Have you ever done something really great, and every one congratulated you and was proud of you and you felt really good about yourself? Well, for the country of Israel - that moment is now! Find out what they did that deserves a massive round of applause.
Israel has just banned the import, marketing and sale of any toiletries, cosmetics and detergents that were tested on animals in their development. So now people there will not only look and smell good - they'll also feel good, knowing that animals weren't tortured and killed for the sake of their shampoo and deodorant.
The law here at the moment is that consumer products can't be tested on animals IN Australia. While that may sound like a win, the problem is that big companies like Colgate and L'Oreal (and hundreds of others!) simply just test on animals in other countries before sending their products to Australia stores.
And the testing that is done on animals is probably as close to torture as anything you'll have heard of. You can find out more about it here (if you're brave enough).
The good news is that you don't need to be the country of Israel to help free animals from cruel testing.
Here's three powerful ways you can stand up against animal testing:
Did you know that in the 15 minutes it takes you to get ready in the morning, you can make a difference to the lives of animals? And you can start by checking out what's on top of your bathroom counter right now ...
While testing cosmetics and other personal products on animals isn't allowed in Australia, sadly companies are still allowed to import make-ups, shampoos etc that were tested on animals overseas. You can see this every time you hit the shops - Clean & Clear, Dove, L'Oreal cosmetics and perfumes, as well as heaps of products made by big companies such as Colgate-Palmolive and Procter & Gamble (like, Head & Shoulders, Herbal Essences, Oral B) - they've all been tested on animals.
If you think just the idea of testing on animals sounds awful, then maybe skip straight to the next paragraph. The types of tests used are the stuff of horror movies. Rubbing chemicals into eyes; applying corrosive substances onto skin, causing burns and gaping wounds; and the LD50 test - which I don't even want to talk about. Animals from rats to cats to dogs are all burnt, poisoned and even killed in product testing.
Fortunately, there is good news. The EU is hoping to ban all cosmetics tested on animals (regardless of where the testing took place) by 2013. It makes me think that Leonardo da Vinci might have been on to something when he said, "One day the world will look upon research on animals as it now looks upon research on human beings".
If you think animals are beautiful just the way they are, and shouldn't be a part of cosmetic testing then add your voice to chorus of others who are saying "NO!" to animal tests. Also, shoot the pollies a message demanding an end to the import of products tested on animals. You can also use this cruelty-free shopping guide to find out which products you should feel good about using. There are loads of them around!
And don't forget to jump onto the forum to ask other Unleashed members for advice when you're looking for cruelty-free mouthwash or make-up ... anything really! You're bound to get some good tips there. Don't just do what I did recently - not use any deodorant or mouthwash. It was a lonely four years ...
I love happy endings! Don't you? I can't think of a better way to finish the year than with a happy ending.
We've shared a few rescued animal videos with you recently. First there were apes, then turkeys (those videos are a must watch btw) and now ... check out the amazing first moments of freedom for 9 beagles who were rescued from an animal lab in the USA earlier this year:
Quite the tear-jerker, isn't it!
2011 has been a pretty amazing year all round. If you don't know what I'm talking about then check out our year in review video and you'll soon get the picture: animal rights has never been such a hot topic in Australia as it is right now. What a way to start the new year!
Here's to making an even bigger impact for animals in 2012, and giving even more animals a happy ending, like these beagles! (Needing a few ideas for new year's resolutions to help animals: click here.)
Imagine going decades without seeing the outside world -- spending many of those years confined in a laboratory, bright lights and metal bars a staple of your daily environment. Then finally being able to experience the sunlight on your skin and the simple joys of walking freely and interacting with your friends...
This is the sad but uplifting story of ten chimpanzees, held in captivity for 30 years in Austria. Yes, you heard correctly, 30 years... And for more than half of those years, these unfortunate animals were confined in a medical testing laboratory. Check out this amazing video as the chimps step into the sunshine for the first time:
Isn't that moment when the two chimps turn and hug each other in joy so touching to see!
