Why did you go cruelty free?
I had always assumed that animal testing in the beauty industry was no longer a thing. Then I read Hayley’s post about why she wanted to go cruelty free and realised just how widespread it is, which shocked me and prompted me to have a clear-out of my make-up collection there and then.
In this day and age, when there are safe, effective alternatives to animal testing, it just seems ridiculous that the practice still exists. I don’t believe that it should happen and I choose to vote with my wallet, so to speak.
What is cruelty free?
Cruelty-free products have not been tested on animals, the ingredients in them have not been tested on animals, and the brand that makes them does not sell their products in China. The EU outlawed animal testing in 2013 but it is still a legal requirement in China — that’s why brands which do sell their products in China have disclaimers like, ‘We do not carry out animal testing, except when required by law.’
What about parent companies?
The parent company conundrum occurs when the brand in question is cruelty free, but the company who owns them is not. Examples include Liz Earle, which is owned by L’Oreal, and Too Faced, which is owned by Estee Lauder. Some people refuse to buy from any of these brands and some people, including me, will buy from the cruelty-free brands but not the parent companies It’s entirely up to you.
Are you vegan or vegetarian?
I adopted a pescatarian diet (fish but no meat) in September 2016 and became vegetarian in January 2017. I’m trying to cut down on the amount of dairy products I consume and would like to go vegan at some point in the future.
Do you have to be vegan or vegetarian to go cruelty-free?
No. I went cruelty free two-and-a-half-years before I stopped eating meat. Not everyone can go vegan or vegetarian, and budget/location/medical conditions may mean that not everyone can go cruelty free either. However, if you’re in a position where you can take a look at the ethics of the companies you buy from, it’s worth doing.
It’s true that going cruelty free makes you more aware of animal welfare, which is why so many cruelty-free bloggers are vegan or vegetarian. Sometimes things happen in reverse and a person will change their diet before they go cruelty free with beauty products. There really is no right way to do it, but doing something is always better than doing nothing at all.
Beth, 25, South East England.
Lover of books, dogs, yoga, travel, gin, and the Oxford comma.
I write about cruelty-free beauty, vegan & veggie food, and trying to lead a less wasteful life. I throw the odd think piece in there, too.