Toiler Cleaner is Toilet Cleaner – Why it’s easy to be an activist about animal testing.

I’m n89bunnylogo_2ot going to over-sentimentalize this.

There will be no photos of emaciated kittens or doe-eyed puppies staring out from behind grimy metal bars. I’m also not going to go into medical testing on animals and debate whether animals lives have an equal value to our own, (i.e. is testing on monkeys justified when it brings a speedy and effective treatment for crippling and fatal human diseases?) These are big questions and they deserve to be considered. However, the cruelties I’m speaking of are being performed for a much baser purpose.

I’m talking tests on paint, toothpaste, food, clothing, deodorant, cleansers, and more. The tests blind, maim, and inflict painful and fatal diseases on the animals. In some cases the animals are forced to ingest large amounts of food and other substances, in others the animals are starved. Needless to say, little attention is given to anesthetics or the animal’s comfort, let alone the preservation of the animal’s life or any thought to the animal’s emotional and psychological suffering.

Sometimes the tests determine a product’s safety or efficacy. Many times tests are simply used to obtain more information about the product in an effort to find new ways to market it.

For example, juice companies have been found cutting open dogs to damage arteries, and then forcing the animals to ingest massive quantities of juice in an effort to quickly discover if the juice can be marketed as beneficial for people with heart disease. Or not. There may be no basis for hypothesis.

Let’s say Mr. Suit in an office somewhere gets an idea, calls a testing company and asks, “Can you find out if product X is safer than product Y?” They say, “Sure,” and go about inflicting massive doses of both products on two groups of animals until they show signs of injury, which are documented, and more doses are administered for more injuries, which are documented, until finally a dose is administered that causes death, which is documented. If product X did this to a slower or smaller degree than product Y, the X company may be able to use that to their advantage in their latest marketing campaign. Mr. Suit doesn’t think about how his results are gathered. He’s doing his job. His job is marketing. He’s a single cog in a mighty wheel where none of the cogs need look too closely at this one ugly aspect of things. After all, doesn’t everyone do it?

This is particularly difficult to accept when you realize that they could acquire the sames types of information without ever using animals at all. PETA has a wealth of information on the many alternatives to animal testing on their site called Caring Consumer, including this Fact Sheet: Alternatives:Testing Without Torture.

And plenty of companies use these alternative methods without a crippling effect on their productivity or profit margin. In fact, PETA and the US Humane Society both assert that many of these alternatives are actually less expensive than animal testing. There must be a host of reasons why companies continue these cruel and outdated testing methods, not the least of which must be a reluctance to organize and pay for the initial change, and human resistance to change in the first place. If it ain’t broke…

The idea that animal testing is “standard” practice only solidifies this complacency. Until public reaction to animal testing directly compromises a company’s sales, little change can be expected. One way to do this is to raise this issue to national awareness to the point where a company’s very brand identity, and reputation is marred. This is tougher than it sounds. The web helps, but national TV and radio ads would really do the trick yet, besides corporations and politicians, who can afford them?

A grassroots attack has the greatest hope of making a dent in these cruelties. Make small changes in your buying habits and favor companies that don’t test on animals. It’s nearly impossible to do this with 100% accuracy, and for right now that doesn’t matter. Just take the information you have, and act on it whenever you can.

It’s easy enough to tell the good guys from the bad. Several organizations, including PETA, have openly asked companies about their practices in regard to animal testing and keep a scrupulously updated list of companies that reject animal testing. Online lists can be found here. Other organizations keep lists, but most defer to the PETA list as the most comprehensive and up-to-date.

It’s not hard to buy accordingly. These are just a few of the companies that are totally free of animal testing:

No_animal_testing_3

Calrins
For example, my absolutely favorite skin care company (thankfully!) has rejected animal testing since 1987. This hasn’t effected the quality of their products and, believe me, it hasn’t dented their profit.

On the other hand, I recently discovered the Philosophy product line. My mother had ordered the whole caboodle from TV – shampoos, conditioner, moisturizer, body scrub, facial mask, bubble bath, and more… I LOVE the conditioner. Running, sweating, and swimming all summer did a real number on my hair. While I was mildly pleased that my hair had returned to its childish straw-colored hue, I wasn’t so thrilled that it took on straw-texture as well. I’d been long resisting my hair stylist’s repeated attempts to bully me into a $50 moisturizing treatment that, she says while wistfully fingering the frayed ends, my hair desperately “needs!”

