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October 23, 2012

U.S. Poll Shows Consumers Want Cosmetics to be Cruelty-Free

Humane Society International

  • iStock

A new nationwide opinion poll conducted in the United States reveals significant consumer support for cruelty-free cosmetics. The survey, conducted by Leaping Bunny-approved online retailer Vitacost.com, Inc., shows that three-quarters (75 percent) of women asked in the U.S. consider it important that the cosmetics products they buy are labelled “cruelty-free,” and would buy a cruelty-free product in preference to one without a cruelty-free label if other factors such as price tag and quality were equal. A huge majority of consumers—86 percent—also stated that animal rights was important to them.

The opinion poll comes at a key point in U.S efforts to end cosmetics cruelty. In April this year, Humane Society International and The Humane Society of the United States launched the U.S.-arm of our global Be Cruelty-Free campaign to end animal testing for cosmetic and personal care products. Be Cruelty-Free combines consumer awareness campaigns with political lobbying as well as corporate and scientific outreach to push for an end to unethical and unreliable animal tests and adoption of superior, cutting-edge non-animal techniques.

Although the U.S Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act does not specifically require animal tests for cosmetics, thousands of rabbits, guinea pigs, mice and other animals still suffer in U.S laboratories to test cosmetic chemicals. Rabbits routinely have cosmetic ingredients rubbed onto their sensitive skin or dripped into their eyes, without any pain relief. Some animals are even forced to swallow huge quantities of these chemicals in cruel “systemic toxicity” tests.

At the end of these tests, the animals will be killed by asphyxiation, neck-breaking or decapitation—all for the sake of a new cosmetic ingredient. Animal testing for beauty products really is an ugly business.

Our Be Cruelty-Free campaign aims to achieve a world where no animal has to suffer and die like this for a new lip-liner or shampoo, and it’s clear from the Vitacost.com poll that this is what U.S consumers want too. With the European Union set to become the world’s first cruelty-free cosmetic market in a matter of months, we’ll be harnessing support from compassionate consumers to urge U.S policy makers to take action to end cosmetics cruelty. The poll result is also a wake-up call to cosmetics companies still subjecting animals to unnecessary testing. Consumers clearly want an end to animal testing and they are putting their compassion for animals into practice with the products they choose to purchase. Choosing cruelty-free is smart as well as kind, because using other animal species to test the safety of products used by humans is scientifically unreliable. Ineffective animal tests mean consumer safety cannot be guaranteed, whereas non-animal alternatives can combine human cell-based tests and sophisticated computer models to deliver human-relevant results quickly.

Help us achieve a cruelty-free world by signing our Be Cruelty-Free pledge. Show that you care about the thousands of animals still needlessly suffering for cosmetics in U.S laboratories and around the world.

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