Animal Testing...

 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!

12 comments:

  1. I am going to keep this short. I honestly have never thought about what is tested on animals. I will say that I don't use any type of sunscreen or sunblock. It is my opinion that the exposure to the sun isn't what is causing most of the cancers but the use of these chemical lotions all the time. I grew up with a deep dark tan every summer, I am now 42 and I don't have any skin problems. As far as using household items. I try to make my own cleaning supplies when I can to avoid the chemicals.
    I do agree that testing on animals seems kind of archaic in the 21st Century.

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  2. While I agree, you would be surprised at the number of companies that do animal testing. It would be nearly impossible to avoid those companies all together.

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  3. Trying to avoid cruelty free items isn't realistic, in my opinion. The most essential items that are embedded in our "must have" list have been previously tested on animals. Such as every single medical and drug advancement we know of... and let's face it, we all get the occasional cold and headache and head for the medicine cabinet, natural remedy or not-- if it's bottled it's been animal tested. Even medical technology. But I digress, I agree that the use of animal testing with cosmetic or something equally frivolous is totally unnecessary.

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  4. It's really not that hard to avoid products or companies that test on animals. While it does get harder when it comes to medication, items like cleaning products, cosmetics and skin care are easy to go cruelty free on. You'll find the companies that are best for you, tend to also be cruelty free. And as I said, I understand that many of the things we have today WERE tested on animals, in whole or in part. But just because they WERE tested on animals doesn't mean it's okay! Lots of companies use things that were tested on animals, yet are still cruelty free because they no longer do any sort of testing on animals! As for natural medicines, there is simply no reason you can't make your own.

    I know it's nearly impossible to totally avoid, but I don't think that means it's okay or excusable to not at least TRY to avoid it when you can!

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  5. If you are using a computer you have supported a company that tests on animals. If you have ever put on a band aid you are supporting a company that tests on animals. If you use Scotch tape, you are supporting a company that tests on animals. If you get gas in your car, the hose you are using is made by a company that tests on animals. If you have carpet in your home or are going to buy carpet, you will more than likely be supporting a company that tests on animals. Chances are, the sponges in your kitchen are made by a company that tests on animals.
    These are just a few of the thousands of products made by ONE COMPANY that tests on animals. Everything from lint rollers to fire suppressant. Sponges to hard disk drives. If I see that something is cruelty free, I will most likely buy it over the other brand, but the truth is that there is no way to avoid animal testing in our country unless you are a backwoods hermit, living off the land without any kind of technology whatsoever.

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  6. Well, I have to disagree, but I understand what you are saying. It takes WORK to find companies which are cruelty free, but you can do it. Although, like you said there are things which can not be avoided, and I understand that, but there is a huge difference between gassing up your car knowing you can't go without it, and purchasing from companies you KNOW test on animals when there are perfectly good alternatives for those items. Like I said, I know there are things in my home that were tested on animals, but once I find out a company does that, I will do what I can to find a better, kinder alternative. To me, that's what it's about - finding alternatives as much as possible.

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  7. I wasn't by any means trying to advocate the abuse, but rather playing the devil's advocate. Whilst we attempt with all our might to use different products, we're unknowingly supporting another. Trying to make your own medication IS the very reason animal testing is so widely done... to avoid having to use human test subjects. But that's a whole other argument with rights activists. Either way it's catch 22. Ultimately you can gather all the small attempts in the world and it would still be just a proverbial drop in the bucket... but that's not to say we should stop trying.

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  8. I definitely don't agree with testing on animals my problem is finding alternatives that aren't so expensive. Any suggestions?

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  9. Here's the thing. Herbal medications are often best made by an herbalist, I know mine makes everything she sells. She grows the herbs herself and uses a cruelty free vodka or other alcohol and makes tinctures or infusions for me - depending on what I need. For the things she can't or doesn't grow, she can get it from other local herbalists usually. And in more and more cases I am able to make the stuff myself. We do not use modern medicines unless it's a life of death usually, in fact 2 of my 3 children have never had any form of medication in their system... That said, I know not everyone is able to do that. And I don't hold it against someone when they have to resort to medications.

    Like you I understand that it's nearly impossible without EVER using something that's from a company who tests on animals. And there are areas of our lives where it would be more difficult than others. But things like household cleaners, plant food, food in general, cosmetics, skin and hair care items... It's really easy to find alternative companies! I have been going through the list on the Leaping Bunny site and I'm happily surprised that many of the companies we already use, are on there... Burts Bees, Dr. Bronners, Everyday Minerals, Method... It's as easy as changing brands! Make your vote count with your dollar, you know... If you stop buying products because they test on animals and buy those that don't, the companies notice! I understand what you're saying about it's little steps, but every movement starts with little steps, and takes time. You can't change what others do, but you certainly can change what YOU do and if 50,000 people, or 500,000 people all follow suit, trust me, those companies will notice!

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  10. As for the cost issue, I hear you! I have 3 kids and my blogs & shop don't earn me enough to pay the light bill, so it's all on my hubby's tiny check! Cost is a HUGE deal. Give me a day and I'll post some companies, tips and even how to save money when going cruelty free on your household products! Watch for a new post!

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  11. I hear you about cost. When I wanted to try Dr. Bronner's Soap, I balked at the cost, but after looking into it, I realized how very little you need to use. It lasts for a very long time! I also use vinegar to clean practically everything!
    I am not saying that I agree with animal testing, I am just saying that I was surprised to learn that the company my husband works for, (not where they do the actual testing) does test on animals. People are generally very surprised at the amount of products they make, most assume it's only tape. (Did I give too much away there?)I am conscious of what I buy now, but it is very difficult to avoid even that company altogether. I will say though, that the company is pretty open about their policies and seems like they are trying to change KWIM? Here is a link that I found http://multimedia.mmm.com/mws/mediawebserver.dyn?OOOOOQqV2&BoHTPpjUPrhtPpArqMA&qV1r5OAr5OAOOOOOO--
    I definitely try to avoid animal tested products when I can, though.
    I would like to see a list of affordable items.

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  12. Dr. Bronner's is one of the products I'll be covering in my next blog on the subject. It is expensive, and not every version is quite as safe as you may think, so you have to watch there... But I spend about $50-$75 a YEAR on it which provides us with ALL our body washes, bubble baths, hand soaps and I even use it in our laundry from time to time... Awesome stuff...

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