I consider myself an avid lover of animals. In my 21 years of existence, I’ve taken care of goldfishes, lovebirds, chicks, stray cats and two dogs named Tyrone, a mini poodle, and Lucy, a shih tzu-poodle mix.
My relatives also have pet dogs that I’ve taken care of.
Apart from tending to my scaly, feathery and furry friends, I try to help, as much as I can, the various organizations that give shelter or find homes for pets, as well as those that advocate adoption and take a stance against euthanasia and illegal breeders of dog farms, among others.
Why am I talking about animals in this column? Because animals are mistreated for the sake of fashion and beauty products.
This is dramatized in Save Ralph, a short video about a humanized rabbit that works as a tester. It shows how products are tested on rabbits’ eyes which causes blindness, how their bones are broken, or how their soft fur and skin are burned because of the chemicals tested on them.
Save Ralph is part of Human Society International’s Be Cruelty-Free Campaign — which is “working to outlaw cosmetic testing on animals in the world’s largest and most influential beauty markets, and defend the hard-won bans already in force.”
When Ralph said, “At the end of the day, it’s okay we’re doing it for humans, right? They’re far superior to us, animals…”
That’s when I felt rage.
“Tiis ganda” should not be applied to innocent animals especially since we now live in a world where alternative methods are being practiced by companies that produce household products and cosmetics.
Research shows that animal testing has been conducted since the time of Aristotle and Erasistratus.
A timeline made by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS, humanesociety.org) said that in 1980, an advocate named Henry Spira campaigned against the use of the Draize test, which requires a direct exposure of animals’ eyes and skin to chemicals.
From then on, many countries drafted laws to ban animal testing.
In the Philippines, Republic Act 8485 (the Animal Welfare Act of 1998) “protects and promotes the welfare of all terrestrial, aquatic and marine animals.”
This also applies to animals sold as household pets.
Unfortunately, the law is not fully enforced and government-mandated tests on animals are still practiced to this day.
A frequently asked question is why companies resort to animal testing. According to HSUS, “Some companies conduct tests on animals to assess the safety of new ingredients. This practice is both cruel and unnecessary because companies can create innovative products using thousands of available ingredients that have a history of safe use and do not require any additional testing.”
I agree. I think companies that opt for vegan and cruelty-free methods have more effective products.
How to help
Small actions matter. They can start a wave of change that will benefit mankind’s furry friends.
One way, according to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), is to stop buying products from brands that still practice animal testing.
Another is to support organizations that tackle these issues, or join them in championing a more humane and ethical treatment of animals.
As the dry season or summer burns our skin and leaves us thirsty, the strays outside our homes or on the streets feel the same.
They’ll appreciate it if you can leave a bowl of food and water for them.