The Problem With Puppy Mills

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When I was younger, there was this run-down pet store kind of close to the market where my parents would go grocery shopping. Every time we went to the grocery store, I would beg and plead to stop by to play with the puppies and check out the guinea pigs and hamsters. My parents obliged and off I ran to the pet store called All About Animals. I’ll never forget that place. The people who worked in the store were very easygoing and often didn’t care if a clumsy child picked up one of their small, fragile puppies. That pet store was a huge part of my childhood. When I found out where the store got their puppies, I felt betrayed and sick that I even set foot in the store.

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Little did I know these puppies came from one of the many large scale commercial operations that breed dogs for profit. These terrible operations are called puppy mills. After learning about this, I stopped going to the pet store and soon, the place was shut down (not because of the puppy mills but most likely because the owners couldn’t properly care for any of the animals). Not too long ago, I noticed that Debby’s Petland, a small pet shop chain located in some of the local malls, was also shut down. This is another small victory in the step for creating a more humane world for animals.

DON’T BUY PUPPIES FROM THE PET STORE!

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I know it’s hard to walk by a pet store and not want to buy one of those adorable little pups. However, most of these cute creatures came from a puppy mill. Puppy mills are large-scale commercial operations that breed dogs for profit. They thrive on people who fall in love with the puppy in window. According to Best Friends Society, about three to four million puppies are raised in puppy mills each year.

WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL ABOUT PUPPY MILLS?

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  • The adult breeding dogs are often the most mistreated of them all. They usually spend 24 hours, 7 days a week in a small cage where they are isolated from humans.
  • A single female could give birth to 60 pups. When she becomes too old to birth anymore, she’s simply killed.
  • These dogs often live in the filthiest of conditions; cages are filled with urine and feces, the dogs are often covered in ticks, and many have untreated injuries or malformations. 
  • Puppy mills try to maximize their profits by not spending a sufficient amount of money on buying their dogs necessities such as food, housing, and veterinary care.
  • Many of the puppies bred in a puppy mill will have some sort of illness or a genetic or emotional problem. Others could have medical issues that will end up costing you thousands of dollars to fix.

Although running a commercial breeding facility of this size isn’t legal in any of the fifty states, it is poorly regulated by the USDA (as is everything else… I find that the USDA pretty much fails at everything having to do with animals). According to the ASPCA, auditors visited 81 facilities and reviewed records documenting 28,443 violations over a two-year period. This would be a good thing if the USDA shut all of these facilities down. But they didn’t. Despite all of these violations, these facilities were allowed to continue breeding. This happened back in May, 2010 but the USDA still seems to be oblivious to the abuses these dogs have to endure.

National Geographic talks about why Puppy Mills are not humane.

WHERE ELSE CAN I BUY ADOPT A PUPPY IF NOT AT A PET STORE?

1. YOUR LOCAL ANIMAL SHELTER

In my personal opinion, I think that more families should ADOPT their new best friend. Animal Shelters are full of great dogs just waiting to become the perfect addition to a family. Sadly, there are some dogs that will end up waiting forever. Some dogs never get to experience what it’s like to be loved unconditionally. Which is why I prefer people adopting over them buying purebreds from local breeders.

2. LOCAL BREEDERS

I am somewhat biased when it comes to buying from breeders. I think that mixed breeds are the way to go but I know that they are not for everyone. I don’t like that purebred puppies are (most of the time) a result of an incestuous breeding process, in which two related dogs have puppies together. I know that the dogs don’t know any different; it’s not the nature of it that bothers me. However, breeding two related dogs increases the chances of genetic mutation, physical deformities(example: German Shepherds are known for having hip problems later on in life) and disease. Purebred dogs tend to have shorter lifespans than mixed breeds because of these reasons.

3. RESCUE GROUPS

I understand why some people spend all the money to buy purebred dogs. Some families want a great family dog that is known for being loyal and calm so they may decide to go with a Labrador Retriever, which is known for being a great family dog. Or you may be a farmer who needs a great guard dog for your sheep, so you go with the Border Collie. Some situations require or incline you to buy a purebred dog simply for the characteristics that they were bred for. For those of you who are inclined to buy a purebred, I highly recommend searching for a rescue group in the area. There is a rescue group for every breed of dog, some more common than others. These may cost just as much as buying them from a local breeder, but these dogs are in greater need of a home.

