This week I’m talking about a new subject concerning veganism. I’ve never talked about it before, but since I’m vegan now I really feel the need to. I first focussed on turning my diet vegan since that’s the most important at first. Today I want to talk about another part of veganism: animal testing. Don’t worry, I am not going to include horrible pictures, but I do want to inform you about these horrific tests.
When I tried to switch to a zero waste lifestyle I did so because most cosmetics are packaged in plastic, like L’Oreal or Braun. That’s the main reason why I avoided those products. But never ever had I thought about animal testing. And that’s the absurd thing: I didn’t know. I only learned more about this when I went vegan and started following PETA. That is maybe even the most horrible part: people don’t know that they are enabling animal testing. I think we should be aware. Whenever someone buys a brand that tests on animals, like Axe, they should be notified in some way. I for example have supported animal testing for years by using a brand called Clearasil. This makes me so mad! We should know and that’s why I am sharing this today.
Obviously, these animal tests are horrible to look at. I am not going to share any photos or videos because I want to keep you here reading more. But if you are curious I suggest you look it up. It might help you realize how severe the situation is. I also don’t share the pictures because I want to keep this post positive. Because there is something we can do about it!
It’s About the Brand
Since 2013 it is prohibited to sell cosmetics which have been tested on animals in the EU. That is a win! But this is only the case in the EU. Animal testing is not prohibited on the entire planet. And so one brand can sell products that are not tested on animals in the EU, but at the same time sell products that have been tested on animals in other countries. We don’t support animal testing directly as consumers in the EU.
But we do so indirectly. It’s about the brands. If we support brands that do animal tests outside of the EU we still support that. We hand that brand our money and so we say: continue, I don’t mind. And mind you: animal testing is only banned by the EU on cosmetics. Not for cleaning products and such. In that case you could be directly supporting animal testing by choosing the wrong brand.
And then we also have REACH. In 2006 the EU has decided that chemical ingredients which are used in products have to be tested on animals to prove that they are safe (if that hadn’t been proved before). Ridiculous! There are other ways to test products for safety, besides animal testing. The law does say that these tests can only be a resort and there are luckily ways around it. You can read more about REACH here.
What We Can Do
I believe that if people know about animals testing they will act. When you see the horrible photos or videos you can’t be horrified. I simply think you can’t. We can stop the testing by boycotting brands who do tests on animals. And no, you don’t have to investigate every single brand. Which is a lot of work, since companies try to hide this ugly truth. No, there is a tool. A golden tool! A tool which tells you which companies do support animal testing (outside of the EU) and which companies do not support animal testing, ever! This tool, made by PETA, an independent organization. Just type in the brand and the information you need to know will pop-up. Easy.
When I looked at the lists for the first time I was really surprised. Well-known brands test on animals. Axe, L’Oreal, Braun, Air Wick, Always, Biotherm, Calvin Klein, Dove, Pampers en the list seems endless. These are all brands that have fancy commercials and are famous. And they have a dirty secret at the same time!
With this list you can avoid brands that test their products on animals, yes! No unnecessary suffering. Another thing I can recommend is checking labels and certification. There is an official label which tells you that brands don’t test on animals. The Cruelty Free label. I try to maintain the rule: no label, no purchase. Right now, I mainly buy from Lush. They have the label and sell zero waste.
And if you’re an activist: Animal Rights also occasionally holds protests against animal testing! Attend to those too if you can.