In the run up to January 1st when everyone is going to be making going cruelty free their New Years resolution (which clearly you all are yes?) I wanted to answer the most common questions people asked me about going cruelty free. Hopefully this will make your lives a little bit easier…..
How can you tell if a company is cruelty free?
The easiest way to tell if something is cruelty free is to look for the PETA or Leaping Bunny logo. Lots of companies put a bunny on their product to claim it is cruelty free, but this does not mean anything unless it is an official logo, as below:
I will then double check this on the websites who run these cruelty free lists. The PETA list can be found on this link and the Leaping Bunny list is here. This may seem a bit unnecessary but brands have been known to use the logo without permission! If the brand check out on their list I will then email the company to enquire who they are owned by as neither PETA or the Leaping Bunny list take parent organisations in to account.
PETA also show on the same list who DOES test on animals, if a company is listed in this way it is a quick way to recognise them as testing on animals.
As with everything though these lists are not comprehensive, some companies are 100% cruelty free but do not pay to be on either list. So do not immediately worry if your favourite brand does not show up, contact them and ask them about their cruelty free stance before writing them off.
If you check a companies website double check them against these lists too as even though they claim to not test on animals, it doesnt always mean that its true! A great example of this is Benefit. On their website they have the following in their FAQs:
So you are thinking, “great Benefit don’t test on animals“. However, they are clearly marked as a company who do test on animals on PETA’s website. What is in their FAQ’s is just a very clever use of words, they do test on animals where required by law, rather than choosing not to sell their products in countries who force them to do testing, ie. China! Money is way more important than not testing on animals! Things like this make going cruelty free that much harder! This shows it is always worth emailing companies to find out the truth. I always ask if they let a third party test on their behalf or if they test where required by law (ie. to sell products in China). However, I could and will devote a whole blog post to this alone in January!
Where can I buy cruelty free products?
There are a number of places you can buy cruelty free.
The easiest by far is household products, most supermarkets stock Ecover and Method (even better they are often on offer so you can stock up when you see it).
2. High Street Shops
A couple of brands are available in shops and you can easily get them on the high street. The big one here is Lush, it is everywhere! You also get a couple of products such as Yes To, PitROK and Barry M in Boots.
3. Specialist health food shops.
I have a shop called Real Foods which is amazing, but Holland & Barrett also sell a fair few brands. Here you can buy some of the bigger small brands (that makes sense yeah?!). However, being a health food/ vegan shop does not mean everything is cruelty free. Be sure to double check!
You can get anything online these days. Personally I buy a lot of products this way as I love to support small businesses who often only have products available in their own online store.
Am I a hypocrite buying cruelty free but eating meat?
This is a bit controversial, but I want to put it in here as I know a lot of people who think as they eat meat they are some how not allowed to use only cruelty free products. This is utter nonsense. Personally, I would love if you didn’t eat meat either, but I will leave that there! Back to the question, you are not a bad person for eating meat and will still make a difference buying cruelty free. Plenty of vegans who will preach at people for eating meat eat things like Oreo’s or are excited to try Ben & Jerry’s new vegan ice cream. Eh, huge problem here, Oreo’s have palm oil in them (read here if you don’t know what the problem with that is) and Ben & Jerry’s is owned by Unilever. I think eating humanely killed meat is better than the agony inflicted on animals for both testing and the production of palm oil. However, I would like to say a lot of meat is NOT humanely killed or farmed, so if you still want to eat meat and dairy consider looking into where it comes from.
Is it not really expensive going cruelty free?
Well yes and no. There are lots of good, cheap companies out there selling cruelty free products. You can also buy some of the good products when they are on offer and when you get that, they are the same price as the rest. If you buy in bulk you can also get it cheaper, such as deodorant, I buy a few at a time to last the entire year so it costs the same as going to Tesco etc. However, I can’t deny that I am now using much better quality products for both my make up and skin care. I am not sure if this is an age thing and regardless of going cruelty free, I would have been graduating to more expensive products anyway. But I do definitely spend more on products now than I ever did before. The flip of that is there are plenty cheap companies making cruelty free products too, Barry M is an example of this. I think you just have to look at what is out there and find what works for you, but if price is an issue you can still go cruelty free and not spend your life savings.
I hope this has been helpful for you, I am trying my best to make this easy for people to encourage as many people as possible to take the change in 2016! Any questions please comment below or send me an email.
As always thanks for reading,