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  • Writer's pictureathenablack86

The Price Of Beauty

With an extensive range of skin care, hair care, fragrances and personal hygiene items, the cosmetic and beauty industry is a multi-billion-dollar commercial enterprise. However, what many people are unaware of, is the cruelty towards the animals involved in the making of these products. Not only do cosmetic companies still use ingredients derived from animal products but also continue testing their products on laboratory animals causing distress, physical injuries, and death.

The animals used inside these laboratories such as rats, mice, rabbits, guinea pigs and monkeys, are subjected to horrific treatment. Chemicals are injected into their eyes, substances are tested on their skin causing unknown amounts of pain, some even have products forced down their throats. This abuse continues until the animals are eventually killed.

Animal testing is cruel and unnecessary, with the technology companies have available to them like computer modelling and cell culture-based experiments, there is no need for animal testing to take place within any company that is involved in the cosmetic and beauty industry.

Australia took a giant leap forward towards reducing animal cruelty by banning cosmetics animal testing in 2020 and worldwide more than 41 countries have passed laws to limit or ban cosmetics animal testing, including every country in the European Union, Colombia, Guatemala, Iceland, India, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and several states in Brazil.

Unfortunately, in Australia there are loopholes in our government legislation on animal testing. Businesses are still allowed to source data from overseas animal testing facilities, import products used in animal testing and export their products to countries that demand animal testing before they can be sold within those countries.

Until these loopholes are closed, we need to make sure we are not supporting this barbaric behaviour. The best way to show that as a society we no longer support animal testing, is for everyone to start purchasing Cruelty Free, Vegan Friendly products. The downside to this is sometimes cruelty free logos can be somewhat misleading and confusing, especially when companies create their own cruelty free logos. This is why it is important to understand the difference between cruelty free and vegan friendly and what logos to look for when shopping for cosmetics.

Below is a simple guide to help make shopping for cruelty free cosmetics easier, with definitions of what crulty free and vegan mean in the cosmetics industry. There is also a list of the most common cruelty free and vegan friendly logos used in Australia and some information on the organisations that provide these certifications -

Cruelty-free - Animal testing hasn't been conducted during clinical testing of a product. This is the most widely used definition of the term, but there are different degrees of cruelty-free cosmetics. This ranges from 100% cruelty-free, to somewhat cruelty free where the companies still may sell other products that have been made using animal testing. Cruelty- Free doesn't mean a product will not contain animal products, they still may contain milk, gelatin, lanolin, or honey.

Vegan- Means the ingredients used inside the products. So, while the product itself may be vegan and contain no animal ingredients or animal by-products, it is still possible that it has been tested on animals.

When looking at cosmetics or beauty products, ideally you would want to see 100% Cruelty Free and Vegan Friendly on the packaging.

The Leaping Bunny- The Leaping Bunny Logo is the only internationally recognized symbol guaranteeing consumers that no new animal tests were used in the development of any product displaying it. The Logo can be seen on packaging, advertising, and websites for cosmetics and household products around the world. Their website also contains lots of up to date information on brands they have officially certified.

Cruelty Free International and Choose Cruelty Free (CCF which merged with Cruelty Free International in June 2021)

Cruelty Free International is a leading organisation working to create a world where nobody wants or believes we need to experiment on animals. Their teams are experts in their fields, combining campaigning, political lobbying, pioneering undercover investigations, scientific and legal expertise and corporate responsibility to educate, challenge, and inspire others across the globe to respect and protect animals.

PETA- Beauty Without Bunnies-

Probably the most recognisable animal rights organisation worldwide. I have my own reasons for not supporting PETA, which I will explain in more detail in another post. However, I felt I should still include them on this list, even if I don’t agree with them on certain points.

Certified Vegan-

Certified Vegan Logo is a registered trademark for products that do not contain animal products or by-products and that have not been tested on animals. This is verified by Companies are required to submit documentation on a product along with verification that animal products were not used in the manufacturing of ingredients.

Vegan Society-

To gain Vegan Society certification a product should not contain any animal product, by-product or derivative and must not involve testing of any sort on animals by the manufacturers or on its behalf, or by any third parties.

Vegetarian Society-

Vegetarian Society has 2 distinct logos – Vegetarian and Vegan. Vegetarian Society Approved trademark accreditation involves independent ingredient and production method checking by experts.

This is a ‘Vegetarian’ logo. The product is required to be free of any ingredient resulted in animal slaughter and it allows free-range eggs. The product should also be GMO-free.

This is a Vegetarian Society ‘Vegan’ logo. This certification is stricter, and the products displaying it should be free from any animal-derived ingredients and GMO-free.

Vegan Australia Certified-

The Vegan Australia Certified logo is a simple and reliable symbol for vegan products and services. When you see a product with the Vegan Australia Certified logo, you can be sure it meets the high standards for vegan products set by Vegan Australia. Products should be free from animal products, not tested on animals and no animal products used in the production process. If the product has been made in a facility that also handles animal products, then the manufacturer will have taken all reasonable steps to avoid cross-contamination.

I highly recommend visiting all the above organisation’s websites to find more information on what process they each use in handing out certification and which companies have achieved certification. While this is not a comprehensive guide to vegan and cruelty free products, looking out for these logos while shopping for cosmetics assures that you are purchasing from ethically minded companies.

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