The Beauty Column: Animal Testing: Right Or Wrong?
With animal testing, I feel like some people either really care about it, or have no opinion on it at all. When you think about it, it’s really important. So why aren’t people speaking about it more? Maybe I’m a little blind to it as it’s never been something I’ve felt overly passionate about, but when I step back and actually think about the severity of it, I feel guilty that I’ve dismissed it without little to no thought. An animal, whatever the species, is an animal. A living animal. And when did it start becoming okay to harm living, breathing animals for our benefit?
Since welcoming a dog into my family home, I’ve become more affectionate towards pets. I now realise that a pet isn’t just an animal. It’s part of your family, your livelihood and your everyday life. I know if someone wanted to take my little scruffy Jack Russell and test the newest up and coming lipstick on him to make sure it didn’t trigger an allergic reaction (although I think he’d bolt at the sight of it) I’d probably hide him in my handbag. I know cats and dogs aren’t used for these sorts of experiments, but why does that make it more acceptable? Are we actually willing to sit back and let harmless animals receive the full brunt of our selfish cosmetic obsession?
I know it’s not something that we think about every day as it’s very easy to get caught up in life and push these things aside, but I think it would be kind for all of us to stop for a minute and think about the extreme nature of it. It’s not fair – it’s unethical. It’s unethical to harm animals, however big or small. I know products have to be tested to ensure they’re safe to be used, but are animals really the answer? With the incredible development of technology and medicine, is there really no other way round it? And how can we guarantee that just because a product passes on an animal, it won’t fail on us? Each and every individual is unique, and cosmetics aren’t a one fits all kind of thing.
The Body Shop is great where animal testing is concerned because they’ve taken a stand. They’ve always been passionately against it and their customers can have peace of mind that their products have not been tested on animals for cosmetic reasons. If more shops took this approach, I think it would be a step in the right direction and please a lot of people. I’m not saying that you have to become an animal rights activist, but at least do a little of research. The next time you go to buy a product which has been tested on animals, ask yourself: ‘Do I really need this?’ Just a little bit of food for thought.
You can find more from Nicole on her blog at www.lifeofatraineejournalist.com