The silly season is here. If you are like me you may leave your present shopping till the last minute. I haven’t even started thinking about it.
While many who subscribe to Vegan Independent would be conscious of cruel cosmetics, it is worth giving a gentle reminder to friends and family about what they can do. Sometimes it’s just about putting it on people’s radars.
Polling has revealed that ‘not tested on animals’ is one of the top three most important factors women consider when buying cosmetics. Another poll showed that 85% of Australians oppose animal testing for cosmetics.
However, it is likely that many Australians are simply unaware that the cosmetics they buy and use have been tested on animals during some part of the production.
Although the industry will tell you that animal testing on cosmetics in Australia stopped some years ago, they are talking about the finished product, not the ingredients that make it up.
Some companies continue to test their cosmetics or their ingredients on animals overseas before selling them here. This is why a legislated ban is so important.
Thirty one countries have already banned animal tested cosmetics. In 2009 the European Union, the world’s largest cosmetics market, started phasing in a ban on testing and marketing cruel animal-tested cosmetics and their animal-tested ingredients. The full ban came into effect in March 2013.
The Greens are working closely with many organisations to bring about a legislated ban on cruel cosmetics. Humane Society International, Humane Research Australia, Choose Cruelty Free, the Animal Justice Party, Voiceless, Sentient and Animals Australia are all campaigning hard on this issue and working with various politicians for a ban.
The Greens’ bill before parliament would prohibit the development, manufacture, sale, advertising and import of cruel animal-tested cosmetics or their animal-tested ingredients in Australia.
Besides being unspeakably cruel, these tests are unnecessary. Over five thousand raw ingredients that have already been tested are available for use by manufacturers. They require no further testing. In vitro methods which use computer modelling are used to accurately test the reactivity of ingredients. Given the technology available, cruel testing practices are easily avoidable.
Your voice in this campaign to ban cruel cosmetics is so important. Let the Minister for Health know you support an end to cruel cosmetics and help us spread the word so more people will make informed decisions about the products they buy and support.
Choose Cruelty Free have a fantastic list of ethical and non-ethical cosmetics.
Let’s make this season a cruelty free one and let’s make 2016 the year the Australian government legislates a ban on cruel cosmetics.
Senator Lee Rhiannon is the Australian Greens Senator for NSW.
She is well-known for her energetic work in the environment and social justice movement over the last four decades and regularly campaigns on animal issues.