Cruelty Free Cosmetics

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Paws Up!

To the European Union for banning the import and sale of cosmetics containing ingredients tested on animals.

European Union regulators have announced the ban of import and sale of cosmetics that have been tested on animals.

European Union regulators have announced the ban of import and sale of cosmetics that have been tested on animals.

According to a news article , “European Union [EU] regulators announced a ban…on the import and sale of cosmetics containing ingredients tested on animals and to pledge more efforts to push other parts of the world, like China, to accept alternatives.” The EU had banned animal testing on finished cosmetic products in 2004.

Take Action: The best action any of us can take is to buy cruelty-free products when purchasing cosmetics, personal care items, household products, and toiletries.

When you think about it…we all know what “cruelty-free” means, don’t we?

Rats, rabbits, dogs, and other animals suffer when used for product testing.

According to an article in Science Daily, “…there is no legal standard for what is and isn’t cruelty-free…. A company may claim their product is cruelty-free, but there still may be some animal testing done somewhere along the manufacturing process. This could lead to consumers being tricked into buying products that they do not support.”

Today, more of us are searching for ways to be animal friendly not only in our interactions with companion animals but with all animals. Some people are going vegan or at least vegetarian to cut down on their use of animal products in their diet and to save lives that would otherwise find themselves in factory farms. Others are boycotting circuses, zoos, rodeos, horse racing, and other forms of entertainment where animals are exploited for financial gain.

Still others want to purchase as many products as possible that were not tested on animals. Cosmetics, soaps, deodorants, and other such items don’t have to be tested on animals. Drugs and other products do. However, some companies say a product is cruelty free when, in fact, some of the ingredients were tested on animals. So, what’s a consumer to do?

There are several organizations that have lists of companies that do not test on animals. Check out the links below. When you think about it…being cruelty-free may take a few minutes of your time…but what is time when it saves lives.

Leaping Bunny’s shopping guide
IDA’s cruelty free companies
PETA’s searchable database of cruelty-free companies and products

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Why You Should Report Animal Cruelty

Photo by The National Humane Education Society

Photo by The National Humane Education Society

If you are reading this, chances are you care about animal welfare and take excellent care of your own pets. All the same, would you know what to do if you suspected someone in your community of animal abuse or neglect? While many of us wouldn’t hesitate to rescue a stray, situations in which an animal technically has a legal owner can feel tricky. Even when we know that something we’ve witnessed constitutes animal cruelty, some of us may still feel ambivalent about involving law enforcement. We don’t want to be seen as snoops, nor do we want to be seen as making frivolous complaints on behalf of a “mere animal”. Furthermore, the last thing we want is to create turmoil in our communities and social circles. Due in part to worries like these, far too many witnesses don’t report animal cruelty when they see it. However, every person should know when and how they should contact law enforcement to report animal cruelty.

First, if you see an animal in immediate physical danger, it is time to call law enforcement. Start dialing any time you see an animal trapped inside a hot car, in danger of freezing to death, or involved in a violent situation. If you do not know the number of the local animal control office, call the local sheriff’s office. If you cannot reach the sheriff’s office, call 911. You will not get in trouble for making a truthful report in good faith, and you could very well save a life. In other cases, the situation you’re witnessing may not be considered an emergency, but problematic nonetheless.

While you may not call 911 to report a continuously tethered dog, you may still be able to recruit help from animal control. In this case, it can be helpful to know about your county’s animal cruelty laws and ordinances. The website of your county commission or local humane society can help you learn the laws of your area. That said, even if you are unsure of the law as it pertains to the situation you’ve witnessed, you can still contact your local animal control or sheriff’s office, report what you’ve seen, and request that a “welfare check” be conducted at the address in question. Officers may not impound the animal, but they are likely to educate the owner. Rest assured that requesting a welfare check is not the same as filing a complaint or asking to press charges. A request for a welfare check is simply a request for officers to visit the property. You can also request that your identity not be revealed to the owner.

Unfortunately, many cases of animal abuse and neglect are resolved too late or not at all, simply because witnesses only came forward in the form of gossip or long after the fact. While advocating for abused animals can feel stressful at times, in many cases, the difference between a miserable death and a long, happy life is a single phone call. For more information on how to report animal cruelty, visit http://nhes.org/sections/view/283.

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China and Cosmetic Testing

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The China FDA is now allowing some cosmetic products to be sold without prior animal testing.

The China FDA is now allowing some cosmetic products to be sold without prior animal testing.

Paws Up!
To the China Food and Drug Administration for allowing the sale of some cosmetics without requiring animal testing.

According to a news story, the China Food and Drug Administration announced, “Animal testing would no longer be mandatory for ‘non-specialized cosmetics’, including shampoo, soaps and certain skin products….”

