Tag Archives: animal testing

Lipton Tea and Animal Experimentation

I neevverr would have thought that they would use tea to experiment on animals.

You can choose to eat animals, that’s your business, but to give rabbits high cholesterol, E Coli, and bowel inflammation just to see if massive amounts of tea help (and it doesn’t) is a little sadistic.

 

Check out these sites for help in choosing products that don’t harm or include animal ingredients.

Skin Deep – a cosmetic database where you can see what chemicals are in your makeup, sun screen, nail polish, etc., and what products use animal testing

PETA – use this website to search of cruelty free companies and products; they also have a list of commonly used animal ingredients and alternatives

Leaping Bunny – look for the leaping bunny logo to assure you are buying cruelty free products; check out this database for cruelty free household cleaning products, animal care products, and personal care products

 

On to the news…

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Info from Michelle Hodkin’s How Many Animals Have Died for Your…Tea? and  Victory! Unilever Commits to Ending Animal Experimentation for Tea from Change.org

…as of this month, Lipton’s parent company, Unilever, issued a press release, stating that it is “committing to no animal testing for our tea and tea-based beverages, with immediate effect.”

The company says the commitment is part of their “leadership” in environmental sustainability and ethical sourcing of their teas, but the announcement comes after a December report from the United Kingdom’s People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA UK), stating that tea companies PG tips, Lipton and Lyons had been testing their products on animals in some pretty gruesome experiments that were decidedly not “100% natural.”

PETA UK claimed that rabbits were fed a diet high in fat to increase cholesterol levels to harden their arteries before they were fed tea in their water, to demonstrate that if the levels decreased, they could market their product as having health benefits. Mice were bred with severe bowel inflammation problems, and then fed tea to see if it helped. And piglets were infected with E. Coli, to give them diarrhea, and test whether ingesting tea might provide them “health benefits,” too.

Twinings, however, verified that it doesn’t use animal products or employ animal testing in the making of its products. So if you’re interested in certifiably cruelty-free tea, you might want to switch.

If you like their teas, awesome. But if you’re drinking it solely to ensure you don’t die from a heart attack or stroke, you might need a different kind of help.

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If you give a mouse a footnote…

Today NPR included a short segment on a tiny animal rights poem found in a footnote.  Entitled, “The Mouse’s Petition to Dr. Priestley, Found in the Trap where he had been Confined all Night,” the poem was written by Anna Laetitia Aikin (later Barbauld), the lab assistant to Dr. Joseph Priestley (nicknamed Gunpowder Priestly).  Priestley performed many experiments on mice while researching lung capacity during a time of heightened tuberculosis.

Anna did the dirty work of cleaning up the mouse carcasses and decided to write a poem on behalf of a mouse which would be the subject of the following day’s experiment.  NPR includes a cartoonish version of the poem which I don’t believe does it justice.


That’s just one small bit of the poem.  Here’s the poem in its entirety.  It’s really beautiful, and without these childlike images of mice, it takes on a powerful voice of power, equality, and justice.

Clicking on the page will take you to the website where you can continue reading the poem. It's pretty short - only 12 verses.

The issue of animal rights was far from young (you can learn about the Wiki version of animal rights here), but the issues of rights and freedom were definitely current, as the poem was written in 1773 (think revolutions).  This poem was originally published in poetry collection written by Aikin/Barbauld, and you can read them all online here.  <- That website actually includes several other links to scholarly works and websites on Aikin/Barbauld.

According to this University of Maryland site, the poem was reprinted in The Female Reader, written by feminist author Mary Wollstonecraft, and was a likely source of inspiration for Robert Burns’s “To a Mouse.” If you don’t know Wollstonecraft, you should, because she’s a righteous babe.

And yes, this was all recently rediscovered in a footnote in Richard Holmes’s book The Age of Wonder.

Listen to the NPR story here.


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