By BRYCE ADDISON M. PINEDA
Household cleaners, personal hygiene products and cosmetics—these are just a few of the industries that treat the experimentation of animals as yet another step in the formulation of their products.
Whether it is to expand their selling market or avoid potential lawsuits, some companies choose to subject animals such as rabbits and dogs to cruel experiments. In these tests, chemists force the animals to inhale chemicals and rub certain ingredients into their skin in order to track possible adverse effects caused by specific ingredients.
Even though there is nothing wrong with attempting to expand their consumer base, it is unethical and exploitative for companies to test their products on animals in order to generate more profits, especially without properly informing the consumers of their practices.
One example of a company which misleads their consumers in regards to their animal testing procedures is Clorox. The company states in their policy that their current approach does not ask third parties to test on animals; however, it is later specified in the text that there is an exception when required by law. In this case, they do, indeed, resort to testing ingredients through the use of animals if no alternative methods are available. The manner in which the policy is worded leads people to believe that the company is against this form of testing, when in reality, the ingredients in the cleaning agent are actually being used on animals.
Another proponent that leads companies to test their products on animals is business expansion. In order for these producers to sell their products in certain territories with a profitable market such as China, they need to abide by laws of that country, which includes testing before the product is sold within their borders.
By testing products on animals, these companies also hope to avoid being sued in the court of law. The problem that arises with this is that these organizations are willing to compromise the morality and ethics behind the proper treatment of animals in order to reduce the need to pay for reparations in the lawsuit and to protect the image of their brand.
Furthermore, even though these companies conduct animal testing in order to evade the possibility of being involved in lawsuits, the practice still remains unjustified, as testing their ingredients on animals does not guarantee that the company’s defense will hold up in court due to the test subjects being incongruent with actual humans. Due to this, the unfair treatment of animals that goes into the creation of these products would have no real use, rendering the cruelty that the animals were subjected to as unnecessary.
Although some companies still claim that they do not test on animals, the labels on their products can be misleading, as “animal testing” is not a legally defined term or regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Because of this, corporations can bend their morals and place a cruelty-free label on their products without any legal consequences even if it is false.
The cosmetics industry is another one wherein a lot of brands still test their products on animals. Companies such as Estée Lauder state that they intend to “end cosmetic animal testing and are proud to collaborate with global organizations that advocate for practical solutions and acceptance of animal testing alternatives,” yet they continue to conduct these tests if a regulatory body demands it. If that is the case, are companies like these truly advocating for a change in the industry if they still choose to earn money from selling these products made from the unfair treatment of animals instead of finding less exploitative alternatives?
We must ask ourselves: Is the use of these superficial products enough to justify the cruelty that it inflicts upon living beings? Does the usage of cosmetics dignify the conditions that countless animals are placed in during the product’s creation process? The answer is no. The detrimental effects that the production of these products have on the animals being tested far outweigh the temporary benefits they grant unto the consumers.
As consumers, it is our duty to be aware of these practices which needlessly exploit animals in order to increase companies’ profit margins. Through being informed and standing up against the unnecessary use of animals as test subjects for these everyday products, we can let these companies know that we, as consumers, do not support or condone these practices. By spreading consciousness about this issue plaguing the market, we can pave a future wherein the involvement of animals in testing consumer products is not a necessity anymore.