Friday, April 17, 2015

Animal Activists

Anti-animal abuse campaign inspires lifestyle changes

Juliana Discher | Staff Writer

Fight for those who can’t fight for themselves.

This sentiment against animal cruelty transcends the lives of sophomores Samantha Francis and Emily Davis. Their pledge to go cruelty free determines their daily decisions, from the clothing they wear, to the foods they eat and the products they buy.

According to Francis, her passion for animals was instilled at an early age.

“I grew up on a farm,” Francis said. “I lived on a 100-acre plot in Pennsylvania where we had a horse paddock and a sheltered barn.  My mom took in foster horses from abusive homes and nursed them back to health. We ended up taking care of stray kittens as well. At one point, we had about 27 cats.”
Francis said she was motivated to take a stand upon seeing the mistreatment of animals.

“I saw a lot of crazy things that happened to the animals and it really inspired me to want to protect them,” Francis said. “Taking care of the stray cats taught me an important life lesson that not all animals will be saved, and saving a few won’t change the world. But for the animals you do save, their worlds are changed forever.”

Becoming a vegetarian seemed like a logical choice, according to Francis, because she is against the harming of animals.

“I decided to become a vegetarian for moral reasons,” Francis said. “I don’t think the way our current meat industries treat their animals is humane at all. I know that I’m not making a huge difference in the meat industries by refusing their products, but it’s a huge difference to me.”

It’s a common misconception that vegetarians dislike people who eat meat, Francis said.

“Being a vegetarian doesn’t mean that you hate or are completely against people that eat meat,” Francis said. “I don’t have a problem if people eat meat in front of me. It’s just me consuming it that is a concern.”

According to Davis, the aspiration of not wanting to harm animals demands extensive research before purchasing makeup or clothing. She said she avoids certain brands.

“I stay away from L’Oréal big time,” Davis said. “They are one of the top companies that test on animals. Also, Mac, Mary Kay, Axe, Pantene, Sally Hansen and Suave are awful when it comes to animal cruelty and testing. I stay away from companies that use real animal fur, like Michael Kors and Lulu Lemon.”

Davis said that she intends on starting a club against animal cruelty at the high school.

“I plan on starting a club with other students who are passionate, once I find a teacher to supervise it,” Davis said. “We want to use the club to spread the word about animal cruelty through posters and protests.  We also want to volunteer at no-kill shelters, where they don’t euthanize any of their animals.”

Davis said she finds it unfair that animals don’t have a choice in their treatment, which is why she feels people should stand up for them.

“I believe that no animal should be harmed for humans to use their products,” Davis said. “If a company wants to test and harm animals, they should test it on themselves and if they won’t, then they should work harder to make it safer. Animals have no say or way to defend themselves, so it’s completely unfair to them.”

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