Changing your products to vegan is probably more important than changing the food you eat. That’s a big statement but realistically we need food. So eating is essential whether it be animal-sourced or not. But we don’t need to dye our hair, or paint our faces with make-up, or even wash our clothes (although this is arguably an essential!). So these are all luxuries that we add to our lives to make them more comfortable, exciting and attractive. Surely these luxurious additions shouldn’t be at the expense of animals though? And animal testing is brutal. Even here and now in 2012. Many people I talk with about this subject assure me that the animals are under no real harm. Until they find out about the common tests which go on:
Rubbing shampoo in rabbits eyes– this isn’t an exaggerated, outdated method of testing cosmetics. This is known as the Draize test (no matter whether they claim to reduce the number or animals used, or that they are testing only one animal at a time, it still goes on, and on a much larger scale than imaginable) which involves 0.5g or 0.5mL of substance being applied to the eye or the skin of a conscious, restrained animal (usually an albino rabbit or a dog), and the effects are recorded for up to 14 days. This can cause ulceration, blindness, swelling, discharge and blindness amongst a host of other side effects. It is the UK law that if the animal is seen to be in severe pain, it is killed immediately. The animal is also killed if there is any permenant damage. The animal is used again if there is no permenant damage, being used until there is permenant damage, in which case it will be killed. There are alternative methods as testing cosmetics/household products on animals is not required by law but has become common practice and force of habit. The alternatives, known commercially as EpiSkin, EpiDerm and SkinEthic to name a few, are in vitro and use human tissue donated by human volunteers, to test the products instead. This is being used more and more, but obviously the latter method will only be used more if demand for animal-free increases, so I wonder why we don’t just buy animal-free products, to show we don’t support the thousands of illnesses, injuries and deaths inflicted on animals for our pleasure every day.
LD, or Lethal Dosage Tests– how else can you test what dosage of a substance is lethal, other than where death is involved right? Of course, this involves a sample of animals, where the desirable substance is either injected, inserted into the stomach via tubes,or forced to be ingested orally, and in the LD50 test, the amount is increased until 50% of the sample die. Yes die. Not via a painless anaesthetic which soothes them to sleep so they don’t feel anything. Not by humane methods to ensure they are not stressed or harmed. These animals are restrained, panicked, and chemicals forced down their throats until they die. “To avoid interference with results,” no painkillers are administered. Each year, about five million dogs, rabbits, rats, monkeys, and other animals die in lethal dose tests performed in the United States.
All so we can have a glossy set of locks, hair-free legs (Gillette test on animals by the way!) and a glowing tan. But you can have all these things, and more, using vegan products because there are so many alternatives to animal testing.
One thing I decided when I went vegan was that all my household products could stay, and when they run out, I will simply replace them with vegan products as they are the expensive part if I was to replace everything in one go. I am gradually moving to a completely animal-free lifestyle. My toothpaste is vegan (AloeDent), my shower gel is vegan (ORIGINAL SOURCE Mint & Tea Tree), I’m pretty sure my shampoo and conditioner now are (I read online that John Frieda don’t test on animals, but then I look on their website and don’t see anything. I know they’d shout about it if they didn’t test on animals, because companies know people are more likely to buy it because it makes more sense! So I am worried about this and may well be buying different shampoo/conditioner next time until I know for sure). Even my hair dye is now vegan (NATURTINT) and I am open minded to changing any aspect of my life which anyone points out to me is not animal-free (although I’m confident I’ve nearly got it all nailed!)
Yesterday I went out to get some stain remover, and went to OTED hoping they had some animal-free goodness, but they were all sold out! Dammit, so instead I got some washing tablets (I have no idea of the difference between BIO and NON-BIO, if anyone cares to help me out please comment :D). Anyway, I also got some Grapefruit & Green Tea washing up liquid, both by ECOVER. I’ve never used this brand before so am hoping it is good, I will let you know how it goes. It was about £11 for the hair dye, £1.50 for the washing-up liquid, and about £6 for the tablets. I thought this was an excellent price to pay for humane goods!
This is a gradual change, but one which is not at all difficult, it can actually be done in Sainsbury’s, but admittedly is made easier if you have a local eco/veggie shop. OTED stocks everything from fake bacon to almond butter to household products to fresh fruit & veg… the dream shop because almost everything (if not everything) is vegan!
When is is so simple to become a vegan, just household-product speaking, it surely has to be worth a go? If it was up to you to rub the washing tablet in a rabbits eye, or force the washing liquid down a dogs throat, I’m guessing/hope you wouldn’t be up for it, so buying from people who do it is just giving your consent in a different way!
I hope this post has made at least a few people re-think the way they buy their household products, as there is a lots of unnecessary animal testing and we must put a stop to it! It is such a great shame.
All photos on this post which were not taken by me are linked to the original source (just click the photo to open the link in a new window).