I could say going cruelty free was a New Year’s Resolution but really I started late on in 2016. I’ve not binned everything that’s not CF or anything drastic but I’m making a concerted effort to only buy products that are not tested. Sounds easy, right? It’s actually an absolute minefield.
I wasn’t completely unaware of these things before. I always felt better about buying CF but I wasn’t too fussed by brands that weren’t officially CF because they are not tested in the UK/EU anyway. I’m not 100% sure why but something just clicked for me towards the end of last year and I decided that isn’t enough anymore. So what have I learned…
- Big brands are massive heaps of shit. I guess that isn’t too much of a surprise but I didn’t realise quite how terrible some of them are. Take Avon, they were actually one of the first companies to go CF way back in the day, yet fairly recently they made the decision to sell to China meaning that they are bound to test by law. It’s so frustrating because Chinese consumers love western brands so the brands have some leverage. If they all pulled out they could put real pressure on China to change their stance but they just go along with it for the sake of profit and an easy life.
- So many products are distributed and sold by the above brands in the form of parent companies. Many a CF brand is owned by a brand that tests, think Body Shop and L’Oreal. It’s a minefield. PETA have a database where you can type in the name of the brand and it tells you if they are CF. I use that as the official line. PETA still consider the Body Shop CF so I will take that. I know of many people who take a harder stance but for me it just gets too complicated.
- Even tampons are a puzzler. I have a whole other post to come this month about all the great things I’ve been learning about periods from blogs. Most of the main, well known brands are all owned by companies that test even if the products themselves are not tested.
- Vegan and CF are not the same thing. Just because a product is not made using animal products doesn’t mean it’s CF. The mind boggles.
- Companies that sell to China can still state on websites and product packaging that they don’t test on animals (with the caveat that they only do so where the law insists upon it). When checking websites you really have to check the small print if the brand is not listed on PETA.
- People assume that you are vegan or that you are transitioning. I’m not but I feel more and more pressure. The CF blogging community in the main is lovely but like all forums where people discuss ethical living there’s always going to be a few people who are militant and won’t compromise. I relate because I feel that way about body positivity but it can at times be slightly off putting.
Probably the best part of going CF, apart from knowing that the products you use are not leading to the torture of innocent animals, is it stops you spending a load of money on products you’ll never use. Having to actually put a lot of effort and conscious thought in to products you’re buying makes you less wasteful which is another boost for the planet.
Are you CF or are you considering it? Let me know in the comments.