Off the Collar

“The truth is, I love being alive. And I love feeling free. So if I can't have those things then I feel like a caged animal and I'd rather not be in a cage. I'd rather be dead. And it's real simple. And I think it's not that uncommon.” 
- Angelina Jolie

Would you like to be caged? Would you like to have foreign products smothered on your skin? I highly doubt so. Before cosmetic companies shelf their products, some companies undergo animal testing. For those against animal testing, animal testing is best described as an inhuman torture towards animals. In less severe terms, animal testing is done to test the safety and hypoallergenic properties of products on animals before being used by humans. 

Several companies are trying their very best to quell this diabolical tradition. One of the companies would be LUSH Cosmetics. In 2012, LUSH had an animal testing demonstration at their shop on Regent Street. However, instead of using animals, they carried out similar procedures on a human. Jacqueline Traide, 24, volunteered herself for this experiment as she knew it would create a large impact on people’s perception towards animal testing. The experiments conducted on Jacqueline Tradie by a scientist went on for the entire day on full display at the shop window. Witnesses were shocked and singed a petition to end animal testing in the UK. At the end of the day, Jacqueline was allowed to go home unlike the animals who were left to die.

For a young woman to risk her life to change perspectives on animal testing proves how critical this issue has become. Every year, over 100 million animals are killed in the process of animal testing. According to research, most of the tests on animals are inaccurate as animals have varying adaptations from humans. For example, a moisturizer may burn an animal’s skin but may not burn a human’s. Proof for this is the aspirin; it is proven dangerous for animals but works perfectly for humans.

Imagine being locked up in a cage painfully waiting for your turn to be abused. You are taken out of your cage and strapped on to a table. Injections are uncontrollably jabbed through your skin followed by the splatter of unknown products on your skin. Not so pleasant, isn’t it? This is just a basic form of animal testing, some experiments are a lot more extreme. 

There are several other safer ways to test cosmetic products. For example, using human blood, cell lines, artificial skin and computer models. In China, it is mandatory for all products to be tested on animals whereas in the European Union, it is banned but some companies still do it secretly. 

Due to the harm caused to the animal subjects, animal testing is opposed by animal rights activists and others. Many role models of our generation have spoken up regarding this issue. Ke$ha says that beauty doesn’t come from cruelty and she wants to see an end to testing cosmetics on animals. Paul McCartney said, "If every cosmetic tested on rabbits or mice had a photo on the packaging showing these animals with weeping swollen eyes and inflamed skin, I believe everyone would leave cruelty on the shelf.” 

The next time you buy a cosmetic product, make sure it has a sign that claims the company does not support animal testing. Remember, by buying products from companies that test their products on animals, you are indirectly supporting animal testing. 

- Written by Namrata Gopwani and Maryam Soraya.


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