Ever since I was very young – I have been absurdly fascinated with saving animals. Every month – I would eagerly check the mail for my Doris Day animal league and Humane Society magazines. Staring at the pictures of neglected, abused, and rescued animals – I was filled with the kind of determination – only children are filled with. I WAS going to make a difference. Alone or with friends – I was going to single handedly save every unjustly treated animal on the planet. I suppose I could credit my mother with my zest for saving fuzzy creatures. She was the one that would write down lists of products that animal tested, send my friends and me into grocery stores armed with a pack of “an animal suffered to make this product” stickers, and watch proudly as we labeled hundreds of bottles of Tide and PaperMate Pens. It was satisfying. I was young yet making a difference. Informing hundreds of people – the only way I knew how – pre(internet) of the reality of laboratory testing. I memorized the lists – knew every product by heart. But it was the 80’s and information and resources were hard to come by. Cruelty-free products were difficult to find on shelves at local stores and “Earth Friendly” supermarkets weren’t even in anyone’s vocabulary. At one point – a small Earth “boutique” opened up a few miles from my childhood home. Prices were outrageous – especially must too expensive for my parents to “grocery shop”, household cleaners and beauty supplies were sparse and the store (much to my chagrin) soon went out of business.
Eventually – time went on. I grew up. (my passion still strong – but resources and access to cruelty free was limited) High school and college didn’t leave much time nor money for me to be as selective with products as I had been when I was younger. (After all – I was footing the bill now). I worked at a music store where I met a fellow “activist.” She showed me all sorts of videos and filled my head and hands full of pamphlets and “Cruelty-free” literature. I was renewed. Quickly – I ran back to my dorm room and threw away any meat and/or leather products I could find. Seven years later – I was newly married, cooking for my very carnivorous husband and facing some serious health issues.
We moved, set up stakes in our little town, adopted Big H … and then found Molly. Our beloved girl – on the side of a busy highway – wandering on her own (as beagles tend to do) and into our hearts. One day on Facebook – a family friend posted an amazingly touching video of perfect little beagles getting their first taste of freedom. Laboratory beagles – who have gone through every horror imaginable and never touched grass.
So, that has been our summer resolution. Along with worrying less, prioritizing family, friends and Faith – we have committed to going Cruelty Free. It’s been a challenge, but every time Molly peers up at us – eagerly, anticipating, and with love – it’s worth every penny and every minute.
There are lots of FANTASTIC Cruelty Free/Activist resources and apps out there:
1.)MY FAVORITE: Cruelty Cutter – $2.99 http://cruelty-cutter.org
– (scans any isbn code and lets you know if it’s cruelty free) If they’re not sure – you can submit it to the Beagle Freedom Project and they contact the company directly. Plus – they offer Cruelty Free alternatives for those “favorite” products you just may not want to “let go”
2.)PETA – Free – Nice, free app – that keeps you informed of current news, activism and developments in the world of Animal Rights
3.)Cruelty-Free – Free – A nice handy shopping guide that offers a list of various products are ARE CRUELTY FREE
A special organization that contributes a ridiculous amount of time, care, love, and money on helping abused, neglected and unwanted animals – locally.
Another very special organization that was always light years ahead of its time. Doris Day has been an advocate for animal rights for years – and she and her family continue to be an inspiration.
An amazing group of people – working to give Laboratory Beagles (and other furry creatures) a second chance at life.