I am not an expert. The only purpose for this post is to inform, I’m not here to tell you how to live. Although, I do hope you take some of what I say into consideration. This is a judgement-free zone.
Once again, we will venture down the heavily shadowed road of cosmetic companies. Whereas in my last post I talked about how the cosmetics you use contain ugly chemicals that are bad for you (and often the environment), today I’m going to talk about how the cosmetics you use could be bad for animals.
This is something I started caring about only recently, since we brought home a baby rabbit several months ago. I knew that lots of companies tested on animals before that, but I hadn’t done any research or tried to find ways to avoid it. Like with pretty much anything, once I read an article or started some research I couldn’t let it go. It doesn’t stop bothering me until I do something about it (I suppose that’s the reason I’m writing this series in the first place), and my friends and family are in the corner groaning and wishing I would stop reading things.
Now. Let’s talk facts.
- rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice and rats are most commonly used in animal testing
- they are burned, blinded and killed while testing our cosmetics
- they are forced to ingest harmful and painful chemicals
- in most tests, about half of the animals will not survive, and those who do will be killed after
- animal testing is legal requirement for companies selling products in China
- cosmetic animal testing is illegal in EU and UK
- animal testing isn’t always accurate
So cruelty free companies…
- don’t test their products on animals
- don’t test the product’s ingredients on animals
- use only ingredients that are already established as safe
- test their products other ways, such as using artificial tissue grown in the lab
- don’t sell their products in places where animal testing is required, like China
Ask questions and look for the Leaping Bunny
Finding cruelty free products isn’t difficult, but it is often confusing. Companies will beat around the bush, publish misleading information, and lie about not testing on animals. Just because it says “not tested on animals” on the label doesn’t always mean it isn’t. The finished product may not be tested on animals, but the individual ingredients may have been. Do some research online first, or even email the company and ask them. Also, look for the Leaping Bunny.
If this logo is printed on the label, it’s a good sign. This means that the company is a part of the Leaping Bunny Program and the product is certified cruelty free. The Leaping Bunny was designed to “work with companies to help make shopping for animal-friendly products easier and more trustworthy”. Leaping Bunny is partnered with organizations all over the world, including the Humane Society of the United States and the Animal Alliance of Canada. There is also PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals), which is excellent, but Leaping Bunny’s requirements and restrictions are more specific and there is less room for loopholes. To learn more: visit PETA’s website here, and Leaping Bunny’s website here.
Being cruelty free
Like I said earlier, once I knew it was impossible to go back. It kept bothering me until I decided to make the change in my own life. I’m still working on it too. Most of the products I use I can say proudly are cruelty free, but there are some (especially cosmetic) products I don’t use as much that I still have from before my switch. I decided that I would use up what I had, because throwing it away would be a waste, and replace them with ethical and cruelty free products as needed. I’m working to 100% cruelty free products, and my favourite- vegan. I mentioned this in my last post: I didn’t even know vegan beauty products were a thing until then, but I quickly fell in love: no GMOs, preservatives, synthetic colours or fragrances, animal testing, and made of biodegradable materials (finally). It takes a bit of looking, but it is possible. Vegan products are my favourite because they don’t test on animals and they use natural ingredients that are good for you and the environment- turns out you can have your cake and eat it too.
Some of my favourite cruelty free brands are
Again I will invite you to read this wonderful quote from Anna Lappé:
“Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for what kind of world you want.”
Thanks for reading.