I put together a few Q and A’s to help people understand animal testing a bit better!
Q: What is animal testing?
A: Animal testing is when a product that is going to be used by people is tested on animals to see what harm it can do. Many people imagine a few mice in a laboratory (even though mice are highly intelligent, beautiful creatures many people don’t see them in a loving light) the reality is that dogs, guinea pigs, rabbits and many other animals are used for these horrific tests that aren’t nearly as affective for human safety as new tests that don’t require animals. Between 13 and 54 million animals could be used for animal testing in Europe under REACH (explained soon) to test the safety of 30,000 or more chemicals between 2009 and 2018.
Q: Does supporting cruelty free brands really help?
A: Yes. Sometimes when a confronting issue is presented to us we feel powerless and we push it to the back of our mind, but with animal testing making a difference is really easy. All you need is the knowledge of which brands are cruelty free so you can make informed decisions as a consumer. It all helps. When beauty brand NARS decided to sell in China (making it no longer cruelty free) sales of their products went down dramatically. This not only showed the power of consumers but it showed other companies that may have been thinking of selling in countries that require animal testing by law that it isn’t a good idea.
Q: What is REACH?
A: REACH (STANDS FOR: registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemical substances) legislation is a European regulation on chemicals. They try and identify the risks involved in different substances for humans and the environment. They carry out toxicity tests which is where they force feed chemicals to animals. The animals are always killed as part of the test if they don’t already die from it. The only brand that has discussed how this legislation affects them is LUSH. They expressed how difficult it is to find ingredients that haven’t been tested on animals because many suppliers have to comply with REACH. Any product imported into the EU in 1 tonne or more per year has to be tested. Any EU company would be affected by this. I will be doing more research to try and estimate how many companies trying to remain truly cruelty free are affected.
Thanks for reading!