Should Animal Testing Be Permitted For Cosmetic Products

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Question :

Should animal testing be permitted for cosmetic products?


1)Utilitarian analysis
2)Kantian analysis
3) Additional theory
4) Theory extension
6)Reference list

Task overview. You are required to submit: 

1) The utilitarian and Kantian analysis of the topic “should animal testing be permitted for cosmetic products?”. The main task is NOT to write lots of facts about the case. It is also NOT to write about what utilitarian or Kantian ethics is. Rather the task is to conduct the ETHICAL ANALYSIS – i.e. to APPLY the theories to your case. As you will see in the marking criteria, higher grades are awarded to those students that apply the more sophisticated elements of the moral theories.

2) The additional theory is an ethical analysis of your topic from the perspective of one of the theories other than utilitarian or Kantian ethics that we have studied in class. In other words, you can use virtue ethics, Critical Theory, environmental ethics or discourse ethics to apply to your case. As with Part 1 of your essay, you should assume that the reader is familiar with the theory and focus on the APPLICATION to your case.

3) The theory extension is the use of one academic paper to deepen your analysis. The paper you select should be about an aspect of utilitarian theory, Kantian theory or the theory you have selected as your additional theory. In this section you should NOT assume that the reader is familiar with the academic paper you have selected and you should therefore briefly describe the way that the paper extends the theory and then apply that extension to your case. You should conclude this section by clearly stating whether this extension supports or refutes the original conclusion you reached. For example, a paper might extend utilitarian theory by providing some specific tests to identify which stakeholders should be included and excluded from the utilitarian analysis. You would then follow this method and describe which stakeholders changed as a result and what the impact on overall utility was. Note that you do not have to use the entire academic paper – it may be only a section of the paper that you wish to describe and apply.

4) The conclusion is the section where first and foremost you provide an answer to the question you have set yourself in your essay. In providing your conclusion you should refer to the sub-answers you obtained from the three theories you have used and the theory extension. Better answers will explain why they gave some theories greater weight then others, especially if there are conflicting answers between theories, and also the overall level of confidence they have in their conclusion. Better answers will also provide practical steps that should be taken (e.g. by industry, government or other stakeholders) to promote the practice which has been determined to be moral.

You are required to include all of these when answering the questions

Utilitarian analysisKantian analysis
  • Key stakeholders
  • Approximate size of stakeholder group determined
  • Impact on each stakeholder group (i.e. increase or decrease) shown
  • Overall impact on utility provided
  • Convincing justification for each change in utility provided
  • Deeper aspects of the theory considered, eg, qualitative versus quantitative aspect of utility (i.e. Bentham VS Mill) the selection of geographic and temporal boundaries justified
  • Limitation of the theory identified
  • Conclusion as to the confidence in the utilitarian analysis provided and justified. In other words, to what extent does this case lend itself to a utilitarian analysis and therefore to what extent can we be confident that the utilitarian conclusion is valid?
  • At least one formulation of the categorical imperative briefly explained and applied to the case
  • Two or more formulation of the categorical imperative briefly explained and applied to the case
  • Deeper aspect of the theory considered eg. Intentionality and or autonomy
  • Limitation of the theory identified
  • Conclusion as to the confidence in the Kantian analysis provided and justified. In other words, to what extent does this case lend itself to a Kantian analysis and therefore to what extent can we be confident that the Kantian conclusion is valid

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Answer :


The report focuses on the case scenario that states that whether it is a right approach to target animals for various experimental procedures that cannot be done on human beings. It involves testing of cosmetic products and drugs on animals before they can be tested on human beings. The reason behind this is that it spreads diseases among human beings if applied directly without cross-examining beforehand. Cosmetic testing on animals is used to examine safety and hypoallergenic properties related with the products for use by humans. However, these tests are not allowed with perspective of animal rights. Animals are an important part of creature as human beings are. This report has discussed certain theoretical implication and their application with specific deliverables such as utilitarian and Kantian analysis, additional theory and theory extension. This study is about moral ethics that should be applied in to provide case. Key stakeholders has been identified and determined, apart from that impact of respective theory has been illustrated in brief order. In addition, aspects of theory and its limitation have been discussed in respect to Utilitarian analysis. Moreover, this paper has illustrated Kantian analysis along its specific formulation in brief that can be applied to the case. Kantian analysis has certain limitation that needs to be considered are emphasized in this study. A paper that includes utilitarian theory has been selected that illustrated certain specific tests and discussed about the relevance of the respective theory. This study has entailed morality that should be applied to animals with respect to cosmetic tests.

