When we were in college, my friends and I were very nearly obsessed with the store, Bath & Body Works. We all had our favorites among the wide range of fruity and floral fragrances, and would rush to their clearance sales to stock up on any beloved items that were being discontinued. Animal rights were important to us back then as well as now, and we were assured by the "not tested on animals" declaration on our bottles. That is, until we looked a little more closely. "This finished product is not tested on animals" was the actual wording, and it raised some red flags. Was this ambiguous wording a way to skirt the issue? Fortunately, our fears were alleviated when we learned that Bath & Body Works does not test on animals but must use such phrasing since their products are marketed in both the U.S. and the U.K. with the same packaging. England does not permit a company to use a definitive phrase such as "no animal testing" since they consider that most ingredients have been tested on animals by someone at some point. Although Bath & Body Works' labeling hadn't been clear to us, one thing was: My friends and I were willing to stop using our favorite products if they were tested on animals.
That sentiment is one echoed by many. The use of animal testing in cosmetics has come under great scrutiny over the years, and perhaps never more so than now. To this day, rabbits, guinea pigs, mice and rats are forced to endure having substances applied to their skin, down their throats or into their eyes to determine toxicity and allergic reactions, and animal-rights activists want to spread the word that there are alternatives. Representative James "Jim" Moran Jr. is currently sponsoring the Humane Cosmetics Act, which will phase out cosmetic animal testing in the United States within one year and the import of cosmetics tested on animals within three years. Earlier this week, actress Thora Birch joined Cruelty Free International in calling for a U.S. ban on animal testing in cosmetics. Established by the BUAV in 2012 and head-quartered in London, Cruelty Free International was the first organization to campaign for a global ban on animal tests for consumer products. According to their Website, over 80% of the world still allows animals to be used in cruel and unnecessary cosmetics tests.
Also making headlines recently is vegan cosmetics manufacturer Beauty Without Cruelty. Founded in England in 1963, they were the first to ban animal-testing for their products. The BWC brand was introduced into the United States in 1989. Santosh Krinsky, the President of BWC, has recently partnered with the Humane Society of the United States' Be Cruelty-Free campaign, which hopes to put a permanent end to animal testing for cosmetics. Krinsky expressed hope that "Rep. Moran’s efforts are a sign of things to come here in the U.S." The European Union banned animal testing of finished cosmetic products in 2004, banned animal-tested ingredients in 2009 and banned the import and sale of cosmetics containing ingredients tested on animals in 2013.
Here at Truth In Aging, we are proud to carry numerous vegan beauty brands, including La Vie Celeste, Sevani Botanica, and Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics. In addition, we strive to educate our readers about vegan-friendly alternatives to animal-derived ingredients such as squalane, plant stem cells and tremella. Judging by our community feedback, we know that so many of you are passionate about cruelty-free cosmetics.
We applaud the dedicated efforts of these animal-rights groups and encourage our Truth In Aging Community to find out how they can support Representative Jim Moran's Humane Cosmetics Act (H.R. 4148).