Then I discovered Philosophy’s Grace conditioner and started leaving it in overnight. Voila! My hair and I were happy, and we smelled great too. When I finished the bottle I wanted to verify their stance on animal testing before buying from them. Surely these were one of the good guys. They give a percentage of the sales from featured products to charities, they promote healthy living and a generous spirit. “Believe in Miracles” is their tagline!

An internet forum told me that their site stated it didn’t test its finished products on animals, but admitted that product ingredients had been animal tested.

When I visited the philosophy.com they had changed their tune a bit. The FAQ “does philosophy test on animals?” is answered summarily philosophy does not test our products on
anything other than a human being.”

Hm. Okay, sounds good. I emailed Philosophy, asking why they didn’t label their products “cruelty free” and what about what they said in that forum? They responded with this:

thank you for your recent inquiry regarding animal testing. please be assured we do not test
philosophy products on anything other than human beings; however, some ingredients that are universal in the cosmetics industry have been tested on animals at some point. due to this, no cosmetics company can state that its ingredients have never been animal tested. philosophy inc. is committed to
using alternatives to animal testing to insure the safety of our products.

please know i have forwarded your suggestion to state the products are
cruelty-free to our research and product development team for further consideration!
have a great day!
Philosnew_2

kind regards,

kate g.

No cosmetics company can state that its ingredients have never been animal tested? I’m going to miss that damn conditioner.

PETA publishes a cruelty-free pocket guide that you can order to keep with you Pam
while you shop. (Although it’s unclear why this banner has Pam Anderson sensually touching her lips…)

It’s really not difficult. I no longer buy Glad trash bags. The generic products in all Pathmark grocery stores are cruelty free, and I replace many purchases with those. And even with Philosophy – there are tons of good conditioners out there. I won’t miss it that much. That’s the thing, none of these companies produce
anything singular or irreplaceable. Toilet cleaner is toiler cleaner, eyeliner is eyeliner. You may have a preference, but you have a wealth of comparable products to choose from!

Sometimes I know I don’t want to buy from a certain company – say Lysol, but I’m unclear whether any of the other companies are also testing on animals. I just buy from a small company, or a generic product. I figure if I’m at least taking sales from the large company, which may in time be swayed to change its practices, this large company may set a precedent that others can follow. Especially when animal lovers switch back to the Lysol.

This does work. Combined with activist organizations that confront corporations directly and raise awareness on a much higher level, changes get made and fewer animals suffer as a result.

Recently, PETA prompted beverage companies to drop animal testing completely. Among the converts: Welch’s, Ocean Spray, POM Wonderful, and PepsiCo. Most recently, Coca-Cola fell in line.

PART TWO to come. Pet Food Companies that test on animals!

Resources:

www.stopanimaltesting.org

www.caringconsumer.com/index.asp

US Humane Society

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_testing

DoSomething.org – Animal Welfare

www.allforanimals.com/alternatives1.htm

Johns Hopkins Articles on Alternative to Animal Testing

A Few Sad Pictures… (you can easily google for thousands more)

http://www.tqnyc.org/NYC063127/

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5 Responses to “Toiler Cleaner is Toilet Cleaner – Why it’s easy to be an activist about animal testing.”

  1. mitten Says:

    Thanks for all your research for this. I have dozens of bottles from Philosophy in my bathroom cabinet and I love them, but I’m dismayed to learn about the animal testing. Not to be overly dramatic (but I will be anyway!), but it always makes me feel like I’m covered in blood when I find out a product in my hair or on my face has been tested on animals. That’s too bad, because i sure do like their product. I’ll switch to something else. Anyway, thanks again for all the leg work and posting the results!

