Thanks to SB 1249, the Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act, just signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown, cosmetics tested on animals will no longer be allowed to be sold in California. Beginning in January 2020 (why not 2019?), to do business in the world’s fifth-largest economy, cosmetics manufacturers will have to stop subjecting animals to unspeakable cruelty and death in testing their products and their ingredients. This is not only good news for animals and those who care about animals, but for consumers as well. Using animals to conduct safety testing is flawed science, because differences between species, and even between animals in the same species, are subject to variances in absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of chemicals, and lead to flawed and generally useless results regarding humans.
Even though animal testing is NOT required by law, companies still choose to torture, maim, and kill animals by the hundreds of thousands each year in the United States, even though there are much better alternatives to animal testing. The animals most frequently used for these horribly cruel tests are mice, rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, monkeys and beagles. Yes, because of their docile nature, beagles, like my friend Snoopy, are also often used for testing. In tests of cosmetic products and ingredients, animals suffer through painful and often bizarre tests for skin irritation, eye irritation and any kind of toxicity. In these tests, the animals have chemicals forced down their throats, into their eyes and onto their shaved skin to document their reaction. Lethal dose tests, in which large amounts of a test chemical are forced through a tube down the throats of animals are conducted to see how much and long it takes for the animal to die. These animal tests result in immense pain, distress, blindness, swollen eyes, sore and bleeding skin, internal bleeding, organ damage, birth defects, convulsions and death. In a barbaric procedure called the Draize test, a solution of products is continuously dripped into the eyes of rabbits. The rabbit’s head is held in a restraining stock and clips placed on the poor animal’s eyelids to hold them open during the test period, which can last several days. The results are typically intense burning, itching, pain, and often blindness. The animals can’t do anything to stop their suffering because they can’t free themselves from the gruesome restraining stocks. In a Draize test for skin irritancy, the test substances are applied to the animal’s skin after it has been shaved and scraped raw. The suffering these animals are put through is too ghastly to comprehend. Animals that survive such tests are killed when the tests are done, their destroyed bodies thrown in the trash. Laboratory animals are not protected under the Animal Welfare Act.
Alternatives to using animals in testing include:
- in vitro (test tube) test methods and models based on human cell and tissue cultures
- computer models and simulations
- stem cell testing methods
- the use of cornea-like 3D structures, which are produced from human cells. These human skin cultures can be grown specifically for cosmetic testing. This is a much more accurate alternative to pouring caustic chemicals into the eyes of terrified and suffering animals.
For more alternatives to animal testing go to https://www.neavs.org/alternatives/in-testing
California is not the first to ban the use of animals in cosmetics testing – animal testing has been banned in the European Union, India, Israel, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, and Turkey. How sad that the United States has not seen fit to end the suffering and torment of testing on animals. Let’s hope California’s compassionate choice will lead the rest of the nation to put a stop to the horrific violence done in the name of human vanity. Please take a moment to let decision-makers know that no cosmetics product or ingredient is worth inflicting suffering on animals. Act now to stop cruel cosmetic tests on animals in the U.S. by going to this web site (https://support.peta.org/page/1879/action/1) and scrolling to the bottom of the page.
Presented below are two links that offer a list of companies who test on animals and those who don’t. But to ensure an absolute cruelty-free cosmetics collection, always look for the signature “cruelty-free” bunny logo.
Companies that DO: https://www.peta.org/living/personal-care-fashion/beauty-brands-that-you-thought-were-cruelty-free-but-arent/
Companies that DO NOT: http://features.peta.org/cruelty-free-company-search/cruelty_free_companies_search.aspx?Donottest=8
To learn more about California Bill SB1249 watch this video, produced by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfAdPJMvMdk&feature=youtu.be
Peace to ALL the animals with whom we share the planet!