Well, hello again! It’s great to be here! Updates are still happening. But I missed sharing stuff with you. Here’s a new post…  Thanks for reading!

It happened about 2 years ago. I walked into a room and looked at my two dogs (one of whom has sadly, passed away since then). As I looked at them, a whirlwind of stuff ran through my mind. Earlier that day, I had seen one of those gut-wrenching, heartbreaking ASPCA PSA ads and came across something on social media about animal testing on bunnies, dogs, etc. Whilst looking at my pups, I started picturing them in that kind of situation–caged in a laboratory, poked, prodded, bleeding. It was too much to bear. It was then I decided to take small steps by using cruelty-free products.

It’s been an interesting journey. When I first started sharing with friends about our lifestyle changes, they were supportive and gave me the look that may as well have said, “That’s a lot of work…” Yes indeed, it is a lot of work. When I started this process, I started with a Google search, “cruelty-free brands”. And as you can imagine, it yielded heaps of results. That’s the most overwhelming part of the process. Researching. Sifting through all of the content. The interwebs is vast and full of as much crap as it has useful, helpful information.

Now here’s what I share with everyone about becoming a more compassionate consumer and/or cruelty-free:

This is not a perfect process.

Full disclosure: I am an omnivore. I eat meat. I eat vegetables. I eat fruit. I work on making as many informed, ethical decisions about what we eat, use on our bodies, and in our home.

As the process went on, I learned what my “non-negotiables” are. That is, what are my rules? Am I OK buying a product that is not animal tested in the U.S. but tested in countries like China? Am I OK buying a specific line of the brand that isn’t tested on animals but the other stuff is? And which products do I use that I can switch over to cruelty-free? Deodorant?  Toothpaste? Dish soap? Toilet bowl cleaner? My hair brush? Make up? So many decisions.

Image from, Pexels

It seems obvious now (it wasn’t at the time)–but going directly to the company website  and searching “animal testing” is helpful too. Turns out a lot of companies, especially cosmetic ones, have  FAQ’s pages that address this question. And asking questions directly to the people who are selling the products can be helpful too.

What did I learn?

  1. So many cruelty-free brands are affordable and readily accessible–easy to find at your local Target, local grocery and drug stores.
  2. Consumer reviews are helpful. It’s important to read why folks like or hate the product. Avoid reviews that are too general like, “It’s great! I love it,” and “I hated it”. Look for reviews that explain why they hated or loved the product? Did that person have an allergic reaction? Hate the smell? Taste? Or maybe the company doesn’t have good customer service?
  3. Don’t be too hard on yourself when you buy the cruelty-free brand and it doesn’t work out (for whatever reason) and you’re back to using the non-cruelty-free brand. It’s all in the effort and the little steps. If that brand didn’t work for you, maybe another one will.

Here are some great websites and blog posts that may be a good start in helping you buy cruelty-free products:

Phyrra

Cruelty-Free Kitty

Leaping Bunny

BuzzFeed

Paws Off Beauty