Picture this – someone takes your puppy, clips his eyes open permanently and drips chemicals into them to see if the shampoo ingredients blind him. If it does, they write it down. This grotesque procedure is carried out on thousands of animals everyday. An eye irritancy test for shampoo involves this torture on albino rabbits as they “have large, sensitive eyes. The rabbits are usually not given any pain killers - some break their backs as they struggle to escape the pain,” says PETA.

TV commercials that contrast ‘before' and ‘after' leave out an important prequel – animal testing. Despite the availability of cheaper, more compassionate alternatives, countless animals are tortured and killed during cosmetics testing.

Alternatives to animal testing

PETA elaborates that companies can ensure the safety of their consumers by testing using cell cultures (using a collection of cells and not the animal itself), using ingredients that have already been proven harmless or choosing natural ingredients. Cell culture testing is quicker and more accurate, which means they're also safer for people.

Every product category including toothpaste has cruelty-free brands. If you want to check if your shampoo or make-up manufacturer is guilty of animal cruelty, log onto www.caringconsumer.com to check. In one quick step, you can find out if the company is on the “Does test” list or “Doesn't test” list. Make the world a less violent place by boycotting companies that cause pain to animals.

All the arguments to prove man's superiority cannot shatter this hard fact: in suffering the animals are our equals

Dr Peter Singer

Custom will reconcile people to any atrocity; and fashion will drive them to acquire any custom.

George Bernard Shaw

Hero of the week

Aparna Bhatt nominates Mohan Khanna, a newspaper vendor on M.G. Road who has been feeding 25 street dogs for 15 years. “He refers to them as Godly beings and even keeps medical supplies for them in his store”.

Know of a hero who has performed of an act of kindness to animals? Write to petpalsbangalore@gmail.com

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