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How can we stop animal testing?

How can we stop animal testing?

Animals are being used in experiments every day—and it’s up to us to stop them. So you’re against animal testing, and you do everything you can to buy cruelty-free products. The problem is that, even though there are a lot of people who are conscious of this issue, many companies still test on animals! Why is that? Well, maybe we just need to be a little more active. 

Make your voice heard.

You might not be able to get 100% of the companies out there to stop testing on animals, but you can start with your own industry or your favorite local brands. 

The first step is to call the company and politely ask them not to test on animals and ask them what they are doing about it. They may not be willing to change their practices right away, but they will remember your call and hopefully look into changing their policies. 

Another way to enact change is to contact your local representatives and let them know you want laws passed in your area banning animal testing. You can find your representative by entering your zip code on this website. 

Know your labels.

A lot of people don’t realize that just because a product says “cruelty-free” or “not tested on animals,” that doesn’t necessarily mean it is. That’s right: Companies can lie about this! Look for products with a certification from PETA or Leaping Bunny. 

Talk to others about why they should stop using products tested on animals.

Spread the word on social media and other platforms.

Share your views with other people. 

Many companies monitor what people are saying about them, so it’s always a good move to share your views on social media. It’s a great catalyst for change, since it can help the spread of information and the viralization of content. 

A great example of this is “Save Ralph”, a video created by The Humane Society of the United States, depicting a bunny (voiced by Taika Waititi) who is a victim of testing. The video went viral and created a lot of awareness around the topic: 

Talk to your friends about animal testing and encourage them to boycott products that test on animals. If enough people take a stand, companies will have no choice but to change their ways.

Vote with your wallet.

One of the easiest and most straightforward ways to stop animal testing is to boycott companies that do it. If a company tests on animals and you don’t buy their products or use their services, then they are losing money because of it. That’s why it’s important to research which brands test on animals and don’t give them your business if they’re still doing it! PETA has a searchable database that you can use to double-check that the products you’re buying don’t test on animals, or you can also get curated products from nottodiefor.us that are all vegan & cruelty-free. 

Sign (or even create) petitions.

There are often petitions going around against animal testing. Find them, sign them, and share them with your friends. When companies see that consumers are passionate about an issue, they listen. 

If you’re feeling more motivated, start a petition! All it takes is an online account (like Change.org) and a little bit of information about the issue at hand.

Donate money to animal rights organizations or volunteer. 

Volunteering at an organization is one of the easiest ways to offer direct help. It’s also helpful to keep in touch with other people who share your ideals, and it will help you avoid falling victim to compassion fatigue. 

Unfortunately, we don’t all have the time or energy to call companies or to organize protests. If you have some spare income, you can always donate to animal rights groups. Ethical Elephant has a very detailed list of organizations that fight against animal testing. Check it out! 

At the end of the day, we can use our power as consumers to support companies that don’t test on animals. The good news is that more and more companies are realizing they can still make money while being ethical! 

At Not to Die For* we want to make vegan and cruelty-free products easily accessible to anyone who wants to improve their lifestyle. Check out our shop and purchase with peace of mind 🌱

Self-care guide for vegans in a speciest world

Even though veganism is a positive lifestyle in many ways, the fact that we live in a speciest society can lead to extreme exhaustion and activism fatigue. By having a conscious awareness of animal exploitation most ignore, our mental and physical health can suffer. Creating the time and space to recharge should be prioritized.

Meditate 

Meditation doesn’t have to be a religious or spiritual experience. It’s proven that having at least 15 minutes of relaxation and time for yourself can help ease feelings of anxiety and make you feel more grounded. Even if guided meditation doesn’t work for you, it’s important to take some time off your busy schedule to simply relax and take your mind off everything that worries you. 

There are many high-quality apps that offer great meditation content, such as Headspace and Calm

Take a break from Social Media & the news

It’s ok to be informed on what is happening in the world we live in, but sometimes they can bring us anxiety due to things we can’t even control. Limiting your consumption of bad news can have a huge impact on your emotional well-being. Some ideas for doing that are put your phone down and out of reach, setting limits by tracking your social media time, turning off notifications, setting “phone free zones” and scheduling “social media free days”.

Journal

Journaling is proved to help you track symptoms and learn more about your own negative thoughts. That will allow you to control them and act accordingly. Control your narrative identifying things you are grateful for. Describe your goals, write a letter to yourself and talk about your day. Here there is a vegan themed journal for keeping you motivated in the process in case you want to check it out ;).

Find vegans in your area and hang out 

There’s no one who can really understand veganism as well as a fellow vegan. Finding people who are experienced is a great way to feel accompanied and supported! You might think it’s hard to meet fellow vegans, but it actually isn’t! There are plenty of meetings on Meetup and Eventbrite for vegans to meet and socialize, and you can even find local groups on Facebook! 

