Jun 06.21

Soap Box: Beagle Freedom Project

Charity Pot

Four years ago, we founded Beagle Freedom Project (BFP) to expose the animal testing industry to the world by telling the stories of actual animals rescued from laboratories.

Sadly, despite it being an outdated and unnecessary practice, animals are still used in cosmetic testing in 2014. There is no legal or government requirement for companies to test their cosmetics on animals, but they do it anyway. In many cases the testing carried out is “toxicity” testing, a method of assessing how much of a certain product can be tolerated by humans. These tests often result in the painful and unnecessary death of the animal.

BFP began in late 2010 when I received a call that a laboratory in California was going to kill two beagles being used in a study because Christmas was approaching and they didn’t want to pay for staff to care for the animals over the break. We had 48 hours to get there. Having never organized an animal recue before, my team and I leapt into action and retrieved Freedom and Bigsby, whose remarkable stories inspired the creation of Beagle Freedom Project.

To date, BFP has rescued over 250 animals (including beagles, mixed breed dogs, cats, rabbits, pigs, horses, goldfish and a rat) from 29 states in the U.S. and 4 different countries. We rescue any animals that need our help, but our organization is called Beagle Freedom Project for a reason: of the 65,000 dogs in laboratories in the U.S. right now, 96% are beagles. Beagles are chosen because of their people-pleasing, forgiving, gentle personalities. They don’t bite people and they’re very friendly. It’s a tragic fact that the same qualities that make beagles fantastic family companions also make them good test subjects. Beagles are also small dogs and this suits laboratories as they keep them in small cages.

BFP is exposing the dirty animal testing industry for what it is by educating the masses about the appalling treatment of animals held in laboratories, and striving to end it though legislation. These animals are walking ambassadors and living examples that vivisection is a serious concern and is still rampant across the globe.

We’re making strides in the right direction.

Campaigns have been launched to give these animals a voice, since their voices have been literally silenced—more often than not, labs remove the vocal cords of animals so as not to “disturb” those performing tests on them. Campaigns have been launched to give them a name, because they are not given one. They are only known by the federal identification number tattooed on the inside of their ear.

We introduced the Beagle Freedom Bill in three states and passed the Beagle Freedom Law in Minnesota, which mandates the release of dogs and cats once the testing is over, instead of just killing them. These are only the first steps in a series of legislative moves and campaigns BFP will champion. We intend to end the archaic, unethical and unreliable practice of animal testing once and for all.

You can support the fight against animal testing by pledging to live a cruelty-free lifestyle. An easy way to tell if something is cruelty-free or not is to use the Cruelty Cutter app, available in the App Store and coming soon for Android. Cruelty-Cutter is a barcode scanner that will immediately tell you if a product is tested on animals. It’s the quickest way to find a cruelty-free option before checking out. Of course, shopping at LUSH is an easy way to be certain your cosmetics are not tested on animals.

We encourage everyone to spread the word about animal testing. Friends don’t let friends spend their hard-earned dollars on products made by companies that test on animals. There are millions of people who have no idea that cosmetics and household products are still routinely tested on the animals we consider our companions. Tell everyone you know!

Written by Shannon Keith, Founder of Beagle Freedom Project

 

Beagle Freedom Project is a LUSH Charity Pot partner. A luxurious hand and body lotion, 100% of the purchase price of every Charity Pot goes directly to grassroots charities working to make a difference in the areas of environmental conservation, animal welfare and human rights. To learn more about how we're fighting against animal testing, click here.

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