Monday 21 January 2008

Animal Free Testing of Baby Products

99% of the time I don't think about animal free testing of baby products or any products for that matter and I am ashamed of it. I care deeply about the welfare of cats and animals but don't do enough (although I am building this website :).

The root cause of the problem is, "Out of Sight out of Mind", apathy, and I'm too busy. All bad reasons if I am honest. Amongst other animals, cats are used in animal testing. I find it difficult to allow myself to talk about cats and present the most wonderful pictures of the wonderful looking cats without addressing what is hidden behind that pretty veneer.

The issue of animal testing is very problematic and there are very strongly held polarized viewpoints on the subject. Even I sometimes think that animal testing is a necessary evil if it genuinely improves the lives of people. This though would not and can never include using animal testing to improve cosmetics and baby products. Animal free testing of baby products has got to be something we aspire to, surely?

Even if the rewards (excluding for a minute, profit) are huge, such as finding a cure for a disease through animal testing, I still have real doubts about it. This is because, even at the most morally acceptable level, animal testing presupposes that humans (as an animal) are more important than other animals. Why should we be more important? We aren't doing such a great job of running the world are we? Were does this right to harm other creatures come from?

I feel an overriding an naturally correct assessment of the situation is that we are all fundamentally equal. Being more intelligent in some areas (there are various types of intelligence) does not qualify us to behave as Gods in respect of other animals.

If we want to find a cure for disease or make better baby products we should test on ourselves. Of course we wouldn't do the kind of tests that are carried out on animals. Progress would slow down as a result (probably). For my part a little slowing in so called progress wouldn't be a bad thing since I am not sure that we are making progress anyway and slowing down a bit would be good for us all.

There is evidence it seems that cat food companies such as Iams are using animal testing to improve their products. Iams® is owned by Procter and Gamble®, who I understand are working with Humane Society of the United States® to improve their practices in respect of product safety research. It also seems that Hills®, another big cat food manufacturer, animal test. This is very cynical behavior. It also puts me in a difficult position personally as I buy Hills LD® dry food which I occasionally give my cats.

{there are issues too with the amount of carbohydrates in dry cat food - there is too much starch in dry cat food, which may effect your cat's health. You can read about law carbohydrate cat food here.

I'll have to stop buying it. But I would have stopped anyway as I agree the arguments about too much carbohydrate in dry cat food.

There are programs to which companies can subscribe if they can provide evidence that they do not animal test. I have found 2 lists of companies, one relates to North America (USA and Canada) and the other to Europe (I think). Click on these links to see the lists:

The first 2 lists are courtesy and relate to North America:

Companies that don't test on animals

Companies that do test on animals

This list comes from The Go Cruelty Free initiative organised by BUAV and lists companies that are approved under the Humane Cosmetics Standard (HCS) and/or the Humane Household Products Standard (HHPS). This means that they don't do animal testing indirectly or directly. These relate to UK and Europe as I understand it.

For the time being I will leave it to visitors to find the companies making baby products. But I'll be back for more about this. It needs to brought out into the open so it is no longer out of sight out of mind.

All the photos are copyright Brian Gunn IAAPEA. They are reproduced with his permission. The objective is to put the issue in front of us to remind us. Gandhi said words to the effect that everything we do is insignificant but we must do it.

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