Another easy way to meet other vegans is through organizations. It’s actually pretty easy to find like-minded people by signing up to an activist group, or even volunteering at a local animal shelter! 

Remember your physical health

Physical and emotional health go hand in hand. Make sure you are taking all the nutrients needed.

Do something for the animals 

Nothing like helping furry and feathered friends for feeling better. We mentioned volunteering at an animal shelter before, but there are many different things you can do for the animals! Whether that is donating to organizations that help wildlife conservation or signing petitions to help fight testing on animals, all efforts count! The Humane Society has a list of 50 ways you can help the animals in your daily life. 

At Not to Die For* we are very passionate about providing you with all the resources you need to become a happy and healthy vegan. Check out our resources for more information!

Why are many “sustainable” products not vegan?

Why are many “sustainable” products not vegan?

At Not to Die For* we have a policy of “vegan first” when it comes to selecting the products that we include in our marketplace. Part of the reason why we had to come up with that policy in the first place is due to many “zero waste” or “sustainable” products. This might seem contradictory, but to make these products easier to biodegrade, companies sometimes use animal ingredients; meaning not all products that claim to be “sustainable” are necessarily vegan

Animal products are never sustainable

If you know anything about veganism, even on the surface level, you probably heard about the fact that breeding and growing animals to feed humans is extremely damaging to the environment. To give you perspective, a typical pig factory generates the same amount of raw waste as a city of 12,000 people. The greenhouse gases created by cattle ranching are a key player in the deterioration of the ozone layer. 

It goes even further than just cattle: the fishing industry is the biggest contributor to plastic waste in the ocean. Contrary to what is usually communicated by mainstream media and brands who use sustainability as a marketing tactic, 50% of ocean plastic is fishing nets, not straws. You can watch the documentary Seaspiracy (available on Netflix) for more facts about the impact of the fishing industry on our environment. 

“Sustainability” sells, but how environmentally friendly are brands?

Right now being eco-friendly is in vogue, which should be a very positive thing, right? As a society, we’re realizing that our actions have consequences! The problem comes when corporations start taking advantage of people’s good intentions and lack of knowledge to sell their products. 

The term “greenwashing” was coined by environmentalist Jay Westerveld in 1986, but it’s never been more relevant than right now. What is greenwashing? It’s when you make people believe that your company is doing more to protect the environment than it really is??. Companies that “greenwash” have profit in mind and only pay attention to environmentalism when it’s convenient or demanded.

According to a 2015 poll, 66% of people are willing to pay more for eco-friendly products and 50% of purchasing decisions are influenced by sustainability features. By claiming that they are “greener”, companies can retain environmentally conscious customers without actually changing their practices. 

A big way companies do this is by basically diverting people’s attention from the bigger issues their products have. They claim to have recyclable packaging and yet have ingredients that are harmful to the environment (it’s also good to keep in mind that most plastic packaging isn’t fully recyclable). They can also have vague claims that can’t be backed up, irrelevant claims (like saying they are “CFC-free” when CFC gases are banned by law), or even making up certifications —which we’ve talked about in our post about cruelty-free and vegan products

But… what does “sustainable” mean? 

“Sustainability” is a very broad term: it means meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It can be interpreted in many different ways, and it’s the reason why there’s no regulation about what can or can’t be labeled as sustainable. This means that animal products —which are unethical and contribute to the deterioration of the environment— can be seen as more eco-friendly because they are biodegradable. 

Here are some examples of zero-waste products that use animal products for this purpose: 

  • Using bamboo toothbrushes with bristles made out of pig hair (to replace nylon bristles). – For a 100% vegan yet sustainable option, use this one instead
  • Wearing silk and wool clothes instead of synthetic fabrics. – Fortunately there are great non-animal derived eco-friendly alternatives such as cotton, plant-based leathers, etc.
  • Any use of gelatin in shampoos and other cosmetic products. – Find your vegan & cruelty-free ones here.
  • Using beeswax wrapping instead of aluminum. – There are vegan alternatives available that are both sustainable and cruelty-free.

Unfortunately, this means that sometimes we have to do the selection work ourselves. There are many things that you can consider when you’re looking to shop sustainably: 

  • Does it contain animal products? 
  • Where are the materials sourced from? 
  • Does the company have any eco certifications? 
  • What are the factory conditions and benefits for the workers? 
  • How far away from me was it made? 
  • What’s the company’s mission? Does it have any commitments for the future? 

Find shops you can trust!

There are also organizations and online stores (like Not to Die For*) that curate products so that you don’t have to go through all that hassle. It’s very important to find vendors that you can trust and who put their ethics over selling out to corporations. Learn more about our selection of vegan lifestyle products by visiting our shop

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