Cedar Crest College newspaper since 1923
By Brianna Generose, Staff Writer
When sophomore Amira Mahmoud walks into a store to shop for makeup, she takes special care to choose brands that state that they do not test on animals. Mahmoud, like many others, has joined the cruelty-free movement. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or PETA defines being cruelty-free as neither the companies nor their ingredient suppliers’ conduct, commission, or pay for any tests on animals for ingredients, formulas, or finished products.
“I know how important it is to avoid buying from companies that feel it’s okay to test their products on animals.” Amira Mahmoud said. “It doesn’t feel right when I put makeup on in the morning if I know an innocent animal had to suffer for what? For me to use something I technically don’t need.”
It is becoming more common to hear people talk about buying cruelty-free products. From March 1-24, Twitter users tweeted #crueltyfree 1,354 times relating to beauty and other household products. In December of 2014, the hashtag was used 897 times.
There is often a question of what is done to animals while they are test subjects. Emily Rohr, a PETA representative, said, “The Draize eye irritancy test is a common test that is carried out on rabbits. This is a test in which cosmetics and other substances are dripped into the animals’ eyes.” She stated that once the experiments are done, the rabbits are killed.
Dr. Cheryl Lagana, a veterinarian from White Haven, Pennsylvania, said, “Animals skin is generally just as sensitive to stimuli as ours. In regards to allergies or infection, however, theirs is more sensitive.”
Rohr says there are other tests that could be used in place of animals. The Epiderm test uses scientifically engineered skin that replicates human skin and replaces the use of animals as test subjects. Another test uses a clinical patch that human test subjects wear on their arm for the duration of the experiment.
Another question that comes up while talking about cruelty-free products is that is it really bad to test products on animals? According to ProCon.org, the majority of researchers treat animals humanely, both for the animal’s sake and the experiment’s sake. Nature Genetics journal states that animals thrive in non-stressful conditions and it is in the best interest of research to provide proper care for the animal test subjects to ensure a good outcome of the experiment. It is not beneficial to treat animals inhumanely.
Lagana said, “The fact that people are becoming more in tune with compassionate living is wonderful. When we abuse our power at the top of the food chain, everything else suffers. To me, it’s about the whole animal and utilizing what we need to thrive but giving dignity to the lives we take.”
Every time Mahmoud walks into a store and chooses to buy her beauty products from companies that do not test on animals, she believes she is making a statement to let the companies know it is not okay or morally right to test on animals.