Scientific Policy Advisor, PETA Foundation
What are the alternatives to animal testing?
Rather than restraining rabbits in stocks and forcing open their eyes, or shaving their skin before applying potentially irritating or corrosive chemicals, assessors can use a whole array of superior, non-animal tests for safety assessment. For example, reconstructed human cells can be used to replicate the cornea and skin, and test-tube studies can be used to predict skin allergy. Modern, non-animal methods – such as cell-based and computer-modelling techniques – are often faster and more accurate in predicting what happens in humans than archaic experiments on animals are.
How can people become more conscious of shopping for cruelty-free cosmetics?
As consumers, we all have the power to help put an end to tests on animals. Every time we go shopping, it’s an opportunity to vote with our wallets and send a powerful message to corporations that they can’t have our money as long as they conduct tests on animals. We encourage all consumers to ensure that they’re not contributing to cruelty by buying only from companies on the PETA US cruelty-free list. By searching the Beauty Without Bunnies database, consulting the mobile app (Bunny Free), referring to the free printed shopping guide, or looking for the PETA US cruelty-free logo – consumers can verify which brands refuse to allow tests on animals at any time in the development, manufacturing, and marketing process, anywhere in the world.
What is your vision for the future of cosmetics?
The industry has witnessed fantastic innovations in humane test methods, and there’s been a boom in the demand for vegan beauty products. According to a 2018 report by The NPD Group, UK sales of vegan beauty products soared by 38% in just a 12-month period. However, some countries, such as China, still require tests on animals, and companies conduct or pay for animal tests in order to sell their products there. British laws also do not fully restrict the sale of animal-tested products. PETA continues to work to secure a future in which no animal suffers and dies for the sake of a new lip gloss, mascara, or any other product.
What is the ‘Beauty Without Bunnies’ campaign and how did it start?
Since 1987, PETA US’ list of companies that don’t test on animals has been the gold standard for consumers looking to shop cruelty-free. It includes companies that make cosmetics, personal-care products, household-cleaning products, and other common household products. The list has grown massively over the years and now includes more than 4,000 companies that refuse to conduct, commission, pay for, or allow tests on animals for any of their ingredients, formulations, or products anywhere in the world (including China). PETA US now offers the searchable online, global “Beauty Without Bunnies” database of companies that do and that don’t test on animals.