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The honest truth of the matter is that WE are the only ones who can really stop puppy mills. Make sure to let everyone know where these pet stores get their puppies. Tell your friends and family not to buy their new best friend from the store down the street. Once these pet stores run out of consumers to buy their products, they will be forced to shut down. This will weaken the puppy mill(s) that once supplied them and will hopefully run them out of business for good.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CHECK THESE OUT:

Pit bulls: The Most Misunderstood Dog Breed

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We’ve all seen at least one story on the news; “BOY INJURED AFTER A DOG ATTACKS!” “MAD PIT BULL ATTACKS, KILLING ANOTHER DOG!” “POLICE SHOOT PIT BULL AFTER IT ATTACKS A WOMAN WALKING DOWN THE STREET!” There have been so many of those stories that some cities (such as Miami, Denver, and Cincinnati) have started to put a ban on owning Pit Bulls. Note: There is really no such thing as a “pit bull”; it’s just a term used to encompass all American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and Staffordshire Bull Terriers. Recently, in Douglasville, GA, they proposed that no one is allowed to buy a pit bull. If someone already owns a pit bull, they must “register them or face a fine of up to $500, keep them indoors, in a covered pen, or behind a fence at least six feet high. Out in public, they must be muzzled (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution).”

The bans put on pit bulls all have one thing in common: they degrade all pit bulls for something that only a small amount of them do. To get a better understanding of what I’m trying to say, think of it this way: they treat the breed like American’s treated Muslims after 9/11. After one group of Muslims crashed the plane into the World Trade Center, Americans have blamed the entire race for that one event, even though I bet most Muslims are really nice people who have no intention of causing any harm. The American Pit Bull Terrier

The American Pit bull can be a wonderful breed of dog for anyone as long as they are socialized correctly. They are known to be good-natured, amusing, and extremely loyal. They do well in families and are almost always obedient and eager to please their master. However, they are not recommended for most people because most people do not understand how to properly raise and treat a dog. (Learn tips on how to train your dog by visiting Cesar Millan’s website. He is also on the TV show called Dog Whisperer and has wrote several books about raising your dog).

Back when I still had driving lessons, my driving instructor Ashley would always tell me about her pets at home. I have a terrible memory, but I believe she had two dogs and a cat. All I remember is the stories that she told me about her cuddly and super sweet puppy. I asked her what kind of dog she had and I was shocked when she told me her dog was a pit bull. How many of you picture a pit bull when a friend of yours talks about a dog you’ve never seen before? In most cases, these dogs are looking for the same thing every other dog on this planet looks for: someone to love them.PitBullTerrierTiggerFetch1

Media is another reason Pit Bulls are being banned in certain cities. For example, the most recent proposition to ban this breed was because the mayor stated he had seen them “on TV” causing “incidents.” Who’s to say these reporters are right in their dog labeling skills? It’s not like they ask their owners what kind of dog it was. They label the dog as they see it. The media often identifies these animals as Pit Bulls when they really don’t know what kind of dog attacked.

Luckily, so many people out there agree that it’s wrong that one group of dogs are being singled out. There have been a growing number of organizations dedicated to rescuing Pit Bulls from owners that no longer want them or dogs that have been surrendered.pitbaby2

I HATE EVERYTHING about NFL’s Michael Vick. He should be SHUNNED, not praised.

Michael Vick GO TO HELL!

I might be losing readers by saying this, but any fan of Michael Vick is not welcome here. So if you have any respect for this man, get the fuck off of my blog. It’s people like him that help get Pit Bulls banned from these cities.

In July 2007, Vick and three other men were arrested for charges of operating an illegal dogfighting ring, which Vick had nicknamed “Bad Newz Kennels”. It was set up in 2002 shortly after Vick was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons. The dogs were kept behind his home in Surry Country, VA. Vick pleaded guilty of funding the organization, operating an interstate dogfighting ring, and participating directly in some of the dogfights himself. He also admitted to help kill six underperforming dogs with two other people. Police took 66 dogs from the home. Vick was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison, followed by three years of probation.

