How To Avoid Animal Testing

Have you ever thought about the fact that a lot of beauty products, personal care product, toiletry products, nail polish and makeup are tested on animals before the products make their way to the stores? And not only is almost everything in the 'beauty' category tested on animals but it is also a common thing for cleaning products and even things like pens, contact lenses, band aids, kleenex, sticky notes and even some toothpastes. It is absolutely ridiculous how much is tested on animals. This is a topic I have been reluctant to both research and talk about because I find it so cruel, horrible and so unnecessary (like with everything animal product).

Monkeys, rabbits, dogs, cats, sheep, goats, fish, mice, rats, guinea pigs and other animals are kept in cages forced to swallow or inhale test substances or have chemicals placed in their eyes or on their skin. More than 100 million animals are killed in the US only every single year because of animals testing. When a substance has been tested on animals it must be safe, right? Wrong, just because something has been tested on animals does not mean that it is safe for humans. In fact, 90 % of drugs fail in human trials despite promising results in animal testing so you could definitely say that animals testing is unreliable.  Even if something was toxic for the animals it has been discovered to still end up in products sold to humans.

Here are some facts about animal testing:
Did you know that bunnies are typically used for nail polish testing because their eyes have the same texture as human nails?

Did you know that in China it is a legal law to test products on animals before they hit the shelves in the store? This means that any brands that produces and sells in China tests on animals.

Did you know that at least 115 million animals are used in experiments worldwide each year?

Did you know that it is estimated that USA is the top animals testing country followed by Japan, China, Australia and France?

Did you know that the UK is the biggest user of animals in the EU with 3.9 million experiments reported in 2014? Germany is the second highest with 2.8 million animal experiments and France is third with 1.8 million.

Did you know that 60% (1.12 million experiments) were in the area of basic research – much of it driven by the curiosity of university researchers?

Did you know that in 2014, it is estimated that there were 318,259 experiments on rabbits, 3,851 on cats, 11,250 on horses and 22,967 on dogs?

Did you know that the animals used in the UK included:
Mice (1.10 million experiments)
Rats (233,676 experiments)
Hamsters (1,126 experiments)
Birds (130,469 experiments)
Rabbits (10,362 experiments)
Guinea-pigs (22,560 experiments)
Monkeys (2,960 experiments)
Dogs (3,847 experiments)
Cats (198 experiments)
Horses (10,600 experiments)
Sheep (47,482 experiments)
Pigs (4,361 experiments)
Goats (256 experiments)
Cows (2,844 experiments)
Reptiles (92 experiments)
Amphibians (9,341 experiments)
Fish (308,340 experiments)

How to avoid animal testing:
There are actually alternatives to animal testing and therefore it is so unnecessary. If you want to learn more about how that is possible and what to do instead just click right here. If you want to know if what you buy is cruelty free or not then there are multiple lists online sharing which are cruelty free and which aren't. You can also get apps that tell you if a brand is using animals or not:

How cruel is your makeup bag/collection?
It seems like the first thing and what it associated with animal testing is checking your makeup. Go through your makeup items (if you have any) one by one (or by brand) and see which list their name is on. If the brand is not on the cruelty free list then it is likely not cruelty free. To be sustainable, finish the products that are not cruelty free and then replace with a cruelty free alternative to not produce more waste than necessary.

Once you have checked your makeup ask:
How cruel is my hair care?
How cruel is my nail care?
How cruel is my personal care products?
How cruel is my cleaning products?

Popular brands that are not cruelty free:
Aussie, Bobbi Brown, Clinique, Dior, Elizabeth Arden, Estée Lauder, Garnier, Gillette,  Head & Shoulders, Hugo Boss, Giorgio Armani, L'Oreal, M.A.C. Cosmetics, Makeup forever, Maybelline, Nars Cosmetics, Olay, OPI, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Revlon, Rimmel London, Schwarzkopf, Sephora Cosmetics, Vaseline, Veet, Vichy, Victoria Secret.

Looking for a brand? Find out if they test on animals right here:

Brands that are cruelty free:
E.l.f. Cosmetics, Essence, Evolvh, Gosh Cosmetics, Green People, Inika, IT cosmetics, Jeffree Star, Kat Von D Beauty, LUSH Cosmetics, Makeup Geek, Milk Makeup, NYX Cosmetics (owned by L'Oreal), Ole Henriksen, The Vegan Glow, The Body Shop, Urban Decay (owned by L'Oreal), wet n wild, Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics.

Looking for a brand? Find out if they are cruelty free right here:

You can also check the products for any labels to tell you whether animals were used or not. For example the leaping bunny means that no animals were used in the process of making the products. But be aware, just because something says cruelty free does not mean that it is completely without animals - how that can be logic, I do not know but I just wanted to mention it because a products can contain animal products, not be tested on animals and claim to be cruelty free, which does not make any sense. But let's get into cruelty free label to look for:

The leaping bunny label: 
If a products has the leaping bunny label it means that not only was the finished products not tested on animals but the ingredients in the products were not tested on animals either. Here are the criteria for the leaping bunny label:
  • They must apply a fixed cut-off date – this is an immoveable date,  after which the company will no longer conduct or commission animal tests for cosmetics (i.e. where an ingredient was first used in a cosmetic or that is its main use) – anywhere in the world
  • They cannot purchase cosmetics ingredients animal-tested after their fixed cut-off date – anywhere in their supply chain
  • They must set up a monitoring system to ensure their suppliers comply with their fixed cut-off date
  • They must open up their monitoring system to regular independent audits to check they continue to comply with their fixed cut-off date for all their cosmetics, including any new ones.
  • This basically means that after a set date the company will no longer test the products nor the ingredients on animals and will not be using any animal testing in any supply chain as well as not purchase any ingredients that has been animals tested.

Be aware! Lots of products say 'this products was not tested on animals' or 'cruelty free' but just because a products says that does not mean that it is cruelty free. It could mean that the finished product was not tested on animals but some of the ingredients were tested or that some of the raw materials have been tested on animals in the past but that they are not currently being tested on animals. If you want to know more about the myths and facts about animal testing then click right here. 

If you want to make it easy when you are on the go and don't really have the time to look through lists on the internet to see if a company or product is cruelty free then you can download apps that will help you. Scan the codes on the packaging to see if the products is cruel, search and find the products you want to take home with you and the app will tell you if animals were used for testing or if the product is cruelty free. Find out which app is the best right here.  

Thank you so much for reading! These are some of the ways to avoid animal testing. It can be quite the jungle to enter the animal testing world and it can be quite overwhelming to start but the place to start is definitely with what you have. Is what you have cruelty free and then go from there. If it is not, finish the products and look for a cruelty free alternative and if it is cruelty free then keep purchasing it. Do your best, I know it can be tricky when you find a brand you cannot figure out whether they test or not.