I have recently become aware of the horrific process involved with making the products I put on my skin every day. It is shocking to learn that many makeup brands I have invested in are engaging in unnecessary and cruel animal testing before their merchandise hits the shelf. 

It led me to investigate what is actually involved in animal testing. Such questions arose like "how much do the animals suffer?" and "what are the alternatives to animal testing?" 

Animals Australia recognise that the majority of animals used for experimental purposes undergo various levels of pain and distress while the procedure is being performed, as well as through their living conditions (in laboratories). They also recognise that testing the safety of cosmetics on animals often results in death. 

There has been movement towards alternatives to animal testing such as “studies of systems in cell culture” but due to lack of funding and the “sticking to what we know” mentality, it has not acquired the amount of attention wanted. Therefore, Animals Australia notes that rewards and encouragement must be implemented to allow for less reluctance towards alternatives. 

The Be Cruelty-Free Australia campaign led by the Humane Society International is one initiative that is calling on the government for change. Currently, there are barely any restrictions on animal testing in this nation and therefore, this campaign is pushing Australia, alongside the other 30+ countries throughout the globe to implement a ban on such experimental measures. 

Studies conducted by the Humane Society International show that 85% of Australians are against animal testing. They also show that animal testing does impact negatively on the welfare of an animal and banning of cosmetic testing will spark research into this field. Consequently, this may lead to economic growth in Australia. 

One of my favourite old Chinese proverbs illustrates "it is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backward.”

Pushing for no more animal testing has already had its achievements in Australia... Some include:

- The Australian Labor Party were in the process of developing policy options in response to enormous support through the Cosmetics and Animal testing Policy Consultation (September 2014). 
- Passing of a cross party Senate motion (November 2014) and a motion in support of banning cruel animal testing for cosmetics was moved to the House of Representatives (September 2015). 
- The Australian Labor Party has drafted the Ethical Cosmetics Bill after months of dedicated campaigning from Be Cruelty-Free Australia (February 2016). 

Now I'm not going to create waste by throwing out all of my current makeup products – but my research has certainly made me aware of the need to minimise consumer demand for products made by large scale companies who perform animal testing. If we all start to make more ethical decisions when purchasing our cosmetics, these companies will be forced to listen and improve their standards of practice. 

For more information about animal testing follow the links below: 

http://www.humaneresearch.org.au
http://www.animalsaustralia.org/issues/animal_experimentation.php
http://www.animalsaustralia.org/features/animal-testing-list.php

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