Why I hate Michael Vick:

  • He is supposed to be a role model for the youth of America. People look up to him and inspire to be him. When Michael Vick got off with only a few minor charges for such a large crime, it might have given people the wrong idea that they could get away with doing it too.
  • In an interview, Michael Vick said he likes who he is and wouldn’t change his past, even if he could. Therefore, he does not regret hurting all those dogs and ruining their lives.
  • Don’t believe his bullshit. Vick says that he’s sorry and wishes he did something to stop the dogfighting. Don’t be fooled by his lies! He was in the dogfighting business for six years! If he had wanted to stop the cruelty, he could have easily accomplished it.
  • He participated in killing at least a half-dozen dogs. He did this in various ways such as hanging them, suspending from a crossbar with a nylon rope, and drowning them (holding them upside-down while their heads were forced into a bucket of water).
  • He apologized to the NFL, his fans, and his teammates. Not once did he apologize do his victims, the dogs.

I’ve been dying to openly display my hatred for this man and it seems appropriate to talk about it in this blog post. If I could come up with a word stronger than hate, that’s the word I would be using. I feel like a kettle boiling on the stove, steam fuming inside of my body. It’s only a matter of time before it pops the lid off. If you know me, you should know I’m not one to hold grudges. There are exceptions to the rule; Michael Vick is one of the very few exceptions.

I still hate that people call his story “a comeback”. If you want a comeback story, read about the dogs that survived the hell that Michael Vick put them through. THOSE are good stories! Michael Vick should rot in hell for the things he did to those dogs. People need to realize the difference between being a good athlete and being a good person.

How you can help

Pit Bulls?

  • Tell your friends and family that the owners of these dogs are to blame for their attacks, not the dogs themselves.
  • Get a Pit Bull. Show others that there is no reason to ban this breed from cities.
  • If you live in a city where there is a ban on Pit Bulls, protest and say that it’s not right.
  • If you know or see anyone involved in the dogfighting business, report it to the police.
  • Share this blog with others.

Also, check out these websites:

Best Friends Animal Society

Best friends rescued 22 “Vicktory” (Pit Bulls taken from Michael Vick) dogs and found 20 of them new homes!

ASPCA

Pit Bull Rescue Center

Really cute video, proving that not all Pit Bulls are bad dogs.

 

If you own (or owned) a Pit Bull, tell me in a comment below what you think about the breed and/or the experiences you’ve had with your Pit Bull. Even if you’ve never owned a Pit Bull, tell me what you think of these bans certain cities are putting on the dog.

The Truth About Eggs

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Chickens exist in stable social groups. They can recognize each

other by their facial features. They have 24 distinct cries that communicate a wealth of information to one other, including separate alarm calls depending on whether a predator is traveling by land or sea. They are good at solving problems. Perhaps most persuasive is the chicken’s intriguing ability to understand that an object, when taken away and hidden, nevertheless continues to exist. This is beyond the capacity of small children.”

–Dr. Chris Evans,

Professor of Psychology at Macquarie University, Australia

Do you remember when we had farmers with large amounts of land for animals to roam? The chickens would roam free, lay eggs year round, and in the spring, baby chicks would follow their mama hens around everywhere.  Before World War II in America, about 70% of the population worked in agriculture and there were several family farms around. After that there was a shift; major corporations took over small family farms and the treatment of farm animals slowly diminished. This began what is now known as factory farming. In the United States during 2002, 87 billion eggs were produced by around 336 million laying hens.(1) These layer hens don’t get to make a nest, sit on their eggs or even get a chance to see their babies- these chicks will never meet their moms.

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Let’s start from the beginning. You hatch from an egg and notice that there are many other baby chicks hatching around you. A big hand comes and roughly picks you up and throws you in a bin with many other fuzz balls that look just like you. The contents of this bin are then tossed onto a conveyer belt. This conveyer belt has two possible destinations. If you are a male, you will not be living for much longer (even though you just hatched from your shell). Since males cannot lay eggs and are unable to grow fast enough to be profitable for meat, they are useless to the industry. So if you are a male chick, you will either be ground up, gassed in chambers, or thrown out in a huge dumpster; left to either starve or freeze to death. The photo below (taken by Farm Sanctuary) shows male chicks in a dumpster, left to die a slow and painful death.

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If you are a female chick, then you will continue along the conveyer belt. Their beaks are trimmed off with a hot blade, all without anesthesia or pain killers. This has been shown to cause these hens chronic and acute pain for the rest of their short lives. Chickens use their beaks for touching and picking things up; their beaks are like our hands. The egg industry claims that beak trimming is needed both to decrease aggressive tendencies among birds and to reduce feed costs.(4) Many countries have banned beak trimming and have had no problems without it. Chickens with their beaks trimmed often starve to death because they are in chronic pain.

