In the wake of an absurd UK government ruling that 'animals cannot feel pain or emotions' find out more about this craziness here, it is more important than ever that we continue to fight for animal rights, and that includes animal testing. There are many misconceptions and myths floating around when it comes to the topic of cruelty free beauty, so lets bust them so that we can all move forward to a cruelty free future!
Read More: Ethical Fashion Myths Busted
Myth: Cruelty-Free = Vegan
Truth: Cruelty free and vegan are not interchangeable terms. If a beauty product advertises itself as vegan, this means that none of it's ingredients are animal derived, for example beeswax or honey, gelatin and lanolin. Cruelty-free means that the product is not texted on animals. Therefore, a beauty product can be vegan, but not cruelty free, or cruelty free, but not vegan.
Myth: Companies can sell in China and be cruelty-free
Truth: According to top cruelty-free beauty blogger Cruelty Free Kitty
"The mandatory animal testing law in China aims to protect the people of China. It’s a safety measure to ensure that no harmful cosmetics will be sold in China. It’s cruel and obsolete, but like all animal testing, the goal is to ensure that products are safe for human use.
- ALL foreign cosmetics imported into China must undergo animal testing in order to be sold there.
- SOME cosmetics manufactured in China are able to skip the animal testing in order to be sold there.
- Special-use cosmetics such as sunscreens, antiperspirants, hair dye, and whitening products HAVE to be tested on animals even if they’re manufactured in China.
- China uses both pre-market and post-market animal testing. By selling their products in China, companies agree to both of these practices.
Pre-market testing means that the products are tested on animals before the products are able to hit the shelves. Post-market testing isn’t mandatory, but it can happen: at any moment, the authorities can require that products already on the shelves be testing on animals."
So, an otherwise 'cruelty free' beauty brands can’t under any circumstances sell their products in China and remain so, hence why so many big brands cannot be classified as cruelty free despite extensive bans on animal testing throughout Europe and the USA (although still 80% of the world still allows cosmetics to be tested on animals).
Myth: Big brands don't test on animals
Truth: The following brands continue to contribute to the continuation of animal testing in the beauty industry:
- Esteé Lauder
- Max Factor
Myth: Animal testing does not happen on many products
Truth: According to Humane Society International, as many as 500,000 animals are being tested on across the world each year, with the majority of these animals being killed in the process of these painful and unecessary tests. Sadly, this seems to actually be on the rise rather than the decline we so desparetley need. Source.
However, there is so much we can do to help push the cruelty free movement forward! Try and aim to only buy beauty products that are certified cruelty free- you can ensure ethics by researching the brand online, visiting blogs like Cruelty Free Kitty, and most importantly, looking out for the leaping bunny logo on the packaging. Remember to also use and engage with hashtags like #crueltyfree and #crueltyfreebeauty, champion your favourite brands and bloggers online, unfollow the brands still testing on animals, or ask them why they do and how they plan to phase it out.