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Animal Testing: A World Of Barbarism & Cruelty

rosafa animal cruelty blog post photo of a bunny on the bed

Animals have been the victims of the beauty and cosmetic industry by being forced to undergo several types of testing mechanisms to ensure the potency of various products.  We, at Rosafa, highly condemn all forms of animal testing and make sure to practice cruelty-free alternatives; hence, we do not test our ingredients and products on animals in any shape or form.

In this blog post, we will discuss the history of animal testing as well as the real facts behind why animal testing should be stopped once and for all!  We will also delve into alternatives to animal testing and the reasoning behind WHY animal testing is not the adequate solution!

 

 

The Historical Timeline of Testing on Animals

  • The first records of animal testing date back to 500 BC, when philosopher Alcmaeon of Croton dissected animals for anatomical investigation purposes[1].
  • The first major contribution to modern science, though, was made in the 1600s by British physician William Harvey. He observed the heart of living animals to describe how the blood circulated through our system[2].
  • The next infamous events in modern animal testing history were the Draize and Lethal Dose-50 (LD-50) tests[2]. The first one tested the effects of a specific formula on the skin and eyes of different animals, mainly rabbits[2]. On the other hand, the latter experimented on animals to ascertain the maximum dosage of a drug, cosmetic, pesticide, household product, etc., that would kill half the animals in a testing group[2]

Animal Testing: The Rough and Inevitable Facts

  • Around 100,000-200,000 animals —such as guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, rats, and rabbits— are killed each year during cosmetic tests[3]. 
  • Before their death, these lovely animals are subjected to sheer physical and psychological torture. 
  • According to Cruelty-Free International[4], the following are the top 10 animal testing countries in the world:

    top 10 animal testing countries in the world graph

    When it comes to banning animal testing for cosmetic purposes, the United Kingdom paved the way back in 1998
    [5]. The rest of the European Union followed suit with 27 countries banning this cruel practice between 2004 and 2013[5]. Since 2013, it is illegal to sell cosmetic products and ingredients tested on animals (including the imports) in the EU[5].  The EU is the world´s largest market for cruelty-free cosmetics[5]. Other countries that prohibit cosmetic animal testing and marketing of cosmetics that have been tested on animals are Australia, Colombia, Guatemala, Iceland, India, Israel, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, 10 states in Brazil, and 4 U.S states[5].
  • The problem is that no authority verifies that the cosmetic products and ingredients entering the EU have not been tested on animals[3]. What's more, if the cosmetic formulas contain pharmaceutical-grade ingredients that have been tested on animals, companies are allowed to sell and market them in the EU[3].

Did you know that Botox is allowed to be tested on animals in the EU because it is classified as a medication and not a cosmetic?

Types Of Cosmetic Experiments Performed On Animals

  • Draize Eye Test or Eye Irritancy Test: A chemical is placed in one eye of the rabbit, while they are restrained[6]. Rabbits are usually killed at the end of the test and they suffer from bleeding, irritation, ulcers, and blindness during the process[6].
  • Skin corrosivity/irritation test or Draize Skin Test:  A substance is placed on a shaved patch of a rabbit's skin to determine the level of irreversible damage which causes symptoms like inflammation, itching, or swelling[6]
  • Skin sensitization: This test assesses the potential of a substance to produce an allergic reaction[6]. It involves applying or injecting the substance on an area of shaved skin (usually of guinea pigs)[6].
  • Skin Absorption or Dermal Penetration Tests: A chemical is administered to rats to analyze the amount that was able to penetrate deep down into the bloodstream[6]. The protocol involves killing the rat to measure the % of substance that was absorbed[6]

Why Animal Testing Is Illogical and Unjustified?

