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guinea_pigs-283pxAnimal testing is a cruel and unnecessary practice. Though most of us would never participate personally in this sort of torture, by purchasing products that were tested on animals, we inadvertently encourage its contribution.

We often underestimate our power as consumers and we can all make a difference by changing our shopping habits. Ethical consumerism does change things. Your purse, wallet or plastic card of choice can, at times, prove itself to be equally effective as the pen you use to write letters of complaint, sign petitions or even mark ballot papers.

While some products carry labels claiming that their brand is ‘not tested on animals’ or is ‘against animal testing’, these are often confusing and do not guarantee that the product is actually free from animal testing.

The preferred Products List is a comprehensive guide to brands of personal and household products manufactured by companies with a proven commitment to animals. All companies on the list have completed a comprehensive questionnaire and provided a legally binding assurance that they are not involved in animal testing, the fur industry to exploitation of wildlife. Although not all brands on the list are free of animal products, vegetarian companies are identified and there is a separate listing for vegans. The aim of the list is to provide consumers with choices so they can shop to meet their individual ethical standards.

The preferred Products List is written and distributed by Choose Cruelty Free, a positive action campaign promoting cruelty free lifestyle. Companies do not pay a fee to be listed and Choose Cruelty free does not have a financial interest in any company. It is a self-funded, independent organisation run entirely by volunteers. However, a fee is charged if a company chooses to use the bunny logo on their packaging.

A company has to fill out a detailed questionnaire about its products, and a declaration that the information is true, before it will be placed on the list. A company will not be included if any of its products contain ingredients:

    * From animals specifically killed for that ingredients (scent from civet cats);
    * That cause pain and discomfort when extracted (musk from male deer);
    * From wildlife;
    * From the fur industry (mink oil).

Some of the companies on the list use slaughterhouse products such as collagen, elastin, gelatin and tallow. Companies that use NO animal products are marked with a V. Just because a company calls its products "natural" or "herbal" doesn't mean they are cruelty free - they could still be tested on animals. Also, there are some companies who claim not to test on animals but who aren't on the list. This could be because:

    * They have declined to fill in the questionnaire;
    * They have not yet been surveyed or are in the process of being surveyed;
    * They do not meet the CCF criteria on animal testing or animal ingredients.

Accredited cruelty-free companies (Australia)

Visit gocrueltyfree.org website for a full list of all the approved cruelty-free companies. Using the search you can find products such as skin, hair, foot and dental care, fragrances, make-up, nail care, baby care and aromatherapy products, as well as a wide range of household cleaners from dishwasher detergents to disinfectants.

PETA also maintain a list that provides information on which companies do not test on animals.

Check out your local library for sources of additional information like the Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients

European Commission officials are considering whether non-animal alternatives will be ready by 2013. A report by scientists recommends that the ban on the sale of cosmetics tested on animals be delayed for up to 10 years in some cases. This could mean 10 more years where thousands of animals will be killed. Please sign the BUAV petition and say NO to cruel cosmetics.

 

Please consider supporting our efforts with a small donation between $5 to $10. Corporations can request a sponsorship package.

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There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth.  We are all crew.

Marshall McLuhan 1964

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