Is Your Beauty Worth the Lives of 11.5 Million Innocent Animals?

by , under Beauty, Ethical

*** Re-post of Care2 article by Jessica Ramos ***


When a woman whose main job requirement is to be beautiful expresses that animal testing for  the sake of vanity is wrong, you have to wonder what lawmakers were  thinking.

The controversy surrounding animal testing for cosmetic and personal products  always brings out passions. Do you remember the Urban Decay backlash when they wanted to sacrifice  their cruelty-free standing in order to enter the Chinese market (where animal  testing was required by law) and the second wave of backlash when they sold to  L’Oréal? While L’Oréal insists that it is committed to ending  animal testing, they do admit to making exceptions where animal testing is  required by law. They also have a history of not being totally  transparent.

If the United States’ Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act of 2013  (SCPCPA) goes into effect, then cue more passionate backlash.

11.5 million animals will be tortured, and, most likely, killed for the  safety of your vanity.

L’Oréal always reminds us that we are ‘worth it,’ but aren’t those 11.5  million animals’ lives worth it, too?

The Ugly of SCPCPA

A peer-reviewed article, published in ALTEX, found that SCPCPA wouldn’t be good  for businesses or the animals. Over the course of a decade, cosmetic and  personal care companies would be required to shell out between $1.7 and $9  billion to perform the new tests under the Act. Meanwhile, the present worldwide  cost of animal testing is $54 million per year, or $540 million over a 10-year  span.

According to a Leaping Bunny press release, over a 10-year period, “11.5  million animals would be required to test and retest finished products and  ingredients for safety.” The authors estimate that there are currently 27,000  cosmetic tests performed worldwide annually, or 270,000 over a 10-year span.

In the Leaping Bunny press release, Jean Knight, a co-author of the  peer-reviewed article, explained that the language, or jargon, of the Act “can’t  be easily understood unless you have some background in toxicology, so the  impact was flying under the radar.” Ironically, many Leaping Bunny certified  companies were initially in favor of the Act.

On a more practical note, the evaluative article also highlighted the cost  and time inadequacies of the Act. As the Leaping Bunny summary explains, the authors of the ALTEX  article note how, “Even under optimal conditions, the number of ingredients to  receive evaluations would be 10,000, a little over half of the ingredients  likely in use in 10 years.” The authors also explain how holding on to archaic  animal testing practices hinders the development of alternatives that would  speed up the efficacy of current animal tests and spare the lives of millions of  innocent animals in the process.

The Beauty of the World

How does SCPCPA make any business sense? Let’s consider the countries that  have banned, started banning, and/or are open to creating  and implementing cruelty-free alternatives:

  • European Union – Check!
  • Israel – Check!
  • India – Check!
  • China – Check!

You see where this is going? Cosmetic animal testing is increasingly becoming  an unpopular trend across the globe. The United States would lose a competitive  advantage by reinvigorating dated practices.

Consumers Get it

In 2013, The Humane Society of the United States  (HSUS) shared nationwide poll results related to animal testing for cosmetic  use. Their findings found that 67 percent of Americans were against cosmetic  animal testing.

Another poll result highlight is that while the majority , 68 percent to be  exact, were aware that cosmetics were tested on animals, 70 percent, of the 802  voters, believed that cosmetic animal testing should be illegal.

Some Brands Get it Too

Brands that listen to their customers know that the demand for cruelty-free  products is real. Urban Decay sort of listened by not going to China and  remaining cruelty-free, but they did sell their company to L’Oréal, in the  end.

At the same time, Lush Cosmetics, a company committed to ethical and  cruelty-free products, issued their China stance claiming that they wouldn’t  enter the Chinese market until China’s mandatory animal testing law is “changed  out-right.”

Yes, it’s the same Lush Cosmetics that made headlines with their live human  animal testing demonstration.

Whatever became of Lush Cosmetics?

As The International News Magazine reports (as  of January 28, 2014),”With 910 stores in 50 countries, we [Lush Cosmetics] are  delighted with an overall increase in our global sales of +17.6% for the same 5  week period (+11.4% LFL) with global highlights being North America (+21% LFL)  and Australia (+35% LFL).”

I hope that other brands will see that nothing too horrible will happen if  they take, and keep, a stance. Hopefully, brands (and the minds behind the  SCPCPA) will also see Lush Cosmetics’ North American ‘highlight’ — hint,  hint.

If you don’t want your favorite brand to support SCPCPA, then let them know.  It’s safe to say that you’ve probably invested more in their brand than the  SCPCPA.

Your dollar, your vote. Your vote, one more innocent life saved.

That seems worth it to me. What about you?

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Tags: animal cruelty, , animal testing, animal welfare, , beauty, , cosmetic animal testing, cruelty free, L'Oreal, Lush, politics, Urban Decay

  1. Lorna Mai (@TheColourQueen)

    This is really interesting. I have to admit I never think to check whether or not any make-up products I use are tested on animals. From reading this they could well be. You just don’t hear anything about it any more. Testing on animals for beauty just isn’t a necessity.


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