Despite there being a lot of great cruelty-free brands around, it can be disheartening to learn when your favourite brand isn’t. The words ‘animal testing’ and ‘cruelty-free’ have become quite the buzzwords in recent years, so it can be surprising to learn that there are companies out there that are still using animal testing for their products. Big names such as MAC, L’Oreal and Estee Lauder are all notorious for engaging with animal testing or funding it in some way.
So, what can you do?
The truth is that as consumers we hold a power to potentially influence change through our actions. I spoke about this briefly in a previous post which you can read here, but who we choose to support with our purchases sends a clear message to brands about what we’re willing to support and accept as customers.
Here are some other ways you can help make your voice heard:
Signing petitions are a great way to actively get involved with issues that are happening right now. In the UK, petitions with 100,000 signatures get considered for debate in Parliament; an opportunity to potentially make some change.
Governments are just as much responsible for animal testing continuing on as the companies themselves are. If more and more people actively get involved to get laws changed, then companies won’t have any choice but to change their policies.
Cruelty-Free International currently has a petition on their website, calling to end the suffering of thousands of dogs who are trapped in UK laboratories and who are being forced to take part in poisoning and toxicity tests. You can sign the petition here.
Write to brands directly
A more direct approach that you could take is to reach out to your once loved brands directly to voice your opposition to their policies. Include in your letter how strongly you feel about animal testing and that you’ll no longer be purchasing from their brand as long as they still test on animals anywhere around the world.
At the end of the day, it all boils down to money. The more people that get in touch with brands and vow to never buy from them again, the more they’re likely to listen if it’s going to affect their profits. Money talks!
There are loads of great templates and pointers online to help. When you’re ready to send, try and find the address for the company headquarters or the name of the CEO and address it to them directly. Failing that, try and get in touch with the customer service team.
Social media is a huge aspect of our everyday lives and is an opportunity for people to voice their opinion. Why not use your platform to spread the message about the realities of animal testing and the necessities of going cruelty-free?
Even if you only have a small following, if what you’re putting out there resonates with even just one person, that’s one LESS person that’s going to continue funding brands that conduct animal testing.
Whilst it might not be as effective as writing to brands directly, interacting with brands on social media can also help to shed a light on their animal testing policies. Tweeting to brands, commenting on their posts or even starting a discussion with others around the brand’s practices are just some of the ways that you can start. Who knows? You might even get a response.
Much like writing a letter, the more questions or complaints that these companies get from people about animal testing, the greater the chance that this could influence change.
Making the decision to only buy from cruelty-free brands is one of the biggest statements that you can make. By doing so, you’re no longer funding the unnecessary cruelty to animals. There are so many amazing cruelty-free brands out there that frankly, we don’t need to tolerate or accept companies that still use animals.
Take a look at what you currently own, from makeup to cleaning supplies and research whether the brands you’re buying from are cruelty-free and make a note of the ones that aren’t. For future purchases, make a conscious effort not to buy from these brands and instead opt for cruelty-free alternatives.
If you’re looking for more guidance on how to get started, I have a whole section with cruelty-free related posts. From how to switch to a cruelty-free lifestyle, advice on whether to buy from parent companies and a list of some of the best cruelty-free brands on the high-street.
Remember, one person can make a difference. Every action or decision that you take to try and make the world a better place counts, no matter how small it may seem. There are loads of like-minded people out there and together we can make some real changes.