Guest Author - Samantha Jackson
Many of us that wear cosmetics or personal hygiene products such as deodorant, mascara, foundation and lipstick are often unaware that animals are used during the testing phase to ensure consumer safety. If you happen to think this cruel practice is truly beneficial, be prepared to be shocked.
Animal Involved Testing
While a variety of animals are used, well-known cosmetic manufacturers seem to favor mice or rabbits during the testing phase.
These animals are used to determine what, if any, possible detrimental effects the ingredients utilized in their products may cause to humans. This would include whether the components can damage the eyes causing blindness, possible chemical burns or are lethal or poisonous as well as many other agonizing and excruciating results.
Test animals are forced to consume these ingredients or are forced to have these same components dripped on their skin or in their eyes in an effort to determine an end result.
Typically, skin testing involves shaving the animal and it is hard to determine if an irritation was caused by the shaving action or the ingredient. Often this type of testing is not a conclusive indication of a human reaction, but a large percentage of manufacturers continue this practice.
Are There Any Other Options?
Before a product hits the market, testing its safety is vital. However, the animal testing methods used today are outdated, inconclusive and originated during the 1920s.
With advances in science during the past few decades, there are updated, better and more reliable testing methods available that eliminate the need for using living creatures. As an example, major advancements in computer programs now allow researchers and scientists to digitally create a virtual human organ which can be tested. In reality, this type of testing has provided a greater degree of accuracy than live animal testing.
Locating Cruelty Free Merchandise
Although analyzing the safety of a product using living animals is still considered a legal practice in the United States, more and more people are developing a greater awareness of these cruel practices and are moving toward cruel free products. This shift in attitude has placed a demand on manufacturers to find alternative testing methods. And, fortunately these manufacturers have begun to listen and change their practices.
Nine animal protection agencies across the globe collaborated in the establishment of a voluntary guideline for non-animal tested products. And today, more and more cosmetic manufacturers are choosing to abide by this guideline.
You can find a list of compliant manufacturers at http://www.idausa.org/facts/crueltyfree.html.
While the list continues to grow many well-known companies such as Mary Kay, Aubrey Organics, Kiss My Face, Arbonne and Beauty without Cruelty are currently included. When you decide to make your cosmetic purchases from these, and similar, cruelty free companies, you are supporting a more humanitarian world.