Each year, over 115 million animals are used for testing in laboratories for cosmetics, cleaning products, and pharmaceuticals. Since the 1980s, this number has only increased globally in countries including China, the United States, Germany, Australia, and France. Many types of animals — like mice, rabbits, pigs, goats and dogs — are subjected to this terrible practice, and almost all of them either die during testing or are killed when the experiment ends. But for a lucky piglet named Alba, there is life after lab research.
Alba spent the first eight weeks of her life being burn-tested, leaving 18 burn marks along her back. Two other piglets were in the same experiment, but were euthanized after the tests ended. Alba, however, was released from the laboratory to Rancho Relaxo, an animal sanctuary in New Jersey.
“Alba had a shining personality,” said Caitlin Cimini, founder and president of Rancho Relaxo. “She was extra loving, extra wanting of people’s affection, and the lab kind of agreed to releasing her to live her life to the fullest. But normally that’s not the practice. It’s very, very rare.”
Despite the physical scars that will line her back forever and the suffering she endured, Alba shows no signs of mental trauma and has adapted well to her new home. “If she did have trauma, you would never know it,” said Cimini. “Her personality is just unbelievable. She’s so loving, and still so trusting of people.”
While Cimini is unable to reveal the lab from which Alba was rescued, a shocking number of companies worldwide participate in this practice. Below is a list from the Beagle Freedom Project that shows just a few of the big brands that test on animals:
Many people argue that it is necessary to test on animals for human safety. However, these methods are incredibly outdated and actually completely unnecessary. Cruelty Free International, an organization dedicated to ending animal testing, has done extensive research on the topic and continues to provide proof that the practice can indeed come to an end, without sacrificing the safety of humans. See the list of alternatives for animal testing here.
Animal testing is a sad, cruel practice that can and must come to an end. It is time to stop the needless burning, mutating, and murdering of animals. Luckily, there are a variety companies that do not rely on animal testing! Many cosmetic products and cleaning supplies have taken the cruelty-free route, and you can, too, by buying them. One way to ensure you are not supporting animal testing is to look for the ‘Cruelty Free’ label on product packaging. Here are three reliable labels to look for when buying a product:
Alba has been given a second chance at life, and will get to spend the rest of her days on a beautiful farm where she will continue to heal and find peace. All animals deserve the same love Alba has been given. Join us in the cruelty-free movement so that together we can make the world a more compassionate, loving place for all beings.