Monday, 10 August 2015
[thoughts] Animal Welfare in the World of CosmeticsI love animals. And that includes all animals. Even those ferocious ones like tigers, lions, sharks, etc. My heart melts when I see animals. They are all so cute!
The recent news about how top fashion houses, mistreat and inhumanely treat crocodiles to acquire their skin. There's also news about famous Hermes Birkin bags and how Jane Birkin did not want her name to be associated with animal cruelty got me thinking. True or not, it got me thinking what about animal cruelty in the world of cosmetics?
Don't get me wrong, I was never oblivious about how animals were being treated before. I was very up-to-date so to speak. Nevertheless, I do not support animal cruelty. It is just very inhumane. A simple google search online will bring you to multiple gruesome and heart-wrenching images about how animals are being treated. Not only in the cosmetics sector. Even in the medicinal sector, and worse, the food sector.
Having watched PETA's video on youtube about how the popular french ingredient Foie Gras is acquired, it left a distaste in my mouth. Throughout the video the only thing that was repeated by me was "those poor animals...." (this time narrated by Kate Winslet). Click the link if you want to watch, not for the faint hearted. Y'know how the saying goes, if you like to eat sausages then don't go to see how it's made.
Anyways, back to topic, animal testing is big in the beauty industry. And in my opinion, it's hard to find a product from ANY brand that is really cruelty-free, per-se.
Before I start explaining, I want to repeat that I am against animal cruelty but some things cannot be avoided.
For example, medicine. Do you really think that those vaccines that cure or prevent major illnesses were not tested on animals? Even if they weren't do you really think that individual chemicals that make-up that vaccine were not tested on animals? Who would ever even test a vaccine or medicine if it were not tested for efficiency and safety first. Not a question because no one would or pharmaceutical companies around the world would get sued left and right.
With the same analogy, although I support cruelty-free anything, you just can't be sure whether the creme you are using is totally cruelty-free in a sense.
Don't mistake this for support of outright animal-cruelty/testing, because it is not the same. I believe that companies should opt out of animal testing/cruelty if possible. For instance, I know if companies or brands want to market their products in China (cause who wouldn't? big economy), their products have to undergo animal-testing by law. This in my opinion is OKAY.
But on the other hand, if a country's law does not prohibit the Brand's product to undergo animal-testing but the brand still does in that particular country, then it is NOT OKAY in my book.
Now to the proper explanation. Even if the Brand is completely cruelty free, and they do not test their products or ingredients used in their products on animals, it is still uncertain whether it is truly so. I'll list out scenarios below:
Scenario #1: The Brand is cruelty-free. But how do you know the manufacturers that they source their ingredients from does not test on animals for the ingredient's efficacy and safety?
Scenario #2: Let's say the Brand guarantees that the ingredient manufacturer is also cruelty-free and doesn't test on animals. How do you know if in part of the history of the particular ingredient, it has not been tested on animals?
'Niacinamide' is a widely used ingredient and a great one at that. Even though the manufacturer that the brand source from does not test this ingredient on animals, how do you know if manufacturer #2 does? You may think it's completely unrelated since Brand X does not source from manufacturer #2 but won't that make you a hypocrite for using an ingredient in a product that has been tested on animals by other manufacturers?
Scenario #3: Slightly similar to scenario #2, you can't guarantee that one part of another of the ingredient's background history, it has been tested on animals. Artificial tissue and test-tube testing methods are fairly new (and expensive) so ingredients in the past may not have been tested that way.
Scenario #4: You go into the somewhere and and this famously branded hand wash that claims to be cruelty-free catches your eye. How do you know if this branded hand-wash is not owned by a larger company that tests on animals somewhere in the world?
D'you see where am I getting at?
My personal thoughts and opinion: Those who refuse to use certain product from a brand or boycotting a company just because they want to market in China (and are required by law to test their products there) are ridiculous. That's just my opinion, you can disagree with me on this but it is mine.
I don't support intensive farming due to low animal-welfare (click here to see what it is) but am I going to stop eating? Uh no.
In conclusion, I don't mind using products of a particular brand as long as they, in a country that does not impose the compulsory animal-testing law, do not test on animals. Thank goodness the EU banned animal testing, and if I'm not mistaken, Australia too.
What are your thoughts on this?
Useful links I found on the net: