I did a group project on animal rights this semester at uni, and I discovered the reality of animal testing. I always knew it was a problem, but I never really understood the full extent to which animals are subject to cruel mistreatment all in the name of beauty. Having been an animal lover my whole life, I decided that I was going to make the switch from an unethical make up collection to a stash that was more animal-friendly. And it has been a way easier process than I initially thought.
I began by weeding through my products and categorised my them into two categories: cruelty-free and not cruelty-free. I was saddened to discover that over 80% of my beauty loves were from brands that tested on animals. I was under the impression that the majority of companies were cruelty-free – I thought humans would be decent enough by now to exclusively dermatologically test – but was proven wrong by googling a list of unethical brands.
In Australia, it is illegal for companies to test on animals. However, we still import brands that do – these brands mainly come from the U.S and China. In China, it is law for companies to test on animals as opposed to dermatologists, and I honestly don’t know what America’s excuse is. The majority of cosmetic brands on the Australian market come from the U.S and China, which theoretically means that my stash is probably roughly representative of the average Australian.
After this discovery, I made the decision to not throw out any of my make up because it had already been purchased and the damage was already done. But I vowed to not purchase in future from any company that tests on animals, thereby reducing my support and impact on this brutal and incredibly inhumane industry. One brand that I have been particularly impressed by on my mission for ethical beauty is Lush. Not only is Lush a cruelty-free brand, but they only source ingredients from ethical companies and they actively fight the issue behind the scenes.
So, my point is this – no step is too small in the search for a more ethical world. If we all were able to make small changes to our beauty routines, it would make a huge overall impact to the way animals are treated in the cosmetics industry. One person making the conscious effort to only purchase from ethical beauty brands may seem small, but for right now, I think this is a pretty decent step in the right direction.