  2. Blackbird Says:

    Mitten,

    I was disappointed about them too. The worst for me was that they put intentionally misleading info on their site and when I asked them about it, they acted like that was the norm. Oh, well…

  3. becki Says:

    Im sorry but avon and clinique test, and donna karan uses fur so shes just as bad. The body shop are owned by loreal who do test, so if you buy at the body shop you still fund the cruelty.

    sorry to be awkward but i just thought you should know…

  4. Genevieve Robinson, NZ Says:

    Hi.. great wee website here… and great to hear that others are taking the whole cosmetics and personal care industry and whether they test on animals or not, very strongly!
    I have been trying to find info on this for years.
    Now I just try and go for Vegan cosmetics, if I can – and also, ones that have the strong philosophy (pardon the pun!) about not only the final product, but what goes into it.
    Other than humans having to make their own cosmetics and shampoos etc, none of us can be 100% sure that these ingredients were not tested.
    In the 1950’s, nearly everything was tested. Even oils such as lavendar etc etc.
    So, even if a healthy non-tested product was out there on the shelves, how are we to know about each and every ingredient?
    I would say, buy small (such as you said) and buy knowing about the company that makes it, (hopefully locally, or at least made in your country!).
    If anything contains Sodium Laurel or Laureth Sulphate (foaming agent) you can bet your bottom dollar that it has been tested, and still is being tested… as this agent is used as a Control in experiments as a known extreme skin allergen.
    Most shampoos, foaming cleansers..tested or not, have been tested at some stage, due to the ingredients. Not the final product.
    This alone makes me sad….
    I love animals, and the graphic images etc are horrific.
    If there is a company out there that stands today, as it did 50 years ago, and never tested one ounce of it’s products on animals, I want to hear about it – cause I too want to use it!!!!!

    keep up the good work!!!

    Genevieve, New Zealand

  5. noratmedicine Says:

    The 250 million animals vivisected each year do not die to benefit us, they die to provide legal protection to co’s which harm us and the environment. So keen are animal experimenters to keep the animal rights ‘opposition’ that they even pay for it to continue, google ‘ajudem nos singer rockefeller vivisection’

    from http://www.curedisease.net

    DRUGS
    “92% of new drugs fail in clinical trials, after they have passed all the safety tests in animals” US FDA (2004) “Innovation or Stagnation, Challenge and Opportunity on the Critical Path to new Medical Products” (36).

    “A drug that is tested in animals will have a completely different effect in man. There are uncounted examples that could be cited.” (Dr. med. Karlheinz Blank) Lord Platt, President of the Royal College of Physicians said “No amount of animal testing can make a drug safe because humans react differently from animals.” The report of the british pharmaceutical industries expert committee on drug toxicity said “Information from one animal species cannot be taken as valid for any other. It is not a matter of balancing the cruelty and suffering of animals against the gain of humanity spared from the suffering, because that is not the choice. Animals die to enable hundreds of new drugs to be marketed annually, but the gain is to industry, not mankind.” Dr Herbert Gundersheimer, “Results from animal tests are not transferable between species, and therefore cannot guarantee product safety for humans…In reality these tests do not provide protection for consumers from unsafe products, but rather are used to protect corporations from legal liability.” Report of the Medical Research Council “It must be emphasized that it is impossible to extrapolate quantitatively from one species to any other species.” The Lancet, “We know from drug toxicity studies that animals are very imperfect indicators of human toxicity: only clinical experience and careful control of the introduction of new drugs can tell us about their real dangers.” Dr Ralph Heywood, former scientific director of huntington life sciences, one of the largest contract research laboratories in the world speaking to the CIBA Foundation said “The best guess for the correlation of adverse toxic reactions between human and animal data is somewhere between 5% and 25%” and “90% of our work is done for legal and not for scientific reasons.”
    So the USFDA, from drug co’s own data on millions of animals over decades indicates that animals are incorrect in determining drug toxicity for humans 92% of the time. It is a legal device, not a scientific one.

    Microdosing Pharmagene of Asterand are making genetically engineered drugs made for individuals as drug effects vary between humans

    CANCER from Campaign Against Fraudulent Medical Research http://www.pnc.com.au/~cafmr

    “Everyone should know that most cancer research is largely a fraud and that the major cancer research organisations are derelict in their duties to the people who support them.” – Linus Pauling PhD (Two-time Nobel Prize winner). Dr A. Sabin, creator of the vaccine of his name said, “It is time to end cancer research on animals because it is not related to humans.” And Dr Irwin Bross in Fundamental and Applied Toxicology “The moral is that animal model systems not only kill animals they also kill humans. There is no good factual evidence to show that the use of animals in cancer research has led to the prevention or cure of a single human cancer.” And Dr J F Brailsford “During the past fifty years scientists experimenting with thousands of animals have found 700 ways of causing cancer. But they had not discovered one way of curing the disease.”

