Charity of the Month | Beagle Freedom Project
by Sica Schmitz | Posted on November 01 2017
Helping others is at the foundation of Bead & Reel and so each month we Give Back a portion of each sale to a new, meaningful cause. Last month we launched our Clean Beauty Collection to compliment our vegan fashions, so it seems like perfect time to talk about what we can do to end animal testing with this month's charity the Beagle Freedom Project.
About 70,000 dogs are used in research experiments every year, and of that number, approximately 96% of them are beagles. If that makes you feel a bit queasy (me too), don't worry, there's someone working to fix this (whew). The Beagle Freedom Project is a unique program run by the Los Angeles-based non-profit Animal Rescue, Media, and Education (ARME). They negotiate with laboratories across the world to secure the legal release of dogs and other animals and then work to find loving homes for animals who have endured so much for vanity and scientific curiosity.
Beagle Freedom Project has an ambitious immediate and long-term agenda that is both political and pragmatic. The organization is working toward the release of more animals and an end to animal testing altogether, and we are thrilled to support their work.
Why was the Beagle Freedom Project started?
Beagle Freedom Project was started in 2010 as an offshoot of our parent charity, ARME.
It was begun by Shannon Keith after she was asked to help two dogs that were being released from a California laboratory. Those were the first two freed beagles of the Beagle Freedom Project and since then we’ve rescued almost 1,000 animals from laboratories. Not just beagles either! We’ve also rescued cats, rabbits, horses, goats, pigs and guinea pigs!
What's your favorite thing about beagles?
Sadly, the thing about beagles that makes them such wonderful family-members is also the thing that makes them good test subjects for experiments. They are sweet, forgiving and natural people-pleasers. I personally love how resilient they are. Seeing them blossom into confident dogs after their release and after such a tough start to life is very rewarding.
What is the easiest way for someone to help end animal testing?
The easiest way is to stop purchasing products that were tested on animals, immediately. We’ve developed an easy way to allow you to do that. We invented an app, it’s free, it is available in iTunes store and Google Play store and it’s called Cruelty Cutter. It is a barcode scanner for your phone that lets you scan products in the store so that you know before you buy whether or not they were tested on animals.
What are some common products people may not realize are tested on animals, and therefore don't know to avoid?
We recommend people avoid all of these products:
Do you have a favorite uplifting story/experience that you can share about something special that has happened through BFP?
I adopted a rescued laboratory beagle in 2012. She was a two year old, adult beagle that had been in a lab cage her whole life. She had no muscle memory or strength in her legs as she had never run or walked anywhere. However, after a few days in our home, she came to really trust our other dog, Harris. She would try to run and play with him but would just fall flat on her face. It didn’t take long for her to gain some strength and since then she has been an active dog, chasing, running, leaping and getting into mischief every day.
What is a biggest misconception you hear about animal testing, and what's the truth about it?
The most common misconception we hear is that animal testing is a thing of the past and no longer happens. Sadly, that’s not true. There are tens of thousands of beagles in labs across the US right now.
What's the best way someone can support BFP today?
Please don’t buy products that were tested on animals. You can also donate to help fund our rescue efforts, here: www.bfp.org/donate
Being an activist is hard work - what quote or song keeps you going?
“There's really no such thing as the 'voiceless'. There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard.” ― Arundhati Roy
Ways To Support the Beagle Freedom Project
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