The females, in my opinion, have it much worse than the male chicks do. Ninety-eight percent of the female layer hens are confined in battery cages.(2) Battery cages are small wire cages that normally hold 3-10 hens. Each hen has less space than a sheet of letter-sized paper (67 square inches per bird). A study by Drs. M.S. Dawkins and S. Hardie (1989) found that hens need an average of 72 square inches just to stand erect, 178 inches to preen, 197 inches to turn around, and 291 inches to flap their wings.(3) So 67 x 67 inches isn’t nearly enough room for these poor animals.

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Female hens spend up to two years in these small cages. Their bodies often rub up against the side of the cage, causing them to lose their feathers. In many of the pictures taken of battery cages, you can see that many of these chickens are all bones. Chickens in these cages lack any sort of exercise and often have brittle bones and no muscle. It’s not uncommon to see their claws grow around the wire, because they are not meant to stand on wire for years at a time. Sometimes, hens die younger than others because their health deteriorates. These dead hens are often left to rot inside cages with hens who are still alive. When the alive hens slow down laying eggs (typically around 1-2 years old), the industry brings in newly laid chicks to take over and gets rid of these older hens. Workers violently rip these “useless” hens out of their cages (often breaking their brittle bones) and cram them all in a big truck to take to slaughter. Sometimes, workers will just place these chickens in a dumpster to starve or get crushed to death. All I know is that in a factory farm, none of these animals will have a humane end.

Now, you know the average life of a battery caged chicken. From the day they hatch to the day they are slaughtered, they live miserable lives. These factories don’t care about the welfare of these poor animals. As long as the can get as many birds and as many eggs as the possibly can, the companies are happy.

 

The Truth About “Cage-Free”:

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Cage-free doesn’t mean the hens are allowed to roam around on Old McDonald’s farm! Most people seem to believe this. I work at a grocery store as a cashier. I would say about 1 in every 30 customers buy eggs labeled as “Cage-Free”. There have been many a time where I almost ask these customers why they go with “Cage-free”, just to see if they believe that these eggs came from happy chickens. I’m sure that’s what most people think. “Cage-free” SOUNDS pleasant- it’s meant to sound that way. But in all reality, “Cage-free” hens are treated just about the same as any battery-cage hen.

  • Both “Cage-free” and battery-cage systems typically buy their hens from hatcheries that kill the male chicks upon hatching—more than 200 million each year in the United States alone.
  • Both cage and cage-free hens have part of their beaks burned off, a painful mutilation that is done all without painkillers.
  • Both cage and cage-free hens are typically slaughtered at less than two years old, far less than half their normal lifespan. They are often transported long distances to slaughter plants with no food or water.

– This information was taken from The Humane Society of the United States. Check out the article here to read more about the topic.

Whether you buy eggs from “Cage-free” hens or ones living in battery cages, you have a risk of getting salmonella. Do you remember the salmonella outbreak that occurred last August? You can thank the egg industry for that one. Although many don’t know how these hens can cause salmonella, there is a theory that it’s caused by their stress. It could also be caused from all of the ammonia and dust in the air, which the hens are constantly breathing in. Either way, it is almost certain that if one hen carries a disease, the chance that the other hens will catch that disease is very good. A way we could possibly prevent the spread of disease is to make the cages larger or just let them be chickens and live outside. But that would mean these egg companies would have to pay more of their money and they don’t want to spend that money.

These hens typically never see daylight. The amount of eggs they are forced to lay is a staggering amount and it puts a lot of stress on their already fragile bodies. Many go insane because of boredom and not being act like a normal chicken would. Please, stop purchasing your eggs from stores. If we got everyone to stop purchasing these eggs, we could make a difference in the world.

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP:

  • DON’T EAT EGGS. I don’t suggest this unless you live in the city. If you live in a rural area, chances are there will be several people who own chickens and would be happy to sell them to you. This is what I do. My neighbor owns a small chicken coop and sells my family eggs for $3.50. Sure, it’s more expensive than eggs from the grocery store but I know that the hens (and roosters!) are well cared for and happy.
  • DON’T BUY EGGS FROM THE GROCERY STORE. Unless you’ve seen where your eggs originated from, you won’t know whether or not cruelty was involved in the making of your eggs. So to be safe, refuse to buy your eggs from a store. This makes a HUGE statement and will cause a huge change in the egg industry if a lot of people participate.
  • SEND THIS TO YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY. Chances are they also had no clue the cruelty these chickens had to endure to get the eggs in your fridge. PLEASE recommend my blog to others. My goal is to stop all sorts of animal cruelty. I’m not getting paid to write this blog. I write it because I want to make a difference in this world.