What do you think -- should pharmaceutical companies find better, safer ways to test drugs, that don't involve animals? I mean, when you see the joy of these chimps at finally being safe and free, it makes you wonder how we can justify locking them away and testing on them for decades, doesn't it?
As Prof. Charles Magel put it: "Ask the experimenters why they experiment on animals and the answer is: 'Because animals are like us.' Ask the experimenters why it is morally okay to experiment on animals, and the answer is: 'Because the animals are not like us.' Animal experimentation rests on a logical contradiction."
This footage not only brings home the sad reality of animals being used in pharmaceutical testing, but the chimps' reactions to being set free shows just how similar they are to us. Share this video on facebook (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDgo6ee6uas) and show others just how touching a moment it can be to give animals the safety and freedom they all deserve.
How good is the UK? The Brits are set to ban the testing of animals for household products like air freshener, furniture polish, bleach and washing up liquid!
This is sure to make a lot of little cats and mice squeak with delight!
Many people don't realise that most of the products on supermarket shelves have been tested on animals before being approved for sale. Even here in Australia!
All sorts of animals from rats and mice to dogs and cats can be used in these painfully cruel tests, that include having harsh chemicals dripped into their eyes, rubbed on their sensitive skin and even being force fed. The horrific results are often blindness, chemical burns and of course, death.
I know I don't want any animals going through that just so I can finish my household chores!
Lush and Perfect Potion have the most amazing skin care ranges, that are to die for (and the animals don't have to)! And for household cleaners you can't go past Earth Choice productsÂ that smell so fresh you'll think you're living inside an apple!
Well done to the Brits for again speaking up for animals!
You can help stop companies like L'Oreal and Colgate/Palmolive from having animals abused in their testing labs too. If they can't sell it, they won't test it -- so ask the Australian Government to ban the sale of any product that's been tested on animals by clicking here.
During World Week for Animals in Laboratories, there are loads of things you can do to help end cruel animal testing for products like cosmetics and skincare. And wouldn't it be great to put an end to burning and poisoning animals just for the sake of a new deoderant or toilet cleaner?
But sadly, cruelty to animals in labs doesn't stop there. Did you know that millions of cats, dogs, mice, rats and monkeys suffer and die for the sake of medical research too? Check this out:
Like the video says, using animals in medical research is unpredictable, unreliable and unnecessary. And this quote really resonates with me - "Atrocities are not less atrocities when they occur in laboratories and are called medical research" - George Bernard Shaw
And the story gets all the more intriguing/amusing... in a flirty twitter/YouTube conversation between the Old Spice Man and Alyssa Milano (also a vegetarian), Alyssa has challenged the Old Spice Man to donate $100,000 to wildlife rescue in the Gulf of Mexico oil clean up. Fingers crossed he mans up to the challenge!
Hi, I'm Jane, and I've just joined the team, so this is my first ever blog!
So I have one exam to go before I receive my degree in Animal Science. While I'd normally be dreading any kind of exam, biting my nails, and overdosing on coffee while I'm cramming as much as I can get in the night before, I'm actually kind of looking forward to this one. I just heard your jaw drop on the keyboard, but hear me out!
This exam won't just be symbolic of me finally completing my studies. It's also the very last step in proving once and for all that it is entirely possible to attain not only a science degree, but an animal science degree, without having harmed any animals.
For three long years, I steadfastly refused to inject, kill or dissect any animal. Once I was even threatened with a fail, but I stayed true to my beliefs and said defiantly "Fail me then".
No one failed me. In fact, I have a Distinction grade point average and an Outstanding Academic Achievement Award, which further goes to show that I was actually better off not using animals.
A lot of people, students and teachers, think that it's impossible to study biology, physiology, genetics or medicine without using animals. This is really concerning, because the alternatives, text books, artificial models and computer simulations that are readily available make using actual animals in education completely redundant.
