Investigating. Research. Explore

  1. Over 100 million animals are burned, crippled, poisoned and abused in U.S. labs every year.
  2. 92 percent of experimental drugs that are safe and effective in animals fail in human clinical trials because they are too dangerous or don’t work.
  3. Labs that use mice, rats, birds, reptiles and amphibians are exempted from the minimal protections under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).
  4. Up to 90 percent of animals used in U.S. labs aren’t counted in the official statistics of animals tested.
  5. The shifting of the earth’s plates in the Indian Ocean on Dec. 26, 2004 caused a rupture more than 600 miles long, displacing the seafloor above the rupture by perhaps 10 yards horizontally and several yards vertically. As a result, trillions of tons of rock were moved along hundreds of miles and caused the planet to shudder with the largest magnitude earthquake in 40 years.
    1. Even animals that are protected under the AWA can be abused and tortured. And the law does not require the use of valid alternatives to animals, even if they are available.
    2. According to the Humane Society, registration of a single pesticide requires more than 50 experiments and the use of as many as 12, 000 animals.
    3. Several cosmetic tests commonly performed on mice, rats, rabbits, and guinea pigs include:
      • skin and eye irritation tests where chemicals are rubbed on shaved skin or dripped into the eyes without any pain relief.
      • repeated force-feeding studies that last weeks or months, to look for signs of general illness or specific health hazards.
      • widely condemned “lethal dose” tests, where animals are forced to swallow large amounts of a test chemical to determine what dose causes death.
    4. In tests of potential carcinogens, subjects are given a substance every day for two years. Others tests involve killing pregnant animals and testing their fetuses.
    5. The real life applications for some of the tested substances are as trivial as an “improved” laundry detergent, new eye shadow, or copycat drug to replace a profitable pharmaceutical whose patent expired.
    6. “Alternative” tests are those that achieve one or more of the “three R’s:”
      • Replaces a procedure that uses animals with a procedure that doesn’t use animals
      • Reduces the number of animals used in a procedure
      • Refines a procedure to alleviate or minimize potential animal pain.

Fact Sheet: Cosmetic Testing

Q: What products are considered cosmetics?
A: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines cosmetics as “articles intended to be applied to the human body for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance without affecting the body’s structure or functions.” Examples include skin cream, perfume, lipstick, nail polish, eye and facial makeup, shampoo, and hair color. Any ingredient used in a cosmetic also falls under this definition. Products normally labeled as cosmetics are classified as drugs when a medical claim is made. For example, toothpaste is sometimes classified as a cosmetic, but toothpaste that advertises cavity protection is a drug. The same is true for deodorants advertised as antiperspirants, shampoos that make anti-dandruff claims, and lotions that contain sunscreen. Oddly, simple soaps that make no claim other than cleansing are not considered cosmetics under the FDA definition.

Q: Is using animals to test cosmetics legally required in the United States? 
A: No. The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (regulated by the Food and Drug Administration) prohibits the sale of “adulterated” or unsafe cosmetics, but does not require that animal tests be conducted to demonstrate that the cosmetics are safe.

Q: Are there countries that legally require cosmetics to be tested on animals? 
A: China requires that all cosmetics be tested on animals. Therefore, cosmetics companies selling products in China are not cruelty-free. Brazil also requires that some, but not all, cosmetics be tested on animals.

Q: How can cosmetics companies ensure safety without using animal tests?
A: Companies can ensure the safety of their products by choosing to create them using the thousands of ingredients that have either already been tested or that have a long history of safe use. There are already many products on the market that are made using such ingredients. Companies also have the option of using existing non-animal tests or investing in and developing alternative non-animal tests for new ingredients. There are a growing number of non-animal tests that can be used to assess the short-term safety of previously untested ingredients (see “What are the alternatives to animal testing?”). Non-animal tests for longer term safety are under development.

Q: Why do some companies still test cosmetics on animals if it’s not required? 
A: Some companies choose to develop and/or use new, untested ingredients in their cosmetic products and to conduct new animal tests to assess the safety of these new ingredients.

