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.
Testing is done! Bravo! And bravo to my super hard working students. They really came through this year and I am going to miss them so much.