I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the products that I use for everyday grooming and cleaning. I go well out of my way to be sure that no animal-based products make their way into my belly, but sometimes overlook other products that could potentially be contributing to the cruelty of animals. It’s extremely important to me (as a vegan) to be sure that I’m not adding to the problem, but doing my part to correct it. So I decided to take a look at my bathroom and determine if it was truly animal-friendly. You would be surprised at the number of toiletries, from soap to shaving cream, that have animal-based ingredients. It’s not only unethical, but completely gross in my opinion.
Unfortunately, companies aren’t required to label their products as vegan-friendly or otherwise. And the animal-based ingredients that they use are often impossible to decipher without a lab manual. Another factor in whether a product is cruelty-free pertains to the way they conduct their product testing. Any company who tests the safety of their product on animals is not considered vegan-friendly, as there can be adverse effects on the animals.
But how are we to know which toiletries are animal-friendly? Many companies who I are vegan safe, will label their products as so. The Vegan Society offers their trademark label to products that meet their animal-free standards. Another logo you may find on vegan-safe products is Vegan Action’s logo which is a registered trademark for products that do not contain animal products or byproducts and that have not been tested on animals.
|Vegan Action’s Logo|
|Vegan Society Logo|
Both of these logos are great, and serve a wonderful purpose. But not all products have been certified, due to a number of reasons – one being the negative stigma that comes with being “vegan.” Luckily, PETA has a comprehensive list of animal-based ingredients that are commonly found in hair products, makeup, toothpaste, shaving creams, and other bathroom necessities. If you are unsure of an ingredient, check it against their list. Although PETA’s list seems lengthy and complete, there are thousands of technical and patented names for ingredient variations. Many ingredients known by one name can be of animal, vegetable, or synthetic origin. If you are still unsure and want answers, contact the manufacturer. Not only will this put your mind at ease, but it will let the manufacturer know that consumers are interested in vegan alternatives.
Now that we know the ingredients in our products, how will we find out the way they are tested? If a product is not labeled vegan (as above), there are a couple of ways to check if they are cruelty-free. PETA has an extensive database which contains the names of products and companies that either do, or don’t, test on animals. You can search by product, or company, name. For a copy of their “Companies that don’t test on animals” PDF, click here. Take it with you every time you shop to be sure you’re making sustainable and Eco-friendly choices.
Do you check your products to make sure they’re free of animal-based ingredients? What soaps, shampoos, shaving creams, etc. do you use?
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