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 and I sat down at a typewriter and wrote a letter to each of these companies 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 simple things you can do:
- The U.S. has the opportunity to join more than 30 countries to put an end to this inhumane practice once and for all. Don’t let animals suffer for the sake of a new cosmetic product — speak out to end cosmetics animal testing today. If you live in Santa Barbara, you can make a brief, polite phone call to Rep. Salud Carbajal at (202) 225-3601 and urge support for the Humane Cosmetics Act. You can simply say, “I’m a constituent, and I urge you to cosponsor the Humane Cosmetics Act. This bill would prohibit animal testing for cosmetics manufactured or sold in the U.S.”
- If you don’t live in Santa Barbara, you can look up your legislator’s phone number here: Elected Officials
- Look for the “leaping bunny” logo on products to ensure that what you are buying has not been tested on animals. You can find a list here: No Testing
- Or you can download this free Smartphone app: Leaping Bunny
- Write/email companies that do test on animals asking them to find alternatives to animal test. You can find a list of companies that test on animals here: Companies That Do Test
The good news is that it’s easy to find animal-friendly products from more than 600 cruelty-free cosmetic companies in North America. While it might take a little extra time and effort, shopping for cruelty-free cosmetics sends a message to companies about what’s important to you. Let’s join the more than 30 countries that have banned animal testing on cosmetics including Norway, Israel, India and every country in the European Union!