My Cruelty Free Journey: Animal Testing 102

Back in March, I decided to start a blog post series about my cruelty-free journey. Specifically, I wanted to tackle common questions and assumptions about animal testing. In the initial post, I discussed mainly what animals endure during animal testing and briefly touched on the fact that animal testing is not necessary to create a safe product. That post is here if you’d like to catch up and read the intro. Today, I am going to talk about a few alternative testing methods (you know, the ones that I understand)…and question whether or not testing a product is necessary, period, if we trust the ingredients.

Alternative Testing Methods

Human skin: No brainer, right? But it’d be just as cruel to test a toxic product on a human as it is an animal (could you imagine tying a person down to rub chemicals in their eyes to see if they’ll be blinded or not?). Science is awesome, and we’ve come up with several ways of testing on “human skin” that isn’t dangerous. One way by using a human skin model (in other words…materials and substances that are similar to human skin are combined and tested on). Another way is by testing on cadavers. Donated cadavers, of course.

Micro-dosing: In this method, tiny amounts are administered to humans. This is actually gaining ground. I have actually heard of this method. You might have heard of studies in which people actually volunteer (and get paid) to test out a medication or some other type of product.

Like I stated above, there are a few other methods that I simply do not understand because I’m not a science-nut. I hate science. Anyway, one has to do with culture-grown cells being exposed to the chemicals/product and light at the same time and seeing if there is a bad reaction. I guess that doesn’t sound too complicated but I’m not going to pretend like I know what I’m talking about on this one.

Why do products even need to be tested?

You’re probably thinking – DUH, so we know we’re safe! But the underlying question is: Why do we create products with chemicals that we are KNOW are toxic and could potentially harm us? If a product is made with all-natural ingredients and is non-toxic, we are almost guaranteed to be safe, unless we are personally allergic to a certain ingredient. Wouldn’t you much rather know and understand an ingredient list? Seriously. Go grab your bottle of facial cleaner. Do you even know what the heck 99% of the ingredients really are? No? Then you should probably throw it away. Animal tested or not, those chemicals are not good for you. If a product needs to be tested to see whether or not it’s going to make you go blind…you shouldn’t be buying it anyway.

Those are my thoughts for the day. Next time I’m going to tackle deciphering animal testing labels/statements and why China sucks (sorry China- but I wouldn’t say that if you didn’t force animal testing).

I’m only as smart as the research I do in the internet. So, here are my resources:

http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/cosmetic_testing/facts/alternatives_animal_tests.html

http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-experimentation/alternatives-testing-without-torture.aspx

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