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The VIVO Committee for 10 years it has been stirring the conscience on vivisection and cruelty free products, while Italy, especially women and young people, is increasingly vegetarian and attentive to what it buys. It cannot be denied that the crisis also encourages such conversion: Marina Berati, co-founder of the committee, in fact, explains that "a 100% vegetable diet is much less expensive than one based on animal foods. People's interest in ethical choices has increased a lot in recent years, especially in the last 3-4 years ".
1) When and how was your committee born? with what objectives?
The VIVO Committee was born in 2003, ten years ago. The goal was, and still is, on the one hand to make people understand that with their daily consumption choices, both food and otherwise, they can make a difference in the exploitation and killing of animals. And on the other hand, making it clear to producers and distributors that customers are increasingly demanding the availability of "cruelty-free" products on animals.
2) In the field of cosmetics, what are the most common errors or misunderstandings and the mistakes in defining cruelty free companies?
With cruelty free, in cosmetics, understood not only as make-up but also as personal hygiene products, it means the fact that animal testing is not increased for the creation of a given product. The mistakes that consumers make are varied: believing that vivisection is a practice that no longer exists, for example, or trusting the smoky and unilateral statements of producers regarding being cruelty free of their products, while the only guarantee is formal adherence to the international cruelty free standard, which has very specific rules. Only for companies that adhere to this standard can we be sure that they will not increase vivisection, and by now there are many, there are dozens of “safe” brands that can be purchased.
3) How to know if a brand is safe?
There are also "lists" of more or less imaginative cruelty free brands that are around on the Internet: none of these are reliable, the only reliable as they are constantly updated and checked is the one found on our site, http: //www.consumoconsapevole.org.
4) Which problem do you want to highlight in pet foods?
Regarding pet foods, there is the problem that some brands, unfortunately the best known, do animal testing for their products. On our site you are invited to participate in a worldwide initiative to pressure them to stop. To orient themselves in the purchase, users can consult the names, we make them on our site, also giving some advice on the matter.
5) What is the "ethical foods in supermarkets" initiative?
We ask the large-scale distribution chains that “ethical foods” be made available to the consumer in their supermarkets, ie foods obtained without exploitation of animals and with a lower environmental impact - in short, 100% vegetable foods.
6) How has people's interest in these issues changed?
People's interest in ethical choices, both on the subject of vivisection and on the topic of vegan nutrition, has increased a lot in recent years, especially in the last 3-4 years. The percentage of Italians opposed to vivisection has now passed the 50%, and when it comes to consumer product testing, it's much higher. The number of people who decrease the consumption of meat, fish, dairy products and eggs is increasing, as is the number of vegetarians and vegans.
7) What types of people are you most sensitive to? How much has the crisis affected?
From the data we have, we can say the percentage of women is higher than that of men, perhaps also because still today it is mainly women who shop and decide which products to buy for the family. The percentage of young people is higher than that of mature people, but that's only because it's easier to be open to change when you're younger.
As professions there are no particular trends.
The crisis in this case has certainly helped, because a 100% plant-based diet is definitely less expensive than one based on animal foods (meat, fish, dairy products and eggs), while as regards products cruelty free they exist in every price range, the price is naturally linked to quality.