Cruelty-free challenge - feed, supplements and more - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 07-12-2013, 10:10 AM Thread Starter
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Cruelty-free challenge - feed, supplements and more

I really am striving to be "cruelty-free" and not supporting any testing on animals - and what have you. Anyways, I was quite surprised that pet foods can and (some) do use inhumane ways of "testing" their products. Iams is one of those and although I never used that brand, I was surprised to see other pet food labels being owned by big, "cruel" companies.

It seems like the internet isn't very clear when I type in "cruelty free horse * "(replace "*" with food, supplements, grooming supplies, spray, etc). I can't find anything online regarding NAF, which is natural horse feeds, and they have a range of supplements and whatnot, and I just assumed that they would be cruelty free, but I can't find anywhere that supports this.

Perhaps I am taking it all too far, but I do like to try and not support these bigger companies who are notorious for animal testing where possible... especially the natural foods.

Anyways, to get to the point, does anybody else look for "friendly" brands? And does anybody know of any natural, cruelty-free horsey things (sprays, supplements, feeds)? Finally, is NAF a friendly company?

Sorry to go on a bit XD
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post #2 of 13 Old 07-12-2013, 02:05 PM
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I think you will struggle to find "cruelty free" equine products, as you put it, due to the fact that the products are made for animals - they have to test them prior to putting them on sale. And I doubt many owners would be up for just sending their horses to have an untested product applied/fed to them to see if it works.

What I'm trying to say is, although you may find human products that do not utilize animal testing, I think you will struggle doing the same for animal products, or even to find the information.
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post #3 of 13 Old 07-12-2013, 02:13 PM
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Why would you want a product that's for animals not be tested on animals? What would they test it on? How would you know how effective a fly spray is if you don't spray it on a horse? How would you know how effective a brush is if you don't brush a horse with it? I wouldn't think any company would put out a product that has not been tested on a horse because they would have no idea if there would be adverse effects.
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post #4 of 13 Old 07-12-2013, 02:17 PM
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Agreed, Indie.

Unless the OP is planning to grow their own grain and hay, I don't see how they're going to get away from big companies unless they're around a local mill that will custom blend feed for them bought only from the surrounding area farms.

I have a mill near me, but they do buy grain and feedstuffs from other places. They have to, as they'd soon run out of local supplies.

Interesting questions and I applaud the OP for wanting to keep her animals as healthy as possible, but it's hard to walk such a fine line and not incorporate some 'big ag' stuff into her daily life. Especially things like fly spray and supplements.
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post #5 of 13 Old 07-12-2013, 03:00 PM
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I think it's essential for your horse's health that any products meant for horses have been tested on horses in a controlled environment. Even if a company could find people to pay to eat horse feed and supplements, that wouldn't tell us anything about their safety and efficacy in horses since the horse's digestive system is very different, and really fairly delicate. Maybe some companies take better care of their test horses than others, but they all test on horses, I guarantee you.

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post #6 of 13 Old 07-12-2013, 03:11 PM
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One thing that you can avoid when feeding your horses is glucosamine. Not only is it ineffective when fed orally as horses digestive systems can't absorb the molecule, but many oral formulations are sourced from shark fins.
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post #7 of 13 Old 07-12-2013, 03:15 PM
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so if I feed my horse feed A, and see a result, then switch to feed B and see a different result and decide I like B better I am cruel and inhumane because I have just participated in animal testing ?
You cant create an animal product without animal testing.
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post #8 of 13 Old 07-12-2013, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry, my explanation was terrible. By cruelty free, I mean by sending samples of the product to horse owners, like select companies do.

other companies (like Iams, Pedigree, etc) force feed the stuff into the animals which live inside labs to see if they are "palateable" or something. It is possible to have cruelty free foodstuffs, it just means sending owners samples to see if their food is palatable and enjoyed... rather than forcing it down some animal's neck.

As for fly sprays, shampoos, it's more about testing for irritation. There are artificial skin samples that humane companies use - whilst the "cruel" ones would actually test it by using eye tests, much like they probably would with human products.

I agree that it's stupid not to test an animal product on animals, but I am refering to INHUMANE and CRUEL testing. There's a huge difference between handing out samples to people to see if (after it's been tested on artificial or human volunteers) it works to repel flies, or washes the coat (shampoo) and then dropping it into the eyes of animals or forcing it down their throats. That's why there are "BUAV approved" foods and shampoos for household pets.

As for what Anebel pointed out, I was very surprised at that, and genuinely had no idea. It's something that I'll keep an eye out for sure! Thank you :)

Again, Joe... as above, I am referring to cruel means of animal testing.

I've found a few brands I have looked into are private companies (not owned by Proctor and Gamble, Mars, etc) so it's looking positive that any of their profits aren't going towards these big companies.

Personally, I believe that there are always alternatives to testing inhumanely on animals. If other companies can do it for small animals and such, surely so can livestock feeds. I am aware it seems like a long stretch, but there are a surprising number of people who truly go even more in-depth than I do lol.

Anyways, sorry to have not been more clear on the "type" of testing... it seems that a lot of people took it the wrong way XD
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post #9 of 13 Old 07-12-2013, 05:38 PM
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Seamus, not to be too critical of you, but where are you getting these 'facts'? They sound an awful lot like SHARK and PETA propaganda.

Your misconception about where leather tack comes from, and now your concern about how 'cruel' the big companies are with feed/shampoo/supplements, etc. has me wondering just who you've been listening to.

You want the truth? You can't HANDLE the truth!
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post #10 of 13 Old 07-12-2013, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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I admit that the leather one came from one or two sources, and I take them back. I suppose when you go looking for something, then you do find anything you can to support your claims, even if it is quite... out there.

And maybe I have done the same here. I read things and maybe take it out of context, or prioritise it over the other logical facts - especially with the leather thread. I did see what everybody was saying. Regarding the testing of feed, it's quite a well known thing that Iams (as an example) are owned by P & G, who test. So either way, profits go into animal testing. Many dog foods like that, from what I have read keep animals in labs, feed them the stuff and check urine and faeces for digestibility stuff. I am all for animal rights, and I suppose when I see one bad thing, I automatically hunt for more bad things... or proof that the bad things are happening. And even if they're not happening with one specific brand, there are still videos and clips out there (from sources such as PETA, and other places related to the BUAV/Leaping Bunny) where there have been less than kind methods of looking after animals in labs for these food tests. I just don't believe in caged animals - and I'm sure if's not much fun for them either.

However, I am an emotional person... so I am quick to react even if I don't know all the facts. It is my biggest flaw (or maybe one of many big flaws... I'm very flawed hahaha). So even if these allegations and video footage prove to be false, I am still left with the fact that Iams and other brands are owned by BIG companies like Proctor and Gamble, Mars and Clorox, etc, and that's one thing I don't like. Profits from humane companies going to inhumane and cruel parent companies.

That's another reason why I wanted to know if anybody knows of any PRIVATE feed companies. The majority may not test in such cruel manners like they can with cats and dogs, but as long as they're not owned by the "nasty" companies, that's good enough for me.

I realise I'm doing a lot of contradicting here. I can't always make my ideas clear, so I do seem to go back on what I say. I know what I mean, and where I stand with all this, it's just taking me some time to express it clearly.

Privately owned, natural feed/supplies companies are really what I'm after :)
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