My original plan for my first blog was going to be something lighthearted…. maybe a personal story about one of my own animals. Then while perusing Facebook last week, this popped up on my news feed:
This was posted by the Beagle Freedom Project. I follow some different dog rescues, humane societies, dog recoveries, etc., and one tends to lead to another. I believe this group came to my attention when someone in a beagle Facebook group I belong to posted some photos of this group’s latest rescues. I also remember seeing video of a group of beagles they rescued from a laboratory putting their paws in the grass for the very first time. Heartwarming.
However, what leads to these heartwarming stories is far from that; the total opposite in fact. I have a tendency to want to go back to bed and put my head under my pillow when I read things like that photo above. I want to be the ostrich with my head in the sand, ignoring the awful things that go on in the world. But since I have become more aware of issues involving animals, I find that harder and harder to do.
This particular photo caught my attention. Two of my pets are beagles. They are the most wonderful dogs….loving and affectionate, and great companions. As I looked into this issue further, I found out that this is one of the reasons they are used in labs for testing…..because of their friendly and trusting natures. That is wrong on so many levels I wouldn’t even know where to begin.
My first thoughts are that I do not believe in any kind of testing on animals….but I can at least comprehend the mentality behind it if it leads to better things for the human race (and animals as well sometimes)….things such as cancer research, or pharmaceutical testing that leads to treatments and cures for awful diseases. Let me be clear: I still don’t like it. But cosmetics, personal care, and beauty aids?? Really? This is deemed necessary by greedy manufacturers? And we are supporting them by buying their products? They are counting on the fact that most of us are not aware of what is really going on.
People on Facebook shared the fact that there is an organization called “Leaping Bunny” that puts their symbol on products that have proven to be “cruelty free”. So I set out on a mission in my own home to see if I could find any products with the bunny on them. I am disheartened to say that I could not. The best I found was some Bath ‘n Body Works products that did say “not tested on animals”. At least I found something!
There are several websites where you can get lists of companies that are “cruelty free” – they don’t do animal testing. I have skimmed through several of the lists and have to say that most of these names were not familiar (though there were a lot on the list which is encouraging). In other words everyday products from big companies that we are familiar with, things that we can buy cheaply at the big box stores, are not on there. The most familiar ones to me were Burt’s Bees and Tom’s of Maine. I have had some of their products from time to time because I had already thought all natural products are a better way to go. I have also bought locally made products, where you know they are made with natural ingredients from here in New England. No worries of animal testing there. But these are not inexpensive.
My next visit to the store had me looking for some of these products. Wal-Mart carries Burt’s Bees. I needed a bar of soap, so picked one up. $4.00 for one bar of soap! I could buy a 12 pack of my usual brand for the same price. Maybe some people are more well off than I am, and this wouldn’t phase them. I have to give my husband credit for not saying a word when that bar of soap went into my shopping basket. I am determined to phase the bad products out of my life, but this is not going to be an easy, or cheap, prospect. But I will persist at it.
You do what you are comfortable with in your own life, and I will keep you updated when I find other new products that I really like and that are cruelty free. Just in case you want to join me.
There is so much more to say, and to do, on this subject, but I will save some for another day after doing further research. For now I will leave you with some links where you can do your own research, if you so desire.