For those of you who read my blog regularly you know my feelings on cosmetics and why they need to be healthy and safe. That isn't something I simply state online and forget, it's something I do my best to live by. The products I purchase and use on my family need be safe, chemical free, eco-friendly and ANIMAL TEST FREE! Until yesterday I honestly thought that was something which simply went without saying. Boy did I learn differently!!
So, long story short, I use Aveeno SunScreen for my family on the rare occasions when I put sunscreen on them at all. I chose this brand & style for two reasons - 1. It rates just a 3 on the "danger scale" by Skin Deep's Cosmetics Database (1-10, 10 being worst) and 2. I'm able to actually find it locally. Most of the "natural" products aren't available around here - this one is.
Yesterday I was doing some checking, just to make sure there are no changes, when I noticed this "According to PETA, this company conducts animal tests." And I have to say, I was saddened. As I stated it's hard for me to find sunscreens which are safe for humans around here, and now I have to stop using the one I am because they do animal testing...
So anyways, I go on to my Facebook and simply vented a little about the fact that I was going to have to find a new sunblock. And out of all the friends that commented only ONE agreed with me that animal testing is NOT a good thing. There were comments like "Lather it on" and "Who cares." And I was SHOCKED!!!! I honestly just always assumed that the majority of people out there did NOT support animal testing. So many companies are using that in their ads that I assumed there were lots of people worried about it. So to make myself feel better I log on to Cafemom and posted the Question "Do you willingly by products from a company that tests on animals?" And I have to say the amount of people arguing FOR animal testing sickened me!
To me it's one thing to unknowingly support companies which test on animals, or even to use products from those companies even though you don't necessarily support the animal testing... But to argue FOR animal testing turns my stomach! I'll admit, not EVERYTHING in my house is animal test free - there is a can of Pringles in the cupboard right now. BUT, I do my best to make sure the products in my home are eco-friendly, and that includes not testing on innocent animals!
I really wonder how many people know what is happening to these animals? I mean, we live in a world where (and for good reason) people rally for the ethical treatment of farm, zoo, circus and carnival animals on a regular basis. Yet the idea of testing Botox on mice is seen as a good thing? How the hell did that happen?
And the sad part is, it's nearly impossible to NOT use products which are tested on animals. HUGE companies with HUGE brand names like Always, Pringles, Dreft, Zest, J&J and way to many more to list them all here... And many of the products which are listed as "Cruelty free" on the label aren't in reality cruelty free since the companies where they get the components for their products DO in fact do animal testing.
But there are ways around it. For one, do your research! There are more and more companies being added to the list of truly Cruelty Free companies. Now, what does it mean to be Truly Cruelty Free? Simple, it means that there is NO animal testing in ANY STAGE of the process... These products and companies are nearly always registered with the "Leaping Bunny Org." You can also search for products and companies on the PETA website as well... Although you may still be purchasing products you don't KNOW are tested on animals, small changes, like buying different sunscreen, can and do make a big difference!
But wait, doesn't out government require animal testing? NO! While this myth has been perpetuated by the testing industry it's simply not true! Neither the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) nor the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission require animal testing for cosmetics or household products. There are sufficient existing safety data as well as alternatives to make animal testing for these products obsolete. And there is no reason to think that testing on animals make things any more safe for humans! There are many reliable alternatives to using animals available, including cell and tissue cultures and sophisticated computer and mathematical models. Companies can also formulate products using ingredients already determined to be safe.
It's unfortunate that we can't go back and stop companies from ever testing on animals, but we can't. But what we can do is stop them from continuing the process! Animals are a blessing to us and to nature. Animal testing is dangerous, violent, deadly and downright torturous for these poor creatures! How anyone can claim to live an "eco-friendly" life and then support or defend the practice of animal testing is beyond me.
Every major city in the country has companies which preform clinical trials for cosmetics, medications and "foods" on and with human participants! Not only are these trials MORE ACCURATE than animal trials, but they are being done on willing participants. To me, it only makes sense that HUMAN products be tested on HUMANS!
What is the point of worrying about things like how landfills may affect the animals of tomorrow if you're going to support the torture of animals in the name of good looks? It simply doesn't seem right!
I wonder how many people honestly know what is going on? I mean, in the movies all we see are happy lab rats eating brownies or running on a wheel. What we don't see are that drug addicted monkeys, the tiny mice with HUGE cancer tumors or the sheep and pigs whose skin has been burned off, or the rats whose spinal cords have been crushed... The kittens who were purposely blinded of bunnies forced to suffer seizures... These animals did NOT volunteer for this! And there is really no need for it to ever happen! Many of the experiments done are simply needless and the majority of those which are necessary can easily be done on willing participants!
Now please don't get me wrong, I'm not the kind of person who thinks animals are completely off limits. Unlike the PETA org, I see no issues with using animals for food or clothing - BUT, as I stated in my "Vegan Pagan" post, I see no reason for animals to be mistreated simply because we are going to use them. Wild caught, Free Range and Cruelty Free animal products ARE AVAILABLE! Lets face it, a sheep doesn't want to wear a sweater in the summer either, so why would we throw the wool away rather than use it? But there isn't any good reason for the animals to be used and abused in the process. Animals are a beneficial part of our world, but that doesn't mean we need to be cruel.
So I live by these simple rules - if it's living treat it as you would a child. Animals are innocent and pure, just as children are. If you're going to kill it, do it quickly and kindly, there is no reason for them to suffer. And if you do kill it, use it all, there is no reason for anything to go to waste! I have a big issue with sport hunting and fishing where people simply kill for fun, but I understand that animals can and will overpopulate areas putting people as well as each other in danger and hunting/fishing helps that. Not to mention a Venison burger is just awesome!
So okay, I'm ending the rant, but I would love to hear from all of you... What are your views on Animal Testing? Do you ever even think about it?
Links Needing Mentioned These sites contain information on animal testing as well as lists (and links to) companies which DO NOT support it!
BUAV (British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection - Now world wide!)