Cruelty Free – Easy as 1-2-3

The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man.

Charles Darwin

From cosmetics to cleaning products, animal testing is unfortunately still a part of the process of bringing products to market. However, champions of ethical consumerism, such as the late Dame Anita Roddick, have made it no secret that other forms of dermatological testing can be used as an alternative. Since attempting to go entirely cruelty-free two and a half years ago, I have found myself stepping into a community of consumers who are passionate about discovering the source of their products who want to make ethical decisions before opening their wallets.

More than just makeup


My first pitstop on my quest to go cruelty-free was to check my makeup bag. Famously companies such as L’Oreal and Clinique employ animal testing in the development of their products however there are plenty of alternatives that don’t. For slightly more high-end options, brands such as Urban Decay and teen favourite, Glossier are cruelty-free, however, for more thrifty spends, Barry M and Revolution Beauty stock both vegan and cruelty-free formulas. I found it relatively easy to switch out brands for more ethical counterparts.

Once I had sorted out makeup, I then turned my attention to the bathroom cabinet. From changing toothpaste to finding new shampoo, it was starting to get harder to find reasonably priced alternatives. I discovered that Superdrug’s own branded products are almost entirely cruelty-free, making life a lot easier. I had never previously considered that items such as my deodorant would be animal tested and I felt the creeping realisation that I would have to double check everything. The Body Shop is probably one of the best-known brands for speaking out in the fight against animal testing so needless-to-say they are a good option when looking for alternatives. Equally, Lush boast 100% Vegetarian cosmetics along with their fight to ban animal testing. They also attempt to reduce plastic waste by developing packaging-free items. I do feel that their price point can be a little steep for everyday essentials, however, their ever-growing popularity on the high street is hard to deny.

Cleaning up

From makeup and toiletries, it was time to tackle cleaning products. Once I had gotten over the horror that cleaning items are tested on animals, I was determined to replace everything that I used. I instantly found out that most eco-friendly and cruelty-free cleaning brands wcleaning-hands-handwashing-545013ere in some cases double the price of items that I had been using in the past. Whilst companies such as Method and Ecover can supply anything from toilet cleaner to laundry detergent, they are certainly pricier. Their products smell amazing and work brilliantly so I always check to see when they’re on offer.

With delight, I discovered that some supermarkets have their own brand of cleaning products that are more often than not cruelty-free. So far I have found excellent items from Sainsbury’s, Co-op and Waitrose that do the job and they are much more competitively priced. The brand Astonish are also cruelty-free and vegan whilst being low priced. I have found their items in Wilkos, Poundland, and The Range.

I’m still discovering items in my flat that need replacing but I have realised that there is always an alternative to be found. With so many different ethical options on the market, why do the big companies continue to test on animals?

Why are companies still testing?

Why is it that in 2019, large cosmetic and consumer goods companies still implement animal testing? The answer to this involves a number of factors. Firstly, at its route, animal testing is employed to ensure that products are safe for human consumption. Testing for adverse reactions will reduce the likelihood that a product will cause harm to the consumer so these side effects are often searched for in animal subjects. Not only is this is inhumane, but some also question the validity and effectiveness of these tests.

Animal tests have scientific limitations, as different species respond differently when exposed to the same chemicals. Consequently, results from animal tests may not be relevant to humans, as they can under-or overestimate real-world hazards to people.

The Humane Society of the United States

Photo courtesy of The Body Shop

The second reason for implementing animal testing is to adhere to the regulations of China, which state that any cosmetics must be tested on animals before importation. By continuing to test, large companies keep the trade route open with the Chinese market, an important and valuable customer.

The good news is that some parts of the world are banning animal-tested cosmetics. Norway, Israel, and India have all banned ingredients tested on animals whilst California has passed a bill prohibiting animal testing by 2020.

Spot the signs

Bunny logos are the easiest way to spot an item that is certified cruelty free, however, these signs can vary and in some cases false. Organisations such as PETA, Leaping Bunny and Choose Cruelty Free all have their own unique logos.

Photo courtesy of

Wherever these logos are present, you can feel assured that the item is cruelty-free. Some products may have additional signs that indicate they are suitable for vegans or vegetarians. I have found other bloggers to be a great source of information regarding the constant changes in the beauty community. Cruelty Free Kitty  has a wealth of information as well as Tashina Combs of Logical Harmony, who uploads reviews and tips to YouTube alongside her blog.

No matter what your opinion on animal testing, I have found that looking deeper into the products that I use daily has encouraged me to make more ethical and in some cases, more sustainable decisions when choosing what to buy. There is still a long way to go however I have found that opting to go cruelty-free has been fairly easy and reduces my contribution to the needless testing of animals.

