Every year, six million animals are tested on in Australia and New Zealand alone.
Over 124,000 of these animals will experience extreme trauma—like isolation, deprivation, and being artificially induced with dangerous chemicals, cancers and infections. Many of these animals will die painful deaths from their injuries, without proper medical examination and treatment, and all of the animals used will experience trauma and stress.
Can you imagine what it would be like? Being isolated, locked in an often dirty cage covered in faeces and dirt, and hurt by humans you’d been trained to trust?
But we look the other way. It’s not our beloved animals they’re hurting—but in reality, it could be.
Yes, small critters like rats, mice and rabbits are often used—but so are 765,000 of our native mammals, like possums, wallabies, koalas and wombats, all of whom are just as deserving of a safe life. Even more shocking? Domestic pets like dogs and cats are also frequently used by the animal testing industry.
Dogs—most commonly beagles—are popular in toxicology studies, where they’re injected or force-fed with a large substance, slowly poisoning them, in order to determine safe levels for human usage. In America alone, 75,000 dogs are used for testing, and more often than not, they’re homeless pups purchased from shelters; exactly the same as our fur babies we have in our homes.
And even more heartbreaking, just like we train our dogs to sit or shake, these dogs are taught to trust the humans hurting them, be docile, and follow commands leading to their experiments.
We justify their treatment by claiming we need to test these substances. But in truth, there are over 20,000 chemicals in the cosmetics industry alone that have been deemed safe for human use, with no animal harm required.
Really, if we’re worried a chemical might harm us, why the hell are we considering putting it in our products? On our skin? In our bodies? In our homes?
Worldwide, animal protection laws are sketchy at best. In an undercover investigation of the Professional Laboratory and Research Services in America, PETA found test subjects in shocking conditions. Animals spent years caged, often going mad, and either being repeatedly tested on, or kept infested for future studies. They were forced to endure bloody faeces, worm infestations, oozing sores and infections, without receiving adequate treatment and medical care—and that’s not even concluding the horrific testing itself.
And that could have very easily been your dog in more unfortunate circumstances.
Chances are, your favourite brands are probably offenders. Of course, we don’t want to hurt animals—but most of us don’t even know we’re supporting animal cruelty. By purchasing and using these products, we’re supporting a culture that believes animal lives are less important than ours, and because of that, we have the right to subject them to unimaginable horrors.
We are simultaneously a society that claims to love animals, but turns a blind eye whenever they’re harmed.
We know hurting animals is so utterly wrong—so what can we do about it?
As with any kind of advocacy, education is key. Educate yourself on the products you’re using, and if they test on animals or allow their products to be tested on. If a product is sold in China, it is 100% not cruelty-free: China requires their products to test on animals, by law—and companies who sell there and allow their products to harm animals for financial gain are just as bad as those doing the first-hand testing. Supporting these companies sends the message that it’s okay to hurt animals if money’s involved.
If you’re truly an animal lover, take a stand. Let these companies know hurting animals is not okay.
All animals deserve love—whether they’re small, large, scaly, feathered or fury. And none of them deserve the torture animal testing puts them through.