Sunday, August 12, 2007

Animal testing on tiny water fleas

Ecover, a supplier of environmentally friendly cleaning products tested their products on fleas. The vegan society thus denied the use of their logo on Ecover's products. The fleas are between 0.2mm to 5mm long. Besides that, the firm also takes blood from farmed rabbits for tests.

I wonder what vegans or vegetarians think of this. I know some vegans do kill insects and don't consider them animals, water fleas may not be a concern to them at all. Personally I would support the vegan society's decision to object the placement of it's logo on Ecover's products due to the fleas being animals by my reasoning. But sometimes I wonder where do we draw the line between between the term "animal" and "non-animal"? It will be even harder as the "creature-in-debate" becomes smaller, besides, sometimes scientific classification of "animal" or "non-animal" may not be applied correctly to some creatures. However, I guess we can do our best to avoid hurting others to the best of our capabilities, maybe it is not 100% but near 100% is good enough.
News source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=474749&in_page_id=1770

8 comments:

Veggie Bun said...

Hmm.. I think they are animals.. but then, I wouldn't do anything to protect them because I think they are pests! It's really hard if you want to be very strict as not to harm any small insects because most insects are harmful to humans. Besides, there are fleas under the carpet, in your bed etc.. so if you accidentally squished them, I don't think that is cruel.. :P

Edanator said...

* Most insects are not harmful to humans.
* Regarding where to draw the line: Ask any biologist where the most natural line is and the answer will be - between animals and plants.
* I think we have to distinguish between intentional and unintentional killing of animals.

Veggie Bun said...

Ok, I take back my word MOST. I should re-phrase my original statement as:

MOST INSECTS THAT I KNOW OF (THAT ARE COMMON IN CITY STATE SG) ARE HARMFUL TO HUMANS.

Example: Mosquitoes, flies, lice, Bed bugs, red ants, bees, hornets, cockroaches.

Those that I can name that I think is not harmful: Butterflies

Btw, if vegan's claim is not to harm any animals, does that mean that vegans should only consume organically grown plants? Because pesticides will kill many pests.

bazu said...

If they tested on any sentient being (like fleas) or used any animal products (like bunny blood- yikes!) they are not vegan. I agree with that. I'm just not sure that these tests were/are necessary! I mean, if you have non-toxic, all natural, biodegradable products, why do you need to test??

zlyrica said...

Hi veggie bun,

The vegan label is more of...
• No animal ingredients
• No animal testing
• Genetically modified organisms ((GMOs) must not have involved animal genes or animal-derived substances)

Ecover had breached the second principle. Daphnia (water fleas) are invertebrates. The EU definition defines animal testing as the use of vertebrates, past a specified embryonic stage, (or larval stage in the case of fish and amphibians).

Ideally organically grown plant ingredients are more than welcome, in fact, many are going organic bcos of the toxicity of pesticides.

As long as Ecover do testing on sentient beings, it's not vegan anymore.

jn said...

Oh, seems my vegan understanding is wrong..

I wanna clarify something..
does use of animal waste for soil fertilization considered as USE OF ANIMAL PRODUCT for vegans definition?

zlyrica said...

Hi Jn,

The theory is the same as for organic animals - as long as you feed the animals with organic food they are considered organic.  I guess, to consider animal wastes as vegan, the animals have to be vegan.

dreamy said...

you have a good point on the biodegradable and non-toxic substances bazu :)

Thats an interesting question VB, I personally don't have any qualms about eating veggies fertilised with animal manure since they are the natural cycle of environment.

If the animals were fed animal parts in their feed, I will feel a little uneasy about their manure, but then again, i think it's a little too extreme to start questioning whether the veggies we eat uses manure from animals fed with animal byproducts. That would mean virtually not eating out at all and doing ur own composting at home or eating from a source with a practice u find acceptable.

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