furry friends

I've always been a big animal lover. Dogs, cats, bunnies, hamsters; you name it! You would think that naturally I would make sure to chose products that are not tested on animals**. Well, I guess it's confession time. I have to admit that I had not done my research on cruelty-free cosmetic companies, even though I talked a big talk about how important it was for me. 

Image from gocrueltyfree.org

Image from gocrueltyfree.org

While talking with some friends about cruelty-free cosmetics, I realized that I was only sporadically buying products that were not tested on animals. Even though I was buying those few items that were cruelty-free, I was still supporting those companies who do test on animals. And what good does that do? 

So, I'm here to tell you: I've made a change! And it all started with some necessary research. There is so much information online about animal testing; what it is, how it is done and what the consequences are to the animals. If you've never done research on this topic, I advise you to take caution, especially if you want to see pictures of lab animals. It will break your heart! But, if you're ready to make the change, by all means look at some pictures. 

Many websites offer more than just information on the testing process. They also offer lists of hundreds of companies who strive to bring customers cruelty-free cosmetics and other beauty products. One of these websites is PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). They had a very helpful list of companies that are cruelty-free. Many times you can find that information on the company's website as well. I was so happy to find out that some of my favorite products are made by companies who don't test on animals! Here's my list: Benefit Cosmetics, LUSH Cosmetics, The Body Shop, Too Faced Cosmetics, Stila Cosmetics, E.L.F. CosmeticsSmashbox Cosmetics, Urban Decay, Bath & Body WorksOrganix Hair, Paul Mitchell Systems and John Frieda Professional Hair Care. Other websites that offer helpful information are GAN (Global Action Network) and Go Cruelty Free

So, I've thrown out every cosmetic and beauty product I could find that was not made by a company that makes and supports cruelty-free products. I was surprised to see how many products I owned and was using that were tested on animals, and I've had to replace a lot. But it's been completely worth it!

Also, many companies will try to find very sneaky ways to make you think they're products are not tested on animals. So many products I owned said: "This finished product is not tested on animals." Which is great, but sadly it means that the ingredients are still not cruelty-free. It's just a clever marketing line for people who only read parts of sentences, (which I'm apparently guilty of)  and then get tricked. 

Really, the point is that it comes down to a moral issue. Every person has different beliefs on what they think is acceptable and moral. If you think that testing cosmetics on animals is not a bad thing, that's completely up to you. For me, I find it cruel and unnecessary. If chemicals need to be tested on animals to go into a product, I would rather not have that chemical in the product anyway. And I feel a whole lot better knowing that the products I use every day didn't harm an innocent animal in the process.  

**Just a little side note: I believe that before taking a stance on anything, there has to be knowledge on the topic in question. It's always smart to make an informed decision, rather than believing something because it feels right or someone else shares the opinion. So with that said, I realize that animal testing is also done for medical purposes. I have not done much research on this because the research that is offered is extremely biased towards either side of the argument, making it difficult to get real information. As far as I know, doing testing on animals for medicine is something that can save lives as it gives scientists pertinent information on diseases and conditions. That being said, I haven't done enough research to know if this testing is absolutely necessary, or if there are ways to not use animals in the process. So I just want to make it clear that my decision pertains to cosmetic animal testing, not necessarily, (or yet) to medical animal testing.**

What is your opinion on cosmetic animal testing? Would you replace your beauty products with cruelty-free ones?