  • In the clinical paper: “Where Is the Evidence That Animal Research Benefits Humans?”, researchers concluded that the currently available evidence does not support the idea that experimentation on animals has benefited humans[7]. The most important advances in health are attributable to human, and not animal, studies[7]. 
  • According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 95% of all drugs that are shown to be safe and effective in animal tests fail in human trials because they don’t work or are dangerous[7]. Of that 5% that is approved for human use, half of it has to be relabeled because of side effects that could not be identified on animal tests. 
  • Somewhere down the road, drugs will have to be tested on humans[7].
  • Most animal tests are carried out under stressful and unnatural circumstances that affect their outcome and validity[7]. Plus, physiological reactions vary considerably from one species to another[7]. For example, aspirin is safe for humans, but it can cause birth defects in animals[7]
  • Modern, non-animal testing methods are cheaper, faster, and provide a great insight into the real effects of drugs/cosmetics on humans[7].
  • More human lives could be saved if government resources were allocated instead to campaigns that promoted prenatal care, healthy eating, exercise, mental health, environmental preservation as well as educating citizens on the detrimental effects of smoking, drinking, and consuming any types of drugs[7].
  • No animal test is free from torture and every single experimentation practice is permitted all for the “sake of humanity”. The Animal Welfare Act (AWA), which is the American law that regulates the use of animals in laboratory settings, allows animals to be addicted to drugs, brain-damaged, burned, isolated, poisoned, restrained by force, shocked, and starved without the use of painkillers or other measures that could diminish animal suffering[7].
  • Facts that prove why animals are not a good model for humans:
    • Animals do not get diseases like Alzheimer´s, Parkinson’s, HIV, many types of cancer, major types of cardiovascular disease, or schizophrenia[8].
    • Only one-third of substances known to cause cancer in humans have been shown to cause cancer in animals[8].
    • Just 50% of the DNA that regulates genes in mice could be matched with human DNA[8].
  • People think that humans are entitled to exploit animals for their benefit because of their lower position on the evolutionary chart and lack reason[8]. So, that would somehow make us “superior”[8]. If we take this same concept and apply it to other contexts, everyone with a higher IQ should mistreat children and the disabled[8]. The specism theory is worthless because several clinical studies have demonstrated that many animals are highly intelligent and also have capacities, desires, goals, feelings, and needs[8]. The rights of animals are never taken into account. Harming those based on their weakness is not only atrocious but is also highly unethical. If human beings are truly superior, then why don't they show kindness towards other species? 
  • Whether humans get or do not get any real benefit from animal tests, the number one reason for not carrying them out is because the little creatures never consented to it. Their bodies, their choice, and not ours. Every single living being is precious, no matter how “insignificant” or underdeveloped it might seem. All of them should work as a team and do their best to achieve their ultimate goal: preserving the homeostasis of our beloved Planet Earth.

The history of cancer research has been the history of curing cancer in mice. We have cured mice of cancer for decades and it simply didn’t work in human beings. 

Dr. Richard Klausner, former director of the US National Cancer Institute


Efficient and Cruelty-Free Alternatives to Animal Testing

  • Computer Modeling: Uses computerized models that mimic human biology to predict how a substance will react inside it[9]
  • Human-Patient Simulators: These simulators can “perform” human functions and are used for teaching purposes instead of the infamous vivisection[9].
  • In Vitro Testing: Involves the use of chips (organs-on-chips) that contain different human cells and tissues that simulate the functions of human organs[9].
  • Microdosing: Human volunteers are administered a small dose and then imaging techniques are employed to monitor how it behaves in their system[9].

To conclude, animal testing should be halted IMMEDIATELY! There is no plausible reason as to why it should continue since it does not in any way give proper predictions on the efficacy of a product. As a consumer, you must be aware of the products that do not test on animals and ALWAYS choose them!  For more information on how we at Rosafa dismiss all forms of animal cruelty, make sure to follow us on our Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn platforms.

References:

[1] https://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0102-311X1999000500011
[2] https://www.oneworldeducation.org/our-students-writing/animal-testing-is-animal-cruelty/
[3] https://www.galgoamigo.com/beauty-products.html
[4] https://www.crueltyfreeinternational.org/why-we-do-it/facts-and-figures-animal-testing
[5] https://www.hsi.org/news-media/cosmetics_qa/ 
[6] https://aavs.org/animals-science/how-animals-are-used/testing/
[7] https://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-experimentation/animal-testing-bad-science/
[8] https://www.crueltyfreeinternational.org/why-we-do-it/arguments-against-animal-testing
[9] https://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-experimentation/alternatives-animal-testing/

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