Everyone can take a stand against animal cruelty in their everyday life. We are all consumers, and it is money that keeps cruel industries going. The consumer dollar can be a powerful force for change, so lets use it compassionately. It’s easy to gradually eliminate cruel products from your life. Cruelty is involved in:
You take a stand against cruelty every time you eat a meal without animal products. As Pythagoras said: “The earth affords you a lavish supply of riches, of innocent foods, and offers you banquets that involve no bloodshed or slaughter.”
Personal and household products may be tested on animals, or they may contain slaughterhouse products such as:
Look for soap made from vegetable oils (preferably not palm oil from plantations in Indonesia which displace orangutans). Avoid products containing gelatine, elastin or collagen.
You can make sure you avoid animal tested products and slaughterhouse ingredients by going to the Choose Cruelty Free web site and using their Preferred Products List. The Choose Cruelty Free group is based in Melbourne and regularly surveys companies to assess whether they qualify for the Preferred Products List. Checks are essential because not all companies who claimed they don’t test on animals are genuine, and just because a company calls its products “natural”, “organic” or “herbal” doesn’t mean they are cruelty free – they could still be tested on animals. For more information on product testing go to Animal Testing.
If you use Hormone Replacement Therapy, please make sure that you do not use Premarin . This brand contains oestrogens collected from pregnant mares’ urine, which condemns tens of thousands of mares to a fairly miserable life, and condemns most of their foals to be slaughtered. Read more about Premarin cruelty. There are many synthetic or plant oestrogen preparations that you could use instead. Speak to your doctor about these alternatives.
Clothing and accessories are often produced by killing animals. For example:
There are good, cruelty-free alternatives for all these products. There are many synthetic shoes, bags, belts and wallets available. If you want really high quality goods that not only avoid animal cruelty, but also sweatshops because they are hand-made in Melbourne, go to Vegan Wares.
Photos from China. A caged dog awaiting slaughter for his/her fur (PETA). An arctic fox being removed with tongs around the neck from his/her small wire cage for slaughter (Swiss Animal Protection). China is now the world’s leading exporter of fur, but has no animal protection laws. Investigators have observed animals being skinned while still alive.
For more information go to:
Remember that you don’t have to buy a fur coat to support this cruel industry – a fur collar, hood trim, toy or pillow keeps it going.
Companion animals. An estimated 250,000 healthy dogs and cats are killed Australia-wide each year just because no-one wants them (see Death Row Pets). Most animals are abandoned, not because there is anything wrong with them, but because people no longer want the commitment of looking after an animal. Other reasons include moving into accommodation that doesn’t allow pets or an elderly person dying or moving into a nursing home.
If you would like a companion animal, first ask yourself if you can look after him or her for their natural lifespan and, if you can, visit one of the many shelters to find your companion. The Pet Rescue web site lists shelters in South Australia, where you can find cats and dogs, including ex-racing greyhounds, as well as rabbits, guinea pigs and rats. Many of the animals who are abandoned are purebred or designer breeds. By selecting from a shelter you will be saving a life and not contributing further to overpopulation by breeders and pet shops. Remember that some breeders keep animals in poor conditions, for example, so-called Puppy Mills. Please make sure your animals are desexed so that you don’t contribute to over-population. For people on low incomes, help with desexing of cats is available from Cats Assistance to Sterilise, ph 8331-0476 in Adelaide.