When I started PRAI Beauty in 1999, I wanted to make sure none of the skin care products in my line was tested on animals, so I am very vigilant when researching vendors to make absolutely certain that PRAI Beauty is a cruelty-free company.

Cosmetic testing on animals is unbelievably cruel. The poor creatures have substances pumped into their stomachs or airways and chemicals applied to their eyes or on their skin. Thousands of animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, rats and mice die from these tests every year in the United States alone. Would you buy a product that featured a rabbit with swollen eyes on the packaging?

More Information

Fact box

Many people believe that animal testing is required by the Food and Drug Administration. Nothing could be further from the truth. While the FDA prohibits the sale of unsafe cosmetics, it does not require animal testing to demonstrates that the cosmetics are safe.

There are thousands of ingredients used in beauty products that have already have a long history of safe use. In addition, there are advanced non-animal tests that use the latest scientific techniques. One of these products is Episkin, artificial skin that can replace animal tests in a fraction of the time and cost. There is no reason for cosmetic companies to hurt animals in order to get their products on the market.

The United States should adapt legislation similar to what is already in place for the European Union where animal testing is banned on all cosmetic products and agreements. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has spearheaded this effort through its Be Cruelty-Free campaign (www.humanesociety.org/becrueltyfree.) Visit the website and sign the pledge.

Sir Paul McCartney has already lent his support and asked others to stand up for defenseless animals by supporting the Be Cruelty-Free global campaign to end animal testing of cosmetics worldwide.

So join me and Sir Paul and let your voice be heard on animal testing. It must be stopped immediately.

Cathy Kangas is the founder and CEO of PRAI Beauty, a global luxury skincare line sold throughout the world on home shopping networks. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Humane Society of the United States and through Beauty With a Cause, supports animal welfare groups across the globe. Cathy lives in New Canaan with her husband and three rescued dogs, and can be reached at cathy@praibeauty.com.