[WARNING!] The videos below will show you just how terrible factory farming is for the animals.They’re a bit more graphic but that’s the point; I want to show you how horrible these animals are treated. BOTH VIDEOS CONTAIN GRAPHIC IMAGES! VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED!

[WARNING! VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES] Mercy For Animals is a great organization. Check out their website here for more videos. This was a n investigation taken undercover (because no recording is allowed in these factories (for obvious reasons). Battery cages should be outlawed by now. They cause disease in chickens to spread faster and also make these chickens loose their minds of boredom.

 

 

[WARNING! VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES] This one will really shock you. This is what happens the 50% of the chicks born-the male chicks. They are killed because they are not useful to the industry. This might be difficult to watch but try the best you can! These cute babies should NOT BE KILLED AFTER BIRTH! It sickens me to know it still occurs throughout the world, not only the U.S.

 

Works Cited

  1. USDA – National Agricultural Statistics Service, “Poultry Highlights” May 29, 2002, http://www.nass.usda.gov/ca/rev/poultry/205polna.htm.
  2. United Egg Producers – “United Egg Producers Animal Husbandry Guidelines for U.S. Egg Laying Flocks,” 2002 Edition (United Egg Producers, Alpharetta, Ga.).
  3. Mench J and Swanson J, “Developing Science-Based Animal Welfare Guidelines,” a speech delivered at the 2000 Poultry Symposium and Egg Processing Workshop, http://animalscience.ucdavis.edu/Avian/pubs.htm.
  4. “Feed savings could justify beak trimming,” Poultry Digest, March 1993: p. 6. As cited in Davis K, Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs: An Inside Look at the Modern Poultry Industry (Summertown, TN: The Book Publishing Co., 1996), p. 70.

Factory Farming: An Overview

 Taken by Farm Sanctuary

“If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian”

– Paul McCartney

A friend of yours on Facebook just posted a video titled “Cruelty of Factory Farming.” Do you think any meat-loving person would watch it? I would say most likely not. People don’t want to think about where their meat comes from, for fear that it might make them stop eating something they think tastes so good. I totally understand the feeling, but now that I know the truth about how the meat industry treats their animals, I want everyone to know. You may think you know how factory farms work. But if you are still eating meat, you most likely have no idea how bad it really is.

In eighth grade, I saw a PETA video on a friend of mine’s MySpace. I saw the title of the video and was tentative about watching it at first, not wanting to give up the sweet taste of meat but finally I decided to give it a try. The video contained the most gruesome images I’ve ever seen; however, I didn’t watch the whole thing. I just skimmed through the video because it was hard to see and hear animals in that much pain. After “watching” the video, I vowed to never eat meat again. I thought by just skimming through a video about factory farmed animals, I knew everything there was to know when, in reality, I barely knew a thing. Sadly, I lasted about a week and a half before giving up and getting some chicken nuggets at McDonalds (ugh, can’t believe I ate such filth). My point is that I know how hard it is to give up meat. But it’s the best thing you can to to your body. Also, after a few weeks without meat, you feel really good and a lot more healthy.

Factory Farms in the US

Not only is factory farming cruel to animals, but it’s also cruel to the environment. For those of you who could care less about how animals are treated, take this into consideration: A large quantity of grains grown in the U.S that are perfectly good for human consumption are fed to farm animals. There are more farm animals than humans,  so forests, wetlands, and other natural ecosystems are being forced to turn into crop and grazing land as food for these animals. This is not even for human consumption, but for factories with thousands of animals to feed and fatten. The amount of waste produced by farm animals in the U.S. is also a huge problem: there is 130 times more than of human waste. This waste has been known to “runoff” and has polluted many of the streams and rivers. Also, according to Worldwatch Institute, 51% of human-caused greenhouse gasses are caused by the raising livestock and poultry. 1 

Another reason you shouldn’t get meat from factory farms is because the over-crowded animals and unsanitary conditions lead to diseases such as Avian Flu, Swine Flu and Salmonella. Remember that egg recall last August in 2010? You can thank factory farms for that one, along with the several others over the past few years.

Battery Cages

These chickens have never seen daylight. Typically they get no room to spread their wings and they cannot participate in things that normal chickens get to do such as dirtbathing, nesting, and perching.

