Why I'm Going Cruelty-Free

Feminism isn’t only about wanting equality for women, it’s about fighting for a world that is just, fair, and free from oppressive institutions. That’s why feminism has come a long way since the movement has started: it’s become more inclusive and mindful of how our various identities (in regards to race, sexual orientation, size, ability, etc.) come to impact the way we navigate the world, and how, in turn, the world responds to us. As a result, I believe feminism has simply grown more aware of the world.

Though I don’t believe that the terms humanist and feminist are interchangeable, I do believe that as a feminist you are, or must become, a humanist. In turn, we should therefore be consciously thinking about our impact on the world. That means being aware of our carbon footprint; That means being mindful of where our food originates from; And that means being conscious of what brands we purchase – and the ethicality behind them.  

If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that I’ve recently lost a large chunk of my makeup. As I mourned what I’d lost, I also came to realize that this presented me with the opportunity to start being more mindful about what brands I purchased from. Though it’s long been on my mind, I’ve had a passive consumer relationship to ethical shopping. I thought it was a great idea...and did nothing about it. But while I intend to buy from ethically sourced brands, and purchase more natural products (and make my own, but more on that some other day), what I’ve felt more and more strongly about is animal testing in the cosmetic industry.

Animals used for cosmetic testing (i.e. rabbits, guinea pigs, mice and rats) have different chemicals injected, ingested, or dermally applied to them, and are usually euthanized after the test is concluded (i.e., necks snapped). Being that we have a huge knowledge on the effects of many chemicals on humans currently used in the industry, testing on animals is unnecessary. We don’t need to continuously strive for better chemical compositions if it means killing and torturing animals for it. In fact, the entire European Union opposes animal testing, as does India, Israel, and Norway. China, on the other hand, requires it, which means that any brand sold in China tests on animals (bye bye Chanel, Dior, L’Oreal, etc.). The US, it appears, is in "don't ask don't tell" territory. 

Because I’m a newbie to the cruelty-free world, I’m still learning what is and what isn’t cruelty-free, but there’s an incredible wealth of resources available, and a growing set of blogs dedicated to cruelty-free, vegan, and natural makeup. Cruelty Free Kitty has been a great resource for me as I’ve looked up what brands I should be purchasing from in the future, but I’d love to hear what blogs you follow for cruelty-free beauty and the like.

Though I won’t be purging myself of what I currently have that doesn’t qualify as cruelty-free (I can’t currently afford replacing everything in my stash), I certainly will not buy those products again when I run out. Expect a “How Cruel is My Makeup Bag?” video in the near future (yep…I’m thinking of having some more videos here and there, though definitely not making YouTube a focus of mine) as I've really been enjoying watching those (especially kissmyfrog's, a new recent favorite discovery of mine), as well as an updated post in the near-future on blogs I’ve found, what I’ve learned, and what brands I’ve discovered. In any case, because I strongly believe that we shouldn’t paint an idyllic blog brand that’s unfaithful to who we really are, I’ll still feature the products that I currently use that don’t fit under the cruelty-free moniker, but I’ll make sure to denote what is and what isn’t cruelty-free. 

Please let me know if you have any blog or product recommendations, I'm especially on the hunt for a new mascara. 

And though I'm not one to proselytize, I do hope you'll hop on this cruelty-free train with me.