Walking through cosmetic store aisles, many see an oasis of makeup perfection. I, however, and many others around me, see the truth behind the bright packaging and flashy names.
Over 100 million animals are killed each year throughout laboratories across the world. According to The Humane Society of the United States, although not required by law here in the U.S., several torturous tests are performed by exposing mice, rats, rabbits and guinea pigs to cosmetics ingredients. These tests include:
- “skin and eye irritation tests where chemicals are rubbed onto the shaved skin or dripped into the eyes of restrained rabbits without any pain relief
- repeated force-feeding studies lasting weeks or months to look for signs of general illness or specific health hazards such as cancer or birth defects; and
- widely condemned “lethal dose” tests, in which animals are forced to swallow large amounts of a test chemical to determine the dose that causes death.”
All of this to make your eyelashes longer or your wrinkles disappear for a few hours.
Just over one year ago, I made the easy decision to go cruelty free. Take the step that myself and many others around the world have made in the fight against senseless animal cruelty and go cruelty free!
What’s Tested on Animals?
More than you might expect. In addition to new medicinal products, animal testing is conducted on “consumer and industry products such as cosmetics, household cleaners, food additives, pharmaceuticals and industrial/agro-chemicals” (The Humane Society of the United States). That includes mascara, bronzer, paper towels, razors and furniture polish. Take a look at your cabinet and vanity and see just how many items you have that are tested on animals – you may be surprised with what you find.
How Do I Do It?
There’s no real how-to guide on going cruelty free. Here are a few tips to get you started and at least be aware of what you should be looking for:
- Know the labels
Check the product packaging for bunny logos. There are a total of three trustworthy logos that signify the product is cruelty free:
Look closely, however, as there are many copycat logos out there. If it looks slightly different (even if it is still a bunny), then it is an unofficial logo and is not guaranteed to be cruelty free. That doesn’t mean it is tested on animals, but it means you as a consumer may need to do a little more research.
- Know where the product is sold
It is required by law for cosmetics sold in China to be tested on animals. When determining if a product you are looking at is cruelty free, ask where the product is sold. While product sold in other countries may still be tested on animals, you’ll know, no matter what, to avoid it if it’s sold in China.
- Do your own research
If you are questioning it at all, do your own research. Sometimes a quick Google search “Does XX test on animals?” Ensure you’re phrasing it as such, and not searching “Is XX cruelty free,” as there is no true definition as to what cruelty free is. What’s more, sometimes the phrasing itself may twist the company’s stance. For example, “we do not test on animals” may mean they contract other companies to do the testing for them.
Overall, the approved cruelty free logos are your best bet when looking for cruelty free product, but be aware of what you may find within the aisles.
Once I knew the facts, going cruelty free was easy. I cleaned out my cabinet and began to slowly replace each and every product with those that were verified cruelty free. Now, it comes as second nature to only look for products that weren’t tested on animals. What steps will you take to do your part in ending animal testing?
Still need some convincing? Check out ARME’s Beagle Freedom Project – this nonprofit rescues beagles (the “most popular breed for lab use because of their friendly, docile, trusting, forgiving, people-pleasing personalities”) from laboratories and gives them loving ‘fur’ever homes. All it took was one picture to persuade me to cut out anything tested on animals…and made me want to save about a dozen beagles.