F.A.Q.: Animal Testing

Posted on: February 24th, 2011 by veggiebeauty No Comments

This is a topic I get many questions on, so I thought I’d cover some f.a.q. on this page. It is not a comfortable subject to discuss animal cruelty, but to make smart decisions we need to be aware of what we are supporting.

1. Is it required by law for companies to test on animals?

It is a misconception that companies are required by law to test on animals. While this may have been the case in the past, it is not the current situation. We can’t avoid that fact that many ingredients have been tested on animals in the past, but we can prevent future harm from befalling them, especially for something unnecessary, like the cosmetic industry. Many companies are proving that quality products can be made without harming our furry friends!

2. How can we tell if a company is actually cruelty-free?

It is a sad fact that there are no strict regulations on companies that label their products as being cruelty-free. Any company can say they are cruelty-free if, for example, they outsource their testing through a 3rd party. Something else to be aware of is the cruelty-free status of a company’s parent company. An individual company may not test on animals, but their parent may test or have a 3rd party test on animals; any $ you give that company goes to fund the testing of the parent company.

3. Is a company cruelty-free if they say “doesn’t test finished product on animals” or “doesn’t test unless required by law?”

If you see either of these statements on a companies’ cruelty-free statement, they are still involved in animal testing on either their products or ingredients. Its best to avoid these companies as they are trying to hide the truth from you.

4. I don’t see my favorite company on your cruelty-free list…are they a cruelty-free company?

I am only one person, so just because a company isn’t on my cruelty-free list does not necessarily mean they are involved in animal testing. I cover most of the major brands and companies, and am slowly building my research base into independent companies and international brands. Anyone can contact a company and request information on their cruelty-free stance. If you do so, make sure to share the information with us! You can email me at: veggiebeautycosmetics@gmail.com.

5. What questions should I ask a company when I’m verifying their cruelty-free status?

Here’s a good form letter I use basically every time I contact a company:

To Whomever it May Concern:

I am doing cruelty-free research, and I need to verify a few key points about your company.

1. Does your company test ingredients or finished products on animals?
2. Do you test ingredients or products on animals through a 3rd party?
3. Do your manufacturers test ingredients or products on animals?
4. Are you owned or affliliated with any companies that test products or ingredients on animals?

Thank you so much for the information. I would also like to inquire if any of your products are vegan? If so, could you enclose a list of your vegan products for me?

6. What kinds of tests do cosmetic companies perform on animals?

“Each year, more than 100 million animals—more than three each second—are bred, injected, infected, cut open, genetically altered, force-fed drugs and chemicals in the name of science and testing.”- The Humane Society International

Draize Eye Test: Toxic chemicals are placed in the subject’s eyes to test damage to sensitive eye tissue. This procedure is usually performed on rabbits and its extremely painful to them. They have been known to scream out in pain and have broken their necks trying to escape their restraints (source)

Lethal Dosage Test: Essentially, this test involves seeing how much exposure to a chemcial or substance will kill the animal being tested on.

“Imagine a syringe being forced down your throat and a massive chemical dose pumped into your stomach, or being squeezed into restraints and forced to breathe toxic vapors for hours. This is how more than a million animals suffer annually, dying in agony in the oldest and most inhumane toxicity test ever devised.” - The Humane Society International

“Common reactions to LD tests include convulsions, vomiting, paralysis and bleeding from the eyes, nose, mouth or rectum.”- www.idausa.org

7. What other alternatives are available instead of using these tests?

Scientists have developed many suitable and often times superior testing alternatives that don’t require animal testing. Animal testing is never 100% accurate because of many reasons: animals have different genetic makeup than humans; sex and age can affect the results of tests; and most of these tests STILL have to be performed on humans before they are approved by the FDA!

Check out the Humane Society International to learn about news regarding animal testing:

http://www.hsi.org/campaigns/end_animal_testing/

Check out this link to learn about the alternatives to animal testing:

http://www.hsi.org/issues/advancing_science/facts/product_testing_alternatives.html