Our Commitment to Cruelty-Free Toothpaste

Bunny Rabbit in the Wild

Why should we opt for cruelty-free toothpaste? Well, we use it twice a day, so do we really want to be brushing our teeth with something associated with animal cruelty? Animal testing is a common practice in the cosmetics and personal care industry. Let’s take a look at how and why cruelty-free toothpaste is a great oral care product for animal lovers. 

Animal Testing in the Cosmetics Industry

Every year, millions of animals are used and killed for scientific purposes. According to Cruelty Free International, we can expect that at least 192.1 million animals are associated with animal testing and breeding every year. In addition to rats, mice, frogs, ferrets, fish, pigs, quail, rabbits, sheep, monkeys, animals like cats and dogs are commonly used for animal testing. 

In just a single year, roughly 207,724 tests are conducted using dogs. 

Even when valid, non-animal methods are available, animals are still subjected to skin sensitization tests, skin irritation tests, eye irritation tests, and pyrogenicity tests (checking for capacity to produce fever). Pain relief isn’t offered, and force feeding of chemical substances can result in illness, or severe health complications like birth defects and cancer. 

In some cases, animals are used to test for lethal concentration and lethal dose. These tests are conducted to see the amount of a product or ingredient that kills test animals. Even with other types of tests, post-study animals are killed through methods like neck-breaking, decapitation, or asphyxiation. 

The ethics behind animal testing

Animal testing is generally conducted on cosmetics, or products that are applied to the human body for beautifying, cleansing, or appearance-altering purposes. However, in the U.S., animal testing isn’t legally required, according to the Humane Society. 

Not only, that but animal testing can produce variable, non-reliable results. Even between two species, results are difficult to interpret, rendering them unreliable. When we have other, non-animal alternatives—which deliver more accurate, economical, and quicker results—then why are we still using animal testing for products like toothpaste.

How Do They Test Toothpaste on Animals?

While many eco-friendly toothpaste brands avoid animal testing, it’s still a commonly used practice for some of the big brands like Colgate, Crest, and Sensodyne. So just how do they test toothpaste on animals?

Animal testing on toothpaste comes about in two main ways: 1) the individual ingredients (chemicals, artificial colors, etc.) are tested on animals; and 2) the finished product is tested on animals. 

All of the animal testing methods mentioned above—like sensitization and eye-irritation tests—are used for products like toothpaste. Animals are forced to eat or inhale massive amounts of chemicals, or have them dripped into their eyes or smeared on their shaved or scraped skin. 

In 2011, a Daily Mail reporter went behind the scenes at a testing facility. He witnessed the laboratory worker squirting a solution into a rabbit’s eyes repeatedly until they experienced side effects like irritation, pain, bleeding, and blindness. The product being tested was a chemical found in conventional toothpaste. 

Impact of animal testing on the environment 

When something like toothpaste is tested on animals, it isn’t just unethical for the animals themselves, but it takes a negative toll on our planet, too. Between the bedding, caging, animal food, needles, and syringes, animal testing laboratories produce a significant amount of hazardous waste. 

Additionally, millions of animal bodies can release harmful substances and contribute to air pollution. Not to mention that animal agriculture—which encompasses raising animals for testing purposes—is a large contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions. 

If you want an animal- and planet-friendly product, it’s important to look for eco-friendly toothpaste that’s both cruelty-free and vegan. 

Not All Toothpaste is Vegan & Vegan Friendly isn’t Always Cruelty-Free

Realizing that not all toothpaste is vegan, many people opt for toothpaste that’s free of animal-derived ingredients. Consumers may take the time to scan ingredient lists for ingredients like glycerin, calcium phosphate, propolis, and flavor, but little do they know that even vegan toothpaste can be tested on animals. 

It’s important to remember that vegan friendly toothpaste isn’t always cruelty free. Similarly, a toothpaste product can be made with animal-derived ingredients but avoid animal testing, still making it cruelty-free toothpaste. 

Terra & Co's Cruelty-Free Products

Terra Co’s Vegan, Cruelty-Free Toothpaste

At Terra & Co., none of our products are ever tested on animals. Not only that, but they’re made with 100% animal-free, vegan ingredients. Whether you add our dental floss, Ayurvedic-inspired oil pulling, charcoal toothpaste, or Gentle Green Mouthwash Tabs to your oral care routine, you’ll get ethical, animal-friendly products. 

Whether you’re a pet parent or just have a respect for all of the beings that inhabit our planet, we urge you to support brands offering vegan, cruelty-free toothpaste. It’s senseless, unnecessary, and downright evil to subject innocent and unwilling animals to the terrors of animal testing. Join us in a commitment to products that are safe and supportive of healthy smiles, a healthy planet, and healthy, happy animals. 

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