By Rachel Carey-Smith
In this day and age, it is actually more common for brands to be cruelty-free, so it makes me question why everyone hasn’t switched to safer brands already? I realized that people are mostly unaware of the vast options of cruelty-free brands.
Animal testing is the process of testing chemicals on animals’ skin. This is done to ensure that the chemicals are safe to make contact with human skin. Countless problems result from this, including many injured and dead animals. Animal testing began at a time where there was no alternative option to test the chemicals. Now, many companies have found ways around this that ensure the products are safe without endangering animals. Companies can use the 7,000 ingredients already tested and determined safe in their products; by choosing these ingredients, they eliminate the need for additional testing altogether. They are also able to use other sophisticated testing methods involving human cells, tissues and even advanced computer-modelling techniques.
Interestingly enough, the most common way an organization can remain cruelty-free is to not sell its products to China. In China, testing on animals is mandatory, as they believe it is the only way to test whether a product is truly safe for human skin. This results in many companies being majority cruelty-free as they claim, and only test on animals in China where it is required. This law led to many companies no longer selling to China in order to remain a cruelty-free brand. Now that most companies have used alternative methods to switch to cruelty-free, it’s time for us to make the switch too.
Animal testing is immensely cruel, and it is important to remember that it is possible to take the suffering out of science and stop it altogether. It is estimated that more than 25 million animals including dogs, cats, monkeys, mice, rats and others are forced to endure painful experiments in the US each year. (The Humane Society, n.d.). If that statistic isn’t enough to change your mind, then hopefully the idea of continuously hurting animals could sway you.
What inspired me to make the switch was a short film called Save Ralph. This short film with Taika Waititi displayed the story of a rabbit explaining his day-to-day life being tortured for cosmetic needs. Watching the bunny talk about how his only purpose is to be abused for the span of his entire life made me realize the severity of my actions. Using my Nars concealer or Cerave cleanser seems harmless to me, but in actuality has much deeper, painful consequences than one could imagine. Making the switch is almost an effortless decision for any person to make, which will prevent so much hurt and pain towards animals. Thinking about the innocent bunny in that film made me realize that I wouldn’t want to endure the constant stress, trauma and inhumane conditions the bunny is put through. And if I wouldn’t want it, why would I wish it upon anything else?
Deciding to change brands might seem like an overwhelming thought at first, but there are so many cruelty-free brands that make switching easy! Like I previously stated, there are so many popular cruelty-free brands to choose from. People could already be using 100% cruelty-free brands and not even know it. Brands like Dove, ELF, Bath and Bodyworks, NYX, and Burt’s Bees, are all cruelty-free. If you’re ever questioning if the brands you use are safe, there are many apps to help you out. Bunny Free is a free app that quickly lets you know if a brand is certified cruelty-free. It has the option to use a barcode scanner or search bar for easy access to the information you’re looking for! Cruelty-free, Cruelty Cutter and Think Dirty are other apps with the same features that can additionally tell you similar products to switch to if a brand you like is not cruelty-free. Even by doing a simple Google search, you can determine whether a company tests on animals. The internet and these apps prevent consumers from giving their money to companies that might spend it on hurting animals. These apps do all the work for you and emphasize my idea, that switching brands are an easy, worthwhile task.
Many people are not aware of how cruel the animal-testing industry can be, and even less, understand how easy it is to do their part in preventing it. Even though switching is an easy change, it is an incredibly important one. This almost effortless decision is a worthwhile task I believe everyone should do. Switching to cruelty-free brands is a beneficial task that will help keep animals and the planet safer. With everyone’s support animal testing can be ended altogether. Let’s do our part to help.