That's why this exam means a lot to me, and that's why I'm gonna blitz it!
Hopefully this can be a reference point whenever someone tells you that you have to use animals in science or at uni. Besides, the teachers HAVE to offer you an alternative if you ask for one, did you know that?
All too often, I was the only one to say anything, while my fellow students stayed quiet, did the practicals, and cried on the bus on the way home. We all know it's wrong to use animals this way, so if you're in school and don't want to hurt animals when the teacher tells you to, Speak Up! And encourage your friends to do the same.
I was never a huge fan of science in school. The lab always smelled funny and those goggles and aprons were never as flattering as our science teacher made them out to be. But as torturous as that all was, I actually had it pretty easy...
Can you imagine having to spend your entire life in a science laboratory?
That's the reality for millions of rabbits, mice, cats, dogs and other animals. But there's no safety equipment for these little guys.To test consumer products such as hairspray, toilet cleaner and cosmetics, lab animals have nasty chemicals dripped directly into their eyes, and are given chemical burns to their skin. Others are forced to ingest harmful substances that cause painful poisoning and worse - death.
Sadly this isn't science fiction - it's a real-life horror story. But with your help we can give the animals a happy ending...
Not many people know that some of the most well-known companies like Colgate/Palmolive, Procter & Gamble (who own Braun, CoverGirl, Gillette, Pantene,Wella, Herbal Essences, Vidal Sassoon, Duracell and more) and Unilever (who own Dove, Rexona, Lynx, SunSilk, Impulse, Lux, Vaseline, Domestos and more) still fund deadly tests on animals overseas before sending their products down under for us to buy. If you have any of their products at home, you have a great opportunity to help end animal testing by calling their customer feedback number (usually on the pack), and politely letting them know that you won't buy their products again after learning that their company funds animal tests.
To be in the draw simply comment below and tell us who you called, and how it went :-)
UPDATE: Thank you so much to everyone who phoned, emailed or sent letters to companies telling them to leave the animals alone! Unleashed certainly has some outspoken members who should be very proud of themselves! In the end the lip-smacking winners of the Vanilla Bean Lip-Balm are brookeb, angelaartsstudent, AlanaRama, Tracy and Katie2. Thanks again and well done to all of you who entered, and don't forget to always speak up for animals!
I'm seriously happy about the new Earth Choice ad that's currently airing on prime time telly. It seems to be the first ad that brings to light the plight of our marine animals. It scares me that the world has largely forgotten them.
I wanted to cry when the stingray was being used as a cleaning rag and the octopus as a mop. I'm a diver and I've had interactions underwater with octopuses that lasted for minutes. These highly intelligent creatures can communicate by changing their colours, the tentacles can express emotions such as anger and affection. They express curiosity through touch and they will look you in the eye to check you out. I've even seen them open jars to get something inside.
And it's not just our ocean life that gets poisoned by many of our household products. Supermarket shelves are lined with products from companies like Procter & Gamble, Colgate/Pamolive, Johnson & Johnson, and Glade who still test on animals! As if it weren't bad enough that we're flushing chemical cocktails into the oceans, first they're dripping them into the eyes of rabbits, feeding them to mice and giving dogs chemical burns just to find out how toxic they really are!
Fortunately, Earth Choice is just one of many great brands that are looking out for animals. There are plenty of others that you can find in pretty much any supermarket, for example: Blast, Planet Ark, and Seventh Generation.
Every time we go to the supermarket we can make a powerful choice not to support animal cruelty. And let's face it, the animals need us (octopuses and bunnies alike). There's just no need for us to torture animals in labs or destroy our oceans just to wash the dishes! So take the pledge to say 'No!' to animal tests and make sure to support brands that look out for our oceans.