Utilitarian Analysis

Utilitarian theory and analysis are related to the meet of greatest goal by harming small amount of animals. On this contrary, in this case, the animal testing is permitted for cosmetics tests. As stated by Baron, Gürçay & Luce (2018), a small number of animals are tested for treating a large number of people with proper manner. On this contrary, Bentham and Mill have stated regarding the utilitarian theory which can save total customers by the harmful cosmetics by testing them in a small group of animals. As opined by Stasiulis et al. (2018), there are several stakeholders who relate themselves in this case and most of them are get benefited in a relevant way. For an example, in relation to this case, some stakeholders are directors, editors, employees, shareholders, union, suppliers, competitors of the cosmetics industries and the customers as well. Moreover, all the communities who are related to a business organization of cosmetics products can be considered as key stakeholders. However, scientist and the animals that are used for testing the sample are relevant stakeholders for this matter. On other hands, as opined by Hannikainen, Machery & Cushman (2018), environment and other factors of environment can relate to stakeholders. An environment which helps business companies with their resources can be considered as other stakeholders in the management process. [Refer to Appendix 2]

Stakeholders of Utilitarian analysis

Figure 1: Stakeholders of Utilitarian analysis

(Source: Created by author)

Size of stakeholder groups depends on the structure of the organization and their customers’ base. Moreover, their resource management process depends on this matter for determining the stakeholders' size. All the stakeholders except the testing animals get positive impact from this process. This impact increased with specific business activities. On other hands, as opined by Herschel & Miori (2017), a utility is known as an economic term and this refers to as total satisfaction level which people can get from gaining a service or goods. Moreover, demand, the price of the products and goods is related to this matter. In relation to this, the overall impact on the utility is positive for this matter. On this contrary, a large amount of people can get satisfaction by using cosmetics in their regular days which are tested in a small group of animals for providing safe products. In relation to the utilitarian analysis animals testing method is right to rescue a large of people from harm. That's why utility is gained by people in positive way and most of the customers, as well as the other stakeholders, increase their satisfaction level in positive way.

On other hands, another two aspects of utilitarian analysis is related with Bentham versus Mill quantitative and qualitative approaches. As opined by Ebeh (2017), quantity of the satisfaction is related with the study of Bentham and Mill has considered both quality and quantity of the satisfaction level. Moreover, in the case of quantity aspects utility has some tends to provide advantages, benefits, happiness and pleasures as well. However, geographical and temporal boundaries can affect this in some ways. In relation to this, geographical boundaries are stated as people of different places and temporal boundaries are known as the people of different time zones. These boundaries can affect the utility as well. 

Limitation of this theory is related with the calculation process of total harms and total benefits. This is an impossible activity which cannot be done in proper way. Moreover, benefit and cost cannot be measured in relation to this. Furthermore, this can be concluded that the utilitarian theory is valid for this method as harm to small animal can reduce the harms of large number of people. Cosmetics companies need to give proper satisfaction to their customers which can increase by this kind of animal testing method. 

