The animal rights movement, specifically the anti-vivisection campaigns, has greatly increased public awareness to the horrors and irrelevancies of animal experimentation for consumer products. It has sparked the creation of highly profitable niche market; new companies have been established and have caused marketing of organized cruelty-free brands and products. The supporters of the animal rights campaign are especially concerned with the abuse of animals for cosmetics and medical testing, the killing of animals for fur and hunting for interest. In addition, a cruel treatment of animals has even fostered a growing tendency for vegetarianism. In that regard, there observed a dramatic growth of the awareness among the animal protection organizations that have started a vigorous fight against indiscriminate use of animals in testing.
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Despite the fact that the number of animals applied foe testing is relatively small, many trivial products like cosmetics and household abstergents are tested on animals for their toxicity. In that regard, due to the rise of the animal rights campaigns, many producers of household and cosmetics reduced the animal testing or even cancelled completely (Garner 142). Moreover, international animal rights organizations, such as the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV), have largely been responsible for publicity exposing the horrors of animal testing for consumer products. A variety of tactics has been used to provoke outrage and disgust in consumers.
To propel the rise of awareness among both the producers and consumers, PETA released the film Unnecessary fuss that depicts the episodes of unjustifiable abuse of primates (Newkirk et al 1995). The film was shot by the researchers that imposed the brain damage of primates. The video proves the researchers’ negligence and cruel treatment of baboons; it is a bright evidence of professional incompetence (Delaney 214).
BUAV’s main purpose is to make consumers buy the products that have not been tested on animals. It promotes numerous plans and schemes to increase the awareness of the customers. The campaign’s choice was cruelty-free policy directed at the prevention of animal experimenting on the cosmetic products. It released a wide-range of films disclosing a veritable picture of the cruel test inflicting animals; the BUAV also intervened with the mass media network to expose the thrilling facts about animal sufferings (Lent 188). It is worth saying that BUAV often uses law as an inherent part of the fight against animal testing.
Recent public opinion polls conducted by the BUAV support the continuous success of the anti-vivisection campaigns; in the United Kingdom, seventy-nine percent of consumers would discontinue usage of a product if it was found to be tested on animals. Eighty-one percent of British People do not agree to use the household products that were subjected to the animal experimenting. As the use of animals is growingly becoming unjustified, as it is shown in the recent research (Animal Aid unpaged). Furthermore, eighty-three percent of British women are against of distribution of cosmetics and household products being the result of animal testing (Animal Aid unpaged). Therefore, the possibility to use the non-animals methods of testing household products and cosmetics would not only deprive the animals of pain and sufferings but also attract a greater target audience.
According to the survey, there observes a dramatic increase in ethical spending in the UK in order to enhance the protection of animals and to reduce experiments. Despite the fact that the looking good is the most profitable business engaging the biggest companies, there also observes an increase of public awareness and the ethical dilemma as far as the animal testing is concerned. According to the report of Bank’s annual Consumerism of 2006, the ethical spending in the UK in 2005 was £ 29.3 billion in comparison with £173 million spent on the cosmetics. This is 1.8 percent higher than it was in 2004 so that the ethical products are in more demand for the current customers. Moreover, the ethical marker of 2007 counts $ 57.8 billion thus being increased by 15 percents compared with the previous year; ethical cosmetics segment reached $ 794 million, which is 16 percent higher from 2006 (Business Cosmetics unpaged). As it could be viewed, there is a high tendency for the abolition of animal tested products.
Considering the animal testing policy conducted by the European Union, there exists the European Partnership for the Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing (EPAA) suggesting its own animal testing control program. The programs issues admit the use of animals still having some limitations. Thus, it establishes the safety and the extent of risk imposed on animals during the test; EPAA also presupposes the account of the measures in redundancy of animal testing particularly in “hot spots”. Consequently, the European organizations do not exclude the implementation of animal testing thus only creating certain legal constraints.
Nowadays, the consumer may often encounter “cruelty-free” and “not tested on animals” pseudo-labels. To preserve a high reputation of the company, they resort to illegal methods for their cosmetics to buy. The consumers experience difficulty and misconception, as they are not sure whether they use the ‘cruelty free’ product. The research proves that such labels as ‘cruelty-free’, ‘finished product not tested on animals’, ‘never tested on animals’ or ‘Against animal testing’ may mean nothing at all and instead they may lead to the customers’ disbeliefs. This is explained by the fact the ingredients may have been tested in animals, even though the final product was not tested (GoCrueltyFree unpaged).
The heightened confusion over the misrepresentation of cruelty-free cosmetic and household product labels propelled the 1996 creations of the Humane Cosmetics Standard (HCS) and the Humane Household Product Standard (HHPS). Albeit the assistance of a small group of animal protection organizations across the European Union and North America, the BUAV spearheaded the development of both Standards (GoCrueltyFree unpaged). The BUAV managed to resolve this confusion by providing an exclusive logo that could be placed on the cruelty-free products; this sign will surely mean that neither the ingredients not its finished product are tested on animals. The above-mentioned standards are considered the first step in providing the consumers with ethical product. The newly designed leaping bunny managed to increase the market segmentation of the ethical consumer market. Those companies who were approved by BUAV should follow the certain code that bans the use of animals in testing; the logo also imposes the liability for not using the ingredients subjected to the animal testing; finally, the leaping bunny company is prohibited to be involved with business relations with other companies who still use animal tested products.
One of the animal testing-free companies is Lush Cosmetics, the most popular producer of the bathroom products with its headquarters in the United Kingdom and subsidiaries in 36 countries. The company was founded in 1994 by the married couple that decided to open the store in Poole. The main peculiarity of their products lies in the use of natural ingredients such as fruits and vegetables, essential oils and synthetic-free components (Lush unpaged). The company’s philosophy is built on the abolition of animal testing to preserve the high-quality image of the company. Lush Cosmetics support the idea of the leaping bunny and rejects the legislation administered by REACH (Brussels, the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemical) considering this legal pieces too complicated. The company believes that animal testing is the matter of the past, as such experiment does not guarantee the safety of the products.
Another popular company that advocates the Animal Rights Movement is Beauty Without Cruelty. Like Lush Cosmetics, it produces the soap, lotions, and shampoo whose ingredients are made from organic products. The Company with a 40 year experience proved that animal testing is an unnecessary method for the improving the quality of the products. The products are acceptable for the vegetarians; moreover, these cosmetic outputs are fragrance-free. The choice of the name is predetermined by their philosophical approach to the manufacture. As it can be seen, this company supports the civil rights movement (Beauty Without Cruelty unpaged). BWC is also the founder of BWC Charitable Trust, that advocated the animal welfare.
Drawing on the conclusion, the civil rights movement is rather popular in the UK and all over the world due to the fact that there is an increase of self-awareness among the consumers and the producers. Therefore, the new policy implies the introduction of elimination of animal testing and introduction of natural products.
“Beauty Without Cruelty”. Beauty Without Cruelty Petaluma 2008. Web.
Delaney, David Law and Nature. UK: Cambridge University Press, 2003.
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