When you see the term cruelty-free on product labels, it means the product isn’t tested on animals. You may be curious as to what that means to the animals, to the product, and to you—the consumer. Here’s information about what animal testing entails, and why you need to buy only cruelty-free products.
What Does Animal Testing Entail?
Animal testing is a billion-dollar part of the personal care products industry. There are many stages to animal testing, but in general, here’s what happens when animals are used to test products.
First, the animals are sourced, which means the lab finds “specimens” on which to run their experiments. Live animals are always used because the experiments need to mimic real life. Animals for testing usually come from animal pounds. They rarely come from strays wandering the streets—that would be too time-consuming. When animals are left in pounds, they may end up being used for experiments. The animals are brought to the labs, where they’re tagged and placed in cages. Tests are run on the animals to provide a health evaluation. The scientists then inject chemicals, rub lotions on the animals’ skin, and do other things that can’t be mentioned here. Suffice it to say that the animals’ external and internal organs, eyes and ears are fair game.
When the animals exhibit symptoms—as they usually do, because heavy quantities of lab chemicals are being used on them—the scientists don’t attempt to console or help the animal. Rather, they monitor the side effects, writing notes about how the animal is suffering. If an animal miraculously has no side effects, the dosage is increased until the animal displays symptoms. That’s how scientists come up with “safe dosage” recommendations.After an animal’s symptoms appear, the scientists may continue to administer the product, to “see what happens.”
Finally, the lab animal will succumb to their injuries and die. The scientist will make a call to have a technician come in and take it away. The animal’s body will then be discarded in an incinerator.
What Are Animals Deprived of During Product Testing Experiments?
- They’re never let out of their cages, except when the scientist needs to run another test or inspect the animal.
- Then, they’re directly returned to the cage.
- They are never let outside.
- They are never exposed to sunlight or grass.
- There is rarely any natural light or windows in the lab. Companies don’t want you to know what goes on inside animal testing labs. They’re never given affection from humans, spoken to or petted—they never receive love.
Is Animal Testing Necessary?
Tragically, animal testing isn’t necessary. With cruelty-free products, lab experiments are still run on personal care products to ensure safety, but they don’t involve cruelty to animals. The FDA and other organizations also work to ensure all personal care products are safe to use before being sold to the consumer. Many of those products are not tested on animals, and they’re as safe, or safer, than products tested on animals. Because many cruelty-free products are made with natural ingredients, there's less chance you'll have a reaction, and a better chance the product will offer you remarkable results. It's important to make an informed decision about your personal care products, so that you can choose per your personal beliefs and values. You don’t need a product tested on animals to insure it’s safe.