Things I’ve Learned Since Going Cruelty Free

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.

V ❤


19 thoughts on “Things I’ve Learned Since Going Cruelty Free

  1. Hannah says:

    This is exactly what I’m doing at the moment – I don’t want to be wasteful, so like you I haven’t binned anything, but instead am slowly phasing in a CF makeup/product collection.

    Can’t agree more with your point about big brands, there are so many brilliant small brands who offer cruelty free at half the cost of the big brands. TBH it made me quite angry that the large brands can charge such a premium and still not avoid testing and other means of cruelty.

    You’re point about China was a real eye opener though, i recently fell back in love with Avon only to find this out for myself. I was gutted!!

    I won’t be going vegan either, but am feeling the pressure! Do hit me up if you ever want to natter about it.

    Lots of love, Hannah


  2. Hannah Gilroy says:

    Great post! Like bodyshaming, once you open your eyes to animal testing you see that SO many companies are doing it! Everyone joins in for the profit. I definitely want to try more CF products, maybe a post on your favourites once you’ve tried a few would be good 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. weeklymeg says:

    Great post this is so so true! I had the same lightly moment last year and since then I have not being purchasing non-cruelty free items . I’ve also had a makeup/ beauty declutter but I haven’t got rid of everything that’ non Cf, I’m aiming to use them up so the purchase wasn’t a waste but I won’t be buying them again. It’s so frustrating how misleading a lot of the packaging is on some products it makes it so much more difficult to make conscious choices when buying. I have an app called Bunny Free which is handy for when you’re in a shop as you can type in the brand and see if they test on animals. Well done for choosing to go cruelty free x


  4. Rebecca Claire says:

    I went Cruelty Free in late 2015 and I did it how you did; I never threw anything out as it would be a waste but I just made the effort going forward to only buy cruelty free. There is actually a CF list on my blog if you want to take a peek.
    When it comes to CF, I don’t mind if the parent company tests as long as the brand I’m using doesn’t – I see it as if I were vegan, I would still buy a coke from McDonalds or bread from Tesco. Anyone who boycotts the parent company must find it super super difficult!

    Rebecca, xo


    • sirvikalot says:

      It’s good to hear that I’m not alone in still using brands who’s parent company tests. That’s a good way of thinking about it. I just think about it in terms of if it’s good enough for PETA it’s good enough for me.
      I will check out your list ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lott says:

    Wow have admiration for your determination and thatbof the ones who commented! Well done! I’m not actively using only CF but def want to be more aware. I’m a makeup artist and really do love some of my favourites from big brands who do test or do now because of the Chinese market s. It’s such a pity they have to as really there’s no need.


    • sirvikalot says:

      It is really hard. I’m not saying I will never use a product that’s tested again but I try my best.
      I’ve been struggling recently because I LOVE the Victoria’s Secret body sprays and they are widely available in the UK now and I REALLY want one. So far I’ve been strong…
      V ❤


  6. Mrs says:

    Great post- really thought provoking. I must admit I didn’t realise that there was so much to it all in terms of working out what company owns what etc. It’s a real minefield. There’s such a lot to consider, you’re doing really well navigating it all.


  7. hannahinternational says:

    I’ve thought about going cruelty free, but also like you it would have to be gradual because I don’t want to haemorrhage money!
    I’ve just done a Google search and sadly all my favourite brands over here in Korea are not CF because they export to China. However, it’s definitely a change I would like to make in the future, so it’s interesting to hear your experience with it.



  8. Angela Milnes says:

    Well this is an eye opener. I really don’t know much about cruelty free and have no idea what products are used where and how. I think I should find out more so I can make more informed choices.


  9. LaaLaa says:

    Great post, have you thought about a menstural cup to replace tampons? When I buy items or get sent things I try to be a lot more conscious with my choices. So many brands aren’t cruelty free – it’s amazing. If you buy from this ‘cruelty free company’ their parent company can be a tester therefore where is the money going? Back into the parent company to spend on testing.


    • sirvikalot says:

      Since uploading this post I have moved over to reusable menstrual products. I’m loving them.

      With regards to parent companies, it becomes incredibly difficult if you only purchase from independent companies who are cruelty free so I take my steer from PETA. If a company is good enough for them they’re good enough for me.


  10. helerinablogs says:

    You’ve done such an amazing thing going totally cruelty free and raising awareness of it. Whilst I’m not actively cruelty free it is something I look out for more now. I had no idea parent companies can test and the branches off can still state they’re cruelty free though, that must make it so complicated!


  11. Sarah says:

    Its awful how many large companies are not cruelty free. And how many of those companies own the smaller companies too! It’s so sad. Thank you for sharing this post. It’s really interesting.


  12. alisonrost says:

    I’ve been moving toward CF for a while now. Your post has been truly eye opening in so many ways. I had no idea about the China connection and different rules. Which is such a bummer, because I always thought I was being virtuous with Avon products, but may have to re-think that decision. Thank-you too for mentioning the PETA database. I’m going to be looking everything up there before I buy it! x


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