If you were aware of the painful experimentation animals were subjected to in order for us to use certain cosmetics, would it make you think about the products you buy?
A couple of months ago I decided to research animal testing for cosmetic use – because firstly I am an animal lover. I adore animals and rescued my own dog who is one of my biggest loves in life! Toby – the westie – with the cutest face and the funniest personality.
Secondly, I was one of those people who used to get really angry when people would share animal cruelty posts in a bid to raise awareness about animal testing. I would immediately hide the post so I didn’t have to see it – I didn’t need to see it – I knew what went on. Well actually, it turns out I didn’t know the half of it.
I reluctantly wanted to know more about the animal testing process so I could be fully informed and hoped it would change my mind about using some well known brands that I’d heard still tested on animals… so I began reading articles, researching reliable websites such as https://www.peta.org.uk/ and forced myself to look at images that I really couldn’t bare to look at.
One of the first things to affect my thinking was how dogs are still used for experimentation. I was appalled – looking across the room at my little doggy sat on my sofa, imagining the awful things that he might be subjected to. It was heartbreaking. So many of us have dogs as pets – could you imagine your pet being tortured for the sake of a new lipstick? Ok, it might sound far fetched but somewhere around the world, this is happening! So what makes dogs different to rabbits or rodents? These are also pets in some households… animals are animals, regardless of species and should not be subjected to horrendous painful experimentation when there is no need for this to happen.
So let me tell you the bad stuff first. I won’t get too graphic and I haven’t included any of the awful images that I saw… my aim is to give a brief idea of how the animals are treated and hope it challenges you to think about future purchases. I have been guilty of buying and using brands that are not cruelty free… I’m still learning about the cruelty free brands and actually the list changes regularly. I am not wanting to make anyone feel guilty about buying certain brands or to be so arrogant to say my kit is now perfect… but I am CHANGING and will not be restocking my kit with anything other than cruelty free makeup.
In order to start my campaign to “gently” raise awareness I needed support… obviously an amazing creative team who shared the same ethics and vision was needed… and thanks to Photographer Natalie Pluck ,Hairstylist Becca Hunton and model Alexandra Hart we were almost set. I also wanted to use only cruelty free brands on the campaign so with the support of Veil Cover Cream and PHB Ethical Beauty who kindly sent me some of their products to use I was keen to get started. Oh and Becca also used Label M hair products for the campaign which are a cruelty free brand.
So this is the worst bit – but worth knowing if you’re really interested in making a change too….
Animals are kept in laboratories – they have no decision over their lives and deprived and isolated from humans that will care for them. With experimentation, nothing is off limits regardless of how painful it might be or concern for the welfare of the animal, even if it results in death (which in most cases is the kindest option ultimately in the end…but this is not always a quick ending!)
- Burned – rubbing chemicals in to the skin to see if it reacts
- Addicted to drugs – injecting in to the body and the eyes
- Forced consumption
- Implant wires in to brains
- Crush spines
- Repeated surgery
If the animals don’t die from their injuries immediately unfortunately there will be no positive outcome… its just a matter of time. Horrendous isn’t it? 🙁
So, let’s talk makeup and brands. There are so many amazing brands out there that are entirely cruelty free. Well known brands such as Charlotte Tilbury, Urban Decay, Nyx Cosmetics, Anastasia Beverley Hills are cruelty free as well as lots of lesser known brands. Just because they’re not as well known as some of the big brands does not mean they are poorer quality.
Some of the well known brands have a disclaimer on their website say they have an “Against Animal Testing” policy yet if these brands choose to sell their products in China, all products must be tested on animals first – this is Chinese law. So personally, my opinion is that these brands choose profit over morals. These are some of the big brands too such as Mac Cosmetics, Estee Lauder, Clinique, Bobbi Brown.
Animal testing applies to other products too – hair,nails and household products.
So, finally, for us to create impact with the campaign we wanted to highlight the beauty and the ugly side of the experimentation by showing through the physical styling as well as the photography style the various ways in which animal testing takes place… thankfully our imagery was created with cruelty free makeup (including special fx), styling, Alex’s portrayal of the tortured animal and Natalie’s clever imagination of damaging the film negatives using techniques such as burning, chemical damage, needle pricks, scratching amongst others, the same techniques used for experimentation.
As a team, we are so proud of this campaign and was created only to raise awareness. I don’t think any of us actually knew the extent of the facts… its definitely made me reconsider the brands I’ll be buying. I would love to hear from anyone else who is inspired to go cruelty free.
OH, before I go… I should also mention… Vogue Italia also liked our work. YES, VOGUE ITALIA! That’s not a bad seal of approval.
With love and thanks from Gemma, Natalie, Becca, Alex and thank you to Veil Cover Cream and PHB for your support x