Killed for Beauty: Animal Testing

April 3, 2017
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Did you know the mascara you casually put on this morning could have killed an innocent animal? Each year, more than 100 million animals are killed in experiments for cosmetics. Although, animals can be important in the development of new medicines and live saving procedures, there is no reason to torture an animal for makeup. Animal testing causes the animal to be in pain, often has unreliable results, and are used despite the alternative options available.

In cosmetics testing, many animals are forced to inhale toxic fumes, while others are burned or starved. They are put into restraints where they cannot move or "mess up the experiment.” Unsafe drugs and chemicals are used on the animals to artificially cause sicknesses or problems. For example, the Draize eye test is commonly done on rabbits to test face-care cosmetics, such as eye shadows or foundations. Raw chemicals are dripped into the rabbit's eyes to get the most extreme effect that a product could have on a human. The rabbit is put into a full body restraint, so it cannot relieve itself by rubbing the chemicals out of its eye. The test ends with eye reddening, swelling, bleeding or even blindness. U.S law does not prohibit most animal experiments, even if they are unbelievably painful and cause death, nor does it require pain-relieving medicine for these animals.
Moreover, these tests are often unreliable. Animal tests are only 5-25% correct for predicting what problems cosmetics cause on humans and how they can be cured. A PETA spokesperson said, “Animals differ from humans significantly, making animal drug and cosmetic tests unreliable and dangerous." U.S law does not require companies to test their products on animals, yet many companies still do.

Those companies should use alternative options. LUSH, Bare Minerals, Urban Decay, and many others do not test on animals. Those companies sell products from eye shadows and mascara to body lotions without hurting a single animal, yet the cosmetics are safe. How do they do it? Methods, such as computer modeling, are excellent alternatives to animal testing. Computer models can accurately predict how the human body will react to drugs. One method replicates how human organ system functions. A new testing method is Epiderm, which predicts human reactions to chemicals. It is a replacement for the Draize eye test used on rabbits. The technology is faster, more reliable, and less expensive, but it's greatest benefit is that it does not kill an animal. More companies should switch to these alternative methods.

India, Israel, and the European Union have banned animal testing altogether, and so should the US. A person's makeup is not worth an animal's life, no matter what.

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