So a few of you have become aware and had to endure my annoying new(ish) habit, trying to live cruelty-free. What do I mean by this? Well, that is a very complex question, but I will try to give an as-brief-as-possible overview:
The vast majority of beauty, hygiene, and cleaning products use real, alive with a brain and a will and thoughts and NERVES, and yes, feelings, animals to do testing on in their labs. Most of these animals are rabbits, but cats, dogs, etc are often used as well. Most of you probably knew this, but don’t think about it or feel badly about it because you don’t see it every day and it doesn’t directly affect your life, or you just don’t care, which sucks a ton (This is an area where yes, I totally and completely judge you). I’m of the camp that human life is worth more than animal life, which is why I eat meat and train my dogs that I am their master and stuff. I’m sure at one point in time animal testing may have been beneficial, like in the very beginning, when scientists were all, “Maybe this will keep people clean! Let’s make sure it won’t kill them and stuff though.” The truth of the matter is, though, that animal testing is RARELY a necessity anymore, all of the ingredients have been tested already, and it is absolutely stupid and ridiculous that it’s still a thing.
Some companies just do animal testing because they do, and this sucks. A lot. But the biggest reason companies still do animal testing is because their biggest client, China, requires it. That’s right. It is an actual law in China that every single product go through animal testing. Keep in mind that this is the same country that has extremely questionable ethics in their meat industry. Basically, they give zero effs about hurting animals. To pull all of this together, companies are essentially so greedy and money hungry that they will not do animal testing for their products that go state-side, but will submit to animal testing to sell to the largest consumer group in the world. So the money they get from that is more important to them than another living breathing thing that they have stripped of choices. You have to also be careful because some of these companies will boast that they are cruelty-free, when in actuality they are just cruelty-free for the stateside product that you are holding, but that exact same product is submitted to animal testing to ship to another country. “Does not conduct animal testing unless required by law” is the verbiage you want to look out for.
I know this may be ignorant of me, but I try to avoid doing any research on this stuff that involves becoming aware of exactly what they do to these animals to a graphic extent. I’m just too big of a baby, y’all. I’ve seen enough though. Enough to make me sick time and time again. I know that regular testing involves blinding, burning, poisoning, and way too much more. Let’s think about this for a moment. Anything that says boasts being “tear-free”: how do you think they know? How many animals have been blinded and hurt to ensure for the one billionth time that that is true?
I made the decision a couple of years ago that yes, my household will not make enough of a difference to make these companies change their processes. But at least I’m doing something. I’m not adding to the masses, and no animal’s blood will be on my hands. I can put on make-up, clean my house, take care of my baby, and more without feeling the guilt of giving my US dollars to greedy, heartless companies.
I have worked really hard to get my house completely cruelty-free, which is a process I am still working on, but since I have received lots of questions anytime I tell someone about my convictions, I wanted to share some of my tips and tricks on cultivating a cruelty-free environment for your home as well. You can go all-out on this stuff and spend lots and lots of money, but because of the increasing demand for natural or cruelty-free products, you can find most of what you need at Walmart or Target and for an extremely comparable price to your normal stuff. Also, I am sure there is stuff I will miss, so if you don’t see something on this list and have questions, PLEASE comment and ask, that way others can see as well. I will also be posting some resource links that I have used in this process for further help. Also #2, I am giving names of products that we use at home, but I am sure there are lots of other affordable options out there outside of these. Also #3 (Sorry.), I am going to try and list where you can tangibly buy these products, but keep in mind that all of them are available online and getting them from Amazon is probably cheaper. Prime baby!
Beauty and Hygiene
- Make-up: Milani is a company that sells their stuff in Walmart, Target, etc, like they have a little section beside Loreal (Not cruelty-free) and all of those other companies. It’s very affordable and its quality is comparable to all of the other drugstore make-up brands. Other good ones are Yes To, Bonne Bell, e.l.f., and Wet’n’WIld.
- Teeth Care: Toms of Maine is another brand that can be found in Walmart, Target, etc and they have toothpaste, mouthwash, and whatever else you could need.
- Bath/Body/Face Care: We have used an assortment, all of which are awesome and have different scent options. Burt’s Bees, Yes To, Shea Moisture, JĀSÖN (<– what I have in my shower right now. It smells so delicious I could die. $7 for a huge pump bottle.), Nourish, Seventh Generation, BWC (Beauty Without Cruelty!), the list could literally go on and on.
- Hair Care: Lots of the above brands make haircare products, but my favorite find is definitely OGX (Organix). They have the products that I need and it smells good and works! I used to be a total Aussie girl, but this is has been an easy switch.
- Deodorant: Sooo this has been one of the harder ones for me to find. I switched to Toms of Maine deodorant, and it works great, but finding antiperspirant has proven harder. The true blue natural people will tell you that our bodies don’t need it and that it’s actually bad for you, which is why I only use deodorant and not antiperspirant, but I get that some people would prefer the strong stuff. THANKFULLY, Toms just started putting out antiperspirant! There are other brands out there that are totally researchable as well.
- Cleaning Products: These are a tough one because so many of us have our sworn favorites, but you can find cruelty-free versions for comparable price and at the same stores. A few are: Attitude (Target, Walgreens), Method (Target, Safeway, Kroger), Mrs. Meyers (Target, CVS, Whole Foods), Caldrea (Target, probably others), Nature Clean (IGA, Safeway, Whole Foods, Toys”R”Us), Biokleen (Locally, Cook’s Natural Food, but you can put in your zip code on their website and see who sells them near you. Also widely available online.). Another list that could go on and on.
- Laundry: There are tons and tons you can buy online, I buy Molly’s Suds (on Amazon) because they are affordable and work really well. I started using them when I began washing Grady’s laundry and didn’t want to have to buy baby detergent. It’s safe enough for the whole family. Some honorable mentions are most of the above-mentioned cleaning brands as well as Seventh Generation, which you can purchase at Walmart and Target.
Sorry guys, but the classic Johnson & Johnson is not cruelty free :(. But you know who is? Babyganics (Target), Honest (Target), California Baby (Target), Burt’s Bees (Walmart, Target), Shea Moisture (Walmart, Target), Yes To (Walmart, Target), plus lots more! I usually use either Babyganics or Honest and they work really well and are comparable in price to the classic baby brands.
You can google all of these brands to find their website and order online, or go through Amazon, or go to your local drugstore. There are loads more cruelty-free brands out there, but I tried to focus on the ones that are cheaper and easy to find in order to bust the myth that living cruelty-free is difficult and expensive. Bottom line though, even if it was, is it worth it? Food for thought :).
Here are some helpful links that I have used again and again in this area.
Do you have any other good websites? Share them in the comments!