I’ve always considered myself an animal lover, but never a hypocrite. Up until late 2017, I ate meat, fish, and dairy. Previously when buying makeup and skincare products and it didn’t even enter my mind whether they were cruelty free or not. 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 it, and the more I read the more guilty I feel. I’d always put my head in the sand. I didn’t want to think about how that burger or piece of chicken arrived on my plate to spare my own conscience. In my teen years I was vegetarian for a while, but I stopped when an (ex) boyfriend kept trying to force meat on me. I managed to hold my ground for a good while, but eventually I was so fed up I gave in. In hindsight, what I should have done was put him straight in the trash.
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”. It’s not 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. 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 it’s 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 animal testing is still legal in a lot of countries, but any form of physical violence towards an animal is considered animal cruelty. What’s the difference? 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 recently I decided to change that.
In 2013, a new EU law was passed making it fully illegal to sell animal-tested cosmetics in Europe. Even though that’s great, it still got me thinking: “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 was a lot of controversy surrounding NARS when they 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. However, they still test on animals to be able to legally sell in China. In my book, that’s not cruelty free. Also, I bought the NARS products when the company was completely cruelty free. So technically these specific products were cruelty free, but the brand no longer is. So I thought I’d put them in this category anyway.)
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). I’ve also kept the ones that were quite expensive and my husband would kill me if I chucked out. I figured that as the damage had already been done, throwing them away would just be wasteful.
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 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 some great resources for cruelty free makeup:
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?