OPINION: Going 100% cruelty free is easier than you think


Chloe Wilson-Henline

Examples of cruelty-free products.

Chloe Wilson-Henline, Opinion Writer

When I first started my journey of switching to cruelty-free products, I could not believe the number of brands that I use on a daily basis that still participate in animal testing. Products like makeup, toothpaste, shampoo, detergents, lotions, etc. all have the possibility of being animal tested.

Animal testing isn’t just putting makeup on dogs to see how pretty they look. Instead, “animals are deliberately sickened with toxic chemicals or infected with diseases, live in barren cages and are typically killed when the experiment ends.”

Some of my favorite brands like CeraVe, Aquaphor, Aveeno, Colgate and Maybelline still partake in these practices.

Cruelty-Free Kitty is a great resource to use when starting the journey of switching to cruelty-free products. They have lists of brands that are currently cruelty-free and update their website when brands make the switch. This has been a go-to of mine to ensure I am using ethical products.

An easy way to find out if a brand is being honest about its cruelty-free practices is to check to see if they sell in mainland China. Mainland China has laws that require certain products to be animal tested before they can be sold there. Brands are fighting for their right to sell in mainland China without having to put these animals at risk. A few brands have been successful in this fight and are now allowed. Brands that just recently made the switch include Dove, Wet n Wild, Aussie, Suave and Physicians Formula.

Also, looking for the “leaping bunny logo,” as well as the PETA certification, will show you what brands currently use these cruelty-free practices. Be wary and do your research because a brand might have one of these logos, but no longer practice cruelty-free testing. It takes a long time for one of these logos to be removed from the packaging, so researching yourself will always be your best bet.

Example of the Leaping Bunny logo (bottom left) and an example of the PETA Certification (top right). (Chloe Wilson-Henline)

Switching to more ethical brands is much easier than you think. In a world of “dupes,” we as consumers can find products of all kinds that mimic the ones we are all so attached to. Reading ingredient labels and watching people review these products are great ways to find out if that product will be a good fit for you.

An influencer I admire and go to for tips is @sammcgraww on TikTok. She rescued her beagle, Ted, from animal testing. He was there for the first five years of his life before she rescued him. She talks about the pain these animals go through and how we as consumers can stop supporting these cruel practices. She also posts lists of cruelty-free brands and products that mimic ones we already know and love.

Sam also coined the phrase “use it then lose it.” This is a philosophy I have been standing behind since I started my journey. Use the products you already have, then never support that brand again. That is what I will be doing with my products from CeraVe, MAC, Bed Head and Lubriderm. The animal was already hurt when you bought the product. Use that product until it’s gone, and in the meantime, find ones that could replace it.

Going 100% cruelty-free can be intimidating. Giving up the products you love for new ones can be a challenge, but I know that there are products out there that will work for me and everyone else.

With today’s technology, I can’t think of a reason why we need these unethical practices in place, but I know I am doing my part to fight these inhumane practices and protect the beautiful animals that are in the middle of it, and you can too!

Chloe Wilson-Henline is an opinion writer. Contact her at [email protected].