Avon & China: the Economics of Harm

UPDATE from In Defense of Animals, posted on FB, July 2014. China Stops Cosmetic Animal Testing The Chinese government just passed a law that removes animal testing requirements on cosmetic products. With a $1.7 billion cosmetics industry, this is a major change that will save countless animal lives. This is a huge reversal from China’s 2012 animal testing mandate for all cosmetic products, which prompted companies like Avon and Estée Lauder to drop their cruelty-free policies and start animal testing in order to tap into the growing Chinese cosmetics market. Due to loopholes in the law, experts warn that some animal testing may continue, but it’s a big step in the compassionate direction.
Let’s leave the subject of animals for a moment, and focus on the specious arguments by which multi-national industries get away with murder, so to speak. In the late sixties, when I was about 16, I watched a TV documentary on how cosmetics and beauty care companies experimented on animals to both test and improve their products (at the time, as I recall, “hypoallergenic” shampoos were the newest thing). TV images in that doc of cats with their skulls prised open and electrodes attached to their brains, eyes, and faces left me in shock.
I had only just begun wearing makeup (strict upbringing) and was now faced with what I thought was a moral dilemma. I had already joined the second wave of feminism and would shortly be working with other young women to set up a Women’s Centre at my local college (CEGEP). Wasn’t that enough? Some of the more militant feminists had already eschewed cosmetics, but for completely unrelated reasons.

Read More

I Love Men in Uniform!

An email full of concern for me stated that I should never have proffered a “veiled threat” to the powerful QC horse slaughter industry.  The RCMP and CSIS will be at my door any day now, the nervous emailer wrote.  They referred to a reply I made to one of the comments in one of my posts about Radio-Canada (that’s the French-speaking cognate of CBC Radio) and their fractured attempts to discuss horsemeat and horse slaughter in Quebec.  I never make “veiled” threats; believe me when I say that when I threaten someone, they will not be in any doubt whatsoever that they’ve been threatened.   This is what I had written:

Read More

A Fair Look at Quebec Horsemanship

With the possibility of horse abattoirs re-opening in the US right now–in Missouri, Washington, and most recently, Florida–I thought this news would be a soothing corrective to the anxiety all horse-lovers are feeling these days.  What follows is an out an’ out advertisement for a new Camp de jour (Day Camp) opening at my cousins’ riding and training ranch in Mascouche, QC, called Le Ranch Equestre.  I want to be clear that just because my cousins own and operate Le Ranch Equestre Carola & Filles doesn’t mean that I am not objective about the quality of what they’re offering…not a bit…not at all. Why shouldn’t I be (although it’s true that these gorgeous young women share my gene pool, and each generation is more amazing than the last–but I digress….)

No, the fact is that hearing about their Day Camp reminded me that there is a vibrant, live horse industry in Quebec which continues to enjoy, celebrate and spread the love of horses to future generations, and this achieves two things:  it balances outsiders’ view of Quebec as one of the hotseats of the horse slaughter industry (and, if you’ve been reading this blog, you know my views on that…in spades); and, it ensures that there will always be future defenders of horses since places like Le Ranch Equestre (did I mention that it’s owned by my cousins?) make it their mission to show young people the intrinsic value of the horse.

“Getting soft, O wise and toothless one?” you wonder.  

Read More

Viking: Quebec’s Poster Horse

Joël Le Bigot, who hosted the Radio-Canada broadcast today featuring Chamie Andorette, owner of Refuge Galahad, is a deft interviewer with an impish sense of humour.  More to the point, Mr. Le Bigot asked pertinent questions of each guest–and, best of all, he had clearly done his own research (in contrast to the reporter on Bien dans son assiette’s recent two shows on horse slaughter).

Chamie did a good job describing how Refuge Galahad works with, and gives financial support to, selected, supervised foster homes.  There is a great deal of support for Galahad in Quebec which is great.  However, I would have liked Joël to know

Read More

Refuge Galahad & Radio-Canada: Revised

The Radio-Canada show is called “Samedi et rien d’autre” hosted by Joël Le Bigot at 7am, Saturday, March 3rd, on “The Health and Welfare of Horses”, particularly addressing the mistreatment of horses.

Guests are Refuge Galahad, the SPCA de l’Estrie (I think that’s correct), and Renée Levesque of the FEQ (Fédération Equestre du Québec).  Please visit Refuge Galahad’s site and FB, and my blog post, Association.  Don’t forget to tune in this Saturday.

PLEASE IGNORE MY PREVIOUS POST as the information had not yet been confirmed. Check with Radio-Canada to confirm the above prior to air-time this Saturday. 

Read More