What is animal testing?
Both live and deceased animals are used for commercial or scientific research or educational purposes in a range of capacities. usually, this is for medical, veterinary and environmental research
'Vivisection' refers specifically to the cutting of, or operation on, a living animal.. This can cause pain or distress, although anaesthetic is used. It is frequently used by opponents as a pejorative synonym for the more general 'animal testing'.
The types of tests carried out on animals often involve trialling new medical innovations. Cosmetics testing has been illegal since 1998.
Controversy of Animal Testing on Cosmetics
The practice is particularly controversial because animals may experience discomfort, suffering and ultimately die, all in the name of aesthetics and 'looking good.' Thus, it is this aspect of animal tests that draws an enormous amount of criticism, both in the UK and internationally. In fact, there are some who support animal testing for medicine simply because it involves the improvement of human health and the extension of human life. They do not, however, support animal testing for cosmetics because the cost to the animals doesn't justify the research, which is really about enhancing appearances for humans.
It should still be noted that although finished cosmetics products are not tested on animals in the UK and some other areas, there are still substances that have both cosmetic and medical uses. As such, they are essentially exempt from the regulations around cosmetics testing on animals. Examples include the wrinkle treatment botulinum toxin, sold and advertised under the name Botox.
Marketing of Cosmetics
While many companies are now citing 'no testing on animals' in terms of their ethical stance on cosmetics, it is clear that this is an excellent marketing strategy given the widespread public disapproval of the practice. Ironically, those companies who do not test cosmetics on...