The 5 Reasons I Became A Vegetarian

Yesterday I was so clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself. — Rumi

It started out as a new year’s resolution. When I announced to my friends in a pub on Boxing Day that I was going to give up meat for 2016 I didn’t really give the change much thought. A bit of tofu here, a few Quorn nuggets there, what’s the big difference?

In truth, I had no idea that embarking upon vegetarianism would change my outlook on life as much as it has. I have always felt compassion for all living creatures which was my initial reason behind going meat-free, however as I’ve continued it has become apparent that there are many other compelling reasons to go veggie. I may not have known it at the time, but here are a few of the reasons I became a vegetarian.

1. Animal Welfareorwell farm quote 2 5x5

Initially this was really the only reason I became a vegetarian. For years I had always ignored the contradiction of loving animals whilst eating them for dinner. The human ability to compartmentalise is impressive, so it’s easy to see how many of those who care for animals are happy to participate in a diet containing animal products.

Up until recently I would often feel sheepish for telling people I didn’t eat meat because I “don’t want to eat animals anymore.” On a couple of occasions I would hear opinions such as “…well, the animals are going to be killed anyway so what difference is it going to make?” In response I would just mumble something about it promoting a healthier lifestyle and then hope that the conversation would move on.

Since then I have grown more confident in broaching the subject. I am aware that my individual impact on the welfare of livestock is quite slim, however I can take solace in the fact that I am not actively participating in the intensive farming of animals for the purpose of human consumption.

2. Healthier Lifestyle

It goes without saying that by pursuing a diet with the word “veg” in the title, my fruit and vegetable intake was going to increase. I was, however, surprised to physically feel a difference so quickly. Soon after I made my resolution I felt that my stomach was flatter and I lost around 5lb without really noticing.

So how exactly is it healthier? It is proven that a vegetarian diet typically contains less saturated fat and cholesterol. As a result, it could be possible to avoid common diseases an illnesses that are borne of a poor diet.

Research has shown that vegetarians are less likely to suffer from obesity, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, type II diabetes, some diet-related cancers, diverticular disease, appendicitis, constipation and gallstones. 
The Vegetarian Society –


It is important however to ensure that you are replacing the protein and iron found in meat products with equally nutritious ingredients. Green veg such as broccoli and spinach are an excellent source of iron whilst eggs, nuts and seeds can provide you with the protein you need for a balanced diet. Many delightful facts have been floating around the internet claiming that more protein can be found in a stick of broccoli vs. a cut of steak. Forgive me if I’m wrong but I believe these claims have since been debunked.

3. Carbon Footprint

I recommend that if you have a Netflix account, you take the time to watch the docu-film Cowspiracy. Before watching this, I had little to no idea of the strain that meat and dairy-farming puts on our environment. The film outlines how a plant-based diet could reduce your carbon footprint by 50%. From deforestation and emissions down to the use of water and waste generated by animal agriculture, this film throws out a lot of scary and eye-opening statistics.

There are those however who argue that being a vegetarian doesn’t help the environment as much as we would like to think. For example, production of vegetarian friendly foods can also have a negative impact on our environment. For example, the rice paddies of Asia emit methane into the atmosphere as the gas is trapped in the flooded soil.  The Climate News Network reports that “although farm animals are a major source [of methane], flooded rice paddies emit as much as 500 million tons, which is around 20% of total manmade emissions of this gas.” 

A rice paddy in Vietnam

Basically, choosing the right food to help the environment isn’t straightforward. Whether you are eating meat or not, eating local and seasonal produce is a simple way to reduce our carbon footprint therefore making us less reliant upon produce that has been flown in from overseas.

4. It’s cheapermoney-2724241_640

There are many variables to consider when talking about the change in your pocket, however on the whole I have found my food bill to be smaller. Speaking as someone who hates food shopping with a passion, it is such a relief to completely rule out at least two aisles of the supermarket.

Veggie options seem to be in abundance right now in the UK, with brands such as Quorn and Linda McCartney really stepping up their game with new recipes and meat alternatives every week. With the BBC reporting in February this year that “more than a quarter of all evening meals in the UK are either vegan or vegetarian” are we really surprised that brands and supermarkets are scrambling to dominate this growing trend?

5. Why not?

Since changing from meat-eater to veggie, I only really regret not doing it sooner. My attitude is if I can survive without eating animal products I probably should. Personally I feel it fosters a compassionate and more responsible outlook when it comes to my consumption of the earth’s natural resources. I feel encouraged to research the sustainability of my food choices as well as looking at other areas of my life that I can change for the better.

Looking back to when I sat in my local on Boxing Day nearly three years ago, I’m so pleased that I chose this as my resolution. It was much better than my other option, to stop binge-watching Netflix. Now that’s a resolution I would have really struggled to keep.