Kantian Analysis

Kantian analysis is related to the legal process in which theft, lying and murder is needed to be prohibited. On this contrary, tested animals are harmed by scientist for testing cosmetics which are needed to be prohibited according to the Kantian analysis. In this case, many animals died at the time of testing chemicals without any treatment latter. On this contrary, these types of actions are illegal. Furthermore, as stated by How (2017), this has prohibited to that extend in which if there are many people get benefit from this actions still these needed to be prohibited. Deontological moral theory is related with this Kant’s theory. On this contrary, in accordance to Austin (2017), imperatives refer to as the command which a people can make for any basis. There are two kind of imperative has present which are known as hypothetical imperative and categorical imperatives. In this case, the categorical imperative is related by which command are made in an unconditional method. This is based on the lying or cheating process which people want to make for getting more benefit but this is not ethical. [Refer to Appendix 1]

 Factors of categorical formulation of imperative work

Figure 2: Factors of categorical formulation of imperative work

(Source: Created by author)

There are three different formulation has present in relation to categorical imperative work. Moreover, in accordance to Hannikainen, Machery & Cushman (2018), there are three different ways of saying which can be done for any work. The first formulation of this Kantian analysis is related with Maxim (Baron, Gürçay & Luce, 2018). As based on this case, maxim can considered as some rules and principle which someone acts. In this case, the cosmetics companies need to give proper safe products to their customers whom can be considered as their maxim. Moreover, the second step is basic idea which is related with the activities of for making exceptional one. This can state that cosmetics companies cannot use animal testing process for their business to harm those animals or to kill them with poisonous things. The third term is related with more details of the command that every maxim which people need to activate those can be related to their will as well. However, if people do not will to do any activities they are should not do those in their life. 

Formulation can do in accordance to this approach for cosmetic products as well. The formula related to this method is as following:

Companies is doing X in the situation of Y to get Z.

On this contrary, based on this case study the formula can be relate such as Cosmetics companies is doing animal testing in their business process to get high satisfaction level of their customers. The maxim can generalized through the law of nature in relation to every people. This can stated as the every company is doing animal testing in their business process to get high satisfaction level of their customers. On this contrary, this can be stated that according to the Kant's theory people need to treat others as they want to be treated themselves. In this case, people related to the cosmetics industries do not want to treat badly as they treat their testing animals without any pain relief process. Moreover, according to the Kant’s theory testing animals for cosmetic products is needed to be prohibited. Moreover, intentionality and intention for saying any kind of lie and intention of cheating is need to stop as based on the Kantian analysis. As opined by Hannikainen, Machery & Cushman (2018), there are some limitation has present in relation to this analysis process in which people only accept the activities which is adopted by every people. As this process has adopted by all cosmetic companies that’s why one company can apply this in their process as well. 

Additional theoriesCritical Theory

Critical theory is a philosophical approach which related with communities culture in considering the historical, social and other ideological forces which constrain and produce it. Moreover, in accordance to Herschel & Miori (2017), this is relevant to the humanities and knowledge of social sciences. On this contrary, this theory has some dimension in normative matter and criticism from some normal general theories related to their values as well. The social critical theory directed with the specificity of historical matter of society. In this case, animals are testing with a harmful chemical for checking their nature by Cosmetics Company. This can be done by the cosmetics companies through which they save their customers life as well. Moreover, this procedure is needed for their company to provide their customers some safe and secure products to get proper utility. Moreover, in accordance to Baron, Gürçay & Luce (2018), critical theories has some aim for digging the social life surface. 

Furthermore, this helps to uncover all the assumption which helps normal people to know about the work procedure of the total world. This has some identification as Marx’s critiques of the total social and economic life in relation to any work process. Moreover, there are several ethical matter are related with these kind of theories. Furthermore, treating animals in bad way is related with negative activities and illegal matter as well. On other hands, environmental ethics and virtue ethics are also focused in relation to this. As opined by Stasiulis et al. (2018), critical theory has adopted by many scientist and many philosophers as well. Moreover, many feminist theories are applied this critical theory as well. Considering these intentionally treating animals with bad aspects can be stopped. However, there are many people are being saved by the testing method which secure other customers’ life of any cosmetics companies. 


The report deals with the fact that, whether it is ethical to apply cosmetic products for its experimentation on animals or not before applying it on human beings. In this respect, virtue ethics plays an important role in determining the duties that can be undertaken by the analysts performing the experiment on animals. It is a character-based ethics that specifies the right action that a virtuous individual will perform in similar circumstances. In accordance to Vinardell (2015), virtue ethics depends on the moral character of the individuals rather than the ethical duties and rules. In this context, the analyst’s team’s virtue and moral duties comes at first then the rules prescribed. There are two distinct types of circumstances that can occur within the animal testing process. In accordance to the utilitarian theory, virtue ethics states that in order to save people from harmful impact of using cosmetics with unknown chemical composition a few section of the animal can be put to experiment. 


