Do I put the company first or do I put my conscience first? Is it OK to be one person at home and another one when I reach my office door? That kind of dilemma applies to ingredients, for example. We’ve developed this hot new product and we want it to work, but are we comfortable with the ingredients we'll have to use to make it work? That all pales, however, when it comes to the question of animal testing. I have a very strong personal stance about animal testing. I abhor it! When I look into an animal's eyes and see the trust and vulnerability looking back at me, I wonder at a human being who could deliberately inflict pain on it. And I'm not only talking about our beloved domestic animals, I'm also talking about those used in laboratories, the subject of unthinkable experiments – physical and psychological.
The China DilemmaI’m also aware that the company’s financial well-being is affected by my point of view because it eliminates us from going into some large overseas markets that require animal testing as part of the registration process. (Interesting that some of these markets, like China, insist on animal testing where imports are concerned but don’t on their own domestic products. Could that have anything to do with the fact that they wouldn’t be able to export their home-grown products to Europe if animal testing were involved?)
If a product can't be developed without the need for animal testing, then don't develop it.I know there are well-reasoned arguments for animal experiments in the development of life-saving and life-prolonging drugs. But when it comes to cosmetics and personal care, there is no argument that could persuade me. If a product can't be developed without the need for animal testing, then don't develop it. Surely we have enough makeup choices without inflicting torture on an animal that didn't give us permission. And if a country insists on using animals to test products before it allows them into the country, then don’t go there. There are enough faces in the rest of the world. As far as pacing the floor is concerned, I haven’t worn out a path on the carpet over this one. I am fully supported by a staff that shares my point of view and for that I am immensely appreciative. So we’re missing the opportunity of a big market. At least I can sleep at night and look my dog in the face.