13/03/2014

Debated Decisions #1 Animal Testing

My Rabbit

As so many of you enjoyed my ‘Am I a real blogger’ post, I decided to start a new series called ‘Debated Decisions’ if anything this will allow me to do some chatty posts, on particular topics that are of interest to me and hopefully to you too. 

Today’s topic is all about animal testing, and cruelty free brands. Not the prettiest or most pleasant of subjects, but it’s something I’ve wanted to look into for the longest time. So, I decided to dig my head out of buried sand and take to good old google. There’s no doubt this is a controversial subject, and at the risk of my post sounding judgemental I’d like to mention, I use products tested on animals (not intentionally) and yes I’m a meat eater so I guess this raises the question of why do I care? We are in the 21st century folks and there’s so many brands who are able to avoid animal testing but still produce high quality products, with high quality marketing so why can’t more brands get on board? In my opinion if it’s not necessary to hurt animals to ensure cosmetics are safe for humans than why not just stop animal testing all together?  But this also raises the question of the pharmaceutical industry, again they test on animals but without doing so medicine would by no means be as advanced as it is now. One could argue though that medicine advancing is a necessity whereas cosmetics are not. Questions, questions and more questions. 

After following/talking too several of you on twitter, and Instagram it seems like the majority of you beauty lovers are also animal fans. I've had rabbits for as long as I can remember. I've grown up always having a pet in the household there like part of the family. I asked myself the question what if someone took my rabbit held him in unthinkable conditions, and continually plastered him in chemicals/cosmetics. After putting it into this perspective I did get a little annoyed and angry that companies continue to do this to animals when there is no need. Many brands who held a cruelty free status in the UK, now distribute products to China, a country that by law requires animal testing. 

So onto the research bit, I began by looking at the brands that I use (and love) and I was disappointed to see the majority are indeed tested on animals-

Origins- Oh Origins why? I’m a huge fan of Origins products. This did surprise me as there was a time that Origins was a cruelty free brand, but as with most they became ‘big’ and started shipping to China resulting in the cruelty free status being removed. Origins are labelled as a natural brand with great ethics which seems misleading if you ask me.  When questioned (at an Origins counter) the sales assistant was very reluctant to discuss the brands ethos.

Clinique- Similarly to Origins, Clinique had a cruelty free status but again this was scraped in order to sell products in China. This information is pretty hidden on the website, and is not very clear to customers.

Burt’s Bee's -Another shocker as everything is labelled as 'natural and earth friendly', but the brand itself is owned by a company called 'Clorox' who unfortunately are not cruelty free

Here’s a few more (Korres is particular surprising as there ingredients are pretty spot on) -Bumble and bumble Caudalie, Korres, L'Occitaine, Mac, OPI and Stilla cosmetics.

I could literally go on and on (that would be boring) but the list of brands that aren't cruelty free by far outweighs the ones that are. But never fear there’s good news there are also tons of brands (that are favourites of mine) that are cruelty free (horray!)

To name a few-Soap & Glory (yes!), The Body Shop *Update Body Shop are apparently owned by L'oreal and are NOT cruelty free* NARS, Ilamasqua, Anastasia, The Balm, Bath and Body works, Dermalogica, Dr Bronners, Eco Tools, EOS, Fake Bake, Hourglass, John Frieda, Josie Maran, Liz Earle, Melvita and Murad

So, perhaps purchasing products from cruelty free brands isn't as difficult as I originally anticipated as many of my favourite products also fall into the ‘cruelty free’ category. To wrap everything up as (I’ve rambled an awful lot) I can’t help but think in an ideal work brands should be more transparent with customers regarding animal testing. Whether the brand is cruelty free or not should be something that is displayed openly on product packaging and ideally on the home page of their website. I also think brands should most certainly not be able to market products as clean, natural, and organic or earth friendly if animal testing is carried out. 

What are your thoughts on animal testing, cruelty free brands? Would you continue to use products from brands that you know carry out animal testing?
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10 comments

Rosie said...

Great post, I like your chatty posts by the way :) Before Christmas I decided to stop using products which had been tested on animals. I was so frustrated with MAC because they used to be cruelty free but wanted to sell in China so had to test.

I just can't see the need for it anymore, I honestly can't. Very few products, especially when it comes to makeup, are new recipes or use new ingredients so why do they need to be tested?

It's great that so many brands are cruelty free however it turns out some of them, like The Body Shop, are owned by bigger companies who test. In The Body Shops case, they're owned by L'Oreal who are one of the worst, so that makes things harder when you can't honestly say that if you buy from a company who are cruelty free you aren't supporting a company who test.

