This week’s post from our Cruelty-Free Beauty Blogger, Ashley V, shares some Do’s and Don’ts for those going cruelty-free.
So you educated yourself on the heartbreaking realities of animal testing and decided it was time to steer clear of paying for anything created by a company that was paying to have animals experimented on. Somewhere along the way of researching cruelty-free brands and trashing all of your non-Leaping Bunny certified products, you began to feel overwhelmed and realized that you didn’t at all know where to start. Allow me to make the first few steps of eliminating the old and shopping for the new a little easier!
The Dos and Don’ts of Going Cruelty-Free
- Research before buying anything. This is the Queen Bee of Do’s. You want to know if a product was made cruelty-free, both in the creating and in the manufacturing processes. You also want to frequently check up on the brand’s animal testing policies, just in case they switched to the dark side at some point, which does happen. In most cases all you need to do is Google “[brand name] + cruelty-free + [current year]” to find websites with updated information regarding a brand’s animal testing standards. You can also e-mail the company directly, but it will likely take some time for them to get back to you—if they get back to you at all. Leaping Bunny also has an app available for download on smartphones that can easily make searching for information a lot easier.
- Continue to buy vegan products from lines that are not 100% vegan. As long as the brand itself is still a certified cruelty-free brand, you are in good shape. Why buy vegan products from brands that are not 100% vegan? It’s so simple. Supply and demand. Show these companies that there is a demand for products that have nothing to do with animals, and they will be sure to create more. Many brands have been known to go totally vegan after some feedback and surveying from their consumers.
- Remember that you can’t trust everything you read. If [brand name] has their own website and under their animal testing policies link they mention that they are cruelty-free, but you don’t see any certifying seals (or the information seems wishy-washy in general), steer clear of purchasing anything from the brand. No company looking to make a profit is going to outwardly advertise to the public that they are injecting harmful substances or drilling stainless steel objects into animal bodies, and often hire marketing companies to manipulate the public with their specific wording on the matter.
- Start small if the process of elimination is still overwhelming. Start first with eliminating your cosmetics. Give away the products that you no longer want to family or friends if they are lightly used, or get your money back if the products are unopened and returnable. Then go to your household cleaning products. Then go to your car products, pet products, and so on.
- Share with others that you are going cruelty-free. When you educate others on why you feel strongly about anything, they will likely either want to take the same stance, or they will at least be curious. Nothing feels better than when you explain what animal testing is to someone who had no idea about it, and then they come back to tell you that they have trashed their entire medicine cabinet and replaced everything with cruelty-free items instead. Telling others may also help keep you accountable, just in case you accidentally buy something from a brand that you didn’t realize had started to test on animals, or was never cruelty-free at all (hence why research is so important).
- Believe that every “bunny” logo equals a cruelty-free brand. Learn the differences between the Leaping Bunny logo, the PETA logos, the Not Tested On Animals logo, and the others. Remember that some brands might not test on animals themselves, but they may have paid a third party to do it for them, so they feel justified in taking it upon themselves to design a bunny on the packaging with false, manipulative wording because, technically, they “don’t test on animals”.
- Throw away what you already purchased. You can return unopened items so that the money goes right back into your pocket, and not in the pockets of people who undervalue the lives of animals. You can give lightly used products to your close friends or family. For items already halfway used, continue to use them, because it would be a waste to throw out anything that you can still make use of. Just make sure to purchase the alternative for that product the next time you are in need.
- Forget that it’s not just makeup that gets tested on animals. Remember to also consider the candles you buy, the hair salon you go to, the skin care and nail care products you use, the household cleaning products, pet food, automobile products and more. Please don’t ever assume there isn’t an alternative before researching, there almost always is.
- Fall for the lie that you will be sacrificing quality in buying cruelty-free products. The only thing that stands in between the making of a cruelty-free lipstick and a lipstick that was tested on animals is that animals were not hurt in the making of the first item. Once again, do not assume that there isn’t an alternative to the non-cruelty-free item prior to researching. There almost always is.
- Forget the difference between cruelty-free and vegan. Cruelty-free means that no animals were tested on during the making of a product, and vegan means that the product does not contain animal products. There are many cruelty-free and non-cruelty free brands who make vegan products. This too can and should be researched if ensuring that all of your products are also vegan is important to you
There you have it, my friend! It’s all a learning process, so do not beat yourself up if it gets a little frustrating at first. Thank you for choosing to live cruelty-free, and may you do it with less stress as you continue to build a life that no longer contributes to animal cruelty.