Stuck in the stone age

By Sriya Narayanan

Ever wondered if your shampoo has blinded a rabbit? Not many consumers are aware that multi-national cosmetic giants outsource grotesque animal torture to India because it’s less expensive here. Gandhi would’ve been repulsed, and so will anyone who learns what ‘testing’ involves.

Sample this eye-irritancy test for shampoo: “Laboratories use albino rabbits because they have large, sensitive eyes. Their eyelids are held open with clips while workers drip chemicals into their eyes. The rabbits are usually not given any pain killers - some rabbits break their backs as they struggle to escape the pain.

After placing the chemical in the rabbits’ eyes, the testers write down the damage it causes, which includes swelling, burning, blistering, and blindness”. Glossy commercials for shinier hair or softer lips wouldn’t dare tell their consumers about the horror that takes place behind the scenes.

What’s the alternative?

“Alternatives to animal testing include cell cultures (just a collection of tiny cells, not a whole animal). They’re cheaper and produce faster, more accurate results than animal tests, which means they’re safer for people too. Companies can also use ingredients or combinations of ingredients that have already been proven harmless, or use natural ingredients,” says PETA.

On Thursday, activists staged a unique protest targeting the Ministry of Health and shoppers, dressed as club-wielding cave people and carrying signs that read: “Ministry of Health: Stuck in the Stone Age. Ban Cosmetic Testing on Animals.”

Look for the rabbit

Check the labels of all cosmetics and detergents you buy – some will have a ‘rabbit’ sign that says ‘not tested on animals’. Some cruelty-free companies are yet to adopt the ‘rabbit’ symbol, so check out for an exhaustive list of companies that do and don’t test (in downloadable pdf format). If you want to do more, shoot off an email to the heads of cosmetic companies that test on our furry friends, telling them you’ll boycott their products until they adopt alternative testing.

“In the 21st century, people can choose to be cruel or kind,” says PETA’s Dharmesh Solanki.”With so many humane and scientifically valid alternatives available, there is no excuse for using animals to test cosmetics products.”

(With inputs from PETA India)


3 Responses to “Stuck in the stone age”

  1. Caroline Bryant on June 18th, 2010 7:48 am

    I always support the cause of PETA.~;,

  2. Sleeper Sofa  on October 13th, 2010 1:23 pm

    my sister is a member of PETA she really likes to protect the welfare of animals’~,

  3. HDTV Calibration %0B on December 21st, 2010 10:44 pm

    i always admire PETA, they really protect some of the helpless animals on this planet ,,:

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