Pet Shelter Urges People To Stop Using Mink Hair Eyelashes As They Aren't 'Cruelty-Free'
A post exposing the way mink eyelashes are made has gone viral on Facebook, causing awe and disbelief among animal lovers online
The post was uploaded by JFK Animal Rescue And Shelter last Thursday, 25 June, along with photos of a mink with a disfigured face and a group of minks enclosed in small cages.
The caption of the post tells a person's journey of wanting to launch their own eyelashes company, only to find out that most eyelashes in the market are actually made using mink hair.
"I almost paid a vendor in another country until I started asking her how the lashes are made. Are they cruelty-free?" the post read.
"[The vendor] told me they are made with mink hair. I had no clue that mink was not a type of an eyelash - it was a real animal we were talking about. My whole world crashed."
At the time of writing, the post has garnered over 50,000 shares and 22,000 of reactions.
The author of the post was heartbroken to know that they were blinded by the fashion trend and had never tried to find out what most eyelashes are made out of
"I had been using lashes from different brands known as mink lashes and almost entire Pakistan (sic) uses them," the post continued.
I had no clue mink lashes meant lashes made with real mink hair.
Upon their discovery, they did some research and learned that many brands, including a popular multinational personal care and beauty chain, have been selling eyelashes made from mink hair - some are even listed as bestsellers.
The vendor reassured the author that the minks are not harmed when collecting their hair, but they doubted it and asked how could cruelty be out of the question if the product came from an animal.
To which the vendor replied, "[We] don't kill the minks, but brush the hair off and then make lashes with the collected hair. "
They went on to research more about the industry and the footage they found broke their heart
"Even the ones that say these lashes are cruelty-free are lying to you," they claimed.
"Because they keep those minks in farms where they [have been] locked up all their life, their skins [are] exposed due to excessive brushing 24/7."
"Imagine being brushed all day so your hair [falls], it is not cruelty-free. It is the height of cruelty, those minks are tied [in] chains and wooden belts with their heads pinned down, and then aggressively brushed for hours til blood starts coming out of their [skin]."
They explained that minks are solitary animals and display signs of distress when they are in captivity. According to her, the carnivorous mammals would go into depression and suffer from anxiety in an unhygienic and confined space.
The author further noted that while mink hair is great to be used as eyelashes due to its reusability, and soft and fluffy condition, they urged beauty enthusiasts to always look for alternatives.
Half of the world doesn't know minks are animals. How can you look at yourself in the mirror knowing this is where your lashes came from? Boycott all these products.
They also urged people to take the extra step to find out what the products are made of before purchasing.
The post resonated with thousands of people, with many beauty enthusiasts admitting that they were in the dark about their eyelashes were being made from mink hair, while others did not know minks are an animal
"Thank you for informing us all. Now I know I shouldn't buy and use this kind of lashes," commented a Facebook user with a crying emoji.
"I just did my research and you're right. This is honestly so heartbreaking. We're all so lost in the latest fashion trends and being on top that during that process we forget basic humanity. We're just plain selfish and cruel," said another person.
One netizen wrote, "I also found that mink means mink - an actual animal. I decided never to buy mink lashes again after that. I only got one pair before I found this out after research."
While many people are aware of the cruelty behind fur clothing, cruelty against minks are definitely not as prominent among beauty enthusiasts
A quick search on Google with keywords such as 'fur' and 'cruelty' fetches over 12 million results, while a 'mink' and 'cruelty' combination fetches only 1.5 million results.
In a fact sheet, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) claimed that minks never needed to be 'brushed' and that they are violently killed on fur farms.
An article by Glamour Magazine, which delves into the mink hair industry, reported many of the same points as highlighted in the viral post. Their verdict is to "steer clear and opt for truly cruelty-free lashes by having synthetic ones applied".
Perhaps the most convincing reports on the issue come from Ireland. According to The Journal, the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI) held a beauty company responsible in October 2018 for advertising mink eyelashes as 'cruelty-free'.
The company, Bia Belle Beauty, said their supplier ensured the mink hair was obtained without killing the animals.
"The mink has not been killed, the hair is only cut down. It's cruelty-free. We hereby certify!" the supplier said - a statement that is undeniably similar to the vendor's claims in the viral post.
In the end, ASAI found the company breached several laws and ordered the company to stop using the 'cruelty-free' label on grounds of being misleading.
In October last year, secret footage revealed how a German laboratory tortured animals in toxicity testing: