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.

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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:

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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. 

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Ohh, Radio-Canada (Mar 1st, 7pm)

I must apologize to Claude Brunet, interviewer/host of the recent Radio-Canada broadcast, Bien dans son assiette (see When Reporters Get it Wrong )–at least, in part, and I’ll tell you why shortly.  First, I’d like to address a few questions that have come my way, especially since so many are sharing this blog in cyberspace (and, it would be nice if some of you new visitors would actually buy or even read my novel because more than half of what I post here already appears in Ground Manners. A Novel …but I digress).

Q:  Why have the numbers of horses slaughtered in Canada decreased between the years 2008 and 2009?

A:  There were seven slaughterhouses killing horses in Canada; then there were five; then there were four.  

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Know Thine Enemy

I‘m being inundated with alerts about today’s Toronto Sun article(s):  one on the horsemeat industry in Canada, and the other featuring the restaurant, La Palette, in Ontario complaining that “they just can’t fill all their orders…not enough horsemeat available to their horse-eating customers because the CFIA is more stringent about the food safety of horsemeat.”  How unfortunate.  And on so many counts:

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Horse Evangelists: Get a Grip!

Four Behaviours That will NEVER save horses:

Screaming, yelling, raising your voice:  A loud voice carries no information and only irritates the listener.

Name-calling, racism, tribalism or jingoism:  Unless you’re a schoolyard bully, you know how counter-productive all of  that is (and to the person who referred to “you people” on the Radio-Canada site, you need to work on your social skills).

Writing in English on a French-speaking site (or vice-versa):  This is imperialist colonialism at its worst, particularly if you’re not even Canadian.  At the very least, it’s a lack of courtesy which will overpower any message or opinion that you’re trying to share.  When in Rome, etc….

Reducing the importance of a very complex subject by using cliches, like “cut the crap!”:  Again, that is neither useful nor relevant…worst of all, it doesn’t even convey your opinion on the matter, so why even bother?

I just read a series of comments

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