During my first degree in Life Sciences/Biology I became aware of the ways humans use animals in laboratory testing and the astounding amount of lives wasted in the pursuit of finding that elusive drug that will change lives forever and cure every disease known and unknown to man. I had a part-time student secretary job in the neuroscience department and so walking into a room and seeing all sorts of dissections going on wasn’t a rare occurrence. And I would talk to these very nice, smart, intelligent people and be amazed at how detached they are from what they were doing. They had no issue talking about their kids and then go on to talk about how the experiment was going, how many animals they needed and what tests they were going to run that day. And those tests sometimes involved some sort of injury or operation. That was a turning point for me, because I knew there was no way I could do something like that for the rest of my life. Later on after some thinking I decided that I would rather cure animals than use them.
You may say that I’m a hypocrite because I still use pharmaceuticals, and it’s true I do but because I have no other option. If you find me an antibiotic not tested on animals believe me I’ll take it, but since regulatory agencies have very very strict rules about the stages pharmaceuticals have to go through in order to be approved for human use, that probably won’t happen for a while. But you know what I can do for now? not use products that are tested on animals by choice, just like cosmetics.
You see, companies that still test on animals have no excuse except for their desire for money. There are so many innovative techniques that can actually foretell allergic and tolerance reactions better than animal testing and don’t involve one single bunny or mouse. But animal upkeep is cheaper than keeping cell lines viable and in the end that makes all the difference when having to report to shareholders.
When I started out in the cruelty free world 5 years ago it was a lot more difficult than today. No one had cruelty free laws and less companies were freely deciding to stop testing. But today? so many countries have instated CF laws (I talked about it here), more and more companies are pledging to be CF and online shopping can put practically every brand at your fingertips. Even MAC enthusiasts who are the toughest bunch to crack don’t have excuses anymore – can you seriously tell me NARS, Too Faced Urban Decay and others aren’t just as good? Of course they are, they’re sold at Sephora and those guys don’t do drugstore. You just have to make a choice, choose to be merciful, choose to save lives, choose to be conscious of your decisions and how they affect others. Animals aren’t here for humans to mess around with, they are living, breathing beings with emotions and a central nervous system that experiences pain just like we do.
So make 2016 the year you make conscious decisions. I’m not asking you to go vegan (I’m not), vegetarian or throw all your cosmetics in the bin. Do it gradually until you find the right substitutes and finish off all your old stuff, that way you will find it easier to make the change. And really, this is the best reason to buy new things!
If you need any help or would like to ask questions I’ll do my best to answer and you can always go to the useful links section where I’ve supplied a ton of links to lists detailing CF companies.