Animal testing is the process of experimentation, biologically and chemically, on animals as a way of discovering possible side effects of certain products or medicines. Animal experimentation causes harm to animals such as rabbits, mice, cats and dogs. It is a process that usually causes irritation, distress and pain. Animal testing is a large-scale operation that occurs throughout the whole world. In the US alone more than 100 million animals are killed in laboratories every year. Even though animal experimentation violates animal rights it still occurs in most countries due to moral dilemmas. However, in 2013 a law was passed in the UK and across the rest of the EU stating how testing cosmetic products on animals is banned. As much as this was a step forward, it didn’t prevent the testing of animals medically to produce safe drugs for humans.

There is a huge moral dilemma based around the principal of animal testing. It comes under the one question; does the benefit to humanity justify the suffering of millions of animals? People vote in favour of animal testing if the suffering to animals is minimal and human benefits are gained which could not be obtained by using other methods. On the contrary some people feel that all animal testing is morally wrong as the benefits to human beings are not proven. They also believe that any benefits to human beings, that requires animal testing, could be produced in other ways or obtained by using different methods. Scientists say that if animal experimentation was prevented, human beings would have to be used for all safety tests. The moral argument for this dilemma is very much ‘them or us’. Animals suffer the consequences so humans don’t have to.

Although the 2013 animal testing law on cosmetic brands was passed, certain beauty and cosmetic companies still use animal testing by paying for deadly experimentation overseas in China, where painful and cruel tests on animals are carried out. Cosmetic companies that still use animal testing are companies such as Avon, Benefit, Nars, Victoria Secret and Estee Lauder. The profit these companies make encourage the usage of animal testing. Therefore, by buying products from certain brands, animal testing is being encouraged. However, organisations such as PETA: People for the Ethical Treatment of animals, raise awareness about the use of animal testing in cosmetic brands and by doing this alert the public about what they are buying and how they could be encouraging animal testing without even being aware of it.

So, before you buy a product think about where you are buying it from. By picking an alternative cruelty free product, everyone is doing their own bit in helping fight against animal testing. We need raise awareness and put an end to the cruel testing of animals, especially when it is not necessary.