Cruelty Free Beauty: What is it and why it matters

“Tested on animals”, “cruelty free”… What does this actually mean? When I was explaining to my partner the perils of his choice in body wash I flippantly threw out “also, they test on animals”. I had never really considered what this actually means but had heard it enough times to know it’s bad. He quizzed me further, “aren’t they happy? They get a daily shampoo”. I was somewhat aware the process wasn’t this simple and it involved, among other things, putting chemicals directly into their eyes. Rather than try make up a response for him, I Googled it to find out more. And I’m gobsmacked. We do WHAT to animals?!

Worldwide it is estimated that the number of vertebrate animals ranges from the tens of millions to more than 100 million used annually. Invertebrates, mice, rats, birds, fish, frogs, and animals not yet weaned are not included in the figures in the United States; one estimate of mice and rats used in the US alone in 2001 was 80 million. These other species, like mice, rats, birds, and cold-blooded animals, make up more than 95 percent of animals used in experiments but go uncounted in official estimates.


What this means is over 100 million animals are locked up in cages in laboratories across the world, awaiting their next terrifying and painful procedure.

According to PETA, the stress, sterility and boredom causes some animals to develop neurotic behaviors such incessantly spinning in circles, rocking back and forth and even pulling out their own hair and biting their own skin.  They shake and cower in fear whenever someone walks past their cages and their blood pressure spikes drastically. After enduring lives of pain, loneliness and terror, most animals are euthanised after being used in an experiment.

These animals suffer and die in cruel chemical, drug, food, and cosmetics tests as well as in biology lessons, medical training exercises, and curiosity-driven medical experiments at universities. To test cosmetics, household cleaners, and other consumer products, hundreds of thousands of animals are poisoned, blinded, and killed every year by cruel corporations. Mice and rats are forced to inhale toxic fumes, dogs are force-fed pesticides, and rabbits have corrosive chemicals rubbed onto their skin and eyes. Many of these tests are not even required by law, and they often produce inaccurate or misleading results. Even if a product harms animals, it can still be marketed to consumers. Learn more here.

Animals feel pain and loneliness, just as we do. The difference is though we inflict this upon animals that can’t speak out. The tests and tortue conducted on animals is akin to the brutality of the Nazi regime. We are outraged by there actions,  then and now, yet we ignore the same treatment to animals.

The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.

Mahatma Gandhi

What can you do?

Look for this label when shopping

Look for this label when shopping

Don’t buy products that have been tested on animals. Choose vegan, ethical companies that are 100% cruelty free. Here’s a tip, most organic and natural skincare/beauty companies do not test on animals. Bonus! (I haven’t found any that do test on animals, but unfortunately I can’t rule it out)

Know what you’re buying. Become familiar with brands that are safe and cruelty free, and know the names of those that aren’t.

Check out Choose Cruelty Free (CFF) for their list of all Australian cruelty free brands.

cruelty free beauty

Look for this label when shopping

Look for the cruelty free certified logos

Before you make your next purchase, find out first if it’s been tested on animals

Find out if the products or brands you love have been tested on animals. PETA has developed a database of companies that is free and simple to use.

Search here for Cruelty-Free Cosmetics, Personal-Care Products, and More

You can also check out Choose Cruelty Free (CFF) for their list of all Australian cruelty free brands.

Companies that DO test on animals

These are just some of the companies who manufacture products that are tested on animals at some stage of development:

  • Avon
  • Elizabeth Arden
  • Estee Lauder and all it’s subsidiaries (including Bobbi Brown, Bumble and Bumble, Clinique, M.A.C. Cosmetics, Origins)
  • Jurlique Pure Skin Care
  • Johnson & Johnson and all it’s subsidiaries (including Clean & Clear, Listerine, Neutrogena)
  • L’Occitane
  • L’Oreal and it’s subsidiaries (including Biotherm, Garnier, Giorgio Armani, Kiehl’s, Lancome, Maybelline, Shu Uemura)
  • Pfizer and it’s subsidiaries (including Chapstick)
  • Procter & Gamble and it’s subsidiaries (including Gillette Co., Herbal Essences, Max Factor,  Olay, Pantene, SK-II)
  • Reckitt Benckiser and it’s subsidiaries (including Clearasil)
  • Shiseido Cosmetics
  • Unilever and it’s subsidiaries (including Dove, St. Ives, Sunsilk, Tresemme, Vaseline)

Source: PETA. See a complete list here.

Buy organic, cruelty free products wherever you can. It’s not just good for you, it’s good for the planet and all its inhabitants.

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