Figure 3: Ethics

(Source: Created by Author)

On contrary, in accordance to Kantian analysis, the virtue of the analysts’ team will not permit them to put animals under knife for the sake of saving harmful impact on human beings on using the cosmetic products. In the opinion of Wilson, Ahearne & Hopkinson (2015), environmental ethics is the philosophical thought process or discipline that helps in studying the moral relationship in between human beings and moral status of the surrounding environment and its nonhuman contents. This involves animal section and according to this ethics, procedure of animal testing must be banned. Some of the nations have already banned animal testing procedures.

Some section of individuals are in support of animal testing for medicines as it simply improves human health and leads to extension of life on Earth. However, the same section of individuals shows discrepancies when it comes to testing of cosmetic products on animals. This is due to the fact that the cost to animals cannot be justified as it a means of luxury for making human beings look better through artificial means. The discourse ethics were put forward by Habermas the aims at moving the ethical theory propounded by Kant. It stresses the fact of moral perspective within communication framework of a community of shelves. In the opinion of Monamy (2017), discourse ethics states that the viewpoints of all those that will be affected by a process have to be considered. It states that the normative claim and the moral actions must be examined before proceeding with the process. The discourse ethics is based on a dialogical form of the practical reason of whether to harm animals for testing a beauty product or not. It can be interpreted that animals must not be tested with cosmetic products as it harms them and can often prove fatal.

Theory Extension 

In accordance to the utilitarian theory, it is a better option or alternative to test animals for certain drugs and cosmetic products before being directly applied on human beings. In accordance to Natsch (2015), it is line with the theory that proposes that it will be a better option if life of many individuals is saved by putting at risk the life of few animals. In the past, it has been shown that animal experimentation has contributed greatly to medical advancement and it has resulted in saving life of countless human beings. The research paper helps in stating the benefits that the medicine section have received by following utilitarian theory as enzyme streptokinase and vaccination against poliomyelitis have eradicated polio. In addition to this, the replacement of arthritis-crippled joints and treatment policies involving cystic fibrosis were used for treating human beings. These drugs were at first tested on dogs, cats, animals and monkeys. 

This perspective of using animal for experimenting drugs, medicines and cosmetic products is against the Kantian theory and analysis. It states that no human beings can be harmed for testing of drugs, medicines or cosmetic products (Monamy, 2017). It will be against the animal right and animal liberationists do not separate out human beings from animal. It might be a pig, a dog or a boy. In accordance to the Kantian analysis this concept is known as the specialism and in the pure form, specialism does also known as the view that species membership consists of all the creation exist on the earth surface.

However, in accordance to some individuals and the virtue ethics, the condition might vary in accordance to the various circumstances such as for testing a medical drug that can cure a fatal disease, animal testing can be permitted as it helps in saving the lives of millions of people. However, for testing cosmetic products it is not appropriate. It is against the violation of the ethics that one must follow while living in environment and must strive to save people and non-human content also. It also specifies that the discourse ethics and is in accordance to the Kantian Theory that states that no living beings can be hurt for the sake saving other entities. 


From the research report study, it can be concluded that animal testing is appropriate or is a necessary factor in certain situation and is ineffective for just fulfilling luxury purpose. The report takes help of various theories such as Kantian theory, Critical theory and Utilitarian theory that proposes various situational ethics that determines the appropriateness or inappropriateness of the concept of using animal for testing various cosmetic products. In accordance to the utilitarian theory, if the lives of millions of people can be saved by sacrificing the life of a very few non-human content involving animal then it must be practised. On the other hand, the Kantian theory states that animal testing is against the right proposed to them and must not be practised.


Appendix 1: Theories related to Kantian theory

Theories related to Kantian theory


Appendix 2: Utilitarian in relation to consequentialism

Utilitarian in relation to consequentialism