Did you know that the FDA doesn’t actually regulate the use of these phrases? What one company calls “cruelty free” can mean that their product isn’t tested on animals at any step and neither are their ingredients. Yet what another company calls “cruelty free” can mean that only the finished product isn’t tested on animals, but it was during the production and/or contains ingredients that have been. This is why it’s so important to educate yourself on what it means to use animal friendly products. There are third-party companies that verify this information, like Leaping Bunny, but I think it’s always good to find out for yourself.
While Logical Harmony covers both cruelty free and vegan products, I have to be honest about the fact that I only use vegan products. I cover cruelty free products because I realize that not everyone is ready to live a vegan lifestyle. I want to create an open dialogue with my readers and make everyone feel included. I also think that everyone has to start somewhere and buying cruelty free is better than nothing. However, with this becoming a hot issue, I do want to make sure that people realize cruelty free just means there was no animal testing. These products often contain animal ingredients that an animal did have to die for. They are by no means actually free from cruelty to animals.
In this post, I’ll show you How To Find Out If Products Are Animal Friendly. This is something that I do with everything I use. Not only are my cosmetics, hair care products and household cleaning products vegan, but so are my toothbrush and razor. It takes a little extra work, but knowing that your products are truly animal friendly is well worth it. I go through all of these steps with everything I use. I think it’s really important to be educated about what you are using and to be able to stand behind the products and brands you use.
Don’t trust other sources. The most important thing that I have learned about finding out of if a product is animal friendly or not is that you can’t trust word of mouth information. A lot of people and blogs don’t verify the information that they are sharing with others. I found this out the hard way when I read on several blogs that Milani was a vegan cosmetics brand. I passed that information along to a couple of other people and bought some of their products without reading the ingredients. Then I contacted Milani and found out that only some of their products are vegan. I felt horrible for passing on false information to others and I learned my lesson then and there. There is also a hair care company that I was reading was cruelty free on several cruelty free and vegan blogs. When I e-mailed them, they replied saying that they currently were not and had never been cruelty free. The point is that people can be misled and don’t always bother to find out the truth for themselves. I urge you all to find out the truth for yourself.
Contact the company yourself. Because “cruelty free” and “vegan” have become marketable terms, companies are usually more than happy to answer questions you have about their products and their stance. They often have a FAQ page with a statement about animal testing and/or their use of animal ingredients. This is a great first step, but they are often not thorough answers. For every product that I use and recommend, I get confirmation from the company about their status. E-mail them and be as specific and direct as possible. I prefer e-mail because then I have an answer in writing.
Ask about their stance on animal testing. When I ask about animal testing, I ask the company if their product has been tested on animals at any point during the production and if it contains any ingredients that have been tested on animals by themselves or a third-party. It’s important to break down your question and be as specific as possible. This forces them to break down their answer and be as specific as possible in return. If their product is truly cruelty free, the company will have no problem telling you that the product was never tested at any point and they don’t buy ingredients that have been tested. If they can’t answer part of your question or give you an unclear response, ask for clarification. I consider a confusing response to be a way of trying to not admit that they aren’t truly cruelty free.
Ask about animal ingredients and animal derived ingredients. Simply asking if their products are vegan isn’t enough as not everyone knows what this means. Instead, ask if their products contain any animal ingredients or animal derived ingredients. I often include a small list of ingredients that can be animal derived as well so that it’s clear what I am asking about.
Ask about the source of the possible animal ingredients. A lot of ingredients, such as glycerin, can come from a plant or animal source. If you are asking about a specific product that contains these types of ingredients, be sure to name them. This is the best way to get a clear answer.
Ask for permission to reprint their reply. A company who is being honest and upfront with you about if their products are tested on animals and what the products contain will have no problem with this. I explain that I want to let my blog readers know the stance of the company. It’s nothing but good publicity for them! If they aren’t okay with it, then I always reconsider if it’s a company that I want to trust and support.
If anything the company says seems suspicious to you, then it’s your call about whether to trust them or not. I’ve dealt with a handful of shady companies. One I e-mailed three different times and ended up with three different answers. Another replied to my e-mail saying that they were too busy to answer my request and to try at a later date. Many companies simply do not even respond. When these factors come up, I just assume that the company doesn’t want to have it in writing that they aren’t animal friendly and I no longer wish to support or endorse them.
This is my process for the products that I use and endorse. I cannot guarantee that other cruelty free and/or vegan blogs do their own research.Â In fact, I started being so thorough once I realized that most do not. I can only vouch for the information that I provide to you on Logical Harmony.
Do you do your own research into your favorite products? If not, are you going to start?
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