One of my first blog posts was about laboratory animal testing. I invited everyone to join me in no longer buying products that have been tested on animals. I have been working towards this goal, and wanted to update you on some of the products I have tried.
First of all, this subject has come to the forefront of my mind at this time because of two things, good and bad, in the media this week.
- The one year anniversary of 40 beagles being rescued from a laboratory in Spain, by the Beagle Freedom Project. This lab was going out of business, and the beagles were going to be euthanized. BFP stepped in and rescued them, and flew all 40 to LAX. Some of these beagles had a reunion in Sherman Oaks, CA, this last week; you can watch the news story here. I went back and watched the original video from BFP when the beagles came to California. Watch it if you have a few minutes, it is so heartwarming watching those beagles being released from their carriers, and getting their first taste of freedom. After all they have been through in life, they come out, tails wagging, barking and baying, and looking ready to play and give love. All 40 of those dogs were adopted out by January of 2012!
- The announcement that cosmetics giant L’Oreal is buying out the smaller California based company, Urban Decay. Urban Decay is a vegan cosmetic company known for its cruelty free stance. L’Oreal is still known in 2012 to use animal testing in some of its products and markets. Big business is at it again, and as usual, money talks.
In my quest to go completely “cruelty free”, I have found this situation to be typical. A small company that is against animal testing gets bought out by a bigger company without the same morals. This makes it even more confusing to find products not animal tested. I was excited to read that Tresemme and Nexxus products were not tested on animals. Finally, I thought, a brand that was fairly inexpensive and would be easy to find anywhere. Indeed, it says on the package itself that it is not tested on animals. However, in my further research, I discovered that Alberto Culver, who owned these products, had been bought out by the bigger company Unilever. Unilever is on PETA’s list of companies that DO test on animals. So, even if that individual product was not tested on animals, it is owned by a company that does. So some of your money is going to a non-cruelty free company. Ugh. So now the same thing is happening with Urban Decay, as it probably has with many others.
None of this is cut and dried, that is for sure. I try to buy products that are Leaping Bunny certified. But those have been a little more difficult to find. So in some cases I have gone with what the label says when buying something. If it says it is not tested on animals then I still might buy it, if it doesn’t look like it is owned by one of the big conglomerates. When I get home I try to do further research.
Here are some of the new products I have been trying that are Leaping Bunny certified:
- Jason deodorant. Works great! They have some other products I will try also.
- Seventh Generation dish detergent and granite cleaner. They have a full line of household products which I plan to try. So far my first two products from them are great.
- Paul Mitchell hair products. I used to use their products when I was younger but haven’t for years. I just picked up shampoo and hair gel when Christmas shopping. I used to love the Awapuhi shampoo. I hope I still do. The prices at JCPenney seemed very reasonable, especially if you buy multiple products.
- I was also pleased to see that Bed Bath & Beyond, which now carries a lot of health & beauty items, has a large selection of all natural/organic/cruelty free items. I grabbed some Alba Botanicals face moisturizer that was on clearance.
These products I am trying are not LB certified, but state that they do not test on animals:
- Focus 21 hairspray. Found this at my local Hannaford Supermarket. They have a great selection of these types of products, salon quality.
- Sprout lip balm. Sprout Skincare (now SW Basics) is also vegan. I trust there are no animal ingredients as well as it being cruelty free.
- Aveda shampoo. Love the rosemary mint scent. Instead of saying “not tested on animals, their label says “people tested”. Their website assures me that they are cruelty free. A little pricey, but they often offer free shipping and free samples.
- Healthy Accents bar soap. LOVE the lemon thyme scent!
- Bath & Body Works products. Their irresistible sales of “buy 3 get 3 free” assures me of always being well stocked on them!
I don’t know why some of these companies don’t become certified. Leaping Bunny does require them to not only ban animal testing for their own company, but that their suppliers for ingredients also ban it. Some companies may not want to make that commitment, or just aren’t sold on the idea that this would be good for their marketing.
I may seem a little slow in my changeover to new products. I have a tendency to stock up on things, and buy in bulk, so this is gradual for me. I buy new things as I need them, and have been trying other products also. I am not going to name products I tried that I didn’t really like, because I am picky (not news to my friends and family), and I don’t want to influence anyone negatively, when it may just be my personal preference – I didn’t like the scent, or it didn’t lather enough for me, or things like that. I have yet to try a genuinely bad product.
I suppose I could or should make a stand and just throw away everything in my house that is not cruelty free. But to me that feels a little like shooting myself in the foot. I’ve already given them my money, so why just throw it away? They aren’t going to know that I did, unless I tell each and every one of them! Perhaps if I were wealthy, and I could afford to just throw money away, I would do so on principle. But for now, unless I win the lottery, I will just change over gradually! That also gives me time to research things as I need them.
If you are on Facebook, please “like” the page for the Beagle Freedom Project. They frequently post companies and products that they like which are cruelty free. There is a lot of up-to-date information on the work they do. Plus there are a lot of cute beagle photos on there!
Another place to shop online is http://www.Vitacost.com which has a great line of cruelty free products to choose from. I haven’t bought from them yet myself, but plan to take a closer look at it soon. My local Hannaford has been one of my greatest sources. Strangely, I have another Hannaford a little further away that I sometimes go to, and they have little to none of these products! I guess it depends on the area/community, and whether or not there is a demand. I’d like to think these products are in high demand everywhere, but I guess we’ll have to continue to work on that!
Casie Baca says
Aveda doesn’t test on animals but it’s parent company, I believe Estee Lauder, does.
There’s so many companies where that’s the situation, which makes it difficult to figure out sometimes. I don’t like buying from those companies, because I believe some of my money is still supporting the parent company that is testing on animals (though I can’t honestly say I haven’t on occasion, such as Tom’s of Maine, but I’ve tried not to).
Pamela | Something Wagging This Way Comes says
You sum up how hard ethical purchasing can be.
I always liked Premier products (easy walk harness, tug-a-jug) until they were bought by a company that makes shock collars. I can’t bring myself to support them any more.
For soaps, I’ve had good luck with Dr. Bronner’s. They aren’t fancy but they support many of my values.
I really didn’t expect it to be so difficult! And it is so disappointing to find out a product you love is made by a company that does things that you just can’t forgive them for.
I will add Dr. Bronner’s to my list to try also, thank you Pamela!
Janet “It’s A Ten” hair line products are Leaping Bunny certified. You can only get them in a salon that sells them. The bunny is on the products. The hair spray is so so but the deep conditioning treatments are wonderful!
I love your blogs.
Thanks Mary (for both things)! I will check out those products. I have a haircut appt. next week so I will see if my salon carries it. If not, I might have to get after her to do so!