People may argue that if it weren’t for factory farming, the meat that you buy today would not be as cheap as it is. Americans eat A LOT of meat. Therefore, people argue that we need factory farms to fulfill the humans’ craving for meat. This is true; however, if people cut back on their meat consumption, we could rule out the cruelty and the number of animals brutally killed. It’s terrible how much suffering and stress these animals must endure. Can you imagine being cramped into a cage for 6 months or more? Layer hens’ area of space is similar to a sheet of printer paper. Most never get the chance to even spread their wings until they fulfill their egg laying duties and are slaughtered for cheap meat, dog food and/or cat food. Breeding sows (female pigs) often go insane from being in a gestation crate for a long time, not even having enough room to turn around. They have litter after litter of baby piglets, each litter taken away from her after less than one month. Female animals in the factory farm system are never impregnated naturally because biological manipulation has rendered them to get more product; they must be artificially inseminated.

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These are just a few reasons why factory farming just isn’t natural and why it isn’t right. I will be talking about the cruelties of each industry in my future posts. I ask if you could please read them all. If you truly love the taste of your meat, then you don’t have to become a vegetarian. I’m not forcing you to do that. The whole purpose of me writing about factory farming is to inform you. What’s the purpose if nobody is going to read my posts? I tried to make this post not too overwhelming for you, although I warn you, the meat industry is not this happy place people make it out to be. Even if you know a little bit about factory farming, the things in my next posts will shock you. All I ask is that you read what I write. At the bottom of my posts, I’ll put an optional video for you to watch. You don’t need to watch it, but it will have a bigger impact on you than my words will. Here are all of the different type of industries I’ll be discussing:

  • Poultry Industry (dairy)
  • Poultry Industry (meat)
  • Hog and Pig Industry
  • Dairy Cattle Industry
  • Veal Industry
  • Beef Cattle Industry
  • Fish Farming Industry
  • Foie Gras (Duck) Industry
  • Sheep Industry
  • Goat Industry
  • Horse Industry

I also want to let you know about a book that changed the way I look at meat and dairy. Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer is a fantastic book that tells you all about the meat industry. Foer was an off-and-on vegetarian all of his life; that is, until he had children of his own. This book is part memoir and part investigative report. Foer’s book is not in any way an attempt to make meat-lovers become vegetarians. He doesn’t force vegetarianism onto you but simply makes learning about factory farms easier to learn about. I HIGHLY recommend this book to everyone, whether you’re a meat-eater, vegetarian, or a vegan; you’ll learn a lot from this book!

Below is an example of what kind of video I’ll use at the bottom of my future posts about the types of factory farms. Try to watch this one. The reason why I posted this video is also because I hate Perdue. Their commercials may seem innocent and it might look like their chickens are “humanely raised”. But in this day and age, there is no such thing. Most popular companies (whether we are talking about makeup or meat) abuse animals in some sort of way.  I’m not saying ALL but most. Anyways, watch the video or at least try.

Perdue is not a humane company in the slightest. Don’t fall for their bullshit. There is no such thing as a humanely raised chicken.

Also: Take a virtual tour of Farm Sanctuary and Investigate the production of factory farms.

Animal Testing for Cosmetics, Toiletries, and Household Cleaners (My View)

 

Animal testing is a very controversial topic in society today. While many people say we need it to make sure our products safe, the truth is that most of the ingredients used today are already shown to be safe/not safe. Do we really need to cause these animals to suffer for the purpose of human beauty products? You be the judge.

When I was a sophomore in high school, my teacher wanted us to choose a controversial topic to write a persuasive essay about. I knew I wanted to pick a topic having to do with animals, but I struggled for a few days to find a good one. At first, I thought about writing it on the benefits of being a vegetarian, but since I was not yet a vegetarian (I did become one very soon after) I couldn’t input my experience. Then it came to me- Animal testing. The topic was perfect for me. I cared enough to not procrastinate and I ended up handing in all the rough drafts on time. This paper ended up changing my life and my goals for the future. It opened up my eyes to the abuse that lab animals endure to make sure our windows look shinier or that our hair is just a little bit less frizzy. Some of these animals suffer and/or die to make sure our teeth are whiter than usual. I ended up throwing out most of my cosmetics because I had no idea certain companies tested on animals! I also persuaded some of my close friends and family to do the same by informing them of what I learned.

