I am fed up with companies needlessly hurting animals for cosmetics and toiletries. Enough is enough. So, I wrote to Unilever and told them why I no longer use their products:
When I think about my childhood, something very strange happens. When I remember my 12th birthday sleepover party, a sweet vanilla scent fills my nostrils. When I think about Friday afternoon P.E. class, the distinct smells of musk and raspberry come flooding back. And when I had my first date, I felt like a Goddess, and smelled like one too.
That’s right, I was an Impulse kid. Your body sprays were so popular when I was growing up that they operated as status symbols, with the person owning the largest collection of fragrances sitting at the top of the popularity ladder.
I am writing to you today having out-grown my rollerblades with the purple shoelaces but having grown into a sense of compassion and ethics as a consumer. Even though I still want to smell like a Spice Girl as much as I ever did, I will not be buying any products made by your company. This is for one reason: your company funds animal testing.
Testing cosmetics and toiletries on animals is banned here in Australia. Don’t you think that’s probably because Australians care about the welfare of animals and realise these tests are cruel and unnecessary? And yet you choose to test your products on animals overseas. When I learned that companies such as yours STILL test on animals, I was floored. Why?
The majority of commonly used ingredients have been safety tested YEARS ago. Not to mention that even brand new ingredients can’t be guaranteed to be safe for human safety when they are tested on animals. And yet product testing still blinds, burns, poisons and kills millions of rabbits, dogs and other animals every year.
"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."
--Prof. Charles R. Magel
Now that I'm a little older and wiser, I choose to put my pocket money towards products that use alternatives to animal testing rather than needlessly harming animals. I have found that it is very much possible to smell like a goddess without contributing to animal cruelty and I intend to keep doing so.
I hope that one day you will change your policy on animal testing and join me in the greener pastures where rabbits do not have chemicals rubbed in their eyes and dogs are free from being burned and poisoned.
No longer yours, sincerely,
Is there a product you used to love but have made the switch to a cruelty-free alternative? Why not drop the company a line and tell them why you no longer use their products? Click here to take action against animal testing.
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 ...
Being kind to animals isn't a new invention. It's not like ipads or robots. When you speak up for animals, you're walking in the shoes of many amazing and inspiring people. Now, we've teamed up with VeganSneaker.com to give you a chance to step out in cruelty-free style like some of the greats, with these sweet Etiko kicks.
We've got two pairs of sneakers to give away to two lucky Unleashed members!
It may seem obvious, but I'll say it anyway, VeganSneaker.com specialise in selling vegan sneakers from Aussie company Etiko. Etiko's slogan is "Wear No Evil". This means no kids sweating in factories, no ripped off workers without toilet breaks, and no animal products in their shoes!
Some of the greatest minds the world has ever seen have stood up for animals. Albert Einstein for starters. When the German genius wasn't blowing minds with his theory of rela-la-tivi-li-ty (I can't even pronounce it) he was telling the world, "Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet".
And what about Gandhi, who said, "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated". FYI, I bet Gandhi would have loved a pair of Etikos on his famous Salt March. Just sayin'.
To get your hands on (and feet into) these vegan sneakers we want you to talk the talk. All you have to do is share your favourite quote about animals/activism in the comments. It can be inspiring, thoughtful, funny, anything! (If you don't know any quotes, then google is your friend.)
But wait! There's more! The two winners will also have their entries turned into hot new facebook covers, to help get the idea out there that everyone can treat animals with respect. So stop reading, and start writing! Entries into the comments by June 30th! Good luck!
Who saw the latest episode of Australia's Next Top Model? The contestants were made to wear fur! Real fur! And the host even had the stupidity to say that fur was making a comeback! What the faux?
This is about as irresponsible as you can get (from a channel that calls itself FOX!), especially when it is clear that the majority of people in the fashion world have no idea where fur comes from and the awful ways in which it gets from an animal's back to their grotesque coats.
I love the feel of my dog's fur under my fingers as I pat her, knowing her fur is right where it should be. But obviously, not all animals are as pampered as my pooch. This is the 21st century and it's amazing that some people are still of the opinion that the rightful place of dogs' fur (or rabbit, raccoon, mink, fox etc) is the outer lining of their coat! These people have blood on their hands!
Did you know that Perth's very own Harmony and Lawson actually want you to believe that the fur they use is 'cruelty-free'?Clearly Harmony Douglas has never ripped it off the back of a living breathing animal herself.
'Cruelty free fur' - it's an oxymoron. So don't ever buy into it if you see it on a label, or you run the risk of being called a moron yourself (not unlike certain hosts on ANTM)!
Thankfully people are staring to wake up. Israel is currently voting on a bill to ban any trade in fur. And there are now so many alternatives to fur, I really can't see why anyone would wear it, even if they do think it looks good (which is another debate altogether!).
Jump onto the ANTM forum and let them know you won't be watching a show that sanctions animal cruelty. You can also make comments on their Facebook page.
No doubt Iím not alone when I say I like stylish clothes. And one thing I love about faux fashion is that it not only looks hot, itís a great way to show others that you donít need to be cruel to be cool (and in fact thereís nothing less attractive than someone draped in the skin of a dead animal!).
One of my fave wardrobe additions of late is my faux leather jacket from Casual Guy (pictured below). When Iím wearing this bad boy and speaking up for animals, I often have people say something like ďBut you wear leather, donít you?Ē and I think BAM! 'time to save lives' and then I respond: ďThanks for asking! Actually no, I donít wear animal skins. I was horrified when I found out cows that die for leather often have their tails broken and chilli rubbed in their eyes before they are killed. Oh this jacket, itís fake leather. Have you ever worn fake leather before?Ē
Here are a few other discoveries I just had to add to my wardrobe:
These 100% non-leather shoes (above) are from Spendless
There's plenty of non-leather belts out there like this Hurley belt made of PVC
If you want something real bad, just keep looking. I wanted one of these jackets for ages, and I finally found a non-wool jacket at Dangerfield.
So how do you strut your hot stuff for the animals? Have you got an awesome tip for compassionate fashion? Leave a comment.
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.