Millions of animals suffer every year in the name of beauty. How many animals suffered for the makeup you’re wearing right now?
Whilst you’re getting dolled up with the latest mascara, lipstick and blusher, animals in labs are doing the same; only once they’re ready they’re dissected. Scientists apply your moisturiser onto a rabbit’s eye to test for sensitivity, but this can irritate or even blind them. As you are applying your foundation, dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, mice and rats are being locked inside tiny cages and tested on for the rest of their lives. Does this make you want to wear your make-up now? I hope not! Animals are fighting for their lives every day because of the choices you are making about what products you buy. These animals are counting on you to stop and take action by purchasing cruelty-free cosmetics.
In 2011, 11.5 million animals across Europe were being tested on; 4 million of these were right on your doorstep, being experimented on within the UK. Despite animal testing now being banned in the EU, this doesn’t stop top brands conducting these tests for their products that are being sold in other countries like the US or China. Did you know 80 percent of the world still uses animals for testing cosmetics? Carla Owen, Director of Campaigns and Communications at Cruelty-Free International, explained, “Countless rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice and rats suffer and die worldwide in routine animal tests for the ingredients that go into deodorant, lipstick and shampoo.” This gives YOU, the people of the UK a choice on whether you buy these products which have been tested on animals before being sold.
All you need to look for is the leaping bunny logo. It is printed onto every product in the world that has made a promise to always and forever be cruelty-free; this is managed by Cruelty-Free International. They dedicate themselves to help stop experiments on animals worldwide. They have so far played an instrumental role in achieving the ground-breaking European ban on animal testing for cosmetic products and ingredients. Carla Owen said, “We are now working globally to achieve similar bans around the world. Israel, India and New Zealand now have the same testing and sales restrictions in place as Europe. Meanwhile, Brazil, Argentina, South Korea, and Vietnam are making strides toward ending cosmetics testing on animals and China has lifted the animal testing requirement for certain cosmetics produced within the country.”
The Body Shop is all about the leaping bunny. With being one of the top-high-street brands in the UK, they are one of the main brands Cruelty-Free International backs. They make sure none of the products they sell have been tested on animals and are committed to being a cruelty-free brand. Sharon is a Sales Advisor in The Body Shop, Sunderland and she explained, “Most people are unaware that many companies are still testing on animals, other companies include numerous ingredients into their products which can irritate the skin or be toxic for the human body. We only put in our products what is needed and what is essential for the repairing and maintenance of the skin.” All products in The Body Shop are vegetarian-friendly and a lot are also vegan-friendly which means none of their products contain animal ingredients either.
Forever Living is another international cosmetics company against animal cruelty. It is recently becoming a major brand in the UK with its well-known ingredient of Aloe Vera. Only one range of their products are not vegan-friendly and this is because it includes pollen. However Cheryl Reid, Forever Living Business Owner and Business Coach, told me, “Although the bee products aren’t vegan-friendly we have the best and most humane way of keeping our bees, so no bees are ever harmed in this process.” All their products are full of natural ingredients and she admits she wouldn’t sell the products if they weren’t cruelty-free. “Animal testing for cosmetics is completely unnecessary and often cruel. We don’t need to test on animals for cosmetic reasons, so many companies manage to test their products without doing so, which proves it’s manageable.”
Vegan cosmetics also play a big part in fighting against animal cruelty. Not only are their products leaping bunny certified but they also dedicate themselves to not include any animal ingredients. Gem is the Beauty Blogger at Buff Beauty who writes and dedicates her life around vegan cosmetics. Her opinion on animal testing is one you should consider if you want animals to be free from tiny cages; “It is both archaic and barbaric; I cannot comprehend how the workers can even carry out the processes. In this age, there is certainly sufficient technology to test ingredients and products without pain or suffering.”
“As someone who’s tested hundreds of products across the mainstream and vegan beauty sectors, I can tell you there are tonnes of cruelty-free and vegan options that are just as good, if not better, on the product efficacy side. There’s certainly no need to compromise to create any of your favourite looks.”
No matter what look you are going for according to Gem there is always an alternative cruelty-free brand to complete it. She believes that all animals shouldn’t be tested on and should be able to live their lives free and not in cages. However, a lot of the public are not aware that even though animal testing is now banned in the UK, the same brand could still be using the animal testing method in other countries for their products.
So if you want to help these animals and use more cruelty-free products she suggests, “Sites such as Cruelty-Free International and The Vegan Society are such a help and there are so many fab beauty blogs where you can find the best options for any budget, want or need.”
World animal day, October 4, is an important day to all these organisations, raising awareness to the public about issues such as animal testing on an international level. Every October 4th the world celebrates everything about animals. This day makes us recognise how much of an influence animals have on our lives. Gem became vegan on World Animal Day, “It totally opened my eyes; I’ll never ‘unsee’ what I’ve seen and am proud that veganism now extends into my work as well as my lifestyle.”
As a consumer, you can help by purchasing cruelty-free products. Carla Owen says, “Hundreds of cosmetic and personal care brands are now certified cruelty-free under the Leaping Bunny programme, including popular international brands such as Neal’s Yard, The Body Shop, Paul Mitchell, Urban Decay and Dermalogica. Leaping Bunny certified products are also found and sold in many large high street and supermarket chains, including Marks & Spencer, Superdrug, The Co-op, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons.” Shopping at these places and checking the products you’re buying are cruelty-free is a brilliant way of showing how much you care about stopping animal testing on cosmetics. The world doesn’t have to like this; products can be tested through quicker, more reliable ways which don’t involve the harm of animals!
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