You gotta be careful out there. I remember when I first went animal-friendly/cruelty-free… I was at the mall and approached the Estée Lauder makeup counter. “Hi! Y’all have a foundation I’m obsessed with and I just ran out, but I need to please speak with someone who knows if you test on animals.”
The saleswoman’s eye’s widened and she gasped “Oh, my God! Do people even still do that, test on animals?! So barbaric. We haven’t done that since the ’80s, and we never would.”
“Ok!” Happy with her emphatic answer, I paid an exorbitant amount of money for my favorite foundation, and went on my way.
Fast forward a few months where I had become more savvy navigating the vegan/cruelty-free world, and I was SHOCKED to learn how sneaky (and sometimes just flat out uninformed) cosmetics companies and their workers can be. Straight up: I was duped. Estée Lauder’s official statement regarding their animal testing policy reads as follows: The Estée Lauder Companies does not test on animals and we never ask others to do so on our behalf. If a regulatory body demands it for its safety or regulatory assessment, an exception can be made.” The red flag lies in the second sentence. The most profitable market to sell makeup is China, and guess what? In order to retail in China, by Chinese law you HAVE to test on animals. So most big-name cosmetics/hygiene brands do, in fact, choose to test on animals. And just so everyone is on the same page– and this will matter to some people more or less than others– contrary to popular belief, animal testing does not involve a mouse in a cage. Beagles… Yes, the dogs… And cats, and bunnies, and monkeys are typically the victims. They will pour laundry detergent in a dog’s mouth, for instance, so see how much he/she can ingest without dying. Or they’ll blind a cat so see how much mascara you can shove into your eye. It’s INSANE and heartbreaking and so, so archaic.
The bright side?? You can be a part of the SOLUTION!
- Download the Cruelty Cutter app! It is a handy tool you can use while shopping to determine which products/ brands are animal-friendly. Simply scan the barcode and the info pops up! Here’s the deal… Every time you shop you cast a vote, via every dollar you spend, for what kind of world you want to live in. This app helps you vote kindly and wisely.
- Do your research! I choose to follow cruelty-free makeup bloggers to get my facts straight. The most thorough blogger is Logical Harmony (@logicalharmony on IG)– she checks up on the brands every single week and updates her cruelty-free list! You’d be surprised how often these companies change their verbiage on their testing policies.
- Check out and give your support to organizations who set out to rescue and rehabilitate these victimized animals, as well as those organizations who work to expose the cruelty involved in animal testing. One of my very favorites is the Beagle Freedom Project.
Hopefully you feel at least slightly empowered now… You really can make a difference. The world is changing right now more than every before, as it pertains to animal rights and welfare… I feel it and see it every day and it gives me goosebumps. Won’t it be cool, when animal testing is abolished for good, to look back say “I helped. I was on the right side of history.”
In the meantime, I’m going to list some of my favorite cruelty-free products here. Enjoy!
Splurge: Kat Von D (LOVE all her products! And I love to support her, because KVD is a celebrity who has really used her platform to make change for animals. She has heroically decided not to retail in China, and has reformulated her lipsticks to be completely vegan.)
This was a hard one for me to figure out, not going to lie. But I finally found a product I’m in love with an that works for me: Crystal Roll-on.
Budget: Kiss My Face (especially for face wash, moisturizer, and sunscreen)
Shea Moisure African Black (good scent for both men and women)
Budget: On major sale right now is Eve NYC… Very clean smell, makes my hair feel soft.
Splurge: Living Proof products (I like to buy the “Perfect Hair Day trio… Your hairstyle will be in place for days, it is CRAZY! But the other formulations, like their anti-frizz, are great, too.)
Detergent (dish and laundry) and cleaning supplies:
Seventh Generation! I live and die by this brand and their eco-friendly mission.
As always, friends, never hesitate to contact me with any questions!! I love to help. XO have a fun weekend! Thank you for caring about animals.