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The Testing of Animals for Cosmetic Products

Cosmetic studies on animals refer to a specific type of product examination meant to ascertain the hypoallergenic nature and safety of animal products intended for use by human beings. Due to the pain and harm the animals are subjected to, there is a concerted effort by the animal activists and other people to have it forbidden. The practice is banned in some countries because it is considered cruel and unethical. The testing is mostly done by companies to establish product safety before they are released to the market. Several methods are used to conduct the exercise on different types of animals (Hadley, 2017). For these tests to be done, several animals have to suffer pain or die. One of the methods employed for product testing is called dermal penetration which uses rats. It aims at analyzing how chemicals penetrate the bloodstream and their effects on the body. The technique targets to understand better how they infiltrate the skin. Another testing system is called skin sensitization, and it targets to test the allergic reactions of the chemicals. In this technique, a chemical is injected into the body of the animal to boost the immune system and then observed for some time to monitor how the body responds (Rowser, 2019). The animals mostly used in this particular test are the guinea pigs, and the chemical is applied to the shaved part of its skin.

The third and perilous method is called acute toxicity and is used to measure the threats of exposure to chemicals by the skin or mouth. The technique is unsafe because the affected animals, which mostly are mice and rats, experience loss of motor function, convulsions, and even seizures. Moreover, there is a method called the Draize test which usually causes corrosion on the eyes skin, disruptions of the endocrine system, dermal, and airway sensitization, and irritation on the affected parts (Lawrence, 2018). This type of testing subjects the animals to immense suffering which sometimes leads to death. Another method causing damage to the skin is called skin corrosivity. The technique tests the potential effects of a substance and is mostly done on rabbits, and it entails putting the chemicals on the shaved part of the skin (Lawrence, 2018). In most cases, the animals which experience this test suffer irreversible damage to the vital organs.

An analysis of these approaches shows that the animals which are exposed to the tests undergo immense pain which in most cases leads to permanent injuries to the body organs and even death. Due to the suffering the animals are subjected to, some countries, such as Columbia, have proclaimed the practice illegal (Lawrence, 2018). Furthermore, animal activists, along with other people concerned about the rights of animals from all over the world, have been campaigning and advocating for the practice to be outlawed (Lawrence, 2018). The efforts by the advocates are gradually succeeding although their wish is to have the exercise stopped immediately.

The opponents of this practice are advocating for the right of animals to live, and that is why they have mounted campaigns globally to ensure that the crusade succeeds. They have proposed other alternative ways of testing that do not involve animals. For instance, they suggest that instead of subjecting rats, mice, and rabbits to such cruelty, the companies should do the testing using 3D structures that are extracted from the human cells (Rowser, 2019). Israel and India have responded to activists’ calls to have the practice prohibited by forbidding products from countries that support cosmetic testing on animals. The prohibition means that other countries, which want to sell products there, have to stop animal testing. The ban followed serious campaigns by animal rights groups globally. The European Union also did the same in the markets of their countries (Sass, 2016). Due to rigorous campaigns, some companies have also stopped the testing of animals on their products, and have designed alternative methods.

Animal rights are completely violated with such kind of cruelty. They deserve to be treated with respect, and when they are subjected to painful tests, they are denied such fundamental rights. They are not mere tools of scientific experiments simply because they are not human. Animals and human beings are similar in many respects such as thinking, feeling, behaving, and experiencing pain. Therefore, all other creatures should be accorded the same respect as people because of those shared attributes (Sepahban, 2015). The kind of pain the animals are subjected to without being given any choice is too much and needs to be stopped. Scientists are also concerned that in some types of studies animals are completely different from humans; therefore, the research findings cannot precisely predict the effects some products will have on people. The way substances act in the body of non-human creatures is different from the way it acts in the body of the latter (Rowser, 2019). Therefore, apart from the ethical perspectives, the issue of human relevance should discourage companies from using animals for product studies

Animal testing is expensive when compared with other methods that employ inanimate objects. One of such techniques involves sophisticated tests using human cells and tissues, innovative computer modeling techniques as well as studies with human volunteers. These examinations are advantageous because they are not defined by the animal species as is the case when using animals. Another merit of these alternative methods of testing is that they cost little money and effort to get results. Furthermore, the findings are precise, and accurate because they have little margin of error (Rowser, 2019). An American organization called People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) supports and funds governments and companies globally on the use of non-animal product testing methods (Rowser, 2019). The organization targets eradicating animal product testing by empowering organizations to design alternative ways of ensuring the safety of the product.

The animals do not benefit when they are subjected to such cruelty; only human beings do. Therefore, there is a need to look for alternative ways of conducting the tests in the cosmetic industry. Since they are not able to vocalize their problems, choices, and preferences then decisions are made for them by human beings. When companies decide to use animals for research. When animals are deprived of their rights, there is no thought about the quality of their lives. They experience pain the way people do, and studies have shown that how they react to pain is identical to that of human beings (Sass, 2016). For instance, when they are used for toxicity tests they are subjected to intense pain and some of the results are dire because the vital organs in the body are damaged.

Finally, the testing of animals for products is not necessary because several alternatives do not use animal subjects. Apart from the companies resorting to the use of 3D structures, they should focus more on the use of natural products such as bananas, and nut oil which do not require such tests. Computers can also be used to estimate the potential damage that a chemical or product is likely to have in the body of a human body.


Hadley, J. (2017). Nonhuman animal property: Reconciling environmentalism and animal rights. In C. Palmer (Ed.), Animal rights (pp. 465-475). Routledge.

Lawrence, R. (2018). Should animal testing be banned? Greenhaven Publishing. Rowser, A. L. (2019). Ethical beauty products. The Rosen Publishing Group Sass, H.-M. (2016). Cultures in bioethics. LIT Verlag Sepahban, L. (2015). Animal testing: Life-saving research vs. animal welfare. Capstone.


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