Today (April 24) is World Day for Animals in Laboratories, marked by a march through London. The day is the culmination of World Week for Animals in Laboratories. The event aims to raise awareness and to campaign against the use of animals in various laboratory tests. This post similarly hopes to raise awareness. But I also hope to promote the companies out there who do not conduct such tests.
When people think of animal testing, they think of mice and rats, but it doesn’t end there. It’s also rabbits, dogs and cats, and primates. The amount of suffering caused to animals (3 million in the UK alone in 2004, according to Home Office figures, and 27 million across Europe by BUAV’s estimates) is unimaginable.
The use of animals in tests for toiletries, cosmetics and household products is unnecessary. Is new shampoo or makeup really worth the pain, suffering and death of another living creature? No animal should die in agony in a cage; should experience severe pain (this is, in fact, against the law); taken from the wild; or transported large distances to be used in invasive tests. Unlike domestic pets, these animals are not protected by the Animal Welfare Act. They are treated like commodities.
The use of animals to test final products is now banned across the EU. But there are loopholes, including conducting tests outside of the EU, and the ingredients can still be tested. The only way to ensure that products are cruelty free is to see if they are BUAV approved (look for the ‘leaping bunny’ symbol) and to encourage other companies to follow suit.
The ‘Little Book of Cruelty Free’ provides a list of all the approved companies. They are not difficult to find on the high street either; M&S and Co-Op products, both toiletries and household items, are cruelty free; Superdrug own-brand and Body Shop stock a variety of beauty products. Honesty Cosmetics online sell from a wide range of small animal-kind companies – they have a wide and inspiring choice. Lush is also animal friendly.
Some of my favourite products include: ‘Honey I Washed the Kids’ soap (Lush); Honey Shampoo (Body Shop); Chocolate Bubble Bath (Faith in Nature – available in Oxfam and via Honesty Cosmetics); Sensitive Body Lotion (Honestly Cosmetics); and M&S makeup.
Please think of supporting them. And go Cruelty Free.