I wanted to follow up from a post from this past April regarding World Week for Animals in Laboratories. In that post I discussed the millions of animals, hidden from our sight, who are subjected to product and medical testing.
Animal testing is a difficult subject which has evoked fierce debate over how to balance important medical research with the well-being of laboratory animals. In his book Animal Rights Without Liberation: Applied Ethics and Human Obligations (2012), Alasdair Cochrane distinguishes between therapeutic and non-therapuetic testing. Therapuetic testing is designed to save human lives and cure life-threatening ailments. This type of testing hasn’t been considered as controversial by the general public, but animal rights advocates have discussed the extent to which such research should be carried out and if it is always the best way to make discoveries about human medicine. Non-therapuetic research, on the other hand, consists of testing for the sake of creating knowledge and is not intended to directly prevent human suffering. A lot of testing in cosmetics and cleaning products falls into this category. Awareness of this issue and rising public concern has resulted in bans in the European Union and Isreal. The US House of Representatives is now considering such a ban, particularly aimed at cosmetic animal testing and the sale of cosmetics tested on animals. However, to be introduced, your help is needed! Click here to be linked to the Humane Society of the United State’s page on the proposed bill and consider supporting it by contacting your representative!
In the meantime, consider cruelty free cosmetics and products! One company that comes to mind that is widely available and with a large variety of products is Lush Cosmetics.
Cochrane, Alasdair (2012). Animal Rights without Liberation: Applied Ethics and Human Obligations. Columbia University Press: New York.