One of the biggest struggles consumers face when going cruelty free is getting to the truth of a company’s cruelty free status. Companies can be very sneaky with the statements that they issue on their websites and on their product packaging. They word their statements carefully to mislead consumers into believing that they are cruelty free. You would think this would be illegal right? Sadly, no. At the moment there is no organisation in place to review these statements. Some brands definitely take advantage of that fact and try to dupe consumers into thinking they’re safe to buy from when actually they’re not. The bastards.
Below are a few examples of brands that mislead consumers with their bogus cruelty free claims.
This brand markets themselves as being natural and pure. Their animal testing policy is anything but. Simple are owned by Unilever a company well known for testing on animals. On the Simple website they re-direct you to the Unilever site for more information on their approach to animal testing. Trying to find their animal testing policies on the Unilever page is a straight up nightmare. They do not make it easy! Eventually I managed to track down a PDF hidden in their website where I found the following statement:
‘Occasionally, when there are no suitable non-animal approaches available, some of the ingredients we use have to be tested; and some governments test our products on animals as part of their regulatory requirements.’
In that statement they make it sound as if they don’t have a choice in the matter. But these companies choose to sell their products in countries where animal testing is required by law. They make that choice. They choose to fund animal testing.
Interestingly, Simple says that their products are suitable for vegans on the website. Now, whilst their products may not be derived of animal ingredients I’ve never met a vegan in support of animal testing.
I was so disappointed when I learnt about Origins animal testing status. Again, this is another brand that markets themselves as being all natural and kind to the earth. On their website they talk about how they’re giving back by planting trees, recycling etc. That’s great and everything but they’re clearly not all that concerned by the impact they have on nature as they’re funding animal testing. Origins are owned by Estee Lauder a company that does test on animals. On the Origins website they state ‘We do not conduct animal testing on our products or ingredients, nor ask others to test on our behalf, except when required by law. ‘ The important part you need to concentrate on there is the except when required by law aspect. These laws only apply in certain countries as we’ve already discussed and Origins chooses to sell in those countries and therefore chooses to support animal testing. I wish that brands would stop making out like someone is forcing their hand to sell their products in these parts of the world. No one is forcing them, they’re just more interested in profit.
The sad thing about M.A.C is that they actually used to be cruelty free but have now gone the other way. M.A.C like Origins is another brand owned by Estee Lauder. All brands owned by Estee Lauder come under Estee Lauder’s animal testing policy which states products are tested on animals when required by law so that they can be sold in China.
I think this is one brand that probably the majority of people have been mislead to believe is cruelty free and would be shocked to learn is actually not. On the Benefit website they go on and on about how they don’t test on animals and are apparently ‘playing a leading role in developing alternative methods’. I’d actually recommend you go and read their FAQ section as they really do talk themselves up on how hard they’re working to eliminate animal testing. Quite laughable really seen as Benefit are yet another company to sell their products in China and therefore are choosing to support the very thing they claim to be fighting.
When I first chose to go cruelty free and started researching this is the one company out of this list that actually fooled me. Thankfully, I didn’t purchase anything with them. On their website they say all the right things as you can see in the screengrab below.
Here’s the kicker, when I emailed them they came back and told me that they do test when required by law. See how slippery some of these companies can be?
Some of the best advice that I can give from my own personal experience so far is that you shouldn’t take what these companies claim on their websites as truth. No brand is going to admit outright that they contribute to animal cruelty so you’ve really got to press them for more information. I think that you should always question brands for yourself and ask them to expand on their online claims. My first port of call to check a brands cruelty free status is always Logical Harmony. Tashina who runs that blog is very thorough in the checks that she does into brands and I fully trust her blog content. If I can’t find a brand on there I contact them directly myself for more information.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this matter in the comments.
Have you been mislead by any brands?