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Wasn't sure where else to post this so thought this could be the place. I started working as a veterinary nurse 5 years ago, left the industry for a while and now this year have started a new job in a vet hospital and am finishing off vet nurse studies. My sole motivation to become a vet nurse is to help animals. I have done alot of volunteer work overseas the last 4 years assisting animals who have been saved from lives of cruelty at the hands of humans (gibbons in Thailand, bears in China and Cambodia). I want to become fully qualified and competent in vet nursing so I can continue to help animals like them.<br><br>
I have also been a vegan for 11 years and am extremely passionate about animal rights. I wanted some opinions as I feel I face a bit of a dilemma - I recently found out that Iams, makers of Eukanuba pet food, test on animals. I don't know much about their tests (I haven't looked into it yet) but the problem is that Eukanuba is one of only 2 brands of pet foods that we sell at our vet clinic. I have recommended it in the past quite frequently to clients for their pets.<br><br>
It is ridiculous (but not totally surprising to me) that a pet food company could carry out tests on animals. Now I'm unsure what to do - I am aware that I need to fulfil my goal of becoming a qualified vet nurse so that I can help animals, but at the same time I don't want to help increase the profits of a company that tests on animals.<br><br>
Does anyone have any opinions/suggestions on this? If there are any vets or vet nurses I'd particularly like to hear what they have to say too...<br><br>
Thanks heaps! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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Almost all pet foods are tested using AAFCO feeding trials. The animals are supposed to be treated well, get regular vet care and socialized in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act. A few, especially the ones found in health food stores, are only formulated in accordance to AAFCO standards and have not been tested to ensure that they are well digested, absorbed and do as the package claims. Iams and Eukanuba are owned by Proctor and Gamble though.
 

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In my opinion Iams/Eukanuba aren't the best foods available anyway, but I guess you can't really tell clients that if your clinic sells them.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>cheekywhiskers</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Almost all pet foods are tested using AAFCO feeding trials. The animals are supposed to be treated well, get regular vet care and socialized in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act.</div>
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This is basically meaningless and the laws have no teeth. Every animal in every lab is supposed to be "treated well" but the reality is far different. They're truly used as living test tubes. How can assembly-line surgery, forcing chemicals in animals who refuse, depriving them of certain nutrients, inducing illness, and slicing up healthy animals into death be thought of as good treatment? They're warehoused in labs, not with families who love them. Covance continues to claim these animals are treated well:<br><br><br><br><a href="http://www.covancecruelty.com" target="_blank">http://www.covancecruelty.com</a><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">A few, especially the ones found in health food stores, are only formulated in accordance to AAFCO standards and have not been tested to ensure that they are well digested, absorbed and do as the package claims.</div>
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These are the ones that should be promoted.<br><br><br><br>
It's also possible to do clinical trials with pets, and not hold animals hostage in barren wire cages in labs.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Susykat</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Now I'm unsure what to do - I am aware that I need to fulfil my goal of becoming a qualified vet nurse so that I can help animals, but at the same time I don't want to help increase the profits of a company that tests on animals.<br></div>
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What are all the possible things you could do? List each one out for yourself and try to think of how in the long term each one would realistically help animals. Could you continue working there and not recommend that food? How many other places could you work that don't sell food that tests on animals? Would you investigate other things different clinics test to see if they are cruelty free? (like medicines?) What if you happened to mention to clients that you do not use the food your clinic sells and if they ask why, tell them? Would you get in trouble?
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Wolfie</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
In my opinion Iams/Eukanuba aren't the best foods available anyway, but I guess you can't really tell clients that if your clinic sells them.</div>
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Yeah, that's what I figured the ethical dilemma was going to be about... "My clinic wants me to push the Eukanuba food they sell, but I feel hypocritical because I know it's crappy quality food."
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Thalia</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
What are all the possible things you could do? List each one out for yourself and try to think of how in the long term each one would realistically help animals. Could you continue working there and not recommend that food? How many other places could you work that don't sell food that tests on animals? Would you investigate other things different clinics test to see if they are cruelty free? (like medicines?) What if you happened to mention to clients that you do not use the food your clinic sells and if they ask why, tell them? Would you get in trouble?</div>
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Thanks Thalia. I guess i've tried to weigh up the benefits of me just finishing the year so I can be fully qualified (& then move into more welfare-based or wildlife type jobs) and giving it up because I'm not comfortable with selling something that is ethically questionable. I'm sure alot of the medications I use on a daily basis in clinic have been tested on animals as well. Alot of the drugs we administer to the animals are made by very large pharmaceutical companies. It would be difficult for me to directly tell clients why I would not recommend that food (as the food sells really well there, so I'm sure if my boss found out he'd think I was directly sabotaging his business!)<br><br><br><br>
I guess I'm really trying to clarify and reconcile all this in my head. Being called a hypocrite is not my main concern, but being able to feel comfortable with the actions I take in life is. I might see how I go just not recommending that particular brand in future, but if someone buys it of their own accord then i'll sell it to them. Now I have to look into the ethics of the other pet food brand we sell (Hill's) and see if they do anything similar.<br><br><br><br>
Thanks for everyone's responses!!!<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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I'm almost 100% certain Hills tests too.<br><br><br><br>
Even some Holistic formulas test. It's crazy.<br><br><br><br>
Here's a list from PETA of companies that don't test animal foods, at least not in a laboratory setting. They tend to test by providing it to vets, animal shelters, breeders, family and friends etc. to have their animals try it out in their own homes.<br><br><br><br><a href="http://www.caringconsumer.com/resources_foodguide.asp" target="_blank">http://www.caringconsumer.com/resources_foodguide.asp</a>
 

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Unfortunately, it seems that the bulk of companies do animal test, including Wellness and Innova. Innova does has it's own testing facility and does adopt the dogs out, but they couldn't (or wouldn't) tell me how long the dog is used as a tester. I will have to change dog foods, but I'm just waiting till this recall thing is over, to change to something else.<br><br><br><br>
Hills also isn't a great food!
 

