If you grew up in the 80's chances are you were crazy about the film Footloose (I owned the soundtrack...on vinyl). Chances also are, if you were a teenage girl at the time, you strongly identified with or admired the lead female character "Ariel Moore" - free-spirited, strong-willed and desperately wanting to break free from parental control but, at the same time, pining for simpler times when she didn't question their authority or their love.
It is with a bit of nostalgic giddiness that I am so thrilled to learn that the incredibly talented Lori Singer ("Ariel Moore" in the film) is the newest celebrity to lend support to Cruelty Free International and our effort to ban cosmetics testing on animals worldwide.
"I'm behind the work of Cruelty Free International to ensure that animals don't suffer for our cosmetics."
Regretfully, the US allows cruel tests for make-up, shampoo, toothpaste and other cosmetics, even though humane non-animal tests are available. Rabbits, guinea pigs, mice and rats are still routinely injected, gassed, force-fed and killed for personal care products.
But the necessity and validity of using animal tests to determine the safety of chemicals has been increasingly called into question. Transferring the results of animal tests to humans has proven to be problematic and misleading in many cases. Some tests involving mice or guinea pigs for skin sensitization tests only predict human reactions 72% of the time. The predictability of animal methods such as the Lethal Dose-50 (LD50) in which substances are force fed to groups of animals with the results based on the point at which 50 percent of the individuals die - is about as accurate as flipping a coin.
Thankfully, the information that has historically been gained from animal tests is increasingly being replaced with quicker, cheaper and more reliable non-animal methods. Many of the animal tests used to test cosmetics ingredients have now been replaced. In addition, manufacturers can use established ingredients that are "Generally Recognized as Safe," and, as such, do not require further testing. In addition, there are thousands of ingredients that have already been tested for safety. For starters, there are nearly 20,000 ingredients in the European Union's database for which safety data is already available.
Hundreds of companies have voluntarily sworn off animal testing and in doing so have proved it is possible to make quality cosmetics without harming animals. Not to mention, the European Union and Israel - with India likely to follow suit - are already leading the way by banning such tests within their borders.
Cruelty-free cosmetic companies and compassionate celebrities like Lori Singer, Norman Reedus, Peter Dinklage, Ashley Bell, and Ricky Gervais together with Cruelty Free International are putting the issue of cosmetics testing on animals at front of mind of consumers and policy makers around the world.
A worldwide ban on animal tested cosmetics? Now that would be reason to dance!