Thursday, 19 April 2012

Animal testing continued.

I feel sick.

I can't begin to describe to you how sick. I've blogged about animal testing before, and I'll keep blogging about it until either I die, or something is done about it. I'm sorry if it makes you want to stop reading my blog, but I WON'T LET GO of this subject. Ever.

Yesterday, I mentioned that I'd gone cruelty free in the beauty budget tips post. I honestly thought I had. In a way, I don't buy products that were tested on animals, because the companies I trusted swore that they didn't endorse testing at all. And they don't, except in China.

It's because of yesterday's post that I remembered a video I'd seen somewhere before, about beagles being freed after two years of testing. I went to YouTube to find it again, and I saw some stuff that made me cry without end for hours. I had to force myself to watch some of it from the beginning to the end, through some of the most profane language I'd ever heard and violence, yes VIOLENCE, to animals that made me want to throw up. If you have the guts for it, or if you don't believe me, please, go ahead and search YouTube for animal cruelty in testing facilities. In the link I gave you there are some undercover videos from PETA where you'll see it all uncut. And I'm warning you now, it is explicit. So bad in fact, that I can't post the videos here, since a lot of my readers are still in high school, and my parents would have flipped if I watched videos like that when I was 15.

If you have a heart, it will break.

And if you want to see images rather than videos, click here. It's the search results from a simple Google image search, and browsing through it will shock you.

I'm including two videos for you here. The first is of the beagles being freed. It's suitable for everyone, and you'll probably only cry a little. The second video is of a testing facility in the UK and you'll see mild cruelty to rats and rabbits. I say mild, because it isn't a patch to what I've seen in other videos, but you'll see dead animals, and animals being murdered. And again, I use the word murdered, because that is simply what the people (people?) in this video are doing.



Now I've been researching animal testing on and off for a while now, and I've come to the conclusion that while the brand in question may not test in the US or UK, that doesn't mean it doesn't test at all.

In China, no beauty products may be sold if the product or the ingredients in the product have not been tested on animals. That means that any cosmetic brand sold in China, had to be tested on animals, or it wouldn't be sold there. So, my list of trusted cosmetics has decreased once more.

MAC, Revlon and pro makeup brand Kryolan, which I use on clients and a bunch of others, are now off limits to me. I have no idea how I'll wash my hair or do other needed things, but you'll see me join the no-poo movement before I ever buy Revlon shampoo again, which was my favourite. I'll have to start colouring my hair with henna, or grow it out too, but since Revlon is now off limits, I won't use it.

The problem with living in South Africa is that we really don't have a huge range of products available to choose from. Not like it is in other countries anyway. We have only L'Oreal, and it's affiliates who all test on animals, except for The Body Shop (this includes Maybelline, Garnier, Lancome and Redken to name a few), Revlon, Rimmel, Clinique and a few others, but very few cruelty free brands.

Recently, Dischem started selling brands like Freeman and LA Girl, which as far as I can see, are totally cruelty free. At Clicks you can find Essence, which is an affordable brand (I've been using it for a while now, and I love it) and is adamant about not testing on animals. I have respect for this brand, and if it's the only brand I use for the rest of my life, that is fine. Luckily, Inglot remains cruelty free too, and is now officially the only professional makeup brand I can use and buy in South Africa. Urban Decay is safe too, but isn't available in my country.

Cupcake at about 8 weeks
When I look at Cupcake, I can't help but smile. Recently, we gave her a squash ball to play with, and she loves it. You'll see her running up and down nudging the thing with her paws, like she's playing soccer with it. It's so cute I want to yell with joy when I watch her. She's so sweet and loving and trusting, and even when I take her to the Vet, which she HATES (like any dog), she'll look at me with that unconditional love and trust in her eyes. I accidentally stepped on her paw the other day, and I felt awful about it, because she'd come and stood next to me so quietly, I hadn't seen or heard her. And even when I'd hurt her, she still looked at me with complete love in her eyes.

Could I ever intentionally harm her? No. What she's given me is special, and I love her. When I was wallowing in grief over the death of Xena, it was Cupcake's love and devotion that gave me something to smile about once more.

And if anyone, ever tried to hurt her, I think my baser instincts could just take a hold of me. Even when the Vet has to inject her it's difficult for me to watch.


