Animal Testing in the Cosmetic Industry


Dr. Frank Meehan picked up Charlie, the frail brown monkey and placed him into what would soon be his coffin. Charlie was screaming hysterically almost knowing that his time had come in the small research laboratory for a common cleaner product. Charlie had seen many of the other animals die the same agonizing death that he envisioned himself to be receiving soon. What would it be this time? Pumping the cleaner into his stomach or pouring it directly on his skin to study the burning of tissue? Perhaps it will be dripped into his eyes to test the blinding effects. All Charlie knew was that he was going to be dying a slow and painful death just like all the other animals in the lab.
This is just one example of what most animals in a research laboratory undergo every day. Most don’t survive as they are pricked, prodded and pumped with chemicals that no human would want to inhale much less swallow. The use of animal testing in the cosmetics industry has been widely accepted in today’s society. With new ideas overflowing, there is little to do but expect the wide variety of products that have been handed to us. Besides, there are regulations put on companies testing options, right? What if those regulations are rarely checked? In fact, most are so vague they are not even restricting such tests that blind, paralyze and torture defenseless animals solely for the breakthrough in human hygiene and attraction. The use of animal testing for cosmetic purposes is unjustifiable and outdated. Companies that continue to blind and poison animals do so simply because they don’t have the vision to try a new and better way. There are many alternatives to animal studies that are not being considered. Such alternatives have shown to be more accurate thus should be strictly enforced by law.
Most of us are ignorant of what is actually happening behind the close doors of a company laboratory. A kitten convulsing after being doused with a chemical, or a rabbit whose skin had been eaten away by an acidic substance is not an uncommon thing found. With these procedures, anesthetics are never used as most scientists say it interferes with the results. These animals are being mutilated and tortured so humans can get the best hair dye, perfume, and toothpaste on the market. In one experiment, a pet’s eyelids were sewn shut to compare the difference in protein levels of a normal eye. Such experiments could easily be altered with the use of new breakthroughs in science that allow the subject to not be a live animal. Such disgusting and vivid examples of animal experiments are hardly humane.
Animal testing can be a thing of the past with the help of new ideas. Many new ideas and alternatives have been approved for years, but most companies in the cosmetic industry refuse to change their ways. Animal experimentations are still being used “because companies are not liable for the deaths they are causing, and are able to test toxic chemicals without legal repercussions” (Copeland). Alternatives to this research are not even being considered among many large company chains. Successful alternatives like test tube studies on human tissue cultures, statistics, in-vitro tests, computer software, and even human "clinical trial" tests are hopefully the end to animal testing. The use of animal organs, cells, or tissue cultures is also an alternative. Though animal lives are sacrificed for the use of their parts, the animals are not suffering. The advancement in human tissue culture has even been known to reduce the possibility of contamination and decrease the chances of human error. It has been said that “human skin cultures are cheaper, faster, and more accurate at predicting human reactions to a product than the old animal tests ever were” (Stevens). With this guarantee of better and more accurate tests, it’s a wonder why every company isn’t “cruelty-free”.
Many would argue that a human’s life has greater intrinsic value than an animal’s life. I can agree with the FDA in that it is important to study drugs on lab rats for medicinal purposes that could root a breakthrough in medicine. One of those studies could possibly be the cure to many unknown diseases. In fact, “Animal