The Ugliness of Testing on Animals

Hi friends,

There has been something brewing in the back of my mind for a while now, and I have been making it a point to integrate it into my daily life. I haven’t yet, however, mentioned it on this here blog, and I thought it was about time I got it done! What on earth am I talking about? Why, cosmetic testing on animals of course, and why it is one of the ugliest things you could do in the universal (seemingly endless) quest for beauty.

I know when these sorts of issues come up, people switch off and go and watch Kim Kardashian cry or go shopping. I understand why – real issues are a tad overwhelming and frustrating and can make you feel powerless, which is why it is much easier to watch a representative of all that is wrong with our culture do something bemusing. However, I want to bring this issue to light, because it is something I feel really strongly about, and is also something that I think we can all work toward bettering and improving, for ourselves, the next generation, and the animals of the world.

A rather adorable puppy <3
A rather adorable puppy <3

Beauty blogging and the beauty world is a funny thing. There are real people behind these videos and posts, which is why they connect so well with audiences and also why companies are tripping over themselves to work with them. However, sometimes I find it disheartening how there is no real focus on what goes on behind these products, how they are made and whether they cause more harm than good. I know that I am particularly sensitive about this sort of thing, but I feel like we as a people (not just bloggers) need to step up and shine a light on issues bigger than the latest MAC collection.

Would you ever hurt an animal? Would you ever directly cause pain to a living creature? Most people would answer a resounding “no!” to this question, and yet… when we buy products that have been (unnecessarily) tested on animals, we are impying that we support this behaviour. We imply that we don’t care about the ramifications of  our actions, when really, it’s all we’ve got to show that we do care. Our purchasing power, our spending habits – these reflect our choices, and these can make a difference.

What do companies respond to? Is it the ethical behaviour toward others? No. Is it independent thought on the part of each one of said company’s employees? Unfortunately, no. The thing that big companies are actually going to respond to and pay attention to is $$$money$$$, and also shame. What am I talking about here? Well, in this day and age of social networking and everyone being able to create their own platforms, companies doing the wrong thing are finally having to face the people and change things that the public doesn’t approve of. And this is a very good thing.

As I said, I have been privately doing this for a while now, but recently something that prompted me to get this post up ASAP was watching a trailer for the movie Blackfish. For any of you that haven’t heard of it, you can find the trailer here. I haven’t yet watched this movie (as watching the preview was enough to make me cry and get really, really sad), but I am keen to. These things are hard for me to stomach, but I do believe that it is important to know about them so that we can change things.

So what are some things you can do? Good news is, they are many and varied, and I am going to list them for you now!

  • Find out which brands don’t test on animals. Of course, this differs for each country but wherever you are, the lists are pretty accessible.
    Korea: Animal Rights Korea (KARA)
    Australia: Choose Cruelty Free (CCF)
    America: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
  • Focus on what you can buy. Much like healthy eating (or anything, really) if you focus on what you can’t do, you will immediately want to do it. Instead, find out the brands that don’t test on animals, and focus on them. I’ve listed a few of my favourites below, but there are many more to be discovered!
  • Stay committed! Staying committed to a goal can be one of the more difficult parts of making a change – unless you have a plan. Try to focus on how your positive actions can help others, or how other (negative) actions could be damaging. You can make a game of it – see how long you can go buying only cruelty-free items, team up with a friend and compare your progress… anything to keep it in the front of your mind. Because honestly, it’s not that hard, but it can make a real difference.

And so, here is an abridged list of brands that I can no longer buy – at least until they change their ways. As I mentioned, this is by no means all of the brands that test on animals (unfortunately, there are many, many more of those), but these are some within my physical and mental periphery. You may recognise some, too! I’ve also put in a number of well-loved brands that, thankfully, have seen the light and are 100% cruelty-free.

Brands that I can no longer buy (The BLACKLIST):

  • NATURE REPUBLIC… nooooooo!
  • Missha
  • Tony Moly
  • Skinfood
  • The Face Shop
  • Maybelline
  • L’Occitane
  • HERA

Brands that I can buy 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Beyond Cosmetics (Korean brand)
  • Dr. Jart+ (Korean brand)
  • Sukin (Australian brand)
  • Australis
  • Vichy
  • Nuxe
  • Lush

As an aside, apparently L’Oreal claim to “no longer test[s] on animals any of its products or any of its ingredients, anywhere in the world. Nor does L’Oréal delegate this task to others.” However, I don’t really want to put them on the list of available brands because they have a terrible track record and I don’t really trust them. Not yet, anyway!

So that’s my plan for now. I want to live more mindfully, buy less junk and really be happy with what I do decide to let into my life. Harming innocent animals is not something that I can just sit by and let happen, and so I have decided to take this action. And so far I’ve really been sticking to it! Not only have I not been buying cosmetics because of my decluttering spending ban, keeping this crusade in mind has really helped when I’ve been tempted at the stores (and you know I get tempted!).

How about you? If anyone is also committed to being cruelty-free, how do you stay focused on it? I’d love to hear your tips!

Until next time,

Steph x

  1. In the European union when it come to cosmetics it is no longer legal to test either products or ingredients on animals. And the newest thing is that it is no longer legal to even sell products testet on animals. So no new tests on animals will be carried out. And if you wanna sell your product you just have to test your ingredients otherwise. I think this is a huge step for against animal testing. And hopefully the rest of the world will follow.
    The loophole here is that ingredients that have been trialed and testet on animals can still be used. Alternatives must be found. That the law only applies to the beauty industry for now.
    Keep up the good work with the blog.
    Iben, Denmark

    1. Hi Iben, thanks for your comment 🙂 That is really good news, I think the EU is making serious headway with this cause (as is Australia) and Asia is now starting to catch up. Of course there are always loopholes, and that is the next step to tackle, but I think it is definitely an excellent start. This makes me very happy 🙂 Where there’s a will, there’s a way! ^^

  2. This is wonderful.

    I’ve often felt this way when watching beauty tutorials or reading beauty blogs–I don’t care how well a mascara works if it had to needless hurt an animal to do so…

    Thanks so much–this really helps!

    1. Oh thank you for your sweet comment! Yep, sometimes it’s hard to stick to but I find it to be worth it. It’s also really heartening to see the world slowly but surely start to change in response. We can make a difference! Glad to hear it helped ^_^

  3. As l’Occitane is a French brand it is not allowed to test on animals anymore. I can mot remember precisely when animal testing was banned but it is not that recent.
    The only thing I do not know is if they developed special products for the Asian market or not. One way to be sure about that is to check if the same product is sold in EU on their website.
    Hope you will be thrilled to learn that (and sorry for the potential English mistake I am French)

    1. Hi, thanks for your comment! Your English is great 🙂 As far as I know, L’Occitane themselves don’t test their products or ingredients on animals, however they did consent to testing in order to sell in the Chinese market (which they do – a LOT). According to their website, they have “opened a dialogue” to break down animal testing from inside China, which is a nice concept but which I am not 100% sold on. It just sounds a little bit like an excuse, because if they were really committed to the cause they would refuse to sell there. But then, I see this issue in pretty black-and-white terms and that may not be the case for everyone.

      I know that South Korea are making headway with this issue and it would be really heartening if China lifted their game too! But I don’t know if that will ever happen… or not for a long while at least. Either way, it is good to know that L’Occitane have at least addressed it in some way, but I am going to stick to products not succumbing to these Chinese laws. It’s hard because I love L’Occitane products, so I hope they change soon!

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