By Amanda Nordstrom
We use them to make ourselves look more beautiful, but there’s nothing pretty about what many cosmetic companies are still doing to animals to ensure our cosmetics are safe: forcing substances down animals’ throats, dripping chemicals into their eyes and smearing ingredients onto their scraped skin in order to test products is an ugly business indeed.
Fortunately, such practices are now banned in the EU, and recently, India has made huge strides toward stopping this cruelty too. Earlier this year, following a two-year effort by PETA India, India passed a permanent ban on testing cosmetics on animals, and it is currently considering a ban on animal tests for household products (such as cleaners and detergents) as well as a ban on importing and selling cosmetics that have been tested on animals in other countries. Yet shockingly, one group of very powerful companies is trying to turn back the clock on this lifesaving progress.
Companies Stuck in the Dark Ages
The Indian Beauty & Hygiene Association (IBHA) and its members—including Marico, Reliance, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Shiseido, Johnson & Johnson, L’Oréal and others—are actively trying to weaken or reverse India’s efforts to end animal testing. If they succeed, four poisoning tests on animals for cosmetics ingredients could be permitted in India again—a huge step in the wrong direction. Following numerous high-level meetings in which the IBHA and some of its members made it clear that although their websites speak out against animal testing, they’re in favor of weakening the law, PETA —in conjunction with PETA India—has launched an online campaign urging the IBHA to support, not obstruct, India’s progress toward becoming a cruelty-free country.
Harming Animals Is Never Necessary
Testing on animals often produces inaccurate or misleading results: Even if a product has blinded an animal, it can still be marketed to consumers. In the U.S. and many other countries, tests on animals aren’t required by law. The European Union and Israel have banned tests on animals for cosmetics, and the EU went one step further to ban the marketing and sale of animal-tested cosmetics. Israel’s ban on tests on animals also extends to household products. Ironically, many IBHA members are headquartered in Europe—including Chanel, Oriflame, ELCA Cosmetics (a subsidiary of Estée Lauder), NIVEA, PZ Cussons and Pierre Fabre and most sell products there—so they would not be allowed to test cosmetics ingredients on animals in their own countries.
How You Can Help
There are more than 1,500 companies worldwide—including LUSH, The Body Shop, Pangea Organics, Future Skin, Shahnaz Husain and Paul Mitchell Systems—that refuse to test their products on animals, and of course, any organic brand featured in Eluxe or Eluxe Exclusives would never even dream of doing so. But if you are concerned about safety, the next time you go shopping, consult PETA’s list of cruelty-free companies that use only modern and reliable non-animal tests for their products. You’ll feel and look your best knowing that your beauty regimen supports companies that never harm animals.
Still concerned about animal welfare? Why not join PETA’s campaign and tell IBHA members to support India’s ban on painful and inaccurate tests on animals, and make sure you buy cosmetics from brands like these. After all, there is nothing beautiful about making another living being suffer.