Cruelty Free

Cruelty Free

I know that everyone reading this blog is a lover of animals; none of us would knowingly do anything to harm them, and most of us weep at the thought of them being mistreated.

For the past couple of days, a short video has been making the rounds among my Facebook friends. It shows young beagles, creatures who have lived their entire lives in metal cages in an unidentified laboratory, stepping onto grass for the first time.

While the video is upbeat, reporting how happy the animals are since their rescue, some of them placed in forever homes, one need only look into their eyes to see that all is not well. Each of them has a haunted expression, like something inside has been deeply wounded.

Here is the link to the video of these gorgeous creatures and their rescuers:


The Power of the Pen

The response of most of my Facebook friends (and their friends) was disgust at the imagined mistreatment of these creatures (which wasn’t detailed) and joy at their release. And while witnessing and celebrating this event is important, we can, we must, do more.

In the spirit of changing the world for the better, I invite you to visit the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine website ( This outstanding site explains the types of research that animals are still being used for, who is doing it, why most of this research is entirely unnecessary, who is violating the Animal Welfare Act, and what we can do about it.

If you sign up for their newsletter, you will receive updates on current violators and be invited to sign petitions and letters. And—this is the great part—the petitions and letters work. In the few months that I have been on the mailing list, the US Army has stopped chemical casualty training on monkeys, and several university medical schools have stopped dissecting live animals in classes.

I know you are busy, perhaps overwhelmed. You may be thinking you will get to this later. But I implore you to think about these gorgeous beagles, their haunted eyes.


The Power of the Pocketbook

We don’t know what kind of laboratory these sweethearts were in. While the PCRM site talks about medical research, it’s possible that these creatures were being used to test the safety of chemicals for personal care or cleaning products.

I’m guessing that most of you already make a point of purchasing personal care and cleaning products that are cruelty free. You look on the package for the words “not tested on animals.”

But did you know that “not tested on animals” can just refer to the product itself? In other words, while the shampoo you purchased may not have been rubbed into an animal’s eyes, the individual ingredients may have been. This “testing” would have been done by the manufacturer of the ingredients, not the shampoo maker.

But, again, we have the power to create change. We can sign petitions and letters, and we can make phone calls. But we can also use the power of our pocketbooks (or wallets) and look for words such as these, which appear on Desert Essence Organics hand and body lotion, “no animal testing of raw materials or finished product.”

Now that’s more like it.

We can also contact manufacturers through their websites. Following my own advice, I just contacted Aubrey Organics about their shampoo. I wrote, “Your wonderful shampoos say ‘No Animal Testing’ on the label. Does that statement refer only to the finished product or to the ingredients as well?”

I’ll let you know how they respond.


Can You Help?

If each of us makes a commitment to speak up, both in words and purchasing power, we can put an end to the barbaric treatment of laboratory animals in this country. It’s not enough to feel badly about it, my friends. We have to take action.

I’d like to compile a list of personal care and cleaning products that are not tested on animals anywhere in the production process, but I need your help to do that.

What truly cruelty-free products do you use?


If you have received this post via email, just click on the title to respond. I hope you will be moved to share your thoughts.


2 Replies to “Cruelty Free”

  1. Hi Pam,

    This is a great post. Gandhi observed that we can judge the greatness of a nation and its moral progression by the way it treats its animals. The contents of this post bring Gandhi’s comment into painfully sharp relief.

    I know that as the laws currently stand, there is no way around animal testing for the first stages of developing and testing pharmaceuticals and, er, “food products” (e.g., artificial sweeteners) if one wants to make claims about their product and have both the claims and product approved by regulatory agencies. I really don’t see how continued animal testing for cosmetics, personal grooming products, and house cleaning products is justified. There has been enough safety data on individual ingredients and how they interact that could be shared within and across industries that there is no good reason to test “new and improved” versions of the same old toxic ingredients on animals. There is also no good reason why we should keep buying these products.

    I also see no justification for performing animal experiments in the field of psychology. It makes no sense to extrapolate conclusions about behaviour or brain functioning from animal studies where the animals are placed in unnatural habitats, reacting to the stress, and most likely engaging in behaviours that we wouldn’t see in well adjusted animals in their normal habitats.

    Thanks for providing us with some practical steps (Direct action!) for getting informed, so we are empowered both to increase others’ awareness of this issue and take specific steps for changing this deplorable state of affairs. Many corporations and government regulations won’t change unless they are given a good push by consumers who care about the four-leggeds who can’t speak up for themselves, the health of the planet, and their personal health.

    I’m happy to help you contribute to your list of animal friendly personal care and cleaning products. Here are a few that I use that do not test the ingredients or the overall product on animals:

    Kiss My Face skin care products (I think it’s the organic line of Alba skin care products)
    Avalon Organics
    Jason Natural Products (I need to confirm whether that’s the overall product or whether it extends to the individual ingredients.)
    Gabriel Cosmetics (Need to confirm whether this is overall or by ingredient.)
    Nature Clean (house cleaning products)

    I’ve also found a link to LeapingBunny.Org: A coalition of American and Canadian animal protection groups and several international partners that have joined together to produce a list of cosmetics, etc, that are cruelty free:

    Hope this helps!

    Bright blessings,

  2. Thanks, Sue.

    Yes, please do check with Jason and Gabriel.

    I love the leaping bunny! I hadn’t heard of this before; this is a great resource.

    You’re right, the only way things are going to change is if we change them.

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