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Advice on how to look for cruelty-free products

Little intro on animal testing and alternative methods

( This information I gathered through research)

Animal testing has been object to a series of debates, which try to establish whether it is necessary or not to test on animals the products and the ingredients we, humans, use. Not everyone agrees in saying that it is wrong to consider animals as inferior living forms, which can be put to our use, and be victims in experiments necessary to guarantee the safety of our health, when using certain products. But many of us are trying to make a change. Making an effort in choosing an ethical alternative is not impossible, it is actually very easy.

There are a few facts that should be told to those who are still new to alternative methods. First of all, the animals used in labs, such as rabbits, rats, monkeys, dogs and cats (where legal), do not have the same metabolism that humans have, so eventually the product that is being produced will have to be tested on a human being, for it to result 100% safe.

Secondly, even though it is true that when the product is tested on the human being the risks are lower, if previously tested on an animal guinea pig, it is also true that today’s technology allows us to analyze the effects that a certain substance has, directly on a human cell, which is much more effective than testing it on an animal who’s genetic structure doesn’t match the human one perfectly. This is why we should encourage and finance alternative methods, and not companies that continue using animal testing.

Choose your products!

Recognising a cruelty-free product isn’t always easy, especially since many labels are covered with inscriptions, which supposedly inform the buyer that the product is “against animal testing”, or “not tested on animals”. How do we understand if what we read is really true, or if we’re just being fooled into buying, and thus giving our money to cosmetic industries that have not yet adopted a cruelty-free program?

There are many optimal ways to understand which products are good for going cruelty-free:

1)   look for websites that give lists on all the cruelty-free products available on the market. There are many blogs and websites that offer help in finding the brands and the companies that don’t do animal testing. Don’t stop at the first website, but try researching different ones and combine the results, for some may not have been updated. It would be best to refer to websites that are directly managed by cruelty-free organisations.

Make a list of the companies and brands for which you’re able to find a certification, and keep it in your bag, this way whenever you’re shopping you’ll be able to refer to it. And don’t forget to update it! Many companies have recently joined cruelty-free programs, so check updated websites regularly!

2)   When purchasing a product, look for a certification which shows that the product has been accepted by animal protection groups: the leaping bunny for example is a symbol which guaranties that the company that produced the product joined the cruelty-free program. The leaping bunny is known worldwide, but depending on the provenance of the product, there may be other symbols attesting to other organisations fighting for the rights of animals (Italian products should be certified by LAV). (Be careful because many labels may show a similar bunny just to deceive costumers into buying the product!)

3)   If you read “final product not tested on animals” on the label, it is not a cruelty-free product. It only means that the FINAL product wasn’t tested, but the ingredients were. If you are interested in knowing more about what animal testing is, and when it is legal to do it, you can find all the information you need surfing the net, or if you want to know if your favourite cosmetic company is cruelty-free, you can try going on their website, or send them an email!

So when you’re shopping for beauty products, take a moment to read the labels carefully, because two minutes of your time are significant in the fight for the protection of animal rights.

There are tons of websites where you can find lists of cruelty-free products, and not only for skin care and cosmetics, but also for house cleaning and hygiene! So start searching!

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