    Have you ever wondered why, despite the billions of dollars spent on cancer research over many decades, and the constant promise of a cure which is forever “just around the corner”, cancer continues to increase?
    Cancer Is Increasing

    Once quite rare, cancer is now the second major cause of death in Western countries such as Australia, the U.S.A. and the United Kingdom. In the early 1940s cancer accounted for 12% of Australian deaths. (1)ref # d’Espaignet, E.T. et al., Trends in Australian Mortality 1921-1988, Australian Government Publishing Service (AGPS), Canberra, 1991, p. 33

    By 1992 this figure had climbed to 25.9% of Australian deaths. (2)ref # Australian Bureau of Statistics, Causes of Death, Australia 1992, ABS, Canberra, 1993, p.1

    and from safer med. campaign,
    Given substances are not necessarily carcinogenic to all species. Studies show that 46% of chemicals found to be carcinogenic in rats were not carcinogenic in mice. [23] If species as closely related as mice to rats do not even contract cancer similarly, it’s not surprising that 19 out of 20 compounds that are safe for humans caused cancer in animals. [24]

    The US National Cancer Institute treated mice growing 48 different “human” cancers with a dozen different drugs proven successful in humans, and in 30 of the cases, the drugs were useless in mice. Almost two-thirds of the mouse models were wrong. Animal experimentation is not scientific because it is not predictive.

    The US National Cancer Institute also undertook a 25 year screening programme, testing 40,000 plant species on animals for anti-tumour activity. Out of the outrageously expensive research, many positive results surfaced in animal models, but not a single benefit emerged for humans. As a result, the NCI now uses human cancer cells for cytotoxic screening.[25]

    Dr. Richard Klausner, as director of the US National Cancer Institute, plainly states:

    “The history of cancer research has been a history of curing cancer in the mouse… We have cured mice of cancer for decades – and it simply didn’t work in humans.”
    refs 23# DiCarlo DrugMet Rev,15; p409-131984.
    24# Mutagenesis1987;2:73-78.
    25# Handbook of Laboratory Animal Science, Volume II Animal Models Svendensen and Hau (Eds.) CRC Press 1994 p4.

    you are certainly correct in saying that animal tests do not identify human carcionogens, even warnings on cigarette packets were delayed for 10 years due to animal ‘tests’ and 180 years for arsenic, also asbestos, literally thousands of human carcinogens. legal not scientific

    Re insulin/diabetes as so little funds are put into human based research compared to animal we are unlikely to learn more about it.

    i agree that animal res. isn’t undertaken on a whim, getting published, qualifications, income and legal protection are major motives. even noble motives though do not lead to worthwhile results ie cures or protecting humans.

    AIDS. from dr ray greek http://www.navs.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=7753
    “According to the February 20, 2009 issue of Science:

    SIVcpz, the chimpanzee virus that infected humans and triggered the AIDS epidemic, caused no harm to apes. But new data reveal that wild chimps infected with SIVcpz are more likely to die than are uninfected chimps . . . Captive chimps experimentally infected with HIV-1 typically suffer no harm, which led several researchers to propose that chimps had lived with SIVcpz for centuries and that their immune systems had evolved to coexist with the virus. But few SIVcpz- infected chimps in the wild were identified until about a decade ago . . .

    We hear all the time about a new breakthrough using animals. What often goes unreported in the news is that a vast majority of these fail to translate to humans. Since HIV was isolated researchers have been experimenting with nonhuman primates seeking a vaccine or cure. Neither have been found; for humans. Many vaccines and preventive measures have been found for monkeys. Yet the NIH continues to fund experiments on a different species suffering from a different virus.

    Animals are not going to be predictive for humans because:

    1.
    animals and humans have different genes;
    2.
    animals and humans control and express the same genes differently;
    3.
    animals and humans live in different external environments (notice that wild chimpanzees are apparently susceptible to SIVcpz while captive chimps were not);
    4.
    animals and humans live in different internal environments (even if we all had the same gene, how all those genes and proteins interact would be different);
    5.
    even if animals and humans suffered from exactly the same virus in exactly the same fashion it does not follow they will respond similarly to the same treatment because different biochemical pathways may be involved.

    The above differences highlight why monkeys are no better predictors for humans than are our more distant relatives, mice. A percentage of genetic similarity does not imply predictive ability….”

    yes monkeys dont get aids so no point experimenting on them, same for all other human disease and all animal experiments. humans and animals only get the same diseases 1.16% of the time.

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