I grew up with a love for animals. Even my toys were related to animals. My dad built me a dollhouse, but instead of playing with dolls in the house, I had miniature animals living in it. As a child I wouldn’t eat meat because I associated the meat with the animal I was eating.
I took my love for animals a bit further when I turned 13 and came across the book Animal Liberation by Peter Singer. I discovered that not only do we eat animals, but we also hunt them, wear them, use them for entertainment, and experiment on them.
After reading Singer’s book, I found myself overwhelmed and struggling to know how to make a difference. I decided to start with changing my own behaviors, and I immediately became a vegetarian.
Additionally, I also started paying attention to the cosmetics I bought and made sure those companies did not experiment on animals. But I wanted to go a step further. I got a list of all the cosmetic companies that tested on animals, sat down at a typewriter, and wrote a letter to each asking them to stop testing on animals. I heard back from some of the companies, telling me that they were actively looking for alternatives to animal testing.
While my 13-year-old self was not able to convince the industry to completely abandon animal testing, several companies have adopted alternative methods that do not utilize animals. Sadly, however, 30 years later there are still cosmetic companies that do test on animals.
According to the Humane Society of the United States, millions of animals in the United States still endure painful and often deadly experiments to test cosmetics such as lipstick, shampoos, deodorant, and cologne. Experts know that alternatives to animal testing already exist. Humane and safe cosmetics can be made using thousands of existing ingredients, and several non-animal safety tests are already available for new ingredients.
If you would like to stop cosmetic testing on animals, there are three things you can do:
1) The Humane Cosmetics Act (H.R. 2858), sponsored by U.S. Reps. Martha McSally (R-AZ), Don Beyer (D-VA), Joe Heck (R-NV) and Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), will prohibit animal testing for all cosmetic products manufactured or sold in the U.S. Please make a brief, polite phone call to your U.S. Representative to urge support for H.R. 2858, the Humane Cosmetics Act. Look up your legislator’s phone number here.