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I was informing people what to look for on a package to know if the food was tested on animals (feeding trials to AAFCO standards). There are minimum quality of care requirements (cage of certain size, free of animal waste, regular vet care and environmental enrichment), however, not all companies comply with these (recent problems with Iams & Eukanuba not doing so). Some companies go beyond these requirements and get volunteers in to play with the animals and walk them, the animals get toys and are put in compatable social groups. The duration of the feeding trials varies between company and type of food. Puppy food only needs to be fed for a year or so, but adult food would need to be tested for years.<br><br><br><br>
I work for a clinic that sells several brands. I tell clients that they may need to try different brands to see what their pet does best on and likes to eat. I had a dog that would only eat Iams (we started her on it long before it went full evil - sold to P&G), she would have rather starved than eat anything else. I have often suggested limited ingredient/sensitive skin formulas of brands we don't sell, especially with all the pets with allergies. It's mostly about the health of the pets while still making a profit.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Alfiedog</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Unfortunately, it seems that the bulk of companies do animal test, including Wellness and Innova. Innova does has it's own testing facility and does adopt the dogs out, but they couldn't (or wouldn't) tell me how long the dog is used as a tester. I will have to change dog foods, but I'm just waiting till this recall thing is over, to change to something else.<br><br><br><br>
Hills also isn't a great food!</div>
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And while it's better for individual animals that they are adopted out after, it's not a good thing overall. Aren't there already enough dogs languising in shelters and/or being euthanized, without some company breeding them into existence to test out their product and then adding them to the already-huge pool of dogs who need a home? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/undecided.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":-/">
 

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I think we all figure out where we draw our own lines. Technically you could be unable as a vegan to recommend any commercial pet food because they're all made of dead animals. I would say to get comfortable with what you can, and leave the place if you can't find a tolerable position.<br><br><br><br>
Could you not recommend clinic food, and if a client asks for a recommendation, you could suggest based on ingredients instead? For example, "Look for a dry food without wheat gluten, with the first five ingredients including some whole meats and no byproducts or corn," etc., and then suggest some brands that meet these requirements but also happen to not be tested on animals? Maybe that would be less obvious that you aren't shilling for clinic foods. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
You could also consider talking with the vets about why they sell those foods. Certainly there are better quality foods they could sell, and you might solve your issue at the same time. I'm sure vets carry most foods because of shameless promotion by the pet food company and profit margins anyway.<br><br><br><br>
I understand your dilemma. I work for big pharma and know that my company performs some animal testing. I make peace with it by not working in those areas directly and by supporting efforts to develop non-animal replacement tests. (I also gently encourage more veg*n options in our cafeterias!) I simply could not afford to do as much animal rescue work on a salary from another company, and I believe that helps balance the big picture for me. My working directly with an essential, lifesaving medication gives me an inside track to influence fewer animal tests at this company in the (hopefully near) future.<br><br><br><br>
You're not alone, anyway, in the struggle to find a comfortable place in your employment!
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>meatless</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
And while it's better for individual animals that they are adopted out after, it's not a good thing overall. Aren't there already enough dogs languising in shelters and/or being euthanized, without some company breeding them into existence to test out their product and then adding them to the already-huge pool of dogs who need a home? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/undecided.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":-/"></div>
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It seems like it would be possible for a company to get pound dogs/cats, alter them, socialize and train them during the feeding trials and then adopt them out. That seems like it would be really good publicity and not much more expensive than the feeding trials themselves.
 

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To "control" the variables in the experiment, it's hard for companies to use animals of unknown backgrounds. Also, most shelters have clauses that animals cannot be sent to labs.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Alfiedog</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Unfortunately, it seems that the bulk of companies do animal test, including Wellness and Innova. Innova does has it's own testing facility and does adopt the dogs out, but they couldn't (or wouldn't) tell me how long the dog is used as a tester. I will have to change dog foods, but I'm just waiting till this recall thing is over, to change to something else.<br><br><br><br>
Hills also isn't a great food!</div>
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Natural Balance doesn't test on animals and isn't involved in the recall. I'm not trying to sound like their spokesman or anything, but I really like their food. One of my dogs was constantly scratching her mouth and getting ear infections despite everything I tried, including repeated meds from the vet. Natural Balance allergy formula is what finally worked for her.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>DieselAmy</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Technically you could be unable as a vegan to recommend any commercial pet food because they're all made of dead animals.</div>
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That's not true. There are commercially available vegan dog foods that aren't that hard to find. Dogs are omnivores, like humans.
 
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