My Cruelty Free Journey: Animal Testing 102

Back in March, I decided to start a blog post series about my cruelty-free journey. Specifically, I wanted to tackle common questions and assumptions about animal testing. In the initial post, I discussed mainly what animals endure during animal testing and briefly touched on the fact that animal testing is not necessary to create a safe product. That post is here if you’d like to catch up and read the intro. Today, I am going to talk about a few alternative testing methods (you know, the ones that I understand)…and question whether or not testing a product is necessary, period, if we trust the ingredients.

Alternative Testing Methods

Human skin: No brainer, right? But it’d be just as cruel to test a toxic product on a human as it is an animal (could you imagine tying a person down to rub chemicals in their eyes to see if they’ll be blinded or not?). Science is awesome, and we’ve come up with several ways of testing on “human skin” that isn’t dangerous. One way by using a human skin model (in other words…materials and substances that are similar to human skin are combined and tested on). Another way is by testing on cadavers. Donated cadavers, of course.

Micro-dosing: In this method, tiny amounts are administered to humans. This is actually gaining ground. I have actually heard of this method. You might have heard of studies in which people actually volunteer (and get paid) to test out a medication or some other type of product.

Like I stated above, there are a few other methods that I simply do not understand because I’m not a science-nut. I hate science. Anyway, one has to do with culture-grown cells being exposed to the chemicals/product and light at the same time and seeing if there is a bad reaction. I guess that doesn’t sound too complicated but I’m not going to pretend like I know what I’m talking about on this one.

Why do products even need to be tested?

You’re probably thinking – DUH, so we know we’re safe! But the underlying question is: Why do we create products with chemicals that we are KNOW are toxic and could potentially harm us? If a product is made with all-natural ingredients and is non-toxic, we are almost guaranteed to be safe, unless we are personally allergic to a certain ingredient. Wouldn’t you much rather know and understand an ingredient list? Seriously. Go grab your bottle of facial cleaner. Do you even know what the heck 99% of the ingredients really are? No? Then you should probably throw it away. Animal tested or not, those chemicals are not good for you. If a product needs to be tested to see whether or not it’s going to make you go blind…you shouldn’t be buying it anyway.

Those are my thoughts for the day. Next time I’m going to tackle deciphering animal testing labels/statements and why China sucks (sorry China- but I wouldn’t say that if you didn’t force animal testing).

I’m only as smart as the research I do in the internet. So, here are my resources:

26 weeks pregnant

How far along? 26 weeks and 5 days…in the homestretch of the 2nd trimester.
Total weight gain/measurements: When I went in for my 24 week appointment, I weighed in at a whopping 143! Which makes a total of 9 pounds of weight gain.
Maternity clothes: I found a few shirts from Burke’s Outlet in town and ended up buying 2 pairs of shorts in a couple sizes up because I couldn’t find maternity shorts I liked.
Stretch marks: I have a little cluster of 2 or 3 stretch marks on my right hip, they aren’t red or purple though.. just a white-ish color. Not too bad!
Sleep: My Snoogle pregnancy pillow is back in action! I bought it a couple months ago, and about a week after having it my dog decided he would love to chew a hole in it. The hole is right by where my head goes. The pillow itself was expensive, but even the covers are expensive (about $30) so I just went without it for a while…well, I decided I NEEDED to use it again, sleeping is pretty uncomfortable for me at night and I always wake up sleeping on my back. I’ve been using it again for about a week (just bought a new cover) and while I still wake up on my back sometimes, it’s less frequent and I am so much more comfortable at night.
Best moment this week: Probably when I abruptly poked my belly and scared the crap out of him.. I could feel him jump and flail like “What the heck mom! I’m sleeping here!”
Miss anything? I miss sleeping more comfortably. But other than that, I am loving this stage of pregnancy except for a few yucky symptoms.
Movement: Sometimes I feel as if he has a lifelong dream of being in the Olympics and has decided to start training while still in the womb. This kid goes nuts. I’ve started doing kick counts (“just for fun” as my OB told me I wouldn’t need to start them until week 28-30ish). Apparently they are suppose to kick 10 times in max 2 hours. The first day I did it, he reached his 10 kicks in 4 minutes. The second time, 3 minutes. And they usually aren’t just little jabs or flutters.. they are full on uppercuts and big body movements. The ultrasound tech told me I had a squirmy one inside me, she was right!
Food cravings: Nothing terribly specific. I just like to eat a lot 🙂
Anything making you queasy or sick? Ugh…nausea has not been my friend. I’ve noticed that if I have too much sugar, I am so so queasy. Also, because baby is getting bigger and womb space is limited, sometimes the pressure makes me very ill. Daddy was pressing on my belly about a week ago, which never bothers me at all, but when he pressed a certain spot (and pressed right where baby was) I felt like I needed to puke right there. Cute, huh?
Gender: Still a boy.. I hope!
Labour signs: Nope. I had Braxton hicks about a month ago a couple times and haven’t had them since.
Symptoms: Nausea! Shortness of breath. Acne. A bit of ankle swelling, which is a given considering I stand at work all day.
Belly button in or out? In but it’s practically flat.
Wedding rings on or off? On. The only swelling I’ve had is my ankles.
Happy or moody most of the time: Happy but don’t get on my nerves! I have a really short fuse when it comes to rude people and my big mouth might get me into trouble..
Looking forward to: Getting his nursery all set up. I’ve changed my mind about a dozen times on the theme, color, etc. And I think I’ve finally decided on exactly what I want. 🙂 I’m also looking forward to starting his book collection because if he’s going to inherit ANYTHING from me, I hope it’s a love for books!

22 weeks pregnant

How far along? 22 weeks & 3 days
Total weight gain/measurements: At my 20 week appointment, I weighed 137. Total weight gain of 3 pounds.
Maternity clothes: I really have not found any maternity clothes recently that I like. I am on the hunt for cute jean shorts but they are all the awkward just above the knee length, blech. For now, gym shorts and yoga shorts are fine 🙂
Stretch marks: The small one I have on my right hip is a teeny bit bigger but not bad at all. Other than that, none. I have been using the Earth Mama Angel Baby body butter & lotion and LOVE them both! Awesome cruelty-free, non-toxic brand!
Sleep: I am having a difficult time sleeping on my left side (which is recommended for the best circulation). I always wake up laying on my back which is not good during pregnancy. Last night was probably the first time I didn’t wake up on my back.
Best moment this week: Well, not this week, but since my last pregnancy post we found out its a BOY!
Miss anything? Wearing my jean shorts! I have about 10 pairs that will have to wait until next summer.
Movement: All the time! Moreso when I just get done eating or am laying down for bed. When he flips over, it’s such a weird feeling that I jump sometimes haha.
Food cravings: Ugh…I can’t get enough of sweets. Last night I made an 8 pm run to the grocery store for snickers ice cream. I try to curb those cravings and eat fruit instead but once I get a specific food into my head, I have to have it!
Anything making you queasy or sick? Not really.
Gender: Boy.
Labour signs: No.

My shortness of breath has become a lot more frequent. It’s usually accompanied by increased heart rate. A few days ago it happened when I was just laying in bed. All normal, though. I have really been having a phenomenal pregnancy.

Belly button in or out? In but definitely stretched out!
Wedding rings on or off? On. Still no swelling.
Happy or moody most of the time: Oh gosh, half and half!
Looking forward to: Baby registry 🙂