Experiments on live animals have been common throughout the history of biomedical research. As science advanced throughout the years, however, animals endured increasingly painful tests. According to Cruelty Free International, rats, rabbits, cats, dogs, and numerous other species have genes deleted or inserted and are forced to inhale or eat substances. Chemicals are also rubbed onto the skin of animals or injected in their bodies.
Furthermore, these creatures live in crowded cages within laboratories that offer no sense of safety or comfort. As PETA states, the majority develop neurotic types of behavior such as incessantly spinning in circles, pulling out their own fur, and even biting themselves due to the stress of their living situations. After enduring a life of pain, loneliness, and terror, almost all of them are killed.
The cosmetics industry has recently been faced with much criticism from animal rights advocates.
The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act does not require the use of animals in testing cosmetics for safety, nor does the Act subject cosmetics to FDA premarket approval. Cosmetic manufacturers are, however, expected to employ the most appropriate and effective methods for ensuring product safety. The manufacturer holds responsibility for substantiating the wellness of the ingredients and final product.
With the questioning of the method’s humaneness, however, legal actions, such as the passing of the Humane Cosmetics Act in 2015, began prohibiting cosmetics testing on animals and banned sales if a final product or any component was developed using animal experimentation.
As a result, numerous companies are now “cruelty-free” with products “not tested on animals.” BareMinerals, Wet N’ Wild, and Urban Decay are a few of the humane (but not necessarily more costly) brands.
Even with such laws, however, the progress of protection is not always efficient. As MSPCA states, “cruelty-free” can mean that both the ingredients and final product have not been tested on animals, only the final product has not been tested, the test was done in a foreign country, etc. No government agency has yet defined the term, allowing each company to determine their own stance in the issue.
Thankfully, countries around the world are working to ban animal cosmetics testing. The EU, India, Israel, and Norway, for example, make it illegal to test cosmetics on animals within their borders or to sell cosmetics that have been tested on animals elsewhere. While legal action is complicated, the care and love for these innocent creatures are slowly but surely making progress.