I’ve always tried to live consciously, we recycle absolutely everything we possibly can. We turn off the taps when we brush our teeth, I go around turning off lights all the time and I try to buy cosmetics that aren’t tested on animals. It was only when I delved deeper into animal testing that I discovered how many of our cosmetics, toiletries, cleaning products and other everyday household items are actually animal tested.
Only 13% of animal testing in 2011 was for experiments, which had a direct link to human health. The latest stats from The Home Office show that more than 3.7 million animals are used in laboratory testing. Including dogs, non-human primates, rabbits and other animals. On the 11th March of this year, a complete and total ban on animal testing was implemented in the EU, meaning that a company cannot market any product with ingredients, which have been animal tested after the ban. They can, however, still market and sell products, which use animal tested ingredients from before the ban. And remember, this is just the EU, so a company can still sell products, which are animal tested outside of the European Union. Over 80% of the world still allows animal testing.
The one major lesson I learnt was this: A company can write that they are against animal testing on their packaging, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that the product is cruelty free.
Ingredients in the product may have been animal tested. So to make it easier, the BUAV now head a campaign called Go Cruelty Free, which allows consumers to be sure they are buying cruelty-free products. Look out for the leaping bunny logo on your product. You can find out if your favourite brand is cruelty free by clicking here.
One of the worst and biggest culprits for animal testing is a company called Proctor & Gamble, or P&G. You might recognise the name as they were a sponsor of the 2012 London Olympics. They also have a portfolio of some very popular products including Fairy Liquid, Pantene, Olay, Herbal Essences, Pampers, Duracell and Head & Shoulders. You can find the full list of products here.
P&G widely admit that they use animals in their product safety research. Including cats, dogs, rabbits, ferrets and rats. They’re the World’s largest consumer products company with an annual turnover of over $68 billion. They have no plan to stop animal testing and even try to block any bans that may come into force.
I’ve boycotted P&G because I don’t want to give my money to a company that doesn’t care about the life of an animal. Yes, it can be a pain finding a new mascara and it can take time to research which of your products are cruelty-free but when I look at Oscar, my cat, who’s currently asleep at the bottom of our bed, I imagine him in a tiny cage, being injected by chemicals which can burn him or affect his respiratory system making it difficult for him to breathe. Finally killing him. It breaks my heart. I strongly recommend that you search the hundreds, if not thousands of images in Google that show how animals are harmed during experiments. Why? Because I don’t believe you can say that you “don’t care” until you’ve seen them. It’s like eating meat but refusing to know where that meat has come from.
Local supermarkets including Sainsbury’s and The Cooperative have now taken the cruelty-free pledge, with the logo being shown on thousands of their own brand products, and more and more premium brands are not being added to that list. There’s now even a handful of clothes designers who have taken the cruelty-free pledge.
Animals don’t have a voice, that’s why we have to take a stand for them.