No I am not vegan or even vegetarian. My lifestyle is “cruelty-free” for the planet, animals, and humans alike!
I am also not here to judge, criticize, or even tell you to go cruelty-free. I am just laying out the reasons I choose not to support these industries and producers.
There are so many things that happen behind closed doors: the food we eat, the toiletries we use, and even the clothes we wear. Behind those doors animals are being locked up in 1×1 foot cages (2×2 foot if they are “free-ranged”) and having their babies taken away from their mothers before they can even have contact with their own kin. Children are harvesting the material to make our clothes and being poisoned by the chemicals that keep them wrinkle free. If I go on with all the disturbing facts that most people are choosing to ignore, then this post will be too long to read. I live a cruelty-free lifestyle because I care about animals, people, and our planet!
Personal Care Items (beauty, first aid, toiletries, etc.):
Animal testing is a huge part of making our personal care items. Not only are animals harmed during experimentation, but they are also harmed in the environment. Things like sunscreen when it gets into the oceans can cause death among sea creatures. The chemicals harm the sea life along with damaging the coral reefs. Things like oxybenzone (a chemical in sunscreen) cause the coral to bleach and die. “Bleaching occurs when corals get stressed (from causes like water temperature rising and chemicals in the water) to a point that they expel the tiny algae, known as zooxanthellae, that normally live inside their tissues. The algae provide the corals with most of their food, as well as their color” (National Geographic). Even extremely low amounts of these chemicals can cause damage to the wild life. Most of our personal care items like lotion, toothpaste, makeup, and hair products have microbeads. Microbeads are tiny balls of plastic used to exfoliate and add texture to products. These little balls of micro plastic make there way to large bodies of water and pollute. Crazy to think that in a world where the earth provides natural exfoliators like salt, sugar, coffee, and oats, big companies would rather use balls of plastic that are not proven to help exfoliate (story of microbeads). These plastic balls don’t just make their way to the big oceans but they are designed to go down our shower and sink drains. Another big ingredient in our everyday products are preservatives. Preservatives like BHA and BHT are also toxic to aquatic organisms and can harm them causing mutations among sea life and amphibians (CV skin labs). Synthetic fragrances may seem nice in a product, but really they have been shown to cause reactions and irritations for the consumer and are also harmful for wildlife (CV skin labs). Next time you go buy toothpaste, conditioner, body scrub, etc. , take time to look at the ingredients and make a rational decision for the environment and also yourself.
- National Geographic: coral reefs
- National Geographic: coral reefs
- Sunscreen killing the reef
- The Story of How Stuff Works: story of cosmetics
- The Story of How Stuff Works: story of microbeads
- CV Skin Labs
- Cosmetics and Your Health
Humans feel bad and empathize for the animals in labs, but without any other thought eat them for dinner. What is the difference between animal experimentation and animal farming? There are animals suffering in both. Animal farming takes away land, water, and air. In return we get greenhouse gases, waste, and suffering. But why does that matter when we eat meat, eggs, and dairy. It matters because ,putting aside the unbelievable suffering, animal farming is terrible for the environment. Cattle farming causes more greenhouse gasses then all transportation combined (cowspiracy). It takes an estimated 1,799 gallons of water to raise one pound of beef, not even a full cow, (vegetarianism) and an average of 34-76 trillion gallons annually (cowspiracy). To produce 1lb. of eggs it takes 477 gallons of water and almost 900 gallons of water for 1lb. of cheese (cowspiracy). Cattle farming also takes 1/3 of the earths surface, 2-5 acres per cow (cowspiracy). The crazy thing about all this is that there are sustainable farms that treat their animals right out in the world, but we choose to mass produce animal products in cages. It would be cheaper, enhance the quality, and help the environment if we switch over to putting animals back into their natural state. We as humans want to manipulate everything causing environmental chaos. The average cow can live up to 20-25 years but factories saluter them at 4-5 years old. This is because the animals get so warn out from the harsh conditions we put them in (vegetarianism). How is eating animal products good for you when you get it from a source that is killing the earth we all walk on?
When we think of “cruelty-free” we think of the animals: mainly the cows, the chickens, the pigs, etc. What we don’t think about is our own kind. Humans working for cents, not even dollars, a day. Kids trying to help support their families, women trying to get their kids an education, and everyone trying to get food on their plates. They are all just trying to make it just one more day in the world. When you are on the other side of it, in a store, you aren’t thinking about who suffered for just one shirt. When you look up expensive clothing brands, they don’t tell you where their items are made, how they are made, or what the distribution process is. The conditions of the factories women work in are horrendous. They are breathing in toxic fumes, left in hot rooms, worked to death, and get nothing for it (Take Part). In some cases, women need to make 100 pieces of clothing an hour (Take Part). I most definitely guilty of saying “I won’t buy another disgusting shirt” and just can’t help my self when I walk into a store and they have the cutest outfit. But I have also walked into stores and walked right back out because my nose burns, my stomach feels twisted in knots, and my head is pounding because of the chemicals that are in the air. I don’t even want to imagine what it must be like for the people who are making the clothes. It really is devastating what the clothing industry is doing to people in China and India (the two biggest clothing manufacturing countries) and other places around the world.
A simple way to combat all these nasty chemicals, slavery, and toxins is to make your own products. When you start making things from scratch, you learn what 5 natural ingredients you really need rather than the 35 toxic chemicals embedded in big, popular brands. If you choose to start making things on your own still do the research on each ingredient, make sure the coconut oil you use isn’t causing rainforest destruction, make sure your essential oils aren’t fake or destroying the environment. Find out who, what, where, and why. Who is making the product, what is in it, where is it made, where are the ingredients coming from, and why are they using the ingredients that are chosen. Look beyond the label, because no company is going to tell you the true about what is going on if they know they are in the wrong.
No, I am not saying no to dairy. I am simply saying NO to the dairy farms that lock up cows so they can’t ever see the sun, and saying YES to the farms that let their cows run free by nice clean streams and feed off grass with their calfs. I am not saying no to eggs. I am saying NO to the poultry factories that put chickens in cages just big enough for them to move their heads to get water so their meat is “better”. I am not saying no to clothes. I am saying NO to the factories with child labor making them breath in all the toxic chemicals being put on our clothing. Instead I am saying YES to the actual free-ranging chickens that have a say in how many eggs they lay and YES to the clothing companies who give more then minimum wage to the people who need jobs and are actually improving their lives. I am not saying no to soap. I am saying NO to the companies shoving toxins down animals throats and saying YES to the companies that are not testing on animals but instead they are using natural, wholesome ingredients that shouldn’t need to be tested in the first place.
Cruelty-free, eco-frendliy, sustainable, and fair-trade companies are out there, and they have everything you need. All you need to do is look for them!
–Untamed Medicine, Isabella
We can not control what happens in a world full of closed doors, but we can choose what doors we want to support and which ones we don’t!-Untamed Medicine