If someone were to describe you, would you ever want them to use the word “cruel”? And if you were describing a new product to your friend that she just had to try, would you say, “I just bought the CRUELEST _____”? No!
Yet so many products out there are just that when it comes down to it. You can do your homework on animal testing if you’d like. I can’t stomach it. I cry when I watch “Homeward Bound,” and those animals are on a rad adventure! No cruelty involved. So this fact from PETA makes me want to crawl into a hole: “More than 100 million animals every year 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.”
At the end of the day, I want to do my part in shopping cruelty free whenever possible, the end. If you do too, here’s a beginner’s Q&A on making small strides.
Q: What is cruelty free?
A: Cruelty free means a product was developed without animal experimentation in any stage. Not a single furry little creature was harmed or killed in the process of getting that particular item into your shopping cart.
Looking to shop cruelty free? Here’s a long list of cruelty free companies to get you started.
…I get it. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Maybe download the Cruelty Free app.
As a bonus, I’ll tell you what’s not cruelty free. Or, Google will. You can Google search the shit out of “brands to avoid” and read all kinds of horror stories.
Q: What kind of products can be bought cruelty free?
A: Just about anything you can think of! From cosmetics to household cleaners, clothing to condoms, there’s a cruelty free option available. Seriously. Says so on Wikipedia.
Q: How can I tell if a product is cruelty free?
A: Look for the Leaping Bunny! This cute lil symbol is displayed on cruelty free products worldwide. He’s the official mascot of the Leaping Bunny Certification Program – every bunny’s bodyguard. This sets the cruelty free standard for cosmetic, personal care and household products. Pretty legit.
Another indicator is this: sometimes the words “cruelty free” or “animal-friendly” will appear right on the packaging. Many items labeled “vegan” are cruelty free, too. Beware of scheisters who use phrases like “This product is not tested on animals.” What they might really mean, PETA reports, is “This product isn’t tested on animals, but its ingredients are. Tricked ya.” Never hesitate to reach out to a company and straight-up ask them. Twitter’s a very public forum, and a very good way to get a response.
Q: What kind of a difference can I make?
A: “Every product, every action, and every lifestyle decision can be a choice to harm less.” -Zoe Weil, The Animals’ Agenda.
According to the Humane Society International, even mild procedures can cause animals physical and mental suffering. I don’t even tease my tabby cat when she’s pissed off or seems distressed – why the crap would I want to cause anguish and pain for random animals?
My bleeding heart takes me through this thought process. If there are all of these cruelty free products out there, and they’re reputable and do what they’re supposed to do, then those companies found R&D methods that don’t involve innocent creatures. Woohoo! I think I’ll give my money to them, plz.
Well now, look at you, all informed and stuff! You’re well on your way to becoming a compassionate consumer.