From the age of eight until the age of twenty-two I enjoyed one of the most precious friendships I ever hope to be gifted with. I had a best friend in the form of a Beagle. He was my constant companion; we grew up alongside each other, sometimes lost our temper with each other (but always made up) and comforted each other during difficult times. Losing him was one of the hardest things I've ever done and I still miss him everyday. One of his most inspiring personality traits was that he never whinged. He was so stoic. Over the years there were times when he was sick or he was injured and he never ever once complained. I thought it was just one of the wonderful things about my dog in particular, but when I came across this post on the inspirational Tree Kisser I realised it was a characteristic he was destined to have.
As a vegan I am obviously against testing on animals, as well as being against animal experimentation in the name of 'scientific research'. Even so, reading Tree Kisser's post made me burst into tears because I know firsthand the loving and gentle nature of a Beagle. Obviously all animals are deserving of protection and freedom from barbaric practices like product testing, but I guess the image of those poor little guys really hit home. I remember seeing a few of them while I was watching Earthlings, in cages, with wounds and obviously ill and in pain. But there was no malice there, no anger. Only sadness and disappointment. As if mankind weren't horrible enough, I try to imagine the reaction humans would have if kept in the same horrific conditions and routinely tortured. We certainly wouldn't be anywhere NEAR as forgiving, placid and sweet-natured.
So everytime you buy some moisturiser or foundation, mascara, lipstick, shampoo, conditioner or even just handsoap, look for a label that says 'we do not test on animals'. Free yourself from complicity in the systematised torture, abuse and murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent, trusting creatures. It's just not necessary and it's absolutely heartbreaking.