Ok, so let’s talk about animal testing.
I think the phase ‘animal testing’ can sometimes be ambiguous. I always thought it meant that an animal would have a bit of a product put on them to see what happened, a bit of cream here, a bit of shampoo there, what’s the harm right? I happily had my head buried in the sand with no desire to investigate further.
But what I have come to realise over the last year is that I have to be responsible for my impact on the universe and in order to do that I need to understand what my actions could result in. Each of us can only control our own actions. That’s what it comes down to. If I were to buy a piece of make up that was tested on animals, was does that actually mean? Ultimately, I believe we should all know where our food and products come from and we have an obligation to understand the ripples we create in the world.
What does ‘animal testing’ actually mean?
‘Animal testing’ actually means hundreds of animals such as rats, mice, rabbits and guinea pigs, are used in toxicity tests where the chemicals found in our products are applied to or injected into their skin, or forced down their throats via a tube, to check for side effects such as vomiting, tremors, organ failure, paralysis and death. These tests are horrendously painful, can cause deformities, blindness, skin diseases, stress, torment, and early death. And the irony is there are much more superior, cheaper and effective non-animal methods for testing products, that are readily available today. Kinda stone-age huh?
The good news is that testing of cosmetics and toiletries on animals was banned in the UK in March 2013, and the sale of cosmetics with ingredients that have been tested on animals has also been banned across the EU – which is amazing and an incredible step in the right direction. But unfortunately that isn’t the whole story.
In some countries, namely China, it is compulsory that cosmetics are tested on animals. Therefore in order to trade in China, some of the companies you may believe are ethical, in fact turn their backs on these policies and use a loop hole to contract third parties to test their products for them in order to trade.
I was unaware of this and felt pretty frustrated and angry that companies and brands that I had used for years, may in fact not share the same principles as I (and I know most of you), would look for in a make up brand. Basically these companies care more about making a quick buck than being an upstanding company that could actually make a difference in this industry.
PETA has a published list of cosmetics companies who are not cruelty free, and I thought it would be useful to share this with you guys.
Companies that test on animals
So, for the name and shame, here are some brands I found out to not be cruelty-free and who either directly test on animals, or indirectly do so by using a third party to do so: Avon, Benefit, Bobbi Brown, Bumble and Bumble, Clarins, Clinque, Dove, Elizabeth Arden, Estee Lauder, Jo Malone, Kiehl’s, Lancome, MAC, Max Factor, L’Oreal, Maybelline, Olay, Revlon.
I know, some big old faves in there.
There are of course a whole bunch more, but these are the well known brands I think are most prominent and that I have bought from in the past.
What can you do to help stop animal testing?
So if you want to avoid companies that test on animals, you need to look out for phrases such as ‘this product is not tested on animals’, as this can hide the fact that some ingredients are tested on animals, or ‘this company does not test on animals’ which may mean they outsource this to another company to complete. I always try and look for the leaping bunny logo, as this means the product is certified cruelty-free.
I am farrrr from perfect in this but I have gradually been replacing all my cosmetics with cruelty free brands and I’d like to think I’m 90% there with all products I use, and I won’t any longer be investing my money in these companies. Every single tiny step, is making a huge amount of difference and will hopefully make those brands stand up and take note that we believe they can do better.
I strongly believe that every pound or dollar I spend is a vote for what I believe in. It’s what I’m putting my money into and backing. And this concept has really stuck with me over the last 9 months and I’m now choosing to only invest my money in companies that are ethical and actively cruelty free.
So next time you’re picking up a new bit of make up, just think about the choice you’re making and whether you’re happy to support those companies in continuing to promote animal cruelty, either directly or indirectly when it is so unnecessary in today’s society.
For a list of PETA approved companies, you can visit their website and there’s a huge long list of all the companies that are cruelty free and do not test on animals.
I’m fighting for a more compassionate world. I hope you’ll be a part of it too.