Lawson: Let’s end animal testing

Angelica Lawson

How well do you know the products that you are purchasing? Do you know who the parent companies are, where they’re headquartered, what their revenues are and whether they test their products on animals? Are the products in your home cruelty-free?

Animal testing is an inhumane practice that should not be tolerated, and there are now ways to test and ensure that products are safe for human contact without causing harm to other animals.

Medical animal testing will be the last form of testing to be extinguished. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still believes that animal testing is the only way to ensure that new drugs or treatments will respond well to live organs and organ systems. Be sure to understand the side effects, how the drugs metabolize in humans and be aware of other various biological concerns.

Through modern technologies, however, we can eliminate this practice and become more humane and less tolerant of such cruelty. While it may take time for the FDA to find an alternative that it believes is as effective and insightful as animal testing, we can work to eliminate this practice from other industries.

The makeup industry is one that can easily become cruelty-free. While there are many companies that do not test on animals, animal testing still needs to be banned. In 2004, the European Union banned the sale of cosmetics that have been tested on animals in their finished form, and in 2013, it updated the ban to include new product ingredients that were subject to animal testing.

China, however, is on the other end of the spectrum. It is law in the country that all cosmetics have to be tested on animals before they can be sold in the marketplace. Fortunately, in 2014, China passed a new law that altered its animal testing policy.

The basic breakdown is that domestic cosmetics do not have an animal testing requirement, but foreign ones are still required to be animal tested before being sold on the market. This new law will save thousands of animals from this cruelty each year, but it is just one small step on a very long road toward ending animal testing.

How can we make animal testing a thing of the past in the United States? I was shocked when I looked at PETA’s list of companies that use animal testing because I have products from those companies. Before learning this I considered myself an aware consumer. I try to shop local, cruelty-free, and all-natural when I can, so to find out that some of my beloved makeup products have been tested on animals was quite a shock to me.  

To end animal testing here in the United States, we need to pass legislation that forbids, or at the very least limits, animal testing. There are other alternatives that provide just as much insight and are less invasive for all involved.

Contacting your local representative is one way to get these laws passed. Another is to contact the companies and let them know that you do not approve of their practices while urging them to reconsider animal testing their products. And, finally, you can speak with your dollars. Boycotting these companies and starting petitions against their practices are ways to make sure your voice is heard.