Back around mid-December, I happened across this video on YouTube late one night. I wasn’t shocked by it. I know animal testing is a thing. I can’t say that I was aware that companies were so misleading about it(still not shocked, though). I wasn’t even sure that the contents of the video were true. I just kind of wondered, why is cruelty free a thing I’m not doing? I recycle everything that I possibly can. So much so that I irritate the snot out of the company that picks up my recycling. Cruelty free is a thing I should be paying attention to, maybe. I had to think about it some more, do some Goggling, etc.
I started with the Goggling and I found that it appears that companies lie or might be lying about being cruelty free in several ways.
- They say that they are cruelty free because they don’t do the animal testing. They hire a lab to do it for them.
- They say that they are cruelty free except where required by law. Some countries (China) still require animal testing.
- The product itself is cruelty free but the parent company is not. Burt’s Bees is a cruelty free brand but is owned by Clorox, a company that is very much not cruelty free.
- The company claims to be cruelty free but refuses to answer questions expanding on the subject. This means they won’t say if they’ll do testing if a law requires it nor will they admit if they’ve farmed out the testing to a lab.
There might be more ways but these are the ones I found that bother me the most. I should also note that there is no clear legal definition of cruelty free, which is how these companies can make claims that aren’t necessarily true. Other phrases used are: not tested on animals, we do not conduct animal testing, never tested on animals. Leaping Bunny is the only international third-party cruelty free certification program.
Next, I looked at all the product in my house and found that a lot of it was already cruelty free. There would be a lot to switch but there were some brands that I was already using, specifically method and Seventh Generation. Most of my skin care and make up products would have to be switched. And then there’s the bugs. Shortly after the new year, I laid out some rules:
- No throwing things away just because they aren’t cruelty free. Use up product and then replace it with something else.
- Exhaust local area sources before hitting up the internet.
- Try to avoid products that have parent companies that are not cruelty free.
- Adjust/add rules as needed and try not to think about the bug problem for now.
What is the bug problem? Terminx is the bug problem. I live in an older home in a land locked county of Florida. Currently, Terminx keeps the roaches, spiders, and termites at bay. The service was paid in advance and stopping it may cause massive problems at my house. This is will not be something I tackle this year. Small steps.
One last thing, cruelty free and vegan are not the same thing. Although many people that are vegan also strive to be, or are cruelty free, people that strive to be cruelty free are not necessarily vegan. Cruelty free is something that applies to animal testing for products. Veganism is not eating food items derived from animals. 20 years ago when I attempted to be a vegetarian, veganism was a lifestyle that included cruelty free products, along with not wearing or using products made from animals (i.e. leather shoes, belts, purses, etc). I’m not vegan. I don’t eat much meat but I’m not prepared to give it up totally. I may attempt to go vegetarian again in the future. I have some food issues that I have to work through separately from going cruelty free. Small steps.