A GIANT LEAP FOR AHIMSA

 

July 13, 2013, Getting rid of animal testing has long been on the agenda for several rights groups which draw attention to what a lab animal goes through, especially when there are compassionate alternatives available.

. “Mice, guinea pigs and rabbits are made to endure painful tests such as skin and eye irritation, in which chemicals are rubbed onto the shaved skin or dripped into the eyes,” say Alokparna Sengupta and Nuggehalli Jayasimha of Humane Society International (HSI), India, one of the key organisations that helped bring about the ban. They reveal that rabbits are chosen because they cannot cry, and hence have no natural way of weeping the harmful chemical away. “Other tests include repeated force-feeding studies lasting weeks or months to look for signs of general illness; and even widely condemned “lethal dose” tests, in which animals are forced to swallow massive amounts of a test chemical to determine the dose that causes death. At the end of a test, the animals are killed, normally by asphyxiation, neck-breaking or decapitation.”

 

The good news is that the Bureau of Indian Standards has declared this abuse illegal. The even better news is that companies that have always been cruelty-free will have the well-deserved advantage of being ahead of the curve. Natasha Shah, founder of the successful Mumbai-based cosmetics company The Nature’s Co, welcomes this milestone. She states that her organisation finds animal testing morally wrong. “We use in-vitro methods i.e. clinically using the products on human skin, on people who voluntarily participate in the same,” she says, adding that an animal test is meaningless as their biology differs so widely from that of humans. She points out that the cruelty-free label has a significant following in our country. “We have loyal customers from The Vegan Society that recommends our products in their social groups and networks. A lot of customers appreciate the fact that no honey, eggs, milk, beeswax, lanolin or musk is used in any of our formulations”, says Shah.

 

What does being a cruelty-free company mean?
1.Doesn’t test ingredients or the finished product on animals
2. Doesn’t hire a third party to conduct these tests on their behalf, or purchase from suppliers who test on animals
3. Doesn’t sell in regions like China where animal testing is mandatory

 


 

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