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The European Union Leading the Way for Compassion

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Message Suzana Megles

How apropo - this season of resurrection and the signs of it - eggs, lilies, bunnies and chicks -bring with it some good news from the European Union regarding animal cruelty. Hopefully, the bunnies and chicks alluded to are of the chocolate and marshmellow variety. Too many families give in to children's wishes to have the live ones and many of them will not survive the children's man-handling or the later abandonment which causes them inevitable suffering. Last year a neighbor admitted as much to me saying how sorry they were for giving into their daughter's desire for a bunny. Now they don't want him any more.

This week -one of Care2's Animal Welfare links read "EU Phases Out Animal Testing for Cosmetics." What wonderful news for those of us who have hoped and prayed that one day this would happen.

For 30 years I have known about the horrible cosmetic toxicity tests being done on live animals. These tests caused them excruciating pain - all in the name of "safe" cosmetics and, of course, profit. Imagine if you will -having a cosmetic (probably eye makeup) smeared over your eyes. When the wind blows a piece of dirt into mine, I can't wait to remove it. Bunnies often used in this testing process could do nothing to remove the painful foreign substance smeared in their eyes in this cruel test as they are immobilized in stocks.

The LD 50 test was used to forcefeed cosmetics to dogs and other animals and that test and the horrible stomach pain accompanying it -ended only after 50 per cent of them mercifully died. How many women accidentally ingest that much make-up to justify this terrible cruelty? I've read that these tests are not required by the government, but are basically done to save companies from any possible litigation.

Regarding Sun Screen testing- I had a flyer from the 80's which showed a picture in which Loreal tested sun tan lotion by slathering live rats with it and then taping them to a board. Ultra violet lights were focused on them until they were almost fried and of course, they died a horrible death. Rats suffer like the rest of us. Because some of us don't like them doesn't justify cruelty to them.

Thirty years of known protests by me and others to tests like these, and many of the big companies like Procter and Gamble are still performing them. By letter they have told us that they no longer perform them. I'm sorry I'm still skeptical because of notices from animal rights organizations which say otherwise. And so I have boycotted almost all of the many, many products of P & G by checking labels. The one exception I made was for the battery-operated tooth brush. I will still try to find another brand, but Duncan Hines, Mr. Clean, Swiffer, and Lestoil- to mention a few of their many products will never make their way into my grocery cart until I am certain that they mean what they say. They have fooled many of us before by saying they do not use animals in experimentation when they really had. I am sorry that I am distrustful of this Ohio conglomerate which I had hoped would make me proud but doesn't.

Thank you so much- European Union. You are first in this humane regard and have also led the way in banning seal fur. You would think that America would be the first to make these wonderful announcements, but sadly we haven't and the "Old World" can still teach us a few things.

This ban is going to be done in stages. First it will be illegal to test on animals for skin and eye irritancy, sensitivity to light, corrosivity, absorption through the skin and genetic and acute toxicity, whether or not there are alternatives available.

The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection has been working on this cause and, while elated, say there is still work to be done. They are going to continue with a global campaign which includes working with the US Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics. A leaping bunny is the the logo which will reflect the global standard for cruelty-free cosmetics across Europe, the US, and Canada.

Hopefully, this campaign will succeed globably. Too many millions of innocent animals have already suffered most cruelly in the name of cosmetic beauty.

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I have been concerned about animal suffering ever since
I received my first puppy Peaches in 1975. She made me take a good look at the animal kingdom and I was shocked to see how badly we treat so many animals. At 77, I've been a vegan for the (more...)
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