The European Union and India have both changed their policies about animal testing on some personal care products. It’s good to see China possibly following suit.

Take Action: The best way to take action is to never buy personal care items that have been tested on animals. Check labels to make sure you are buying cruelty free products. Additionally, you can write to the China Food and Drug Administration supporting the decision to allow the sale of some cosmetics without requiring animal testing.

Zhang Yong, Minister
China Food and Drug Administration
26 Xuanwumen Xidajie,
Beijing, 100053, P.R. China
Fax: 86-010-68310909
Email: inquires@sda.gov.cn

New Vegan Cooking Show Jazzes Up Conventional Cooking

Paws Up!

To the National Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), Oregon Public Broadcasting Service (OPB), and the National Educational Telecommunication Association (NETA) for supporting, promoting, and televising the new cooking show The Jazzy Vegetarian.

In an exciting new milestone for compassionate lifestyles, PBS has started airing the first nationally-broadcast, all-vegan cooking show, The Jazzy Vegetarian. Veteran radio personality and performing jazz singer Laura Theodore will host the 30 minute episodes on various PBS networks in 21 states. Following in the footsteps of her mother and grandmother, Theodore has tried to embrace conventional American cuisine in a way that makes it healthful and cruelty free, without sacrificing taste or tradition. In a recent interview, she says:

My mother and my grandmother both made lasagna, and when I became a vegetarian in 1981, there just weren’t any recipes (for that dish). I started taking all of these family recipes and started making them vegan. And then I started taking the recipes that I had collected as a cook and made them vegan. And then I just started coming up with my own new things that I felt reflected the taste of classic American food.

This show will illustrate to even more Americans that plant-based cooking can yield healthful dishes every bit as flavor-packed as their conventional counterparts. Potentially, it could inspire other vegan and vegetarian-themed cooking programs on other networks.

A list of networks that are broadcasting The Jazzy Vegetarian and the times it will be televised can be found on the PBS website.

Take Action: Join us in writing the NETA, OPB, and PBS to thank them for this new step in highlighting the health and taste benefits of plant-based eating. Let’s encourage them to expand their broadcast of this show, and promote other vegetarian-themed cooking programs in the future.

Gayle Loeber
Programming and Information
National Educational Telecommunication Association
PO Box 50008
Columbia, SC 29250
Email: gloeber@netaonline.org

Lynne Clendenin
Vice President of Programming
Oregon Public Broadcasting
7140 SW Macadam Avenue
Portland, OR 97219
Email: radiovp@opb.org

Mary Gardner
Director of TV Programming
Oregon Public Broadcasting
7140 SW Macadam Avenue
Portland, OR 97219
Email: tv@opb.org

John Wilson
Senior Vice President and Chief TV Programming Executive
Public Broadcasting Service
2100 Crystal Drive
Arlington, VA 22202

Sources:
Public Broadcasting Service
Oregon Live

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Don’t Wait For A Ban – Stop Buying Animal-Tested Cosmetics Today

albino rabbitsNational bans on animal testing for cosmetics are gaining momentum. The European Union, Norway, Israel, and India have all passed national legislation to inhibit animal testing in the creation of cosmetics. In recent years, some legislators have even made attempts to phase out animal testing for cosmetics in the United States. These are undoubtedly promising developments in the global animal welfare movement. However, enactment of legislation to limit or prohibit testing on animals for cosmetics and other products in the U.S. may be years away. In the meantime, countless rabbits, beagles, guinea pigs, rats, mice, and other animals are languishing in laboratories around the country. Americans must support legislation to stop these nightmarish and unnecessary tests, but everyone living in the United States can stop purchasing animal-tested cosmetics and personal care products now. Rejecting personal care products sold by companies that still use animal testing conveys to those companies that now is the time to end animal testing.

As consumers, finding products that satisfy our preferences, budgets, and consumer ethics can seem like a daunting task. Even the most conscientious consumers may have only a vague understanding of how business, science, and law intersect in regard to animal testing. To add to the confusion, some companies attempt to attract consumers with a “cruelty-free” label without actually abiding by cruelty-free guidelines.

Fortunately, there are resources that make cruelty-free shopping enjoyable and accessible. Thousands of safe and high-quality products are available through companies that don’t test on animals. There are at least three ways consumers can support these companies:

•    An organization known as the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC) administers a cruelty-free standard in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and parts of the European Union. Companies listed by the CCIC meet the standards set by the Leaping Bunny Program, which according to the CCIC website guarantee that “…no new animal testing is used in any phase of product development by the company, its laboratories, or suppliers.” To use this resource, visit http://www.leapingbunny.org.
•    When shopping for a new cosmetic or personal care product, you can visit the company’s website to learn the company’s policy on animal testing.
•    For spur-of-the-moment purchases, download an app to your smartphone. Many apps are now available that help users discern if animal testing was used with a quick scan of the item’s barcode.