Rosie x | www.eatreadglam.com

Rebecca B. Bird said...

Such a tricky subject. As you pointed out, there are a number of brands that don't animal test but are owned by large parent companies that do, which complicates things. And of course the whole China thing! thought there was an initiative to ban animal testing outright in the EU in the next couple years? Not sure if that ever came to fruition. There was also a bill introduced recently here in the US to ban animal testing, but who knows what will happen with that. Anyway, I'm hoping it will cease at some point, because it seems unnecessary and as a consumer I find it very difficult to sort out what is and isn't tested on animals. Animal tested products are something I try to avoid, but I'm probably not as diligent about it as I should be.

One thing I like about buying from indie brands is that a lot of them don't animal-test - many of them are vegan or have vegan-friendly options too. Can't get more cruelty-free than 100% vegan. :)

Rinica Warner said...

Totally agree very touchy, yes I just think companies should be transparent and if they are owned by a parent company they shouldn't be allowed to say that they're cruelty free take Body shop for example they say they are when there indeed NOT it's all so confusing! I though there was too over the next two years or so,etching apparently unsure as to wether that will take affect fingers crossed. I'm exactly the same, I was surprised by how many products I'm using that are animal tested as I thought I was doing a better job then I actually am!

I'm currently trying to introduce more 'natural alternatives' but I guess your right that's one way of been sure your pretty much sure if its 100% vegan :)

Rinica Warner said...

Aww thank you ever so much means a lot, I never know how these types of posts will go down, I like a good old debate though every once in awhile haha. Like hearing other people's opinions. It's so annoying, I don't understand it if I'm honest why China insist by law I think a lot more brands would be on board if China changed there law, because I guess there's a lot of money to be had by selling there.

Totally agree I mean if brands can sell products without the testing and we don't have reactions or whatever why can't more get on board. Plus scientists have even said that testing animals isn't 100% anyway as the skin reacts differently. Thanks for the heads up there I'm soooo disappointed with Body shop truly am, they come across really natural as well I don't think it should be as difficult as it is to tell wether a brand test on animals or not :( x

Lauren J said...

This has really opened my eyes up to which make up brands to trust, I can't believe they're allowed to have the cruelty free status but not actually be cruelty free! And the whole China thing is really bad! Why can't they just scrap it, if it works in some countries then it can work anywhere. I am 100% against animal testing, but didn't really know the ins and outs of all the brands. I will definitely be triple checking before I buy things now x

daisy-drops

Laura Chapman said...

I'm completely against cosmetic testing on animals and think it's unnecessary. I do however, understand the pharmaceutical market and why they need to test. I've delved quite deeply into this side and have written quite a few assignments on the subject. I'm not sure whether cosmetic testing works the same as drug testing, but with drug testing, companies don't share the information and data that has been found from the experiments, so if this is the same with cosmetic testing, maybe this is why China say it's necessary for every product to be tested on animals. Clinique, Origins, Bumble and Bumble, MAC, alongside many more are all owned by Estee Lauder (Bobbi Brown, Smashbox, Tom Ford, Darphin, DKNY, Michael Kors etc), so it makes me wonder whether all of the companies under the EL umbrella test on animals.

A great post, I enjoyed reading it!

Laura x | Life and Lipstick

Rinica Warner said...

Thanks for the comment sweetie, I still think even now after researching I'm still way confused as to which brands are and aren't! It shouldn't be so hard for consumers, I know it just seems a bizarre concept :/ I'm using up products I have and for new purchases double checking, it's so hard to figure out though and most brands hide it in small print in a random place x

Rinica Warner said...

Hi Laura, aww thanks glad you enjoyed. Yes I totally agree, I don't think medicine would be as advanced as it is now without it. Oh, that actually makes sense so that could be why China has to have animal testing, I didn't actually know that they don't share the data that seems a little silly hmm it's interesting though I'd love to know more about it. Oh dear, perhaps your right that's so many brands, I really do think it should be easier to know if something is or isn't I feel like I'm a detective whenever I buy a product haha! x

beautylovesbooks said...

I had a rabbit as a pet but it was so naughty that I just had to send it to live with my grandmother in her house in the country. I am surpised that MAC test on animals and their products cause allergic reactions to so many people.

Rinica Warner said...

Aww that's a shame, mines so well behaved and timid we've had him since a young age but he's a rescue bunny he's very well behaved :D. I know, well they say don't they that animals skin is different to humans anyway which defeats the whole point I guess… x

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