It’s gift-giving season, and cosmetics and beauty products are in great demand. Many top brands are advertising that they are "cruelty-free."
What does this mean?
Cruelty-free means that these products do not involve testing on or harming animals.
However, there is no such commitment when it comes to human beings. Many of the brands that are cruelty-free — including, for example, The Body Shop, which brought "no animal testing" into vogue in the 1980s — actively support abortion access.
Several companies have devoted proceeds from a particular item to Planned Parenthood (like M.A.C. and Benefit) which means the cash you spend on the item goes directly to an organization that collects human fetal parts and ships them off to labs for experimentation, as was revealed by the undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress in 2015.
Not only that, but at least one company, Neocutis, actually boasts about the use of fetal cells to develop its anti-aging skin products.
The fact is, in the scientific culture, experiments on animals are seen as ethically problematic but using embryonic stem cells is seen as an ethical alternative. When the Planned Parenthood videos came out, the scientific community rallied around the necessity of experimenting on fetal tissue.
The state of New York is a great example of this jarring concern for animals over humans.
In 2019, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York state legislature passed the most radical abortion law ever, the Reproductive Health Act, allowing abortion up to 9 months.
Procedures for late-term abortions are gruesome surgical techniques which include dismemberment and "partial-birth abortion," cutting into the skull when the child is partially out of the womb. It is a matter of debate about when a fetus can feel pain, but some studies say as early as 20 weeks — wouldn’t you want to err on the side of compassion in case they do?
Also in 2019, New York became the first state to outlaw the declawing of cats Gov. Cuomo proclaimed, "Declawing is a cruel and painful procedure that can create physical and behavioral problems for helpless animals, and today it stops," . . . "By banning this archaic practice, we will ensure that animals are no longer subjected to these inhumane and unnecessary procedures."
Similarly, the city of New York will offer women free abortions, and is a center of research on embryonic stem cells and fetal tissue, and it has also outlawed the force-feeding of geese for foie gras, which a spokesman for Council member Carlina Rivera, who introduced the bill, called a “really cruel and inhumane practice.”
Notice the language — "inhumane" to harm geese or cats, but not to kill and dismember humans.
There have been other times in history where the powerful valued animals over humans.
In 1933, Adolf Hitler signed a bill promoting animal welfare (including outlawing force-feeding of fowl). Indeed, as Arnold Arkule and Boria Sax explore in their interesting article, "Understanding Nazi Animal Protection and the Holocaust," "It is well known that the Nazis treated human beings with extreme cruelty but it is less widely recognized that the Nazis also took some pains to develop and pass extensive animal protection laws."
The reasons the authors offer for this are varied, and include anti-Semitism — outlawing kosher butchering for example. I am not saying that our current rationale is the same as Hitler and Goebbels — except for this: The Nazis despised the Judeo-Christian understanding that man was the steward of God’s creation, that we are to treat all God’s creatures with justice and compassion (which means, yes! be good to animals) but that man, being made in the image and likeness of God, was exceptional and his life sacred.
I fear that our culture has started to despise this understanding as well.
When politicians decry "inhumane" treatment of geese and celebrate the dismembering of tiny humans, we are not "cruelty-free."
Maria McFadden Maffucci is the editor of the Human Life Review, www.humanlifereview.com, a quarterly journal devoted to the defense of human life, founded in 1974 by her father, James P. McFadden, Associate Publisher of National Review. She is President of the Human Life Foundation, based in midtown Manhattan, which publishes the Review and supports pregnancy resource centers. Mrs. Maffucci’s articles and editorials have appeared in the Human Life Review, First Things, National Review Online, National Review, Verily, and Crux. A Holy Cross graduate with a BA in Philosophy, she is married to Robert E. Maffucci, and the mother of three children. Her interests include exploring opportunities for individuals with special needs. To read more of her reports — Click Here Now.
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