Animal Rights - Human Wrongs
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Animals have suffered in the name of vanity for too long.  
Safety tests carried out in the lucrative cosmetic industry are inhumane,ineffective and unnecessary.  
     If animals do think, what do you suppose they think about?  
Do they feel fear? Locked in a laboratory - do they mourn their freedom?  
     Do they hear the footsteps in the corridor and wonder whose cage they will stop at this time?  
     Once it would have been inconceivable to entertain these questions seriously - but then it was considered ludicrous to ask similar questions about human slaves.  
     If you were force fed eye shadow, had shampoo dripped into your eyes or were kept in a tiny cage all your live, you'd do more than complain. Animals can't; that's why they need our help.  
     Most people might think that products which have not been tested on animals are unsafe for human use. In fact, the opposite is true. Human beings are a totally different species from guinea pigs, rabbits or mice, and a formula proved safe on these or other laboratory animals, may be harmful or even fatal when used by humans.  
     Have we such short memories that we have forgotten the numerous substances that were declared safe after being animal tested, and which still caused terrible side effects when used by humans. These include betablocker practolol and chloramphenicol, which showed no ill effects whatsoever in laboratory animals but caused permanent blindness and several deaths in the humans who used it.  
     Aspirin causes birth defects in rats and mice but not in people, while penicillin, highly toxic to guinea pigs and hamsters, is a potential life saver for human beings.  
     If the justification for animal testing is that these animals are unlike people, and therefore pain can be inflicted upon them, why are they considered close enough to the human species for the results to be meaningful?  
     The main tests conducted on animals by the cosmetic companies include the Lethal Dose Fifty Test, which involves a group of animals, usually rats or mice, who are fed a substance, such as lipstick in increasing amounts. This determines the single dose needed to kill fifty percent of the animals used.  
     The substance is administered to the animals by stomach tube, injection, force feeding, application to the skin or inhalation and they are then observed for up to fourteen days.  
     The Draize Test involves the product under investigation, such as shampoo or hairspray, frequently in an undiluted form, being dripped into the eyes of a group of conscious rabbits. The results, including extreme ulceration, inflammation and haemorrhaging are measured for periods lasting up to seven days.  
     Instead of testing on live animals, bacterial tests can be performed. Cells, taken from animals and preserved in a culture dish are used as a cruelty free alternative to testing on animals.  
     A recent innovation is a new test tube skin called Reconstructed Human Skin.  
     This can be used to test cosmetics without animal suffering.  
     Another method of cruelty free safety testing is computer analyses. Data about certain ingredients and formulas are fed into a computer. This enables researchers to make safety evaluations on the products.  
     A revolutionary new development in safety testing is a protein culture technique known as EYTEX, a system which can accurately predict eye irritation in human beings and is a safe and human alternative to the cruel Draize eye test.  
     Many scientists believe these are the tests of the future; others believe they could be used more widely now and so reduce the unnecessary suffering of animals.  
     In an age in which sophisticated technology advances at an unprecedented speed, the continued testing of cosmetics on animals is strangely out of place.  
     Experiments on animals have become a convenience rather than a necessity.  
     Two hundred years ago, the English philosopher, Jeremy Bentham wrote: the question is not can they reason? Nor can they talk? But can they suffer? 
 

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