of the time, with some tests even less than this (V). These alternative-testing methods can oftentimes be much faster and cheaper for the cosmetic companies (III).
Lastly, I would like to point out the potential for companies to be successful even if they aren’t using animals for their product testing. For example, popular companies like LUSH, Urban Decay, and Too Faced are all extremely successful companies and they are all anti animal testing (II). LUSH is a cosmetic company based in Poole, United Kingdom and the net worth of the company is $352.83 million (IX). Urban Decay is a United States based cosmetic company that has an estimated net worth of $350 million (X). Too Faced is also a United States based company and it is valued at about $500 million (XI). These companies are just a few that have experienced great success without compromising the lives of animals.
In conclusion, animal testing is not something that should be legal in the United States. It is something that not only harms many animals, but it also is not the most accurate method of testing these cosmetic products. There are other ways for companies to test the success of their products without inflicting harm to living creatures.
I. “These Companies Test on Animals. Which Brands Made The List?” PETA. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2017.
II. “These Companies DO NOT Test on Animals. They’re Cruelty-Free.” PETA. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2017.
III. “Support Legislation to End Cosmetic Testing on Animals.” Support Legislation to End Cosmetics Testing on Animals — The Humane Society of the United States. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2017.
IV. “Alternatives to Animal Testing.” Cruelty Free International. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2017.
V. “Cruelty Free Cosmetics Are Healthier For You. Here’s Why.” The Dodo — For Animal People. N.p., 09 Oct. 2015. Web. 15 Apr. 2017.
VI. “Timeline: Cosmetics Testing on Animals.” The Humane Society of the United States. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2017.
VII.“Summer 2013 — ActionLine.” Friends of Animals. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2017.
VIII. “Cosmetics Tests That Use Animals.” The Humane Society of the United States. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2017.
IX. “Lush (company).” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 12 Apr. 2017. Web. 15 Apr. 2017.
X. “Urban Decay (cosmetics).” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 06 Apr. 2017. Web. 15 Apr. 2017.
XI. Sorvino, Chloe. “Did Too Faced Founders Cash Out Too Early? Sale To Estee Lauder Suggests Yes.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 15 Nov. 2016. Web. 15 Apr. 2017.
XII. “Speaker Calls for Crowdsourcing to Advance Predictive Toxicology.” National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2017.