"Dr. Heath injects serum" - photo uploaded by The Library of Congree on Flickr
Good morning readers. I'd like to thank my friends for giving me the idea for this article. This is not a cat story or a dog story. I believe they may be used without public knowledge but have no proof. I've done research in the past showing the heartless people who pretend to adopt free pets and sell them to a lab. So this article does concern cat lovers.
Animal testing for cosmetic research is the primary reason I wrote an article awhile back to never give away free kittens and puppies without checking references. There are monsters waiting out there who sell them to testing companies. These people have no soul. Now I'll move on to the animal testing. We all know animals are used in testing cosmetic products. This includes makeup, skin care and hair care. Most articles only skim the surface. They describe why it's done and how to protest. I'm not going to do that because there is plenty of information on who does what.
This article will explain what is actually done to the animal in the testing of cosmetics. There are few references to the actual tests. I plan to talk about those at the end of this article because a lot of the readers may not want to read what really happens.
I've read a lot on both sides of the issue and Michael has already covered this in several of his posts. I feel I'm taking on this issue from another angle.
One of the earliest cases I found on record on why animal testing began on cosmetics occurred during the 1930's when mascara blinded a consumer. The idea of consumer makeup debuted in the late 1920's and early 1930's and mascara was the first product known to have health risks. Beauty magazines constantly remind us to toss our mascara after a certain time period to prevent eye infections. The mascara argument is still a major excuse the cosmetic industry uses to legally murder animals.
Most animal testing is done for cosmetics and soap. Ninety-four percent of animals tested are tested for cosmetic safety. Only 6% are used in medical studies1.
Rabbits are used to see how cosmetics "feel." Whatever that means. Guinea pigs are more susceptible to product allergies and skin condition. Dogs are used for biomedical research and cats for neurological reactions2.
Animals who develop skin conditions from the cosmetic being tested are sometimes intentionally killed during the test to see if the internal organs have been affected.
Can you imagine what it must feel like to be a test animal? I imagine those being tested for skin irritation tests are first shaved. The sound of the electric razor, plus the confinement and restraint system used combined with the fear must be horrible. I'll talk about the physical pain later.
Here are a few things the animals are tested for.
Whole body, short-term toxicity, skin penetration, skin irritancy, eye irritancy, skin sensitization, phototoxicity & photosensitisation, mutagenicity, carcinogenicity, reproductive toxicity, teratogenicity and finished product These are all common tests performed on animals.
The bottom line is most cosmetic products being tested on animals could be more easily tested on humans. We are the ones who will be using them. Plus the fear factor is taken away because as test subjects we'll know what's being done.The skin scratch test most of us have gotten to test for allergic reactions is one of the best ways to test how irritating a product will be to consumers.
The Food and Drug Administration does NOT require animal testing on cosmetics. There is no law saying these tests must be performed. The tests prove little anyway. A product tested on one animal only means that species of animal is susceptible to said reactions.
With the technology out there today, more accurate test can be performed using skin tissue cultures or corneas from eye banks. Mathematical programs along with computer programs are far more reliable that testing on live animals.
Gordon Baxter, co-founder of Pharmagene Laboratories states that his company uses only human tissue samples and computer knowledge to test for product safety. I wish the rest of the world would study his business and follow his beliefs that animal testing is unnecessary.
In 2009 the European Union banned all testing of cosmetics on animals and a complete sales ban will go into effect in 2013. As usual, the U.S. is the country that still allows this to continue.
I'd love to hear from anyone who performs these tests. How do you do it and live with yourself? WHY would you want a job where you inflict pain on a helpless animal on a daily basis. The word sadistic comes to mind.
And why is it legal to torture and perhaps kill an animal. Isn't this abuse? Here's the Wikipedia definition for animal cruelty.
Cruelty to animals is the infliction of suffering or harm upon animals, other than humans, for purposes other than self-defense. More narrowly, it can be harm for specific gain, such as killing animals for food or for their fur3.
Doesn't this fall under "harm for specific gain" since cosmetic companies sell beauty products for money?
I'm totally confused here. How can these testing facilities even be in business. Everyone working there should be charged with animal cruelty and locked up because they ARE abusers.
Related links: copy and paste into browser address bar
Cruelty free products
Tested on animals
Cats Animal Testing (new window)
Cat Experiments (new window)
There are hundreds of articles on the internet concerning the issues involving animal testing. I've listed my references on each paragraph so my readers can research more if they wish. Now for the really horrible tests.
I'm saying goodbye at this point as many of you may not want to read the rest.
PLEASE STOP READING THIS ARTICLE IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW HOW TESTING IS PERFORMED! I'M PURPOSELY PLACING THIS INFORMATION AT THE END OF THE ARTICLE!
THE TWO PRIMARY TESTS
The Draize test is performed by placing caustic substances into the eyes of conscious rabbits to test for eye irritancy and tissue damage. This test is so painful the rabbits scream and many die from broken necks and backs while trying to escape the full restraints they are placed in for the test. This test is almost totally unreliable and has nothing to do with the toxicity to humans.
The Lethal Dosage LD50 test was developed in 1927 and is performed by forcing test animals to ingest, inhale or be injected with a substance until half of the test subjects are dead. Sometimes the chemical is placed into the animals stomach through a tube. The animals suffer from vomiting, convulsions and paralysis before dying from hemorrhaging from every orifice of the body. There's no need to ask if this test is painful4. Amounts given the test animal are such an overdose to what a consumer would use and the test is unreliable and better methods are out there.
Please feel free to comment on any of this. I'm drained for now. This is a very difficult subject to write on as it clearly falls under animal cruelty and the people who do this for a living are PAID to murder helpless animals because it's their job!