I suppose this isn’t directly related to my job, but I think the concept is one that is of interest to many of my 5 readers so I thought I would share this with you.
Long before I became a veterinarian, I was a mini animal rights activist in training. I remember being 6 and hassling my mother mercilessly about her rabbit fur coat: “Eeeeeew mom, that is soooo ugly! Why are you wearing dead bunnies? We live in California! Yuck!” etc etc. She actually stopped wearing it because I hassled her so much.
As I got older, I turned my eye on the cosmetics industry. When I was 16, my neighbor hired me to babysit her kids. It turns out she was a Mary Kay saleslady*, Cadillac and all. Imagine my surprise as she closed the door behind her, leaving me surrounded by piles of those evil pink plastic compacts up to the ceiling. Quelle horreur! She tried to sell me some stuff, I gave her an earful in response, and that was by mutual agreement the last time I babysat for her.
I’m not the best animal rights person, really- I only recently went vegetarian and I’m not sure being vegan will ever happen, but I try. My brief foray into lab animal medicine only solidified my resolve that there is just no need for cosmetics testing on animals- not these days. Not anymore.
“Cruelty-free cosmetics” is a big catchphrase these days, and companies love to slap that on their label to make it more appealing to people like me. Statements like “this finished product is not tested on animals” only mean so much, though, right? How do you really know the product was created start to finish in a humane way?
I’ve seen the leaping bunny logo on a few of my favorite beauty items but I didn’t know what it meant until recently. From their website:
“Eight national animal protection groups banded together to form the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC). The CCIC promotes a single comprehensive standard and an internationally recognized Leaping Bunny Logo. We are working with companies to help make shopping for animal-friendly products easier and more trustworthy.”
I love that. If you click on the link you will see the 8 organizations, which include the HSUS and the Doris Day Animal League. The FAQ discusses their standards in more detail, but in a nutshell the product must be free of animal testing with every phase of production, not just the finished product.
The shopping guide is great and covers not only cosmetics, but household items. And pet shampoo! See, it’s related to this blog!
I’m printing out the pocket guide and making a newly concerted effort to use as many of these products as I can. Will it change the world? Maybe not. But it’s a step in the right direction, and that is always a great thing.
*Mary Kay did stop animal testing many years ago, I suspect in no small part because of Berkeley Breathed and the not so great publicity they got via Bloom County, but this happened BEFORE that ended. I still don’t like their makeup though. Sorry.