Q: What animal tests are carried out to test cosmetics?
A: Although they are not required by law, several tests are commonly performed by exposing mice, rats, rabbits and guinea pigs to cosmetics ingredients. This can include:

  • skin and eye irritation tests where chemicals are rubbed onto the shaved skin or dripped into the eyes of restrained rabbits without any pain relief
  • repeated force-feeding studies lasting weeks or months to look for signs of general illness or specific health hazards such as cancer or birth defects; and
  • widely condemned “lethal dose” tests, in which animals are forced to swallow large amounts of a test chemical to determine the dose that causes death.At the end of a test the animals are killed, normally by asphyxiation, neck-breaking, or decapitation. Pain relief is not provided. In the United States, a large percentage of the animals used in such testing (such as laboratory-bred rats and mice) are not counted in official statistics and receive no protection under the Animal Welfare Act.Q: Besides animal welfare, are there other arguments against testing on animals?
    A: Yes, animal tests also have scientific limitations because different species can respond differently when exposed to the same chemicals. Consequently, results from animal tests may not be relevant to humans, under- or over-estimating real-world hazards to people. In addition, results from animal tests can be quite variable and difficult to interpret. Unreliable and ineffective animal tests mean consumer safety cannot be guaranteed. In contrast, non-animal alternatives can combine human cell-based tests and sophisticated computer models to deliver human-relevant results in hours or days, unlike some animal tests that can take months or years. Non-animal alternatives are also typically much more cost-effective than tests that use animals.Q: What are the alternatives to animal testing? 
    A: Cosmetics companies can stop animal testing immediately and still produce new and exciting beauty products that are also safe by manufacturing the cruelty-free way. First, companies can use ingredients that are already known to be safe, of which there are thousands. These ingredients have been safely used for decades or have been tested in the past and don’t require new testing. This is how so many socially conscious companies have been able to swear off animal testing. Secondly, companies can use non-animal tests that are already available or invest in the development of new non-animal methods. Nearly 50 non-animal tests have been validated for use, and these modern alternatives can offer results that are not only more relevant to people, but more efficient and cost-effective.Advanced non-animal tests represent the very latest techniques that science has to offer, replacing outdated animal tests that were developed decades ago. Since animal testing for cosmetics and the marketing of cosmetics tested on animals have been completely banned in the European Union, there are many efforts underway to find alternatives for all of thecommon cosmetics tests that use animals. Cosmetic companies in the United States that conduct animal tests will not be able to sell those products in Europe unless they change their practices.Q: What can be done to end animal testing for cosmetics? 

    A: One approach is through legislative and policy initiatives that prohibit the testing of cosmetics on animals. Europe has led the way by banning all animal testing for cosmetic products and the sale of all newly animal-tested cosmetics. A longer term approach is to develop non-animal tests that provide a broader range of human safety information—including information about cancer and birth defects—that would provide complete evaluation of new products. Until that time, an effective approach is consumer pressure; companies will get the idea if consumers show a strong preference for cruelty-free cosmetics and support an end to cosmetics animal testing.Q: What is the Be Cruelty-Free campaign doing to spare animals from cosmetics testing?
    A: The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International are committed to ending animal testing—forever. Through our Be Cruelty-Free campaign, we are working in the U.S. and around the globe to create a world where animals no longer have to suffer to produce lipstick and shampoo. We’re campaigning hard to be sure the promised European ban on selling animal-tested cosmetics is enforced without delay, and we’re reaching out to legislators and regulators in the U.S., Canada, Asia, and South America to achieve lasting progress for animals. We are also building unprecedented partnerships with scientists from universities, private companies, and government agencies worldwide to support and push for a totally new 21st-century approach to testing that combines ultra-fast cell tests and sophisticated computer models to deliver human-relevant results in hours, unlike some animal tests that can take months or years.

Cosmetics Tests That Use Animals






Time to cut cruel animal testing

NZ existing article animal testing

Monday, 11 Mar 2013 | Press Release

Contact: Mojo Mathers MP

New Zealand should celebrate the end of cosmetic animal testing in Europe by making the same promise in our own country, the Green Party said today.