A recent pic of us, Cupcake at about 4 months.

What are we becoming as a race? You don't really see mindless cruelty in nature. Sure, big animals eat small ones, but you never see a leopard intentionally chewing a zebra while it's still alive. These things happen, but as I say, it's not intentional. We're the only species (with a few exceptions) who can kill with no purpose, and torture and hurt.

Why do they have to be the prey? Sure, some hair dyes killed some people in the Victorian era. Sure some people will sue cosmetics companies for a breakout these days. But with alternative testing methods AVAILABLE and test results from the old days still out there, why should any living creature be harmed? There are facilities where they treat the animals well, it's true. But stroking it's head while sticking a needle in it's eye is still cruel.

Heck, keeping them in cages their entire lives, without ever seeing the sun, or feeling grass beneath their paws is cruel too. God made these creatures to roam His green earth, not to be used as experiments. Not to be gassed when their shelf life has expired. Not to be dyed and injected and force fed.

I've said this before : would you force shampoo down your dog's throat? You wouldn't, would you? Even if you're not as big an animal lover as I am, you still wouldn't. So why do you buy products that were shoved down some creatures throat? Going completely animal cruelty free is difficult, I know, since I'm on that path. You buy stuff you trust, like Revlon, just to realise they've been lying to you. But what I'm saying is, animals in China are just as IMPORTANT as animals anywhere else in the world.

Now, in my other post I also mentioned that they don't just test on rats and rabbits. This is still true. A rabbit's DNA is different from a human's, so the chemicals won't affect the rabbit like it would one of us. That's why they need to test on all kinds of animals, cats, dogs, chimps, mice, rabbits, you name it.

I'll keep updating you on this subject. I'll keep researching and boycotting. And I hope you'll join me in this.

When Adam was created, he didn't mindlessly slaughter everything, he killed what he needed to eat. These animals suffer for years without end before being mercilessly killed. I saw a video of chimpanzees being released after 10 years of tests in a medical facility. They stood staring at the grass for a while, without the guts to go to it. Before the first one made a move, IT EMBRACED one of the others, a smile splitting its face, and you could see the joy there.

For lists of brands that are safe, click here and here.

I can only pray this injustice will stop, and the little amount of money I stop spending on these monstrous companies will make a small hole in their pockets. The more of us there are who won't support them will mean more and more funding to animal cruelty disappearing. Eventually it will have to stop.

Luckily there are companies that fight animal cruelty, and we have Beauty Without Cruelty in South Africa. Please click on the link to their website, where you can contribute to stop cruelty. I know I'm going to.

We have to take it one step at a time because every animal life is worth it, even the smallest rat.

Please, PLEASE, help the animals.

Yolandie.

EDIT :

I've decided that I'll personally contact every South African brand of cosmetics I can find, and I'm going to make a list of cruelty free companies on the About Animal Cruelty page. If you have a company you love, let me know, and I'll do all I can to find out if it is safe or not.

ANOTHER EDIT :

So, the first of the companies I've contacted have responded to my email. While two of the brands they sell are cruelty free, the third states this on their website :

We do not conduct animal testing on our products or ingredients, nor ask others to test on our behalf, except when required by law.


This basically means that they don't test on animals, but in countries where the law requires it, like China, they test on animals. If any company states this, you know they aren't 100% cruelty free.

10 comments:

  1. Hi Yolandie - this is a wonderful post. I can tell you are a kindred spirit. :) This is the first I've heard of Revlon selling in China. That is a MAJOR bummer b/c Revlon is huge here in the US. Where did you find this info? I'd like to repost and share it. Thanks! Jen@mybeautybunny.com

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    1. Hi Jen! Thank you for your comment. It's incredible to know there are more people out there who actually care. I actually just did a Google search, and I found this store locator available on Revlon's website. http://www.revlon.com/Revlon-Home/Revlon-Corporate/Global.aspx. There are many legal sites online where you can find the actual Chinese law stating that even the ingredients in products must be tested before it can be sold there. Here is a blog post explaining it : http://blog.cocoonapothecary.com/2012/03/31/cosmetic-animal-testing-mandatory-in-china-major-companies-involved/

      All I can say is, that even if they only test every now and again, and use test data to get their stuff sold in China, it's still wrong. I also can't find any reference on their website where they confirm they do not test on animals.

