Hi all! It’s been quite a weekend here at Beautyforgood HQ. Yesterday was π (Pi) day, and my hubs comes from a family of mathletes… I am sorry to report that somehow we managed to miss out on celebrating with actual pie. Meanwhile, today is the last day of #BeCrueltyFree week 2015! One way I celebrated was by spending the afternoon volunteering at Pet Partners certifications for the wonderful dog-and handler-teams who do animal-assisted interaction visits! One of my fellow volunteers had just celebrated getting certified with her dog with the launch of her dog’s website, http://www.marmaladetherapydog.com, where she describes the visits they do to support a national rescue organization (how cool is that?) 🙂
I am thrilled to be able to contribute to the #BeCrueltyFree campaign as part of the #BlogforBunnies project, and I’ve decided my other way to celebrate this final day of a week near and dear to Beautyforgood’s heart by sharing the #1 reason that I went cruelty-free… Her name is, Maggie.
Ask anyone who’s spent more than 5 seconds with me since my birth and they’ll confirm I’ve pretty much always been canine-obsessed. Some of my earliest memories are of playing with my grandparents’ dogs, and I’ve heard tell that even before I could put a sentence together I was managing to ask for 2nd cookies because my 1st ones had somehow mysteriously disappeared into the nearest canine’s mouth. Fast forward way too many years later and I finally became a dog-mom. Around this same time I discovered beauty blogs and began learning more about animal-testing in the cosmetic industry. What seemed terrible before seemed unthinkable now that I was actually parent to a my very own furry creature. Now, dogs (and cats) are not used in testing cosmetics, but other furry creatures, like bunnies, are. Here are a few of the pieces of info I’ve learned from the Humane Society International, the organization leading #BeCrueltyFree week:
- Globally, around 100,000 animals suffer & die each year just to test cosmetics.
- The species used are rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, hamsters and rats. Cats, dogs and monkeys are not used to test cosmetics (although they are used in many other experiments). All animals have the capacity to suffer physical pain and mental distress during testing. The animals are given no pain relief as it may interfere with the test results, and they will either die during testing or be killed for post mortem examination afterwards. That’s a heavy price to pay for a new shampoo or lipstick.
- Common animal tests used for cosmetics are the draize eye test where rabbits are restrained at the neck so that chemicals can be dripped in their eye and observed for signs of reddening, swelling, bleeding etc; skin irritation/corrosion in which rabbits or guinea pigs have their fur shaved so that chemicals can be spread on their skin and observed for signs of cracking and bleeding; oral toxicity tests which typically use mice or rats who are force fed chemicals via a tube or syringe directly into their stomach, often in mega-doses, to observe signs of poisoning such as seizures, tremors, internal bleeding, coma and death.
- Animal testing for cosmetics remains legal in the USA, although we don’t know the exact number of animals used as there is no obligation on companies to publish such data, and official statistics for the USA are woefully incomplete – not least because US law covering animal experiments doesn’t recognize rats and mice as ‘animals’ and so these species are not even included in any official records!
- Animal testing for cosmetics is unreliable. Many of these animal tests were first developed in the 1930s and 1940s when we had a very basic understanding of how chemicals react in the body. Modern science has vastly improved our understanding of toxicity since then, and we now know that these crude animal tests can’t be relied on to tell us how chemicals will affect human beings. Animals can respond very differently indeed to the same chemicals, so a cosmetic that has been animal tested should not be assumed to be safe.
- Animal testing for cosmetics is banned across the whole of the European Union including the UK, as well as Israel and India. The sale of cosmetics that have been newly animal tested anywhere else in the world, is also banned across the EU, Israel and India. Our #BeCrueltyFree campaign has been instrumental in achieving these successes, and we’re determined to achieve further bans in more countries.
- So how do cruelty-free cosmetics companies avoid this animal testing? Simple, they refuse to use new ingredients until a full set of non-animal test methods is available. There are more than 600 cruelty-free cosmetics companies and they all produce fabulous, innovative, exciting, safe cosmetics without using new ingredients. Instead, they choose combinations of the many thousands of existing cosmetic ingredients available for which safety data already exists, plus non-animal test methods where they’re available. If they can do it, every company can. There is no excuse for animal testing.
- Shopping cruelty-free is easy, there are plenty of cruelty-free options available on the high street [drug store] and online. HSI recommends using the Leaping Bunny standard as it guarantees that a product and its ingredients are cruelty-free, by requiring companies to pledge that they will not conduct or commission animal tests for any of their finished products, ingredients, or formulations after a fixed cut-off date or purchase new ingredients that have been animal tested after that date. They must also pledge to avoid selling in countries such as China for as long as animal testing is required. Look out for the Leaping Bunny logo and the following websites as great resources for cruelty-free listings: Logical Harmony and My Beauty Bunny.
For lots more info, please check out http://www.hsi.org/becrueltyfree, and even consider signing the #BeCrueltyFree pledge!