As citizens concerned about animal welfare, we send messages to our lawmakers with pens and paper. As consumers, we communicate with our dollars, and these are messages that no business can ignore.

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Ag-gag No Go

Paws Up!pawsupThe Ag-gag bill did not come up for vote in Kentucky, which would have banned undercover investigators from filming inside of factory farms.
To the Kentucky legislature for adjourning before considering a bill detrimental to the free flow of information on factory farms.

Several states have, over the past few years, tried to stifle undercover reports of unsavory conditions in factory farms by passing “ag-gag” laws. While Kentucky had such a bill before its legislature this session, the members adjourned before the bill could be brought to a vote. The bill would have banned filming or recording inside a factory farm.

We should all know how our food is being produced. Without undercover investigators, we would never know of the abuse, filth, and poor animal husbandry practices that occur in some factory farms throughout the country.

Animal cruelty must be exposed and dealt with and often that requires investigators have the freedom to gather information and document such inhumane acts.

Take Action: Residents of Kentucky, thank your legislators for not acting on the ag-gag bill and encourage them to not pursue it again. Residents of other states, if your legislators are considering enacting ag-gag legislation, let them know you do not want such laws passed in your state. You want to know what is happening on factory farms in your state.

The Ag-gag bill did not come up for vote in Kentucky, which would have banned undercover investigators from filming inside of factory farms.

Loss of life…for lipstick?

Consumers must use their purchasing power in order to support those companies offering cruelty-free products.

Beauty shouldn’t rely on pain and suffering.

When the European Union, which consists of 28 countries, along with Israel and India ban cosmetic testing on animals, it’s time the United States joined in. HR 4148, the Humane Cosmetics Act, will bring the U.S. in line with these countries in banning the use of animals in testing personal care items, such as shampoo, lipstick, and hand lotion. It is totally indefensible to continue to use animals in cosmetic testing when non-animal alternatives have existed for years.

To learn more about the cruelty done to animals in laboratory settings, read Is a Mouse a Human.

Please contact your representatives and urge them to support HR 4148, the Humane Cosmetics Act.

 

 

 

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Artificial Corneas Can Save Animals’ Eyes

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Animals are unsuitable for research purposes not only because of the inhumane treatment they endure, but also because of the many physiological differences compared to humans.

Animals have been found unsuitable for research purposes because of their many physiological differences compared to humans.

Paws Up!
To Japanese researchers for seeing an end to using animals in cosmetic testing.

Testing cosmetic products on animals, most often rabbits, has run into roadblocks in both the European Union and India. And now, maybe a permanent roadblock has been created in a laboratory in Japan.

According to a news story, a senior researcher at the National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, Toshiaki Takezawa, said that “apart from the cruelty involved, animal testing is unsustainable in the long-term because of the physiological differences between animals and humans. He says his research could be applied to simulate cells in any part of the human body, from the skin to internal organs, leaving animals out of the process entirely.”

The eye irritancy test, also known as the Draize test, involves placing liquid chemicals directly into the eye of an animal to determine if the substance will irritate or damage a human eye. It’s time we realize that laboratory animals are not human beings and that tests done on them do not translate into safer products for humans. Learn more about animals in the laboratory.

Take Action: Write a note to the lead scientist thanking him and his colleagues for working on better ways to test products without involving animals. Additionally, shop for cruelty-free products so that you know, on a personal level, you are not contributing to animal abuse.

Toshiaki Takezawa, Senior Researcher
National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences
2-1-2 Kannondai
Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8602
Japan

Frozen Yogurt Never Tasted So Good

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TCBY is now offering dairy-free frozen yogurt made with Silk® almondmilk.

TCBY is now offering dairy-free frozen yogurt made with Silk® almondmilk.

Paws Up!
To TCBY and Silk® for providing dairy-free, almondmilk-based frozen yogurt.

We all enjoy a delicious, smooth creamy treat every now and again. Today, through a partnership of TCBY and Silk®, we can enjoy that treat knowing it is totally vegan.

Vegan and vegetarian options are becoming more mainstream. We encourage anyone who has not investigated a plant-based diet to check out our article on going veg/veg and some of our recipes. Living a cruelty-free life is fairly easy and the rewards are enormous.

Take Action: Thank the CEO of the parent company of TCBY for offering a vegan frozen yogurt option and urge him to offer more in the not too distant future.

Neal Courtney, CEO
Famous Brands International
8001 Arista Place, Suite 600
Broomfield, CO 80021

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