Beauty products have come a very long way. From the Ancient Greek days of 'bleaching' hair with arsenic and washing hair with ashes, to using curdled milk to cure acne in the Middle Ages, we have made great strides in changing our beauty routines to be safer and healthier. However, until quite recently, animal cruelty has still being running rampant in the beauty industry.
Australia still currently allows the testing of beauty products on animals, until July 2018 when a new bill will be imposed which restricts industrial chemicals to only be used in cosmetics will be banned from use on animals. However, testing chemicals not for the primary used of cosmetics will still be legal, meaning the numbers of animals saved will be scarce.
So why aren't we joining the growing number of countries banning animal cruelty?
The European Union has the strictest laws regarding animal testing in the world, who started their animal testing bans back in 1986 and have only gotten stricter since. But for Australia, it seems to be more of an importing issue. While it's not illegal to test products on animals in Australia, it's not done as much by our local manufacturers, rather than our international ones. Which is why Australia is reluctant to change it's stance. Importation of overseas beauty products is still a large market and brings in a hefty tax revenue. There is definitely a price on an animals life in the Australian government.
So what can we do?
Educate. There are many resources out there for finding out what brands are cruelty free, and there are a lot of them out there now. Many people are becoming more aware of what they are consuming and using, and with most information accessible at the touch of our fingertips, it's never being easier for people to learn and educate themselves. A great resource to find out about which companies do and do not animal test is choosecrueltyfree.org.au
Some Australian brands that don't test on animals include:
- Bold Bird (A local Mornington Peninsula businss)
- Nude By Nature
- Bondi Sands
- GoTo Skincare
- Eleven Australia
We need to stop giving companies that continue to test on animals a platform to sell in our country and other countries. We cannot force them to change their behaviour, but we sure as hell can.
You can learn more about the new Australian laws regarding beauty products here.