By Sarah Wanless
Very few of us actually have the time to spend hours finding out what goes into the production of our beauty products, but in today’s society, where the importance of ecosystems and the environment is finally being recognised, finding this information is becoming increasingly important.
Animal testing has been a long-standing practice that involves experimenting or testing medicines, beauty product ingredients or final beauty products on animals in order to ensure that they are safe and suitable for human use.
As is always the case with contentious issues, debates rage about the usefulness, efficacy and morality of testing on animals. Some of the arguments for and against are set out in the table below, but it is always good for you to do your own research so that you can make your own informed decision about where you stand on this critical issue.
|Animal testing has contributed to many lifesaving cures||Animal testing is cruel and inhumane|
|There is no adequate alternative to testing on a whole-body system||Alternative testing methods now exist that can replace the need for animals|
|Animals are appropriate research subjects because they are similar to humans in many ways||Animals are very different from human beings and therefore make poor test subjects|
|Animal research is highly regulated, with laws in place to protect animals from mistreatment||95% of animals used in experiments are not protected by the Animal Welfare Act|
|Animals often make better research subjects than human beings because of their shorter life cycles||Animal tests do not reliably predict results in human beings.|
|Animal researchers treat animals humanely, both for the animals’ sake and to ensure reliable test results||Animal tests are more expensive than alternative methods and are a waste of government research money|
|Some cosmetics and health care products must be tested on animals to ensure their safety.||Drugs that pass animal tests are not necessarily safe for humans|
|Relatively few animals are used in research, which is a small price to pay for advancing our medical knowledge||Medical breakthroughs involving animal research may still have been made without the use of animals|
We know it’s not always easy, practical or cheap to be an eco-friendly bunny hugger (because who could give up bacon?!) but in this series we will teach you the ins and outs of beauty-without-cruelty products and give you a guide to some effective, easy to make changes to help you make eco- and animal-friendly choices that could improve the future of our wonderful planet.