Since people do not want to risk killing a human being, they decide testing on an animal for the sake of human kind is a better idea (for humans). Now, I can’t really tell you my opinion on animal testing until I give you the facts about it first. Ninety-four percent of animal testing is used to determine the safety of cosmetics and household products. This leaves only 6% for medical research. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require animal testing for cosmetics. Yet, most popular brands of eye shadows, eyeliners, and mascaras are still being tested on rabbits, mice, and even dogs! It’s true! When people think of cosmetic testing done on animals, they usually think that lipstick is just smeared on the animals lips or something like that. But that’s not what they do at all! There are many different ways they test makeup on animals. In Defense of Animals tells us:

“Product testing is commonly performed on animals to measure the levels of skin irritancy, eye tissue damage, and toxicity caused by various substances used in the manufacture of cosmetics. In the Draize test, caustic substances are placed in the eyes of conscious rabbits to evaluate damage to sensitive eye tissues. This is extremely painful for the rabbits, who often scream when the substances are applied and sometimes break their necks or backs trying to escape the restraints.”

Every time I see a CoverGirl or a Maybelline commercial, it makes me want to scream at the TV. Why? Because I know they test on animals! AND THEY DON’T EVEN NEED TO! In fact, most makeup ads that you see on the TV are companies that test their ingredients on animals before they sell the final product to you.

THESE POPULAR PRODUCTS ARE TESTED ON ANIMALS: Maybelline, CoverGirl, L’Oreal, Pantene, Dove, Windex (Yes, they do test this on the eyes of animals), OxiClean, Aussie Products (Shampoo & Conditioners), Ralph Lauren Fragrances, Old Spice, ect. To get a full list of products, click here. Now, the major companies that I DESPISE WITH A BURNING PASSION are:

  • Proctor & Gamble (Crest, CoverGirl, Downy, Tide, Bounce, Mr.Clean, Pantene, Head & Shoulders, Febreze, IAMS pet food, Scope, Old Spice) People, words can not express my utter HATRED towards this company. I have so much hate, that it makes me sick to my stomach. If an award were given out for Company-that-Inflicts-Pain-On-Animals, it would go to Proctor & Gamble. If you look on their website, they state that they do not test their products on animals unless they absolutely need to. But if that were the case, then why wouldn’t they say “This product was not tested on animals” on ANY of their products?! Wouldn’t they advertise it if it were true? All of the other cruelty free companies say it directly on the product. If P&G truely cut out all animal testing, it would say so on the brand name items. I’m not buying their bullshit. You shouldn’t either. To learn all about how P&G carries out testing done on animals, click here.
Testing some products on this poor innocent bunny.

This is the life of an animal whose sole purpose is to make sure we look nice
  • Johnson & Johnson (is the maker of Acuvue, Aveeno, Clean & Clear, Listerine, Lubriderm, Neutrogena, Rembrandt, ROC)
  • Unilever (Axe, Comfort, Dove, Lever Bros., Lux, Ponds, Suave, Sunlight, Sunsilk, Surf, Vaseline)
  • Dial Co. (Dial, Purex, Right Guard, Soft & Dri, Soft Scrub)
  • Clorox (Armor All, Ever Clean, Formula 409, Fresh Step, Glad, Green Works, Pine-Sol, Scoop Away, Tilex)

The other day, I was looking at this list (where I got all of this information about companies) and I got so angry when I saw Green Works was on the list of products tested on animals. The reason for this is because it states on the back that the product was not tested on animals. I had been using this product to clean my windows and mirrors. So of course, as an animal activist, I got extremely mad. So mad, I wrote an angry letter an email I found on Green Works’ website. This is what it said:

“Hi. My name is Alyssa. I use Green Works, but do you want to know the only reason why I use it? I use it because it clearly states on the back of the bottle “not tested on animals”. Well, today I was looking at the list of companies that DO test on animals, and guess what company was on there? GIVE UP!? YEAH, GREEN WORKS WAS ON THERE! And you know what Mary Seltzer? I’m kind of pissed off. Unless of course, they made a mistake and put Green Works on there. Which I don’t think happens too often. Look, I do like your product. But I really need to know if this product is tested on animals or not (which it shouldn’t test if you say this product is a “green product”, seeing if it were actually “green” no chemicals would be used and you wouldn’t need to test on cute little animals). I want an honest answer, no bullshit. If you don’t reply to this email, I’ll take it as a “Yes, we do test this product on animals.” And I’ll add Green Works to my new blog to alert others that your company hurts animals for making windows a little bit cleaner. PLEASE RESPOND AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! I need to know. “

I gave them a week or so to write back to me. They never did. Therefore, I am letting you know not to use Green Works. If you need to clean your windows or mirrors, get products from Seventh Generation. Because they are awesome.

