Humane Society tells students to think in favor of cruelty-free options

Haljit BasuljevicReporter

Deodorant, lotion and shampoo were positioned across the table as a poster portrayed the contrast between products that are and are not cruelty-free.

The goal being for students to think twice about the products they are using and the consequences of doing so. This goal is stated according to Luke McDermott Grandpre and President Shawn Odei-Ntiri of Southern’s Humane Society, as they hosted a table advocating the use of cruelty-free products in the Engleman Rotunda on Friday, March 22.

Grandpre, a senior psychology major, said that one of the interesting findings he came across about cruelty-free products that was in the U.S., save California, have no laws prohibiting the use of animal testing for products. This is a far cry from the EU’s stringent regulations, which are emphasized by a bunny that is stamped upon the products.

Organic brands that students might recognize included Trader Joe’s and Alba, while non-organic products on the other end included Arm & Hammer and Tide.

Odei-Ntiri, a sophomore, physics major, said that the price difference for cruelty-free products usually amounts to a dollar or two. McDermott also said that such companies, as well as the trend for alternative products in general, are gaining more mainstream recognition. He said that most of the items found at the table can also be bought at big name stores like Stop & Shop and Target.

McDermott said this has become part of an increasing trend towards healthier living and becoming eco-friendly.

“It’s not really a topic of discussion a lot,” said Odei-Ntiri, “making sure that you’re conscious and aware of things that do go in the industry. That whole underlying topic is not really discussed at the university.”

In displaying these items for the first time, McDermott and Odei Ntiri are optimistic in getting students to think about the potential consequences of the products they are using. They said this and other fundraisers they have run have been part of a continuous effort to inform the community about the foods they eat and the products they consume so that students will become more receptive to these issues. Odei Ntiri also said that with each event, students have followed up with questions regarding the industry, such as those about animal testing and nutrition, that lead to a further understanding.

They said that a minor obstacle in spreading the word has been trying to gain attention from the community when other events are going on.

During the event, more than half a dozen passerbys, including professors, stopped to inquire about the contents on the table.

“I find that most things like when it comes to the soap, shampoos. They seem to be a bit softer, especially on your skin, “ said Soriano Dyaija, studio art major and sophomore, when asked about what she saw in quality difference.

“It was really eye-opening about a lot of other things I had not found out about yet, “ Dyaija said. “Like a whole lightbulb in your head.

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