This post is somewhat overdue having had many discussions over the last couple of weeks on twitter about animal testing, what it means to be cruelty free, and who does and doesn’t test their cosmetics on animals.Here is my review of The Truth About Animal Testing !
I’ve noticed how uninformed and, without sounding rude, ignorant people are to this cause, and I have to say I’m quite surprised at how many people will believe a company that says they don’t test on animals without doing any further research. So I wanted to set the record straight based on my own research and opinions. Some of you may agree, some may not but hopefully we can all agree on one thing, and that is that there is absolutely no need whatsoever for cosmetics (including Botox!) to be tested on animals!
When I first decided to go cruelty-free I did so thanks to an organisation called The BUAV who are The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection; they are the most well respected animal welfare company in the world having been established for well over 100 years. They launch, front and support a vast array of causes relating not only to animal testing but to the shipping of primates (mostly babies) from one country to another, and fighting REACH. I urge to read each of them so you can see just how serious this is, and has been. Who cows you may even find yourself supporting some of them and signing petitions!
So what does it mean to be cruelty-free? Ok so we’ve all picked up a product and noticed if it has a bunny on the packaging and thought ‘oh that’s good they don’t test on animals’ but that’s usually where the thought process ends. No-one ever questions how reliable that symbol is, because why would a company want to lie and potentially lose custom? Lets get one thing straight now, these multi-billion pound multi-national companies couldn’t care less about losing a few customers who have a conscience and actually give a damn (L’Oreal I’m talkin to you!), because it’s not going to make any difference whatsoever to their HUGE profit margins! Hands up how many of you have actually gone home and done your research on these companies to see what their REAL stance is on animal testing? I thought as much…
I want you to look very closely at the image below. Take a picture of it if you like. Anything to make you remember it because THIS is the ONLY image you can trust as far as animal testing is concerned
This image belongs to The BUAV and for a company to be awarded with such an accolade means it has gone (and constantly goes) through rigorous tests and standards stipulating that no ingredients or end product in ANY stage of that product’s development by the company, it’s labs or even it’s suppliers have been tested on animals after a fixed cut-off date
So hopefully this answers some questions such as ‘but haven’t all ingredients been tested at some point?’ But just to be clear yes, quite possibly the vast majority of them have been tested at some point but they certainly do not require to be tested over and over and over again. Can a company who used to test on animals ever be awarded with the leaping bunny logo? Well, I believe so yes. Because if that company were to change its suppliers, stop testing in it’s labs and as such meets the strict requirements then The BUAV would give the award from a fixed date, and this would be visible on documentation as well as in advertising (I believe). It has made the change and The BUAV will recognise this
The same can be said for a company who was cruelty free and then for whatever reason chooses to go back to testing on animals. Or more to the point, gets caught lying (Avon, Estee Lauder and MAC I’m talkin to you!!!). I’m going to make it clear that not one of these companies EVER made it onto The BUAV’s cruelty-free shopping guide, which means they were NEVER awarded the Leaping bunny logo you’ve just seen above, which in turn means they simple cannot be trusted
‘But they were on PETA’s cruelty-free shopping guide!’. That means sweet F. A I’m afraid, because that shopping list, unlike The BUAV’s, is based purely on trust. Avon, Estee lauder and MAC (who are owned by Estee lauder) have done a fine job of proving to the world they they cannot be trusted. Please read PETA’s cruelty-free shopping guide here and pay close attention to the fourth paragraph under the question ‘How does a company get on the list and licence PETA’s cruelty-free bunny logo?
“Company representatives interested in having their company’s name added to our cruelty-free list(s) must complete a short questionnaire and sign a statement of assurance verifying that they do not conduct or commission any animal tests on ingredients, formulations, or finished products and that they pledge not to do so in the future. Upon receipt of these completed documents, PETA will add qualifying companies to our pocket-sized Cruelty-Free Shopping Guide and our online searchable database of cruelty-free companies.“
What this means is there are no rigorous tests to go through just a simple questionnaire to hand into the lovely, ever so trusting people down at PETA. I think that question answers itself really doesn’t it!?!
I also want to highlight that if a company sells it’s products in China you can be rest assured they actually PAY for animal testing to be carried out since it is required by law in China!
Remember as well that many companies who are ‘against animal testing’ are often owned by bigger companies who openly admit to testing ‘when it is required by law’, for example before being sold in China. Aveda are against animal testing yet are owned by Estee Lauder who are currently being sued by 5 women in the states for being misleading when it comes to animal testing; Maybelline are owned by L’Oreal etc etc. So, please, please, please always do your research if this is something that means so much to you, it literally takes 5 minutes to check a website or do a google search, or even better; CHECK THE BUAV’s CRUELTY FREE LIST! Yes I am shouting that out loud because it amazes me how many people don’t do this and then complain when they find out their favourite company tests on animals
To cut a long story short if a company doesn’t carry the leaping bunny logo then you cannot guarantee they don’t test their products and/or ingredients on animals. It really is as simple as that. The rest is based on trust and your own research and opinions. For example, I love using a certain brand of lipstick that is made by a lady in the UK. She isn’t BUAV approved but I have spoken to her and I trust when she tells me that she doesn’t test her products on animals. Why? Because she’s not a huge conglomerate who won’t notice if a few people decide to boycott her company, if she’s caught lying she actually has a hell of a lot to lose, so I trust her and that’s my choice
I know a lot of people say ‘Oh but it would be soooo hard to be truly cruelty-free’ This is the most stupid comment I think I’ve ever heard to be honest and it really irks me when people say it because there’s a vast array of companies who are very proud to be cruelty-free and carry The BUAV’s leaping bunny seal of approval for example, L’Occitane, Liz Earle, Urban Decay, Thalgo and Dermalogica. Plus there are some amazing little known companies that are BUAV approved who’s products are actually far superior than the likes of Olay, L’Oreal and Estee Lauder because they carry less chemicals and as such are less likely to cause a reaction!
So what about those companies who aren’t on either list, what about them, you know, like Chanel? Well for me, if they don’t make The BUAV’s list then I won’t use them until I can be 100% certain. I’ve even tweeted Chanel but unsurprisingly got no response! That to me speaks volumes! I will admit I am gutted that in can no longer say that Coco Mademoiselle is my signature fragrance, as it has been since I was 16, but stopping the unnecessary torture of animals is far more important to me than any perfume
Now i know some of you are going to ask about The body Shop and L’Oreal and I’m going to admit now that it is very much a grey area for me too. I have my theories but I’m not 100% certain so after writing up this post I’m going to email them for an explanation because it really doesn’t make any sense. For those of you who don’t know The Body Shop (who have always been against animal testing, and ARE BUAV approved with the leaping bunny seal of approval) are owned by L’Oreal (one of the biggest animal testing giants in the world) – I know, confusing! the minute I get a response I’ll post it up and then hopefully that matter will be cleared up
I hope that answers your questions on animal testing and what it means to be cruelty-free. But if you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to ask me below, and if I can answer them I will but next time instead of asking if a company is cruelty-free check the BUAV’s cruelty-free shopping guide first because they are a company you can actually trust (in fact download it now so you ALWAYS have it to hand)
Enjoy your weekend guys