  • Reckitt Benckiser (Air Wick, Easy-Off, Finish, Lysol, Mop & Glo, Old English, Resolve, Rid-X, Spray ‘N Wash, Veet, Woolite)
  • L’Oreal (L’Oreal, Maybelline, Garnier, ect)

I used to use a lot of Maybelline makeup. That was before I learned that they tortured cute animals to make my eyes look pretty. When I did discover this, I immediately switched to Origins eyeliner. Both  eyeliners work great, the only difference is the cost and that one kills animals. Origins is a rather expensive store, but I know that Hard Candy and Revlon have inexpensive makeup that doesn’t test on animals & it works just as good.

  • S.C. Johnson (Drano, Fantastik, Glade, Nature’s Source, Pledge, Oust, Scrubbing Bubbles, Shout, Skintimate, Windex)
  • AND MANY MORE!

People who support animal testing say “It’s better than testing it on our own children” or “We need to make sure that the ingredients in a product are safe before using it or letting our children use it.”  Animals and humans are not the same. Just because something worked on a mouse doesn’t mean it’ll work on Timmy over there. Sure, animal testing has proved successful for certain things. But science is improving and alternatives to animal testing are becoming more well known.

Does this look right to you?

Animal testing really doesn’t need to continue. This is proven by the many companies that have sworn off of them from the start! They care for animals and have refused to test their products on them.  To name a few:

Burt’s Bees, Bath and Body Works, Dermalogica, Greenwood Naturals, Hard Candy, Mary Kay, Nature Clean, Pangea Organics, Seventh Generation, The Body Shop, Urban Decay (found in Sephora) Revlon, Origins, Tom’s of Maine (all organic toothpaste/soap company), Avon, Paul Mitchell, and many more.

** This is a VERY small amount of companies listed here. There are actually a lot more than just this. Click “many more” to get a full list of companies. I only named the larger companies. **

Make sure you read the labels on your makeup to see if they test or not. The one way to be 100% sure your makeup isn’t tested it to look for the Leaping Bunny symbol.

    Look for this symbol!

A lot of companies that have tested on animals in the past are coming out with products that claim they are not tested on animals. A good example of this is L’Oreal Paris EverPure line of hair care products. They CLAIM it’s sulfate-free shampoo and that they didn’t test it on animals. I have mixed views about this subject. Of course, I think you should support their decision to go vegan with their products. Maybe if a large amount of people buy the EverPure products, then this will convince the company to change the way the company test their products. However, there are many different ways companies such as L’Oreal could invest the money they make from this vegan line. Who’s to say they won’t invest in more animals to test on? This thought stops me from buying anything from a company who hasn’t phased out animal testing all together. I suggest you buy from a company that has never tested on animals before. Just to be safe.

Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) is a non-profit organization that is looking for new ways to replace animals with non-animal methods, to cut down the number of animals being used, or to refine methods and make them less painful and stressful for the animals involved. I think this is great, but I hope they invest most of their efforts in finding non-animal methods.

Lots of places have fazed out animal testing all together. Cosmetic testing on animals is banned in Belgium, the Netherlands and the U.K.. Europe. Sadly, animal testing still continues in the United States of America. I hope that in the future, people will become more informed of the companies that do test on animals and stop using them until they show some compassion and quit using animals in labs all together.

How to become a Compassionate Consumer:

    1.) Look at the back of your cosmetics and/or household cleaners. If you see any of the company names I talked about that test on animals OR if it doesn’t say anything about being cruelty-free, throw it out. If you’re one of those people who doesn’t want to put things to waste, give it to someone. Just make sure you let them know why you’re not using it anymore.

    2.) Research cruelty free products. A lot of the cosmetics that are organic and vegan can be very expensive. But you just have to keep looking! There are some cheap vegan products out there, I promise!

    3.) Pledge to be cruelty free.

    4.) Buy the products. Then try them out. Let me know how they work for you! If you really like them, tell your friends to stop using products tested on animals and try the cruelty-free products. If everyone would do this, maybe one day, we’ll stop animal testing all together. Now that’s a nice thought!