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Testing Animals, I mean really, is it necessary?

July 3, 2009

I love Vegetarian magazine. Even though I am a pescetarian, my consumption of fish is rare, and the recipes provided in the magazine are flexible and easy. As the blog shows, many of my good cooking innovations include fish, but I am learning more and more how to cook a meal that is independent of fish. More importantly, this magazine includes environmental education, which I now take to heart. They give reviews of companies who abuse and test on animals, as well as review companies who don’t test or produce an organic product.They especially focus on animal testing, which is a ridiculous holdover from the dark ages of early industrialization.

The more I think about it, I would never want my cats, or any animal, to be tested on by chemists. When The Body Shop opened in the early 90s, I casually followed their slogan. But in the past ten years, during summers and awkward employment moments, I worked for the organization and I realized, testing on animals is unnecessary. It is a superfluous method of product control. We all know that certain chemicals are not healthy for the body, but companies insist on putting them on animals that we would consider pets. When A. and I married, I mentioned these ideas, and A. was more than more supportive. All I needed to do was mention our two cats, Cleo and Pokey, and he agreed. There is no reason to test on a being, when we know the results. So, for the past three years, I made a particularly serious effort at having only animal-testing-free products in our home. It is surprisingly easy once you do the research. For household products we use Method (some, but not all, of their products don’t test) and Seventh Generation. For tough to clean spots, we employ a book on home cleaning that A.’s mom donated to us called Home Comforts. It is amazing. For hair and beauty, I rely on NARS, Almay, Aveda, The Body Shop, and a few smaller companies for hair products. Although I have never been a big fan of PETA–because their methods alienate people who would normally agree– they have a fairly reliable list of which products to purchase, look here. It is no-longer about being a hippy-dippy liberal, but more about what is necessary. The question really is: If there are wonderful products that are equivalent to your mainstays, why torture an animal?

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