Dogs, cats, guinea pigs, rats, rabbits, monkeys, flies, worms, fish, amphibians, and lizards. All of these animals could be your pet, or they could be subject to testing. In the top ten animals used for chemical testing and experiments, cats have been used for neurological research while dogs are used for behavioral and biomedical experiments, bone and joint studies, endocrinology, and testing of human disease. Guinea pigs, rabbits, and other small rodents are commonly used for eye irritation test– especially for makeup. The use of rabbits for polyclonal antibody production is rising as well. Nonhuman primates (think monkeys and apes) are tested and experimented because of their similarities to humans. Flies, worms, and fish are used for pharmacology and viruses since they are able to reproduce frequently and have no real protections. Rats are used for toxicology, cancer research, testing of medicine, and gene modification. To top it all off, amphibians and lizards are used as dissection research in many biological classes.
Whatever product or experiment researchers and companies want to test, they use animals. Except now. Companies are beginning to have stricter and stronger restrictions on how they use their animals in experiments, and even further, are stopping testing on animals altogether. They are handling them more humanely and caring for them physically as well as mentally making sure they there are no inhumane and cruel practices being done. Although, other companies refuse to back down and reduce their cruelty to the animals they use to test their products on. These companies only care about the profit of their business, as compared to the pain they are inflicting on these animals. There are many other ways to test these products without harming an animal.
Something that completely blew me away was the number of products I have and use almost on a daily basis, that are or have been, tested on animals. My toothpaste, dish soap, shampoo, cleaning products, makeup, and even body spray were tested on animals. When all was said and done, roughly 90% of the items in my apartment were tested on animals. Needless to say, when I found out I was completely horrified. I felt like a monster because I honestly love animals. Being a college student on a budget, I didn’t throw out every single thing that was on the list of animal-tested products, but I am aware and careful to not buy those products again when I inevitably run out of them.
Finding new cruelty-free products for cleaning supplies and shampoo and hygiene is a lot easier than makeup. A lot of the major (and affordable) makeup companies like Maybelline, CoverGirl, Revlon, Clinique, etc. test their products on animals. This makes it extremely difficult to choose both animal friendly and affordable products. Not only that, but many people have created a routine of using certain, preferred types of makeup that may be from these companies; disrupting that routine might cause problems. If I took the time to list ALL products that are cruelty-free vs those that test on animals, this would turn into a 40 page paper. So instead, the number one way to convert to cruelty-free products is doing a lot of background research and learning as much information as possible about what products are or are not tested on animals.
What I have started doing in my personal life is having a list on my phone of the major companies that I frequently use that I now know are tested and have a list of products that are animal-friendly. Another tip to figuring out if a company is cruelty-free is the occurrence of a bunny symbol or logo on their product. This lets you know they did not test it on animals. Unfortunately, all products made and manufactured in China are required to be tested on animals, but there are so many other alternative products that can be used. There is an increase in animal-friendly stores that only sell products that are specifically kind to animals, such as Una in Lawrenceville, PA. This store has shampoos, soaps, perfumes, makeups and more that are all safe, effective products that were never tested on animals.
Crueltyfreekitty.com is an excellent website that stays up to date each year on what companies are testing on animals and what companies aren’t. As of 2017, these major companies are still testing on animals: Calvin Klein, CoverGirl, Chapstick, MAC, Maybelline, Sephora (brand), Aveeno, Clean & Clear, Garnier, Neutrogena, Aussie, Herbal Essences, Pantene, Suave, Dial, Dove, Coach, Gucci, Michael Kors, Aquafresh, Colgate and much, much more.