Something I’ve been hearing about for a couple years now was the cruelty free movement. Like a lot of people, I naively believed that animal testing was some far off issue reserved for China, or only the most diabolical super villains, or for 1960s psychological tests. But unfortunately, it’s still a widespread practice that is poorly regulated by government agencies. But as I did my own research on the matter, I came to the realization that it is very real, and very present.
Why I’m Going Cruelty-Free
As I realized that what I thought was a minor issue was not in fact minor at all, I had to come to terms with the idea that what I believed in and how I was spending my money simply wasn’t lining up. As much as I said I loved animals and for all my efforts to follow a plant-based diet, as well as to remove leather and similar products for my life, I was still contributing to them directly suffering. There is no benefit at all that I can see to animal testing for cosmetics.
There are so many other alternatives, and even in medicine there are efforts being taken to limit, and ideally eliminate, animal testing. If scientists can acknowledge and pursue other avenues, why can’t beauty companies? Besides, there are so many cruelty-free options at every price point, from drugstore to luxury. Why should I support companies that could easily choose an alternative?
What I’m Changing
There is a lot to know when going cruelty-free, and there are different ways to do so. Some advocate for the strictest guidelines, and others are more flexible. And it’s always a sensitive subject, understandably so. Status is constantly shifting as well, as brands can change policies. But I do sincerely believe that however one chooses to do so is a very personal choice.
For me, I will not require that the parent company not test on animals. I feel that it is important to vote with ones dollar, and you can do that in many ways. I want to show these companies that cruelty-free matters. That they can do right. Some make the same choice as me, and some require that the parent company be cruelty-free as well. I respect both sides, as both have valid points.
Going with that, I require that the brands I purchase from do not sell in China. This means that they will have to have animal testing conducted before they can import to China and sell their goods. As far as animal testing from suppliers goes, I am still unsure how to determine that status.
To note, many eyelash companies that use mink for their lashes claim cruelty free status. However, there’s too much conflicting evidence for me to consider authentic mink to be cruelty free.
Unfortunately, I have quite a few Maybelline lipsticks. Much of my collection is cruelty-free already, which I’m ecstatic about, but many of my lip products aren’t. Nor is some of my skincare. For some of them, I will donate them to women’s shelters as they are unused or swatched only. For the ones that cannot be sanitized or are too used, I will use them up. So if I post a look using one of those products, I will either not mention it or I will mention it with a disclaimer.
I will also only work with cruelty free brands. That means I will turn down collaborations from non-cruelty free companies, or from eyelash companies that only use mink.
This is a journey. One that will require diligence, research, and commitment on my part. I will likely make mistakes, as we all do. If I make one, I will be honest about it. I ask that if you ever see me support a non-cruelty free brand, please tell me. Don’t be hateful, be kind and educate me. I’m working on going back to a fully plant-based diet, which I have struggled with recently. That was my own failing.
If you have any favorite resources for cruelty-free products, or any favorites brands, please let me know down below. Let me know how you feel on the subject! Or any restrictions you have for companies you purchase from.
Just to be clear, I have zero, zip, nada, no interest at all in shaming those who aren’t making the same choice as I am. I’m still trying to determine where I stand on many issues and how I want to move forward with them, as many of us are. This is just my story, and my feelings.