Before the New Year ended, I started researching the process of going cruelty- free with my makeup and skincare. I’m still in the transitioning process, and by the end of 2017 I definitely want to be able to say that I am. I’ve put together this article from the research that I’ve found so others can learn about the animal testing industry and decide whether or not they want to continue to contribute to it.
Approximately 11.5 million animals are used for experimental, cosmetic purposes in Europe, and unethical and unnecessary statistic to me. Animals may be legally poisoned, deprived of food, water or sleep and burned. They are paralysed, subjected to brain damage, infected with diseases and force fed certain products to gauge the lethal dose, simply for our own vanity.
The short answer? There is absolutely no reason why animal testing needs to continue on a global scale, especially with the current advances in technology.
- There are over 7,000 SAFE ingredients that cosmetic companies can use to create their products.
- Due to technological advances,cosmetic brands are able to recreate human cells and tissues to test on.
- The testing of animals has no cosmetic or medical benefit, as the results from these experiments are often inaccurate, and a product can be sold to consumers, even when an animal is harmed. Furthermore, animal abuse laws do not apply to animals that are tested in laboratories, an utter disgrace.
So, why aren’t we doing more about it?
For those that say there are no quality, 100% cruelty- free cosmetic brands – that is simply not true. A growing number of brands are taking a stand to find fairer and kinder alternatives such as; Cover FX, Charlotte Tilbury, Real Techniques, Bare Minerals, Lush and Anastasia Beverly Hills.
Are brands telling you the truth?
Many companies seem to be getting away with labelling their products as cruelty free. Look out for these statements:
- If a product label says ‘this product was not tested on animals’ or ‘we do not test on animals’ it could actually be another way of saying that their final product hasn’t been tested on animals, but that the ingredients have been. Therefore, if a company doesn’t test on innocent animals but they buy ingredients from somewhere that does, that brand is not cruelty- free.
- On some cosmetic brand websites, the statement ‘we do not test on animals unless required by law’ simply means that companies are allowing animal testing to continue in order to sell in countries like China.
Although brands like The Body Shop do have a cruelty free status, their parent company (the company that owns them), L’Oreal, does not. But, I personally think that choosing to buy from brands with a non-cruelty free parent company is an individual choice.
What can you do to help?
The UK has banned cosmetic product animal testing, as have several other European countries. This is a start, but this outdated and cruel process has the ability to become non- existent in all industries. The easiest and most reliable way of making sure that any brand is 100% free of any animal cruelty is by having a look for the (only) three logos that are recognised as cruelty-free.
I would personally recommend looking on the Leaping Bunny website. www.leapingbunny.org is the only internationally recognised organisation that requires companies to meet strict guidelines and carries out independent investigations to be able to verify claims on whether a brand is cruelty-free. To read more about animal testing, have a look at www.peta.org/issues/ .
If we all start making a conscious effort to buy from 100% cruelty free brands when making future purchases, we can help. Drugstore brands like GOSH, Wet n Wild, Eco-Tools, Models Own and Natural Collection are a just few that are totally cruelty-free and can easily be found in Superdrug and Boots.
So, the next time you go to buy something just to look or feel better, just take a moment to think and ask yourself:
‘Is the harm placed upon innocent animals justifiable for my vanity?’