It really bothers me when people who say they care about animals and animal welfare sign on with companies who conduct animal testing for vanity products. I see this a lot in particular with the models who sign on with Covergirl – Ellen Degeneres, Pink, Drew Barrymore, etc. Of course, this doesn’t happen just with Covergirl (i.e. Lea Michele who supported PETA is now signed on with L’Oreal) but these three women in particular just makes me shake my head.
Pink in particular has been very vocal about her animal rights advocacy and I remember that there was a commotion when she got pissed off at the elephant trainer for the elephant in her Just Like a Pill video who kept trying to get the elephant to kneel on concrete when the elephant was in pain from doing so. How can someone like that then go and sign on with a company like Covergirl who has been conducting animal testing for years and refuses to stop?
And then Ellen Degeneres who was recognized for her animal rights work also signed on with Covergirl. UGH! Don’t these celebrities do their research before accepting millions of dollars? I would feel horrible to claim to stand for one thing and then partner with a company or organization who compromises my stance.
Now I do like both of these celebrities and I’m not trying to single them out as the only people who have done this (they obviously aren’t), but I definitely think it’s worth pointing out that we shouldn’t assume that just because a celebrity claims to support something or hold certain values that they won’t compromise that for money, fame, popularity, or anything else.
After promising to implement a ban on cosmetic testing and having many parties oppose this, the European Union has stood firm and confirmed that animal testing on cosmetics will no longer be legal starting March 11, 2013. Companies will still need to conduct safety testing to ensure product safety but will need to use approved non-animal testing methods.
This is a great step for animal rights but this does not mean that no animal testing will be conducted by companies selling there. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind about this regulation.
1. Cosmetics (finished products and their ingredients) that were developed using animal testing will still be able to be sold after March 2013. Only new products and ingredients developed after this date cannot conduct animal testing. (Are Cosmetics in The EU Truly Cruelty Free?)
2. Only the cosmetics sold in the European Union will not be tested on animals but this does not prevent companies from conducting animal testing in other countries. So companies who choose to sell in countries that require animal testing, such as the People’s Republic of China, can conduct animal testing on their products but cannot sell those same products in the EU. So a company can have cruelty-free products in the EU but not be a cruelty-free company as they conduct animal testing elsewhere. Consumers who want to support cruelty-free companies will still have to stay informed about what companies are doing abroad. (Are Cosmetics in The EU Truly Cruelty Free?)
I am really hoping that this enforcement will encourage Canadian and U.S. consumers to encourage the FDA and Health Canada to also ban animal testing for cosmetic products. Not only will this prevent millions of unnecessary animal deaths, it will encourage better safety testing technologies, change the way consumers think about the products they purchase and encourage companies to think twice about selling in countries that require animal testing as it would cost more to develop separate products for each industry.
Three years ago my husband and I started a tradition where we would sit down and make a list of charities that we want to provide donations to. We already donate to three on a monthly basis, but there are so many causes that we feel for that we just don’t have the funds to support regularly. So instead we give them a lump sum donation during Christmas time. The first year we tried it out we just loved it and decided we would do it every year. Depending on our financial situation we determine how many charities we want to support and how much.
Here are a couple that are on my list that are beauty/health related that have to do with preventing animal testing and supporting alternative and humane methods.
Leaping Bunny – leapingbunny.org
Leaping Bunny was founded in 1996 by eight national animal protection groups to address consumer’s frustrations on the lack of information and transparency about animal testing in cosmetics and household products. These eight organizations came together to form the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC). They are the only internationally recognized certification and they have a very strict policy on no animal testing for companies to qualify for their program.
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) – humanseal.org
Are you interested in donating to medical research charities but are unsure which are animal friendly (as in choose not to use live animal testing)? This website provides information on charities that do not conduct outdated and cruel testing on animals and choose to use alternative methods such as in vitro cell and tissue cultures, microfluidic circuits, computer modeling, microdosing, and epidemiological studies.