(Photo of my late rabbit Salt and I for a blog post I did for Lush Cosmetics cruelty free kisses campaign in 2013.)
In this day and age you would think companies would have realised that testing cosmetics on animals is completely unnecessary and extremely cruel. I first became aware of animal testing when Lush brought their ‘fighting animal testing’ campaign out years and years ago, and ever since I vowed to never buy products from companies that tested on animals. I admit I have had the occasional slip ups as some companies claim with misleading disclaimers that they are cruelty free when they infact aren’t, but for the most part I’ve only bought cruelty free products since then.
You may know that in 2013 the EU banned the sale of any cosmetics that had been tested on animals to be sold any where in Europe, which was an amazing achievement but there are loopholes which you have to be careful for. With this law you would think that any product you buy in Europe is safe and has not been tested on animals, but sadly that isn’t completely true. Some of the ingredients that are in products sold in the EU may still have been tested on animals. As well as this some companies sell their products in China, where it is a legal (?!?!?!?!) requirement to test every product on animals before it is allowed to be sold to the Chinese public!!! Which is literally the most annoying and stupidest thing ever! So companies who claim to be cruelty free as they don’t sell animal tested products in the EU, if they sell in China, they aren’t completely cruelty free!
It is so complicated that there is another factor you have to consider, some companies that don’t test on animals are owned by companies that do! For example L’oreal have always been know to test on animals and they have bought companies like Urban Decay who have always been cruelty free and vegan friendly. With companies like Urban Decay I’m always in a dilemma whether to buy their products as a % will go to the parent company and I don’t really want to be giving my money to the likes of L’oreal. On this area I think its your personal opinion if you want to buy from a brand whose parent company isn’t cruelty free. I think buying from these companies shows the parent company that brands can still be successful without animal testing.
Why should you care? – If you don’t know much about animal testing you might not think theres much harm in it, the rabbits just get a little bit of lipstick put on them and thats it? Sadly it isn’t as ‘pleasant’ as that, lots of animals are involved in procedures called vivisection where they are force fed, injected and topically given large amounts of ingredients to see how much of the chemical is needed to kill the animal. A lot of species undergo testing, dogs, cats, chimps, mice, rats, rabbits, guinea pigs and many more. The animals rarely are given pain killer and suffer a huge amount, you can find out more about what goes on behind closed doors here.
If we don’t test on animals who else are we going to test on? – This isn’t the 1800’s, we have computers and technology which completely can take over animal and human testing and produce a lot more reliable results. Animals react to things differently to humans so a lot of the tests are not relevant to human anatomy and when the product goes to human trials there can be devastating affects that humans can suffer from which the animals did not show.
Whats wrong with buying from companies who test on animals? – If you keep buying products from a brand that is not cruelty free you are giving that company money to spend on animal tests and showing them that customers don’t care how their products are produced. You need to speak with your money and do not support non cruelty free companies, only support those who are ethical and the non cruelty free brands will soon get the hint!
How to make the switch? – If you want to make the switch to cruelty free products you don’t have to get rid of all you have and replace it straight away. You have already bought the product and gave the company your money so you may as well use it up and just not repurchase. I have been using up a lot of products that I had before I went cruelty free but did throw out or give away things that I knew I would never use. Start using up all of your products that are not cruelty free and find cruelty free alternatives to replace them with when you’ve used those ones all up.
All you need to do is go through your beauty collection and you can either use this PETA page where you type the name of the company in the search box and it will tell you if they’re cruelty free or not. Or use The Beagle Freedom Projects app called ‘cruelty cutter’ and scan the barcode on your products if they have one and it will automatically tell you if they’re a cruelty free brand, this is good for when you’re out shopping.
Find ethical alternatives! – I bet you that you already own cruelty free products in your collection and love the products you have. There are loads of high end companies who are cruelty free, Anastasia Beverly Hills is cruelty free, Tarte, Too Faced, NARS, Urban Decay & so many more. If you would like to see who my favourite cruelty free brands are then I have done a blog post all about it which you can read here.
Image credit: PETA
To help you get started on figuring out who is cruelty free and who isn’t, below are some links to web pages which give you easy extensive lists on both.