Cosmetics giant Estée Lauder recently made its stance on animal testing clear by supporting a global ban on the process. They’ve also backed the #BeCrueltyFree campaign led by the Humane Society International. This is a huge move forward in the world of cruelty free makeup.Estée Lauder’s move comes after other companies like Avon and Proctor & Gamble supported the ban on animal testing.
Allure reported that almost no U.S. cosmetic companies test on animals. The European Union has banned animal testing back in 2013. However if a country requires it, such as China, it would then have to run tests on animals in order to have their products sold in that country. So while your favorite drugstore brand, *cough* Maybelline, may not be required to test on animals in order to get to you, they would have to for other consumer markets.
Estée Lauder owns Origins, M.A.C., La Mer, Bobbi Brown, Bumble and Bumble, Too Faced, Becca, Smashbox, Darphin, Aerin, Jo Malone London , and Le Labo. Their pledge means that all these companies under the Estée Lauder umbrella would quit animal testing.
Kitty Block, the President and CEO of The Human Society, said that an estimated 500,000 animals worldwide would die annually in the name of cosmetics testing. That’s 500,000 animals whose lives could’ve been saved if alternatives such as cornea-like 3D tissues or human skin cultures that can be grown and later purchased by these companies to preform tests on were widely used in the industry.
Companies like Estée Lauder promising to stop testing on animals is only half of the solution. We as consumers have to be mindful of what we buy. By refusing to buy products that test on animals and letting companies know why you no longer buy from them, it may help more companies take similar steps.
While the FDA does not require animal testing to be done to prove cosmetics are safe, there is no national ban in the Unites States. Individual states such as California, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia have issued a ban preventing animal testing on cosmetics. Any company wishing to sell in this state would have to stop that practice.
According to Cruelty-Free Kitty, there are over 7,000 safe ingredients to choose from when it comes to cosmetics. In addition, with as progressive as we have become when it comes to technological advances, we have alternative options at our fingertips. The money it would require to move forward isn’t something companies may be willing to part with.
Cruelty-Free Kitty also provides a database users can use to find out whether or not a brand is cruelty free, provides animal cruelty 101, and helps consumers become more knowledgeable on the issue to make informed decisions.
Animal testing may be removed from our daily consciousness. But by being aware of these inhumane issues, speaking up, and leading by example, we can be apart of this change.
Cover image via NPR
Also published on Medium.