Looking for cruelty-free options? Tashina Combs from Logical Harmony gives us the lowdown on what it means to be cruelty-free, how you can do it, and how to speak up on behalf of animals.
Many of us are familiar with the term “cruelty-free”. We hear it in YouTube videos, mentioned by brands, talked about on Instagram. But what does it mean? Why does it matter? And what can you do?
One of the first brands I remember talking about fighting animal testing was Lush. I’m a long-time customer, have visited their Vancouver factory in Canada and seen the passion that their team has for this issue. So, when they invited me to collaborate on this article, I jumped at the chance. I hope it gives everyone the chance to begin living #crueltyfree.
What does cruelty-free mean?
I get so many questions about what cruelty-free means, and while the term has no legal definition, there’s a commonly understood meaning. Cruelty-free means that there’s no animal testing involved in the production of the products—from the ingredients that are used to the final product that ends up in stores. Not a single animal is involved in testing. That’s it.
When I first went cruelty-free, it was because I started to really think about the products I was using and the impact they had. It broke my heart to think about all the animals suffering just so I could have makeup. It made no sense to me. I no longer wanted to support brands that were testing on animals. And once I started to paying attention, I was surprised at how many of my favorites were already cruelty-free. It made the process a lot less intimidating. You probably already use and love products that are cruelty-free and don’t even realize it.
At first, I wanted to make this process easier for others, so I created Logical Harmony. A place where everyone can find a full list of cruelty-free brands as well as shopping guides to make finding cruelty-free options easier.
Why does going cruelty-free matter?
Animal testing for cosmetics is unnecessary and not required by law. Not only have lots of ingredients been proven safe to use without animal testing, but there are lots of testing alternatives that already exist and can be used to determine whether a product is safe.
While many of us are familiar with the image of a bunny being used for animal testing, they’re not the only ones: guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, and mice are all used for testing cosmetics, too. In these tests, chemicals are rubbed onto their skin, force-fed to the animals, dripped into their eyes, or even used to determine what a “lethal dose” of the ingredient may be.
According to Humane Society International, it’s estimated that up to 500,000 animals suffer and die just for cosmetics every year around the world. Just let that number sink in—half a million. Those animals are tested on to produce makeup, skincare, haircare and bath products.
Next time you pick up your favorite mascara, ask yourself if 500,000 bunnies or guinea pigs or mice being tested on is worth having long lashes. These are our cute and cuddly friends. Their suffering for our vanity is not worth it.
I see going cruelty-free as a journey and we all may have slightly different paths that we take. Start by swapping out one or two products for cruelty-free options and go from there. Don’t get discouraged if you get confused about a brand. Remember that any steps to pick cruelty-free are great.
It’s now easier than ever to pick cruelty-free options, too. You can walk into almost any store and find cruelty-free brands, and if you’re not sure, ask! But, if there’s no mention of cruelty-free on the packaging, it’s likely involved animal testing. Logical Harmony was created to make picking products easy. We can have high-performing and effective products without animal testing!
Educating yourself is a start, but how can you take action?
How you spend your money sends a message to all brands, but using your voice is very powerful, too. There are two pieces of legislation in North America that need our voices. When they become law, each would ban animal testing in the US and Canada—nearly 40 countries, including all of the European Union, already have bans on animal testing for cosmetics.
If you live in the United States, text ENDCRUELTY to 40649 (Message and data rates may apply. Reply “STOP” to opt out. Text “HELP” for help.) and encourage your legislator to support the Humane Cosmetics Act. It would phase out animal-based testing for cosmetics in favor of alternatives that don’t need animals and will eventually stop the sale of cosmetics tested on animals in other countries from being sold in the US.
If you live in Canada, text ENDCRUELTY to 70734 (Message and data rates may apply. Reply “STOP” to opt out. Text “HELP” for help.) and ask your MP to support the Cruelty-free Cosmetics Act in the House of Commons. This legislation would prohibit both domestic animal testing for cosmetics as well as the sale of any cosmetics that were tested on animals after the ban has gone into effect. It’s in the final stages of becoming a reality!
Opt in to stay updated on the progress of both of these bills, so you can be aware and get your friends and family in on taking action, too. Let brands know that cruelty-free matters to you. Shoot a quick email, tweet or DM your favorite cruelty-free brands and let them know that you appreciate their commitment to an animal testing-free future.
Going cruelty-free just makes sense. It’s easy to make change and the impact is worth it.