But wait... why were they only now seeing grass and sunshine for the very first time? The Beagles in the video were older dogs, not brand new puppies. How is it they've never gone outside? I looked into who made the video, and what I found literally changed my life forever.
The video came from the Beagle Freedom Project, a group that rescues lab animals, mainly Beagles. I started researching the Beagle Freedom Project, to find out more.
Animal testing. It's something that happens every day, but most people never think about it. I'll be honest. I guess I've always known animal testing goes on, for drugs and stuff like that, but I never really thought about it. I thought they stopped testing cosmetics and household products on animals years ago. I think I just trained myself not to think about it, much in the same way we train ourselves not to think of bad things like plane crashes or car accidents. We know they happen, but we really don't want to think about them. In the last few months, all that has changed for me, at least when it comes to animal testing.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of animals are used in testing for cosmetics, personal care and household products. Hundreds of thousands of mice, rats, rabbits, cats, dogs, primates. According to one source, at this moment, there are over 65,000 dogs alone "living" in labs. 95% of those dogs are Beagles. Apparently, Beagles make great lab animals because of their docile nature. They are trusting, sweet, and eager to please, which unfortunately makes them the perfect lab animal.
These animals spend their entire "lives" in cages, being tortured and abused. Rabbits get chemicals poured in their eyes so that I can have "clump-free" mascara. I won't go into further details here, but you get the drift. If you so desire, the internet is full of images, and stories. I actually encourage you to go and do your own research. While nobody wants to see these images and hear these stories, the fact of the matter is, not hearing and seeing them doesn't mean it's not happening. And it won't make it stop.
Case in point: A few weeks ago I was giving away a bottle of hand lotion - it didn't work very well anyway, and it was a first step in going cruelty free. A co-worker offered to take it, and then asked why I was giving it away. When I told her it was because I didn't want to use products tested on animals anymore, she freaked, saying that she didn't want it either. I asked her what kind of laundry soap she used. She said Tide.... When I tried to explain to her that most of the stuff in her house was probably tested on animals, she just made a face and walked away. I doubt she's thought of it since. I thought it was interesting though - when directly confronted with animal testing, it makes most people uncomfortable enough that they don't want to use the product at that time. But most people don't think about it when they purchase the products they use every day. Out of sight, out of mind.
The only thing that will make it stop, is action. Every time you choose a cruelty free company over one that continues to test on animals, you are making a statement. You are saying that it is NOT OK to continue to test on animals for the purposes of having shinier hair and brighter skin, and "cleaner" bathtubs.
I'm not saying that everyone needs to join PETA and start raiding laboratories. You can make a difference every single day, just by making different choices in how you clean your home, wash your hair, soften your skin, etc.
This is where I hope this blog will help people. In recent weeks and months, I have done a lot of research into going cruelty free. I have discovered many new (to me) companies and products, and have tried many of them. I have also discovered that it can be a bit challenging for Canadians (especially if you live outside the major cities such as Vancouver and Toronto) to find some of these products in an affordable, easy way. Even if you can buy something over the internet, oftentimes the shipping is more than the cost of the product itself. This can be a deterrent in trying new things. I'm going to try and make it easier for you.
I'm going to post about the research I've done, the products I've tried, and companies I've discovered. I'll also post about DIY projects, which aren't necessarily "new", but new to me, and I figure if it's new to me, maybe other people have never heard of it and would try it!
I welcome differing opinions, as long as they are expressed with courtesy and politeness. If this blog becomes a place of open discussion, I welcome that. I will encourage comments that contribute to a friendly and intelligent discussion. I will delete any comments that are hostile, insulting, abusive, aggressive, or otherwise contain spam.