BY ELLEN LAVINTHAL
PHOTO BY JASPER JOHAL
At first, the perfect title for this eemed to be Nine Lucky Beagles, until I remembered the contro- versy surrounding the movie, One Lucky Elephant, a documentary about an elephant that, after years of service to his “master” in the circus, is retired to a sanctuary. Animal advocates argued some- thing like this: What is so lucky about a baby elephant that was ripped from its close family social structure in the wild to endure a
life of circus training and isolation? Similarly, what is lucky about beagles bred
for the sole purpose of being a testing subject, and who live their lives in fear in
small wire cages in constant pain and without human companionship?
This is where the lucky part comes in: on June 8, nine beagles were released
from a San Jose laboratory to the Beagle Freedom Project founded by Los
Angeles attorney Shannon Keith with team members Jill Ryther, Zoli Teglas, and
Gary Smith. The Project was initiated in December, 2010, when Keith heard that
beagles from research labs would be set free.
Each year in the US, 67,000 dogs are subjected to biomedical and non-medical
testing, 80-90% for household products and cosmetics. Beagles, in particular, are
used for testing because they are friendly, docile, and inexpensive to feed. This
practice prevails despite the availability of other reliable testing alternatives.
Consumers can boycott products produced by companies that still participate in
antiquated animal testing, such as Neutrogena, Dove, Arrid, Crest, Lipton, Johnson
& Johnson, Maybelline, Max Factor, Windex, and Woolite, to name but a few.
We have the power to choose products produced and distributed by companies
engaged in more humane alternatives. Thousands of companies refrain from
testing on animals, including but not limited to: Burt's Bees, Dermalogica,
Arbonne, and Seventh Generation (see opposite page to find websites that
offer comprehensive lists). These ethical products clearly state they are “cruelty
free” or “not tested on animals,” or they feature the “leaping bunny” logo.
In most research facilities, the dogs are euthanized after they have served their
purpose because the labs do not want to draw the attention of a largely disapproving but unaware public. In some cases, however, labs release the dogs when
POSES FOR PAWS
Kathryn Budig (pictured) is a Yoga teacher,
avid dog lover, animal advocate, and organizer
of Poses for Paws. The initiative involves
fundraising events, corporate partnerships,
and educational campaigns to raise funds for
dog advocacy organizations, including
the Beagle Freedom Project.
Budig and Noah Mazé co-taught a recent
fundraising class at Yogaglo to support Shannon Keith’s beagle rescue efforts.
Budig and Tiffany Cruikshank will be teaching
July 14 at Eugene Yoga in Eugene, Oregon, to
benefit Poses for Paws and a retreat in Mexico
November 5-12 will benefit the cause.
A portion of the proceeds of the Hot Pink
ToeSox (pictured) benefits Poses for Paws,
whose current partner organization is the
Beagle Freedom Project.
Toesox.com / Posesforpaws.com