Thursday, February 12, 2015

Animal Testing Is All Around Us

Hello faithful readers! Today, I want to blog about a touchy subject for some, animals. I am not talking about Spot or Fido curled up at your feet. I mean lab animals. The dogs, cats, mice, and other animals being used to test products to determine safety and quality.

What does this have to do with being self-sufficient? Well, to be truly self-sufficient, you should not take from the world more than you give. A part of this is to respect other living creatures for their true value to the ecosystem.

Disclaimer: Another touchy animal subject is butchering and cooking animals for meat. This will not be discussed by me on this blog. I have my own views on it, and I respect that others feel differently. While some might think that it is just as noteworthy as animal testing, I do not believe so. To me, killing for food is something that happens in nature. Killing to see what happens when ingesting a carpet cleaner is not.

A part of me wanted to write a more graphic version of this post, including what goes on during animal testing. However, even if I did not post it directly to my blog, there would still be a chance that innocent eyes could find it, and I do not want to add to the overabundant amount of childhood-innocence-stealing website pages on the internet today. So, if you are interested in viewing more about what happens to the animal test subjects, you could either do a simple Google search, or watch the documentary, "Earthlings". Beware though, whatever pops up will probably not be family or workplace friendly.

So why do we need to boycott companies that test on animals? Imagine this for me. You are a dog. You are lovable and trusting by nature. You are a faithful companion. You love to play and just enjoy life. However, you cannot do that. Why? Your home is in a lab, in a windowless kennel with cement floor. Your job is to eat Iams dog food and let the men in the white coats test you to see if their "New and Improved" formula has any adverse effects. You are placed on a table where someone cuts out a muscle in your leg to be tested. You are then dropped carelessly back onto your cement-floored kennel. You cannot bark in pain or protest because your vocal cords have been severed. Those men in the white coats don't have time to be bothered with hearing your bark, after all.

This is a non-exaggerated story of what really happens behind lab doors. Unfortunately, a dog like this is one of the lucky ones. Some products cannot be tested without killing the animals first so that they can do an autopsy on what ingesting the chemicals have done to their body.

But they're just animals, right? There's no other way to test products than to have live subjects, right? And it's better for those live subjects to be something as meaningless as an animal instead of a human, right?

Right?

Yeah, I don't think so either...

As a consumer, the best (and easiest) ways to take a stand against companies testing on animals are:
  • Boycott all companies that practice animal testing
  • Write to those companies, sharing how you feel about their testing procedures
  • Write to companies who don't test on animals, thanking them and sending words of encouragement
  • Educate yourself on animal testing, what it involves, and how other companies are getting by without it
  • Spread the word!!
You can access the full list of companies that are still using animal testing in their products at the official PETA website. However, there were several companies on the list that really stood out to me, including:
  • Cleaning Supplies: Windex, OxiClean, Pine-Sol
  • Clothing: Tommy Hilfiger, Giorgio Armani
  • Family Planning: First Response, Trojan
  • Hair Care: Garnier, Herbal Essences
  • Infant Care: Huggies, Johnson & Johnson
  • Laundry Care: Clorox, Woolite, Tide, Bounty
  • Make-Up: Mary Kay, Maybelline, Cover Girl
  • School Supplies: Post-It, Mead
  • Skin Care: Banana Boat, Keri, Coppertone
  • Soaps: Dial, Dove, Dawn
  • Stores: Sally Beauty Supply, Walgreens, Avon
And even some companies that I have seen people use who are trying to go all-natural, including Ivory and Arm & Hammer.   It is also important to note that all over-the-counter medicines and/or their ingredients are extensively tested on animals, as currently required by the FDA.

So what about you? Do you think society should continue to support animal testing? Were there any products on the list that you are using? Do you want to continue/discontinue use? What was the most surprising brand on the list to you? What are some ways that you help preserve the safety/well-being of animals?
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