My Dear Children,
Let me introduce you to our cat ‘Gurbilla’ today. Gurbilla has been part of our family since he was a young kitten. He is a mature adult now and the gentlest cat ever. He loves to rest under our Fig tree and watch his yard buddies such as squirrels, chipmunks, birds and bunnies, hop and play around him. None of those animals are ever scared of him. He peacefully watches them play and snoozes in the shade. When it gets too hot he comes inside to rest for the rest of the afternoon.
Once Gurbilla came home with some flees on him. That was a new problem for us so we went to a pet store and asked the experts who recommended a special shampoo. We followed the instructions very carefully and bathed him with that shampoo.
Our poor cat almost died!
His eyes turned red and burned for many days. He kept licking himself because he didn’t like the remains of that shampoo on his body. He didn’t eat food for many days nor did he want to play. He hid himself under the bed and lay there looking lifeless. He seemed to be in a lot of pain. The only thing we could do was to wash him over and over until the last of that bad stuff was gone. He hated each time we did that, because of the experience he had the first time. He cried and howled.
His suffering made us feel very bad.
We realized something. If the shampoo was toxic (poisonous) enough to kill flees, or their eggs, it probably was very bad for our cat.
His suffering made me remember the picture of a bunny I had once seen, on whose eyes they did a test for some shampoo.
And then I found out that most of the personal products we use are first tested on animals before they make onto our shelves. Most tests are performed on their eyes to see if they cause irritation, swelling or blindness. The practice of ‘Animal Testing’ has been going on for many years.
After what happened to our cat unknowingly; we couldn’t imagine why we should be doing it to others animals, fully knowing what the results would be. So I decided that I was not going to be a part of this “Cruelty business”. I researched. What I found out shocked me.
Millions of animals are poisoned, blinded, and killed every year in product tests for cosmetics, personal care products, household cleaning products, and even fruit juices. Yes, Fruit juices! Who would have thought?
For example, an experiment involved forcing monkeys to breathe in large amounts of cigarette smoke and consume grape juice to see if it would keep the smoke from damaging blood cells. It is estimated that close to 100 million animals such as mice, rats, birds, fish, frogs, rabbits, monkeys etc. are used around the world every year for animal testing. Most of these animals are killed after being used. Most companies continue to use these outdated tests which were developed in the 1920’s.
These tests are not required by law and they often produce inaccurate or misleading results. For example, even if a product has blinded an animal, it can still be marketed to you. Fortunately, scientists have developed better product tests that are faster, cheaper, and far more accurate than blinding and poisoning animals.The good news is that worldwide, more than 1000 companies have banned all animal tests forever; however, most corporations still force substances into animals’ stomachs and drip chemicals into rabbits’ eyes.
Let me guess what you are thinking. “This is so sad, I had no idea. How can I help?” That’s what my job is. To give you a few simple solutions to be a part of the “Cruelty Free Industry”. Here is what to do:
- Please vow never to buy products from the companies that use animal testing. How do you know which one? There are a few ways to tell. Companies that do not use animal testing usually say that on their products. Please read the labels. Some companies will have a cruelty free logo that certifies their products. Other way is to do a research on natural products or companies before hand and buy only their products.
- From Cruelty free clothing to personal use products you can get help online on how to consciously choose the products that do not depend on animal cruelty. We already talked about going fur-free. Consider going leather free. This website and others will tell you which companies have certified cruelty free products http://search.caringconsumer.com/
- Please buy only the products you truly need. A lot of people will buy many kinds of personal care products and then throw them away after they have been sitting on shelves. The less you buy, the more careful you can be to choose your products and the more you can afford to help support environmentally friendly products.
- Spread the message of animal kindness. You and your friends can help save countless rabbits, mice, guinea pigs, rats, and other animals from useless torture by making simple changes in your lifestyle and talking about it.
- Let the “Cruelty industry” know that you are choosing not to support them until they get their act together. There are several online ways to do that. Look at active ‘petitions’ for this cause and sign them or write to them on your own.
Guru Granth Sahib Ji too teaches us that kindness is the mother of all virtues and mercy to all beings (human and animals) is an integral way of life for an enlightened person.
Hope you will do what is in your capacity to bring about a world free of cruelty.
PS: The next time Gurbilla got flees, we used an old fashioned nit comb and it worked just fine. Plus, he loves being combed and we get a purr-fectly happy cat.
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