29 June 2010

Call yourself an animal lover?

But real animal welfare goes way beyond your backyard and even your neighbourhood. Sure, it starts there, but that's not where it ends.

Most of us consider ourselves animal lovers. We sign petitions against fireworks shows. We make sure our pets get all the right jabs and give them the right food for their age, size and health requirements. When they are tiny we nurse them with the greatest care and when they get old we comfort them, take care of them, and sometimes even hold their paw when they die.

Products tested on animals
"You might be surprised how many people consider themselves to be animal lovers, yet they knowingly or unknowingly actually encourage or even promote cruelty," says Christine Kuch from the NSPCA. "I'm referring to the use of products that are tested on animals."

  • Check labels carefully when shopping. Animal-friendly companies are usually very keen to advertise their goodwill and it should appear on the packaging. Be careful for products saying "The final product hasn't been tested on animals" which may mean that ingredients in the product were tested on animals.
  • Request Beauty without Cruelty's "black and white list" and ensure you buy products that meet their high standard of approval.

  • Don't buy fur garments.
  • Don't buy fur trimmed clothing, accessories or toys.
  • Don't buy all-leather products when there is a suitable alternative.

  • Dogs' paws cut by broken glass in parks.
  • Ducks and geese caught up in discarded fishing tackle or plastic litter.
  • Small mammals "entering" discarded cans and being unable to "reverse" out.

  • Don't litter.
  • Try and recycle all non-degradable items, for example, plastic, glass and tin.
  • Ensure that your rubbish is disposed of in the proper manner.
  • Squash or cut open cartons or plastic bottles so that even if your rubbish ends up where it shouldn’t, these items are now animal-safe.
  • The plastic loops that hold cans of drinks together are effectively traps, as animals and birds can easily become tangled up in them. Snipping the loops before throwing them away can easily solve this – the same can be said for elastic bands.


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