Cruelty Free Updates: The Perfect Consumer is a Myth

Normally at the end of each month I compile a list of cruelty-free updates and blog posts I loved. Today’s post still features those things, but with a twist. Enjoy.

Over the past few months I’ve been careful to curate my social media feeds so that I see content that interests me and inspires me  blog posts, news articles and tweets that I can laugh at and/or learn from. 

Naturally a large percentage of this includes the cruelty-free community… so I always do a bit of a double take when someone doesn’t share the same views about animal testing, even though I know plenty of people still use MAC and the like, and our group, although growing, is in the minority.

(Speaking of, why are MAC, L’Oreal and other non-cf companies always popping up on my Instagram ads? I’m not interested!)

Skin & Tonic products

If you have an interest in cruelty-free beauty then chances are you will have seen the outrage caused earlier in the month when a beauty blogger wrote a post about why they will never go cruelty-free. Their argument basically boiled down to ‘I do not agree with animal testing but I love these non-cf products too much to stop buying them’. It was implied that if you can’t be completely ethical  vegan diet, no fast fashion, not buying from tax-dodging companies etc  then what’s the point in trying? This kind of thinking is defeatist. No one can be the perfect consumer, but it’s better to do something than it is to do nothing, and what that something is is down to the individual.
Animal testing for medical purposes was also mentioned, but medicine and make-up are two entirely different things. One of those things saves lives. One of those things, while bringing joy to many of us, is a luxury item.
Here are my favourite responses.

Stop Making Excuses
(written by Sarah from The V Nice Life)

Key Quote: ‘To be completely honest, I would much rather someone say that they’re just not that into animals than someone who pretends to be an animal lover and who makes bold claims that they’re against animal testing, but who will still buy non-cruelty-free products. If those statements were true then you would simply stop buying from the brands who test on animals, no matter how amazing the make-up is. I’m so tired of reading these excuses and I’m annoyed that people just can’t be honest with themselves and their readers/viewers.’

You Don’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Cruelty-Free
(written by Steph from The Zombie Said)

Key Quote: ‘The point isn’t and has never been perfection; it’s reduction. Either we can be causing as much devastation as absolutely everyday else, or we can try to drop it down a few pegs and do what we can to make a difference. If we can all take small steps, within our means, to reduce animal suffering and the demand for animal testing in cosmetics, then we can begin to send a message to big businesses that they need to change.’

And here are some blog posts about going cruelty-free and feeling overwhelmed. They’re not from this month but I felt it was important to include them anyway, just in case you needed some reassuring words.

How to Go Cruelty-Free
(written by Alex from Alex Grace Jones)

Key Quote: ‘I would love to have the luxury of being able to go to my make-up box, chuck out everything that I know comes from a brand that tests, and then fully restock with all-new cruelty-free products, but my bank account unfortunately won’t allow it. But that doesn’t mean I am in any way okay with animal testing, I am just going about my clear-out in a different way… I sat down with all my make-up, skincare, and hair care and marked everything that was tested on animals. With these, I marked them up with a sticker and decided to use them until they were finished, and then obviously not repurchase them or talk about them on my blog… I don’t want to advertise companies that agree with testing animals, no matter how good they are.’

On Ethical Living, and Feeling Overwhelmed
(written by Nadia from Not So Quiet Grrl)

Key Quote: ‘Ultimately, as participants in capitalist society, it is going to be hard for us to lead fully ethical lives. All we can do is try our best within our means, learning as much as we can along the way, and adapting when we can without restricting ourselves. We’re doing the best that we can, and that’s great.’

Beautifully put. As I will say time and time again, there is no such thing as the perfect consumer. Taking whatever steps suit you at whatever pace suits you (Alex’s sticker idea is genius) is more than good enough  all you can do is your best.

How do you feel about going cruelty-free? Let me know in the comments!