Monday, November 16, 2009

Consumer Products and Animal Testing

So, I haven't updated in a while so I decided to do a longer, more informative post than usual.

Part of being vegan is being conscious of animal tested products as well as animal derived ingredients. Generally with bath and body products the problem is with the animal testing portion, although I'm sure they find a way to sneak mice feet into conditioner!!

I don't understand why companies (like household products, cosmetics, bath products etc) continue to test on animals. It's ridiculous. Firstly, there are plenty of alternatives to test, you don't even need animals for that, and secondly, what can spraying contact solution into rabbits eyes really tell us? The rabbit gets a reaction? The rabbit doesn't? Well, rabbits eyes are different than human eyes, so why not skip that step altogether? I don't even know how we test most cosmetics, but we find a way. Ugh. Don't get me started.

Anyways, here are a few websites about animal testing (consumer products, not scientific testing):

P&G Kills is a link to a site about animal testing done by Proctor and Gamble, who own everything from Covergirl, to Iams to Zest. They are notorious for their animal testing, and since becoming vegan I avoid their products at all costs, despite how nice Puffs tissues feel on my nose! Go check out the website and see how many things they own, you probably have 20 of their products in your house right now.

Iams Kills, who knew making pet food would torture and kill dogs and cats? It doesn't surprise me, and I'm sure most pet food companies do as well. Iams is a subcompany (whatever it's called) of P&G - so, avoid it.

I have posted this link to Caring Consumer before, but it's a good site so I'll post it again. You can read about animal testing and do a search on what companies do and do not test on animals.

Here is a short article about animal testing.

This short article thing describes some more about animal testing. One quote I like, "when cosmetics are labelled “cruelty free” or “not tested on animals,” it does not necessarily mean that the products used in them were never tested on animals. The manufacturer can claim that the products themselves weren’t tested on animals, when another company actually used animals to test the ingredients used in the product." This is very true. I have emailed several companies specifically asking about their animal testing procedures. Philosophy for example (who has the most amazing smelling Bubble Gum body wash) wrote back saying this exact thing, they don't test their finished products on animals, but their ingredients may have been. This is quite the dilemma, so I am now avoiding all larger corporations and am buying things specifically labeled vegan or from all natural companies that have a lot of vegan products. In short - if something is labeled directly as vegan, or I have inquired about the product (and double checked because many times companies do not include certain items as vegan like beeswax or carmine) to make sure it's vegan...I steer clear.

Here is the link to CCAC (Canadian Council of Animal Care. They are the ones who set out the animal testing rules.

Here are some links to online vegan stores. You can go to places like Whole Foods, Planet Organic, or any "natural" store like Roots Naturals here in Maple Ridge to buy this stuff too. Actually, come to think of it even Save on Foods and regular grocery stores have tonnes of vegan products (at least the mainstream brands like Jason Naturals).

Viva Granola (Canadian)

Dirty Birdy Soap. I haven't ordered anything from this website before, but it's so cute! Not to mention you can "customize" your own soap scents.

Scent of Scandal, this is a candle company (not really bath product, but it was in my favourites haha). Yes, candles are not vegan generally, nor are they environmentally friendly. I still have some old candles, but from now on I buy only soy ones.

Etsy. Okay, so I have never ordered anything from the site before...but I LOVE browsing it! You can get everything from furniture, to headbands to soap and candles. Everything is hand made and it's not too hard to find vegan products.

Vegan Essentials, an online store. I don't know if they ship to Canada, but you can browse for certain products and then find a place to buy them here.

Pangea/Vegan Store. This site has everything and they ship to Canada.

Kiss My Face. I have a few products by these guys, I love them! The price is right and so is the smell.

Jason Naturals. This is a pretty "mainstream" natural brand. I just have their toothpaste, but I love it. I just like how it's called Jason :)

Alba Botanica. These are sold at regular grocery stores as well as natural stores, I love their stuff.

Keep in mind, the last three links do not sell exclusively vegan products. They don't test on animals however, so it's a great option. Other brands include LUSH and Burts Bees (usually not vegan - beeswax, hence the name).

Oh! Seventh Generation is an all natural cleaning product etc company. They don't test on animals so I just buy their stuff. It's reasonably priced and available at Save on. If, for some reason, you don't like this brand you can visit any natural store and there are tonnes of other brands...I just buy this stuff because I don't have to make an extra trip! Not to mention, their liquid laundry detergent lasts like 5 months (two people) and smells friggin AMAZING. Oh! And their lavender and floral mint dish soap smells amazing too - go buy it!!!

I encourage you to go to those links and check out the vegan products. Even if you aren't doing it for the animals, at least do it for the environment! Chemical laden products are disgusting, dry up your skin and nasty to mother nature so I try to steer clear. And remember, when you go shopping bring your reusable bags!!! That's my word of advice for the day hehe.

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