I’ve always considered myself an animal lover, but never a hypocrite. I eat meat, fish, and dairy, I’ve bought makeup and skincare products without it even entering my mind whether or not they were tested on animals, but none of that matters because I love animals, right? No.
That probably makes me sound completely awful, and you’re probably thinking that I’m so far in the denial closet that there’s not much hope for me, but recently I’ve been doing a lot of research about the subject, and the more I read the more guilty and crap I feel in the process. I’d always put my head in the sand, and just didn’t think about how that burger or piece of chicken arrived on my plate to spare my own conscience. I was actually a vegetarian for a few years in my teens, but stopped when an (ex) boyfriend kept trying to force meat on me until I was too exhausted to object any more. I’d always tried to justify it by thinking that one person isn’t going to make a difference right?
A friend recently told me to watch a documentary on Netflix called “Cowspiracy”, which isn’t so much on the “meat is murder” train, but it’s more about the effects the meat and agriculture industry have on the environment and the planet, and I was shocked to learn that it is literally the number 1 cause of the Amazon rainforest deforestation. I mean that’s insane right!?
Anyway, this post isn’t about meat, it’s about testing cosmetics on animals. The amount of companies that still test their products on animals is shocking, and so unnecessary when there are so many smaller, lesser known companies out there that are cruelty free. Quite honestly, I never realised how many companies still do this. I honestly don’t understand how it’s still legal in a lot of countries to test cosmetics on animals, but any form of physical violence towards an animal is considered animal cruelty. I’ve always hated the thought of animal testing in cosmetics, but again, I wasn’t educated enough on the subject to be able to really do anything about it, so I decided to change that.
In 2013, a new EU law was passed making it fully illegal to sell animal-tested cosmetics in Europe which is great, but that made me think: “Why are so many products still listed as being tested on animals? Wouldn’t this law prevent that?” It turns out that the companies that still test their products on animals will either pay another company to test their products for them, test their products in China, or use ingredients which are known to have been tested on animals. So even though this law has been passed, there are still ways around it. There’s also been a lot of controversy surrounding NARS over the last week, as they’ve made the decision to start selling their cosmetics in China. This means they’ve gone from being completely cruelty free, to choosing to test their cosmetics on animals to comply with Chinese laws in order to be able to sell there.
This begged the question: Can I go cruelty free? Could I get rid of any makeup from companies that tested on animals? I mean, I’ve got quite a lot of makeup, but surely if I got rid of everything non cruelty free I’d have nothing left? I decided to put it to the test.
This is all the makeup I own from companies that do test on animals:
(Note that a couple of these brands class themselves as being mostly cruelty free, but still test on animals to be able to legally sell in China. In my book, that’s not cruelty free. Also the NARS products listed were bought when the company was completely cruelty free, but I thought I’d put them in this category because they are no longer cruelty free.)
Compared to the amount of makeup I own from completely cruelty free companies:
The divide is about 60%/40%, which isn’t actually as bad as I thought it was going to be, but it’s still higher than it should be. I made the decision to bin most of the products from the bigger pile, keeping only a small select few that I either use on a regular basis (until I can find a cruelty free replacement), or were quite expensive and my husband would kill me if I chucked out. I will definitely be a lot more conscious of what brands I’m buying from now on, and there are so many lists on the internet of cruelty free brands it’s so easy to make an informed decision. (I’ve actually saved them to my home screen on my phone so I can search on the go for any impulse buys). This was just makeup – my next step will be to look at my skincare and fragrances, and other brands around the home to try and filter out the non-cruelty free products in favour of cruelty free brands.
*I’ve done a lot of research on the brands shown in the photos above, but please let me know if I’ve made any errors!*
Here are a few of the lists I consulted:
crueltyfreekitty.com: Companies That Test on Animals 2017 (I like this one as it lists skincare, hair products, and fragrance, etc as well as makeup).
crueltyfreekitty.com: List of Cruelty Free Brands
PETA: Cruelty Free Company Search
logicalharmony.net: Cruelty Free & Vegan Brand List
But there are plenty more available online! Also I found that searching “Are ‘x’ cruelty free” on google generally gave a pretty accurate result.
Could you do the same?