Picture this: someone chopped off your favorite cat’s ears just to have them stitched onto their purse or coat. That may sound obscene. But that’s precisely what you are doing each time you wear fur coats, leather handbags, and shoes, and basically, any product that is either made from animal products (like leather and wool) or has animal products finishes (like fur and horns).
People have always argued that it’s okay to eat animal products and to use their body parts to adorn humanity. But I firmly stand against this. The same way you can’t stand your cat’s ears being chopped off is the same way I can’t stand everyday torturing, killing, and slaughtering of animals all in the name of science experiments, food, and value addition. And I am certain that I’m not alone. What happened to Empathy?
And on that note, science experiments on animals also need to stop sooner or later. Testing cosmetics, cleaning products, personal-care products, and some fruit juices on animals is not fair. The only way to make these companies stop experimenting with animals is by boycotting their products. Because every time you buy and use a product tested on animals, you give that manufacturer more income and reasons to continue experimenting. But if we all shop consciously and boycott products without PETA’s bunny or CCIC’s Leaping Bunny logo for the sake of our animals, they will have no one to sell to unless they change.
How Do They Test Products on Animals?
You might not have an idea of how they test products on animals so let me explain it to you briefly. It is more brutal than you see in the media. The poor animals are confined in cages, pricked to draw blood samples, shaved to expose their skin for tests, and much more. When these companies produce a new product, say a face cream, for example, they apply a certain amount in the animal’s eyes, or on a portion of its shaved skin, and observe the reactions without giving the animal pain relief or an antidote.
In severe cases, these animals go blind. And when this happens, the manufacturer discontinues the product or they improve it. Alternatively, in mild eye irritation, the manufacturer gives a stern warning on the dangers of exposing that product to your eyes. Sadly, more than 115 million animals are caged in laboratories to be used for product testing worldwide.
Non-vegans argue that it’s better for an animal to go blind or have a severe skin rash instead of the human consumers. But in my opinion, technology in this day and age is super advanced. They can test the effects of any product on a hypothetically created eye and skin.
The companies that don’t test on animals, by the way, have some of the best products on the market. I haven’t heard consumers complain of allergic reactions to any cruelty-free brands of cosmetics. Most of the negative reports come from non-vegan brands so spare me that lecture. And for your information, the law hasn’t mandated companies to test products on animals. It is a choice they make. And in some countries within Europe, Cosmetics testing using animals has been banned since 2013.
Moving on, in the spirit of embracing animal rights, let’s discuss the top cruelty-free brands on the market for animal lovers and like-minded shoppers. And, with 1,700 companies producing cruelty-free products, you have plenty of options to spritz, swipe, and lather, without worrying about our dear furry friends. So now you have no reason to hang on to your favorite brand if they haven’t pledged to be cruelty-free.
And by cruelty-free brands, I mean products manufactured using methods which do not in any way whatsoever involve brutality to animals. This includes physically slaughtering the animals and testing products on them.
Cruelty-Free Cosmetic Brands
Do you love shopping at Sephora? The following brands retail at Sephora, and they are cruelty-free.
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare – This brand deals with rejuvenating your skin and everyday improvement formulas such as anti-aging lotions, facelift serum, anti-collagen creams, and eye gels.
REN Clean Skincare – Ren have majored their products to skin cleansing and toning. Their cleansers work with any skin type because they are organic and of course vegan.
Amika – Founded in 2007 and based in Brooklyn, Amika specializes in hair products such as shampoos, vegan hair foods, hair sprays, and brushes.
Tarte – In addition to everyday make up items such as lipsticks and eye-shadows, Tarte also deals with skin cleansers, toners, and correction products like their famous Maracuja Oil.
Too Faced Cosmetics – These deal with all categories of makeup; foundation, bronzer, setting powder, mascara, lipstick, lip gloss, primers, eye-shadows, and other makeup products along this line.
Peta has also created a list of cruelty-free brands. Take a look at the list here.
The above list has cosmetic manufacturers for all your skin and hair needs. However, the products are endless. Be sure to check out more cruelty-free brands in their store.
Cruelty-Free Fashion Brands
Similar to cosmetics, fashion designers are also quickly embracing the vegan lifestyle.
SUSI Studio – Based in California LA, Susi studio is famous for up-cycled footwear. They make lovely shoes and sandals from vegan materials such as rubber.
Della – An apparel manufacturer whose factory is based in Ghana, Della makes 100% cruelty-free outfit and retails them in Los Angeles.
Vaute – Are famous for cruelty-free sweaters, coats, and gowns.
Doshi – Based in southern California, Doshi deals with school style bags, wallets, backpacks, handbags, belts, and anything along this line. This year they are launching their line of vegan shoes.
An Alternative Approach
Are you familiar with DIY? I didn’t discover DIY by chance; for me, it was more of a way to save a few bucks. However, looking back I can say that it is the best decision I ever made. I make my soap, lotion, shampoos, and several other toiletries as well as jewelry and handbags. I don’t expect you to do all this for a start. But some DIYs are a perfect solution to our vegan lifestyle.
Soap making processes are easy to follow, and the ingredients are locally available. I make mine using freshly squeezed oils from plants in my garden. My all-time favorite is the aloe and lemongrass exfoliating beauty soap. The only ingredients you need are the essential oils, water, and lye (a metal hydroxide that you can purchase online, but I make mine from leaching ashes left in the fireplace after burning hardwood overnight.) As you get better at the skill, you can custom make your own version of these products!
With all the information I’ve shared above, you have no reason to continue using animal products. Embrace cruelty-free brands and be the change you want to see. And together, we’ll make this world a better place for both humans and animals to live in.