“Ask the experimenters why they experiment on animals, and the answer is, ‘Because the 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.’”
– Charles Magel
Animals pay the price for just being animals. They end up not just being exploited for food, but for entertainment and fashion as well. Testing cosmetics, detergents, drugs, and other products on animals before being released into the market is as abhorrent as it can get.
Some time ago, I came across an article that spoke of what we can do as consumers against animal testing. I think it best to pass it on.
So, as consumers we can:
- switch to using products that aren’t animal tested and are organic (such products usually come with a leaping bunny mark on the label at the back, mention either ‘not animal tested’ or ‘vegan’, or have a green dot symbol)
- let the companies know that their policy of testing their products on animals is not going down well with you, and that you boycott their products till they change their ways
You can identify the brands you use that tests on animals and write a feedback to them in their consumer portal saying that you choose to stop using their products for they continue to carry out testing on animals.
I wrote to Colgate-Palmolive and Hindustan Unilever Limited. The following are the responses from them:
Dear Ms. _______________:
Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts about the use of animals in product safety testing. The Colgate-Palmolive Company has a longstanding worldwide policy to minimize and to ultimately eliminate animal testing for all consumer products.
Central to this commitment are our 30-year long efforts to encourage the development of alternatives that are scientifically valid and can be accepted by safety regulators. We are leaders in promoting, encouraging and participating in the development, validation and acceptance of alternative non-animal testing methods worldwide, investing over a million dollars annually on research with non-animal alternatives. We work closely with worldwide regulatory agencies to examine how non-animal tests can be incorporated into their safety requirements for consumer products.
We also continue our commitment to finding and using alternative methods through support and involvement with the European Partnership for Alternative to Animals (EPAA) and the Institute for In Vitro Science (IIVS). Colgate actively shares its work to reduce animal use and develop alternatives, so that this information can help others in their search for ways to minimize animal use.
Globally there are circumstances when regulatory agencies require animal testing. In such limited instances, the tests are conducted only at contract testing facilities that meet both government standards and the more rigorous requirements established by Colgate with input from animal welfare groups.
We look forward to a day when all necessary safety studies can be performed without the use of animals and we will continue to work to make that day come sooner.
For more detailed information on this important topic, we hope you will visit our website at www.colgatepalmolive.com. Once on the site click on the “Our Company” tab, then select “Sustainability” from the menu on the left. Scroll down, and then click “Click here for the most recent Sustainability Report,” and, once downloaded, go to page 67. You can also review our Product Research Safety Policy from the Sustainability page by scrolling down and clicking on Policies on the right-hand side.
Once again, thank you for contacting us about this important issue.
Colgate-Palmolive (India) Limited.
Dear Ms. ___________,
Thank you for your email.
We would like to assure you that Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) products are cruelty free. HUL is committed to the elimination of animal testing.
We truly appreciate your interest in our brand Hindustan Unilever Limited and we hope you continue enjoy using it.
Should you require any other information, you can also call us on our Toll-free number 1800-10-22-221 between 9 AM – 9 PM, 7 days a week.
Consumer Engagement Centre (Levercare), India.
Hindustan Unilever Limited.
The second response is a blatant lie. In the second line, she assures me that HUL is cruelty-free and then goes on to contradict the statement by saying that it is committed to the elimination of animal testing as if it weren’t already done.
I wrote back:
Thank you for the prompt response. However, going by your claim dove, axe, and other products under HUL ‘ARE’ cruelty free. I think that isn’t the case. There is a lot of difference between ‘ARE CRUELTY FREE’ and ‘ARE GOING TO BE CRUELTY FREE’. No, I cannot continue enjoying your products knowing very well that by continuing to be your consumer, I will only be taking part in funding your barbaric practice of putting innocent animals’ lives under threat. It just disgusts me outright to think that I was once a regular user of dove and few other products under your banner.
On a positive note, I will wait till the time you do away with the torture and murder to start happily using your products again.
With best Regards.
However, I got a reply that reiterated their previous claim. But there is not an ounce of truth in it.
Ergo, more the consumers switching to Eco-friendly products, the quicker will be the change in policies to come.
My personal favorites of Eco-friendly products: Biotique (Body wash, Shampoo, and Face wash), Lotus (face wash and body creams), Boro plus (all purpose cream), and Vicco Vajradanti (toothpaste). There are many more animal-friendly brands in the market to choose from, suiting your choice and requirement. A little research and googling would help you find a valid list of products that test and products that don’t test on animals.
“You must be the change you want to see in the world.“
– Mahatma Gandhi
Hoping you choose the happy leaping bunny…