While certain regulations have been created, ultimately despite the alternatives, animal testing remains the norm in most industries. While some large companies have chosen to abstain, the vast majority find it easier to turn a blind eye to the ugly, brutal science experiments. The problem runs rampant in the cosmetics and beauty industry with incredibly popular brands like CoverGirl, Clinique, Calvin Klein, Estee Lauder, L’Oreal, Bioterm, Clean & Clear and many many more. I recently had the chance to catch up with Hilary Jones, a long time animal rights activist and Ethical Director of Lush Cosmetics UK. As someone who has been a long time advocate she spoke to why it’s so difficult for other companies to make the change.
“It’s like trying to teach your granny a new way to make a cake, that’s what it’s like to make a scientist switch to a new method”. While Hilary has a point, the difficulty hasn’t stopped her from dedicating her life to making the science move forward, no matter how slowly. Like a lot of people, she’s found it impossible not to try and spend her life making a change, telling me “I don’t understand how someone could want to be uninformed it doesn’t make any sense. Those people are there for the plucking from big companies”. Hilary’s point stands to reason because although ultimately it’s up to these huge industries to make the shift, it can also start at the bottom with the consumer.
It’s often easier for consumers to just ignore these issues. When you’re in a shop buying shampoo and make up a lab filled with tortured animals seems like a distant problem, but in reality the two are far too close for comfort. Animal testing labs are the middle man from supplier to the stores, as Jones said herself “it’s like walking blindfolded to a cliff. If you don’t pay attention, bad stuff will happen to you”. By constantly refusing to acknowledge the fact that animal tested products are nowhere near as safe as the alternatives, consumers make themselves open to poor reactions to products. Much like with climate change deniers, they will probably enjoy their ignorance in the short term, but in the long term they have to live with the fact that they are supporting cruel practices by evil companies and endangering their personal well being in the process. Considering the ease to which we find out information in this day and age, there is no excuse to support these companies anymore.
The movement to end animal testing has been making headway for years now, it’s a slow process but it is moving forward. It’s been banned in 37 countries including the EU and India. While this is great news, the work is nowhere near done, “we have the ability to move faster now, it’s a shame that we’re not”. With that in mind, be sure to take action, sign the petition to ban animal testing in Canada so we can be cruelty free.