In the past decades, cruelty against animals has become particularly pervasive in the makeup and cosmetics industry. Non-human animals are routinely used to test new beauty product formulas – which very often contain toxic chemicals that blind, maim, and kill helpless animals.
This practice, incidentally, continues despite the fact that modern technology renders animal testing largely obsolete. (And despite the fact that so much of animal testing in the beauty industry is unnecessary, now that organic makeup products are on the market.)
So, in a time when cruelty against intelligent, feeling animals is taken as the norm, it requires a certain boldness to speak out against this dismal aspect of present social behaviour.
Fortunately, people around the world – whether activists or entrepreneurs, criminologists or authors – have had the courage to protest against the many cruelties inflicted upon animals.
Here, for example, you will read 3 quotes from researchers and scholars – quotes which expose how the continued existence of animal cruelty is largely the result of cultural institutions which are deeply-entrenched within society itself. (Commentary from True Glue’s editorial team is included alongside these quotes.)
- “Most of the harm done to animals – hunting and trapping, factory farming, product testing, animal experimentation, and use of animals for entertainment – is legal…In addition, the powerful institutions of religion, science, and government support the cultural exploitation of animals.” From: Agnew, R. (1998). The causes of animal abuse: A social-psychological analysis. Theoretical Criminology.
Editor’s Comment: This quote goes straight to the crux of the problem of animal cruelty in societies which consider themselves humane, ethical, and moral: inflicting pain and suffering on animals is practice carried out by society’s most influential sectors.
The good news? Corporations hold enormous power over society, as well, so companies which are adamantly against animal testing (and other forms of animal cruelty) – like those creating organic makeup products, for example – can steadily roll back the tide of animal exploitation.
- “Perhaps society will eventually reach the conclusion that animal abuse should be censured not because it is similar to abuse of humans but because it is loathsome to animals themselves.” From: Beirne, P. (1999). For a nonspeciesist criminology: Animal abuse as an object of study. Criminology.
Editor’s Comment: To shift the current cultural perspective (and acceptance) of widespread animal cruelty, it is important to stress that not only are such abuses psychologically harmful to humans, but also that animals themselves deserve much better – an approach rooted in empathy for other living beings instead of just humans.
- “At the moment, the scientific community justifies invasive animal use by citing the human and/or animal benefits that result from such use. In the current system, the scientific community ultimately judges both cost and benefit; animal care and use committees exist to assure that everything possible that can be done to mitigate suffering is in fact being done. Much research on animals is done with public money. That which is done by private money is still allowed to go forward in the public arena because people implicitly trust the scientific community’s cost/benefit assessment. In the face of these points, it would be reasonable to allow committees to judge whether a
given piece of research should be done at all, not just how it should be done. The degree of suffering allowed to be inflicted on other creatures should be judged by society in general, since the question at issue is inherently a matter of social ethical judgment, not merely the judgment of those who have a vested career interest in the outcome.” – Rollin, B. E., 2006. Animal Research and the Emergence of Animal Ethics: A Conceptual History. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics.
Editor’s Comment: A powerful refutation of the argument that rampant exploitation of animals is “necessary” for scientific – and therefore human – progress.