Today the final phase of the European Union (EU) Cosmetics Directive comes into force, meaning that no new cosmetic products and ingredients on sale in the EU can be tested on animals anywhere in the world.

“Animal testing of cosmetics is both cruel and unnecessary, and is fast becoming extinct,” said Green Party animal welfare spokesperson Mojo Mathers.

There are modern, smart alternatives to using animal testing, and we need to embrace these

“New Zealanders, like Europeans, want to see the end of animal testing for recreational and cosmetic products, that’s why the public were so alarmed with proposals to test party pills on dogs,” said Ms Mathers.

“There are modern, smart alternatives to using animal testing, and we need to embrace these.

“The rest of the world is looking to New Zealand to see how we regulate party pills; we need to show real leadership in making cruel and unnecessary animal testing a thing of the past.

“A country such as New Zealand that prides itself on taking care of our animals needs to seriously address animal testing and only use it when absolutely necessary, after all other options have been exhausted.

“By ruling out animal testing for cosmetics and recreational drugs we would show we really care about animal welfare,” said Ms Mathers.

There are modern, smart alternatives to using animal testing, and we need to embrace these.


Alternatives to Animal Tests

Alternative testing methods have many advantages over traditional animal tests—including being more humane—but implementing an alternative from idea to acceptance can take years.

Step 1: Defining

The word “alternative” is used to describe any change in an animal test that achieves one or more of the “three R’s”:

1. Replaces a procedure that uses animals with a procedure that doesn’t use animals
2. Reduces the number of animals used in a procedure
3. Refines a procedure to alleviate or minimize potential animal pain

Step 2: Developing

Scientists at private companies, universities, and government agencies are developing new cell and tissue tests, computer models and other sophisticated methods to replace existing animal tests. These alternatives are not only humane; they also tend to be more cost-effective, rapid, and reliable than traditional animal tests.

Step 3: Validating

Once an alternative test has been developed by a scientist, it must be scientifically “validated,” or evaluated in multiple laboratories to see if its results reliably predict outcomes in people. Validation is sometimes a frustratingly slow process, and the United States has unfortunately proved to be far slower at validating alternatives than the European Union.

Step 4: Accepting

After an alternative has been scientifically validated, it is then up to government authorities to decide whether—and to what extent—they will accept the use of the alternative to replace, reduce or refine animal use. The opinions of government regulators strongly influence the extent to which private companies use available alternatives instead of traditional animal tests.

Examples of Alternatives

Nearly 50 different alternative methods and testing strategies have been developed, validated and/or accepted by international regulatory authorities. These are a few examples:

  • Using blood from human volunteers to test for the presence of fever-causing contaminants in intravenous medicines can save hundreds of thousands of rabbits each year from traditional “pyrogen” tests.
  • EpiSkin™, EpiDerm™ and SkinEthic—each composed of artificial human skin—can save thousands of rabbits each year from painful skin corrosion and irritation tests.
  • The Bovine Corneal Opacity and Permeability Test and Isolated Chicken Eye Test use eyes from animals slaughtered for the meat industry instead of live rabbits to detect chemicals and products that are severely irritating to the eyes.
  • The 3T3 Neutral Red Uptake Phototoxicity Test can replace the use of mice and other animals in the testing of medicines and other products for their potential to cause sunlight induced “photo-toxicity.”
  • The Reduced Local Lymph Node Assay for skin allergy testing makes it possible to reduce animal use by up to 75 percent compared with traditional guinea pig and mouse tests.
  • When testing to determine chemical concentrations that are deadly to fish and other aquatic life, use of the Fish Threshold Method can reduce the numbers of fish used by at least 70 percent compared with standard test methods.

