In the animal rights movement, cruelty–free is a label for products or activities that do not harm or kill animals. Products tested on animals are not considered cruelty free, since these tests are often painful and cause the suffering of millions of animals every year.
Well that is what Wikipedia says anyway.But the discussion of which brands are cruelty free, and which brands we should be supporting remains a much more complex discussion…
We can spend years of our life putting it on, but do ever wonder where it comes from? How many times do we think about food that we eat and where that is from; and how much about where makeup comes from?
I have decided to go cruelty free. Maybe I was completely naive, but I had little idea that many companies still allowed and practiced animal testing!Recently I have been crawling various websites for information on which brands to buy from who do test and don’t. However, many different websites have different views on what is ‘cruelty free’.
There are brands that are completely against testing in every way, but who then will allow it if required by law.
There are others who sacrifice business in mainland China, just to be completely cruelty fee.
Some are animal rights activists but are owned by parent brands who aren’t cruelty free.
Who should I be buying from?!
Brands can say one thing on their website but can also leave a lot of things out. Take Bath & Body Works, who seemed cruelty free until they added ‘unless required by law’ to their testing statements, which they had just forgotten to put in.
But is the law a brands fault? I mean a brand has still got to make money to survive.
To sell in mainland China, foreign cosmetics companies are subject to being tested on animals by the Chinese authorities if necessary- simple then; don’t sell in China.
How much loss of consumers would that mean??
This may have no effect on you, and some people are happy to buy the new palette with the high quality pigmentation, but personally, I have now realised that I feel guilty that my highlight only shimmers because an animal suffered.
It’s going to be hard.Even saying that sounds like such a selfish first world problem, but really there are so many brands that still allow animal testing that I use daily!
However, this is not some issue that is going nowhere, progress has been made by market pressure for cruelty free products, dramatically in the last few years.:)
In the past decade, the world has seen significant progress in animal testing regulations like the 2013 EU ban and the 2014 change in China’s regulations, however as you can see from this site, there are still many ways companies’ products are tested on animals in China, and in many other countries all over the world.
Therefore, in order not to have to check every list every time I need a bottle of shampoo and make a moral decision on every shop, I have started the process of making my own lists that I can use and so can others!:D
This is obviously a long and lengthy process, since there are countless cosmetics brands to look into, so please bear with me while I make a start.
For me there are several types of brands..
- A brand that is completely ‘cruelty free’- they do not test on animals, and have sacrificed the Chinese market so will not allow testing on animals even if the law requires it.This means the brand does not test on animals in any stage of the process of making products; none of their ingredients are tested on animals as well as none of the versions of their products.
Non Cruelty free:
- A brand that is ‘cruelty free’ but will test if the law requires it – they do not test on animals or advocate testing on animals, thought will allow others to perform tests if it is necessary to sell that product if the law requires it.
- A brand that tests on animals or sources ingredients that are tested on animals.
- A brand that sources from suppliers who test their products on animals.
Non Cruelty Free Parent:
- A brand that is ‘cruelty free’, but the brand that owns them is not cruelty free(the parent brand)
- eg. Urban Decay who are completely cruelty free, however were bought out by parent brand L’Oreal who are known not to be cruelty free
Non Cruelty Free Grandparent/Siblings:
- A brand that is ‘cruelty free’, and brand that owns them is cruelty free(the parent brand), however the parent brand owns other brands that are not cruelty free( sibling brands) or the parent brand is owned by a larger brand (the grandparent brands)
- eg. Kat Von D Beauty who are completely cruelty free,are owned by Kendo who are cruelty free and don’t test on animals, however Kendo owns Marc Jacobs Beauty who are not cruelty free
Brands are complex.For me I still am undecided whether to support brands who are cruelty free but have been bough out in order to survive by parents who aren’t. Would you want to be treated differently because of your parent’s actions?
Maybe by supporting cruelty free brands but not non cruelty free siblings of a parent brand, the parent will realise the cruelty free brands are doing better because they are cruelty free.
But then by supporting cruelty free brands owned by non cruelty free parents, you are ultimately giving your money to a non cruelty free brand.
I have written cruelty free too many times.Maybe someone out there knows what I mean?!
One thing is for sure, I don’t agree with animal testing, and from now on I am only going to buy cosmetics that are cruelty free- whatever that means!
Whether you decide to convert or not, just remember that animal testing isn’t doing makeovers on bunnies…
Stay tuned for completed lists!
– for laws/regulations
- EU & loopholes
- China & loopholes
- US & loopholes
- World Progress
- Detailed World regulations
- World Progress timeline
- PETA loopholes
- Leaping Bunny Loopholes
-for opinions on what is ‘cruelty free’ & supporting brands
-for reality of animal testing