Last month Humane Society International’s Be Cruelty-Free bunnies traveled across Canada to spread awareness and promote an end to animal testing for cosmetics in Canada. With stops in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, our intrepid rabbits rode public transit, posed for photos, and urged consumers to make the leap to cruelty-free, by supporting the #BeCrueltyFree campaign.
While many Canadians don’t realize this still goes on, the reality is that animal testing for cosmetics is very much part of our society – from the lipstick in your purse to the oven cleaner under your kitchen sink.
At this very moment in laboratories across the country, animals are suffering in painful toxicity tests for cosmetics. Terrified rabbits, mice, rats, and guinea pigs have substances forced down their throat, dripped into their eyes, or smeared onto their skin, and are left to suffer for days or weeks without pain relief.
This is the ugly secret of the beauty industry, which is why the #BeCrueltyFree bunnies fanned out across Canada to inform consumers that animal testing for cosmetics could stop today without any harm or health concerns. In fact, animal tests are increasingly being replaced by quicker, cheaper, and more reliable non-animal methods.
More than 500 cruelty-free companies in North America avoid animal testing by relying on thousands of existing cosmetic ingredients already established as safe, with available state-of-the-art non-animal test methods. It’s a cruelty-free blueprint that’s not only possible, but preferable. Modern science and ingredients with histories of use should instill us with far greater confidence than, say, force-feeding small animals with mega-doses of chemicals in tests that were first developed more than 70 years ago.
Canadian policy on animal testing for cosmetics has yet to catch up with our ethics and values as a nation. A November 2012 poll by The Strategic Counsel revealed that 88 percent of Canadians agree that testing new cosmetic products is not worth the animals’ pain and suffering, and that 81 percent would support a national ban on animal testing of cosmetics and their ingredients.
As a consumer, you hold a lot of power in your hands when spending your hard-earned cash. Purchasing an animal-tested product says to the company: “I approve — keep testing like that.”
Visit hsi.org/becrueltyfree for a cruelty-free shopping guide; consult labels when youshop; reach out to your favourite beauty company to ask them what they are doing to put an end to animal testing for cosmetics; and ask your sales associate for cruelty-free options.
Its never too late to join the campaign, visit our HSI End Animal Testing Campaign Facebook page to share the pictures and don’t forget to like our page.