      If I am wrong about them, I humbly apologise. I'll send them a email and try to find out what's going on with them. I can't support companies who aren't 100% open and proud about not testing on animals. Where there is a sliver of a doubt, they won't have my support.

      I'll keep you updated. Thanx for reading my blog!

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  2. Hi Yolandie, after reading this post I felt inspired to keep the word flowing to other bloggers and have changed my scheduled blog post for today to one about animal cruelty. I think you are so passionate about the situation that I couldn't write about something obscure when this is such a burning issue in the world. You're more than welcome to read my post, and I've steered all my readers to your blog to read your blog post in full. I've also asked all my followers, that are fellow bloggers, to also blog about this situation, and hopefully collectively we'll be able to make a difference. :)

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    1. Thank you, Angie! I am really passionate about this subject, and the only way we can make a difference is if we do it together. Thank you so much for keeping the word going. I won't stop blogging and digging on this subject, and I hope the other bloggers out there will do the same.

      Bless your little soul!! :)

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  3. Hi Yolandie!

    This is such a wonderfully informative and well written post! I will share with everyone I know!

    It is such a bummer about Revlon.

    Thank you for taking the time to feed your readers brains with knowledge.

    Also-never stop talking or writing about this super important issue. It is a tough task to attempt to convince people across the world to change their minds regarding animal cruelty. Knowing that there are folks like you in the world, who will never back down on the issue, people who refuse to buy from the companies that go along with testing,and positive organizations whose mission is to put a stop to animal testing,makes me feel like the tough task may not be so impossible.

    I have a heart, a heart that would break if I watched the videos you did.You are a braver woman than I am.

    Again....thank you for this post. It is truly amazing, and hopefully it will inspire people to question their choices.

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    1. Hi Kathleen!

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read it! I'll appreciate the sharing to everyone you know too. We need to keep the word on this spreading.

      Since I've become aware of the atrocities done to animals, I've realised only one thing : people honestly don't know it's happening. I mean, honestly, neither did I. Animal testing is such a foreign and far away concept. It surely can't be happening in our day and age, can it? But it is, and we really need to stop it.

      Like I said to Angelique, we can only fight this war if we fight it together!

      Thank you once again for reading and spreading the word. We need people like you, who won't keep quiet either.

      As an update on Revlon, I've sent them an email, and I'll do a follow up post when (if) I hear from them.

      Keep well! :)

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  4. My heart just broke into a million pieces - I followed the link for the Google images on testing animals & it is horrific! People who get up in the morning, get dressed, go to work, do their job as testers, go home & repeat the same process over & over again...how could they be called human? How do they sleep at night, knowing what they're doing to God's creations? It is sick & unacceptable. Society seems to be letting us down more & more, I can only pray that I never experience the misfortune of meeting someone who tests on animals, as I will surely lose it. Yolandie, thank you for this informative post, I have passed it on to everyone I know. Let's get people thinking about this!

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  5. Thank you very much Ms. Horak for this important post. I am very happy now for seeing there are people out there who really cares animals as much as me,about the issue of cruel animal testing...pls sign and share this petition link of BUAV for the global campaign against animal testing aiming to end this bullshit by 2013 March without delaying up to 10 years(officials consider extending this deadline up to 2023) I go insane whenever I think that these poor creatures are continued to be tortured for years and years:(
    I hope,you'll share this with your all followers..thanks in advance...
    http://www.nocruelcosmetics.org/sign_up.php

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    1. Hi Lucretia! Thank you for taking the time to read it! I'm passionate about this issue, and I'll never keep quiet about it. The only way we can make a difference in the lives of the animals is if we stand together!

      I signed the petition and mentioned it on my blog today. You can check it out here : http://thebloomincouch.blogspot.com/2012/04/reach-and-why-it-sucks.html

      Thank you for letting me know about it! I'll also put the link in my about animal cruelty tab so that it's always available to those who want to sign it.

      Keep well!

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  6. I want to say thank you to everyone who commented here and on my Facebook page. I'm aware that some of the comments weren't published here due to a technical difficulty of some sort. I receive an email for every comment placed here, so I know who each of you are, and I thank you for your support and concern in this regard.

    You all truly are beautiful, inside and out.

    Yolandie

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