Back in 2015, I made the decision to only buy cruelty free products. Since then, I’ve written a fair number of posts talking about being cruelty free. Heck, my first ever blog post provided tips on how to go cruelty free. But, what does being cruelty free really mean and why should you consider making the switch?
Firstly, let’s take things back to basics…
What does cruelty free mean?
In short, the term cruelty free means that no animals were harmed during the production of the product. However, animal testing is still a big problem. According to research conducted by Cruelty Free International, it’s estimated that at least 115 million animals may be used in experiments worldwide each year. The fact is, there’s no excuse for companies to still test on animals, considering there are alternative methods available.
Why should I go cruelty free?
There is a whole list of reasons why going cruelty free is a good idea. Obviously, the biggest reason is that you aren’t supporting the practice of testing in animals. The reality is that animal testing is crueler than you initially think. Not only are animals confined to small cages and horrific conditions, but they’re subjected to tests that are cruel and inhumane, ultimately ending in them being killed when they’re no longer of use.
Mice, rats, birds, rabbits, cats and dogs are just a small selection of some of the most common animals that are being used in these experiments that are happening every day around the world. These animals sadly aren’t given the same rights as our pets and are bred purely for a life of experiments and suffering.
Some companies try to convince us that animal testing is necessary, when frankly it just isn’t true. In reality, there are other alternative tests that can be done for ingredient safety that have been found to be far more effective.
The good news is that there are thousands of great cruelty free brand available for you to choose one. A common misconception people have when they think about cruelty free makeup is that they’ll be extremely limited in what they can buy. Brands such as Barry M, Charlotte Tilbury, LUSH, E.L.F Cosmetics and Revolution, are just a handful of some of the amazing brands out there who are cruelty free.
Can I make a difference?
Many moons ago back when I was 15, I made the choice to go vegetarian. I stopped eating meat altogether and overtime even started to cut down on the amount of dairy I was consuming too. However, for a large chunk of that time, I was still buying makeup from the big brands that weren’t cruelty free and frankly were pretty open about the fact that they weren’t cruelty free too.
For years I hated the thought of eating animals and didn’t want to contribute to their suffering. Yet, it didn’t occur to me to apply the same thinking when it came to my makeup and beauty products.
A common argument I often see when it comes to buying cruelty free is what’s the point? The product has already been tested on animals, so buying from that brand doesn’t make a massive difference.
Well actually, it does.
As beautiful as some of these products are, behind the scenes it isn’t such a pretty picture. Animals are suffering unnecessarily and at the end of the day if you’re willing to hand over your money to a brand that isn’t cruelty free, you are funding animal testing to continue.
Despite it all sounding a little bit doom and gloom, there is a solution. As a consumer, what you buy and what you choose support has the power to make a change. This might sound cheesy and cliche, but it’s true.
Let’s take the rise in veganism as an example. The last few years has seen a huge increase in the number of people choosing to adopt a plant-based diet, making companies sit up and pay attention. Supermarkets are releasing their own vegan meal lines and restaurants are creating more extensive vegan menus, all because the demand is there.
Choosing to support cruelty free companies instead of those who test on animals, you’re sending the industry a message. By boycotting companies that test on animals, every one of us can truly make a difference and influence more brands to go cruelty free.