The Draize test for eye irritation, which was developed in the 1940s, uses rabbits to test whether chemicals, cosmetics, or pharmaceutical products irritate the eye. The substance is applied to the eye of the animal and irritation is measured. Today, substances are started out at being evaluated in non-animal in vitro methods. Severely irritant and corrosive substances are not further tested on the eyes of rabbits. Only chemicals that have revealed no effects in non-animal tests are applied, in strongly diluted form, to the eyes of animals. Nevertheless, this does not suffice. The search for a replacement test continues. In this context, a very promising approach being assessed is the artificial generation of the human cornea making use of the respective cell types. Such cultured cornea epithels are already available on the market. The reason the scientists are focusing on the cornea is that it is the fi rst layer to come into contact with chemicals when they enter the eye. Another method to replace such substance evaluations on the eyes of living
animals makes use of the eyes of dead cattle and chickens from the abattoir. It is also in this area that progress has been made in recent years. Thus, it is to be hoped that these tests will be able to fully replace the Draize test in Europe in the foreseeable future, thereby finally completing the step from “reduce” to “replace”.

Ten Ways to Help Animals in Labs:


Every animal has a story.

A chimpanzee named Kitty is left to suffer for decades in a New Mexico laboratory as a “breeder,” giving birth to as many as 14 baby chimpanzees for use in research.

Echo, a pet dog, is stolen from his backyard in Arkansas and sold by a Class B dealer to a research laboratory in Minnesota.

It’s hard to believe that their stories are true, and yet Kitty and Echo represent just two of the millions of animals who are harmed by experiments or suffer in laboratories around the world every year.


An illustration book on animal story could be a possible final project. Just keeping in mind that I might work on a storyline if I do go ahead with this idea.


Picture this:

You are a dog in a small cage with metal wires surrounding it. You are by other dogs who are barking loudly as a man in a white coat comes and takes you out. He walks out of the room and puts you in a tank filled with water. The tank is deep enough to where you cant touch, you start swimming for two hours. You sink to the bottom almost dead from exhaustion. They pull you out with a pole and put you on a table. They put stuff on you and start electrocuting you so you can revive,you do. You are then on a transportable life support. The man in the white coat takes you back in the room with the dogs barking. He puts you in the same cage you were in earlier and sets down the iv pole. You look to your left and you see one of the test dogs dead. The same white coat man comes in to feed you and the others. He notices the dead dog and goes to get his snow shovel. he picks up the dog and takes him somewhere where you don’t know. You shiver from the site thinking that could be you tomorrow. The white coat man comes back and puts your small food in your cage. You hear mumbling from the other white coats and you see the feeder leave, forgetting to shut the cage. You now decide if you’re going to be a white coat, if you’ll be a good dog and stay at the labs, or run free and escape. Your choice!

More images from testing labs:

Looking at some precedents appropriate for the project:

Thomas Cornell

This image was part of a book published by the artist in 1959 with an attempt to return to empiricism with an essay by Thomas Huxley, and with the intention of a renaissance/revolution to have humanity accept the tragedy and beauty of our dependency on Nature. Perhaps we can all agree to accept Spinoza’s concept that there is only one substance, deus sive natura.

monkey-64x100 Screen shot 2013-05-27 at 2.29.26 PM

Note: Still exploring on precedents.


The Deepest Sense’ by Constance Classen 

While there might be considerable divergence as to the rational capacities of animals, it was generally accepted that animals, as sentient beings, could suffer. Touch, the common medium of all the inhabitants of the Earth, was also the medium of pain. Conventional theology held that animal pain was not a subject for human concern. According to Augustine, ‘lack of a rational soul meant “something, of course, on which a human being places little value” (Augustine, 2005b:95 [59] see also Clark, 1998).

On the political front, class conflicts in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries led many to rethink the validity of social hierarchies including, in a  few cases, the lordship of humans of animals. (One of the most radical thinkers in this regard was the revolutionary Leveller, Richard Overton.) The political philosopher Thomas Hobbes argued that it was injust to grant a predatory species dominion over its prey and that granting humans dominion over animals amounted to the same thing as granting lions dominion over sheep. As for the argument that animals were created expressly for the use of man from the seventeenth century on an increasing conviction amongh scholars was that certain species of animals had lived and become extinct without ever having come in contact with humans. How could this be reconciled with the belief that the purpose of animals was to serve humans?


The video above shows what an animal testing lab look like.


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