Cruelty Free 101

Lipstick & a Latte is a cruelty free beauty blog.  This means none of the products I write about (or use in real life) are tested on animals.  Making the switch to cruelty free beauty products is a relatively simple choice that has the ability to save countless innocent animals from agonizing pain and, ultimately, death.

TJ the Mini Lop Bunny Rabbit
Six year old me holding TJ “the wonder bunny” circa ’95.

What (Exactly) is Cruelty Free?
Whether you’ve noticed the term “cruelty free” being thrown around a lot the past several years or you have never heard of it, the truth is there’s no actual legal definition.  Unlike with FDA organic foods, the term cruelty free is essentially unregulated. This lack of regulation, unfortunately, allows for a lot of misleading labels and sneaky half truths.  If a label reads “final product not tested on animals” it’s a pretty safe bet that at least some of the ingredients aren’t cruelty free.  Likewise, if a company “does not test on animals “except where required by law” it likely sells in a country such as China which requires mandatory animal testing for imported beauty products.

How bad is the testing, really?
If this seems like an awful lot of fuss over painting dogs’ toenails or putting lipstick on mice, please understand that the testing is infinitely crueler than that. I won’t get too graphic when you probably just came to Lipstick & a Latte to see some swatches, but I implore you to do your own research. (A quick Google search of “vivisection” or “LD 50 test”will likely make your stomach turn and at least make an informed consumer out of you.)

Parent Company Conundrum
Some consumers don’t believe in buying from cruelty free companies that are owned by non-cruelty free parent companies, but to me this is a bit like a vegetarian not buying groceries from any store that carries meat.  Every time we decide whether or not to spend our money on a product, we are effectively placing a vote.  I believe that by purchasing from cruelty free subsidiaries of non-cruelty free parent companies, we are in fact sending an important message to said parent companies.

While many of the products I use and write about are vegan as well as cruelty free, as are basically all of my makeup brushes/tools, I am decidedly not vegan.  If you are interested in learning about vegan beauty and lifestyle, I highly recommend checking out the blog Logical Harmony, edited by the lovely Tashina Combs.

Are you interested/curious about becoming a cruelty free consumer?

Please leave your lovely thoughts by commenting below, and don’t forget to like/follow/share if you found this article informative and/or enjoyable.


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