Cruelty free Conundrum


Cruelty free should be simple. We make a conscious choice to buy and use products that are free from cruelty to animals, and going further for some, to ensure that these products are made in a safe and ethical environment as well. Whilst the idea is simple, you can often feel quite overwhelmed with the products you can actually use, knowing that they are cruelty free and deciding where you land in terms of cruelty free owned brands.

I myself have actively been trying use cruelty free brands for a few months now. I decided to make a much bigger effort in this, as my passion for the welfare of animals is something I cannot limit to simply the food on my plate. This is an ongoing journey for me. I decided I no longer wanted to eat meat at age 15. By 16 I also stopped eating fish. After reading Alicia Silverstone’s book ‘The Kind diet’, I made a commitment to drink dairy milk alternatives, rather than just occasionally enjoying soya milk every so often. Actively changing parts of your lifestyle does no have to happen overnight, and does not have to mean you can never slip up, or change your mind. I honestly wasn’t sure if I could last as a vegetarian, but I gave up meat and have never looked back.

Making that change has been a journey that I have really enjoyed, but making a change to other aspects of life can prove a little trickier. One reason for this is down to clever marketing of companies that want you to believe they are cruelty free, and another reason is lack of research.


Now I would never want shopping for a great lipstick to suddenly feel like research for an essay, but a little background check on the company you are buying from can only take a few minutes. I’ve listed a few helpful tips to get you started into learning more about cruelty free and taking steps to do it:


The majority of people have a smart phone, why not put your Google app to good use, and find out before you buy. I myself use google if I am ever unsure. There are also some informative sites out there. You can look to Peta, Leaping bunny and cruelty free international to name only a few.



Have you ever thought to send an email, or tweet companies to find out more. You may look at the website, but some companies, as mentioned are very clever in how they word things. Often you can mistake what they have written to mean that they are cruelty free, when in reality this isn’t the case. Asking direct questions may not warrant a response, but it also allows for a direct answer if they do reply.

Start small

Cruelty free products is an ongoing journey for me. You can start with something small, such as trying a cruelty free brand for just one makeup product you use, or a new skin care regime with natural ingredients. It may surprise you how good these products actually are. Urban decay is a great example of a cruelty free brand that is still a great source for makeup whether a cruelty free consumer or not!


Create your terms

For some people looking to move to cruelty free, one thing that can be cause for discussion or debate, are the cruelty free companies that are owned by larger companies and corporations that are not cruelty free themselves. An obvious example of this The Body Shop that has been owned by L’Oreal for a number of years now. The body shop still advertise as cruelty free, and do not test on animals. Yet L’Oreal  is the biggest culprit in the beauty world for this. Yes, due to EU laws they can no longer sell products tested on animals in the UK. That does not mean they cannot test for other countries. It is a tricky subject, and one that is not fully resolved.


For me personally, I try not to buy products that are associated with L’Oreal for that reason, but I know there is a debate amongst other cruelty free shoppers that make some excellent points. One main point being that by shopping at known cruelty free stores such as The Body Shop, this will increase profits, and show a high demand these type of stores. The idea being that this would this then in turn show L’Oreal that cruelty free is popular? I’m not entirely convinced of this yet, but it is a point worth thinking about.

You have to decide what you want, which products you can live without, and what is important to you. The thought of any animal in unnecessary pain on behalf of  a new lipstick or mascara actually makes me feel awful. It is not needed, and we should be way past having to do these sorts of tests.

So if you are thinking of making the change, why not do a little research and see what Cruelty free can mean for you.





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