If you're like me and haven't even started your xmas shopping yet, you might like the idea of suggestions for presents to take all of the hard work out of it. So here are my top 10 tips for xmas gifts:
Buy a TV Ad (or have one bought for you): Remind your family that Christmas is a time of joy and celebration, and giving kindness to those who are stuck in factory farms. By donating an ad, you can make their Christmas by keeping our ads on television to give animals a voice.
Aesop gift packs: All of Aesop's products are vegan meaning you don't have to worry about your products being used in cruel animal experiments. They have gift packs for both men and women (perfect for Mum and Dad) that range from $30 to $150. This is what my mum's getting for chrissy.
LUSH Handmade Cosmetics: While also on the topic of cosmetics you cannot go past LUSH, one of the coolest and conscious companies around. These guys have decadent smelling hand-made cosmetics, with a great range of vegan options, that are all natural and perfect for gifts for mum, dad, bro or sis. Just find your closest store.
Macbeth's vegan line of shoes: Macbeth shoes are pure style. And a pair of cow friendly kicks is enough to put a spring in anyone's step.
The Cove: One of the biggest animal films of the year, which shone a light on the secretive dolphin slaughter in the small town of Taiji in Japan. Definitely one of the best films I have ever seen. It's very much like Animal Planet meets James Bond. So if you're Dad likes espionage films, then this is definitely for him. Available from JB Hi Fi around Australia.
Sponsor a needy animal: Adopting a family companion is a big decision and one best left to the person who will be looking after him/her. So giving an animal as a present usually isn't a good idea. But that doesn't mean you can't help a needy animal and make your friend or family member fall head over heals in the process. Sponsoring an animal at a sanctuary (such as Edgar's Mission or Brightside Farm Sanctuary) on behalf of a friend/family member will leave the recipient feeling proud that their helping to give a needy animal a home. And that experience can be all the more rewarding if you can visit the sanctuary!
Cook a delicious vegan supper: Remember that old saying "it's the thought that counts?" Well whoever coined the phrase was right. Why not save Mum/Gran the time slaving away in the kitchen this xmas by whipping out your vegan masterchef skills with one of our Christmas recipes. In doing so, you'll give animals the kindest gift of all - not eating them, and show your family how great vegan food is!
Music: Really, who doesn't love music! And of course it's 100% animal friendly. And you could make this gift even more animal friendly (110% animal friendly?) by supporting a band that helps animal **cough Kisschasy cough**. Their new album Seizures is currently at all good music stores.
Tart n Round: These Melbourne based cake pioneers have a range of delicious chocolates, cakes and sweets that would make a great small gift for someone such as in a Kris Kringle/Secret Santa. They are open Thursday 12-6pm so you'd better be quick. If you don't live in Melbourne, just pick up some other vegan treats from a local vegan store in your area.
Stella McCartney perfume: Perfect for mum or your lady friends, Stella McCartney is vegan so you can rest assured that her products aren't tested on animals and that they don't contain any animal by-products. A little bit pricey, but definitely worth what you pay. Available at most Myers around the country.
If you can think of any other last minute Xmas ideas, post your ideas below!
'Warren' is the star of a brand new 3D animated clip made by those awesome guys at Choose Cruelty Free to raise awareness about the hidden horrors of animal testing! This amazing little film has already made its online debut on YouTube and hopefully will make it to TV later in the year.
CCF should be commended for this powerful animation that will hopefully challenge average Australians to buy household and cosmetic items that don't contain the added cruelty.
Every year millions of animals are poisoned, burnt and killed in the name of 'science'… a poor science that is unreliable, inaccurate and as dangerous for us as it is for the animals!
If this gets you as fired up as it does me, then let's take some action! Firstly, make sure you make the "Say no animal testing" pledge and then start spreading the word about this video! Stick it on your MySpace and Facebook and help give Warren a voice!
We’re supposed to let you know that the ideas expressed here are the views of the individual authors, and may not necessarily reflect the views of Animals Australia or Animals Australia Unleashed. So now you know.