So what does cruelty-free mean?
Cruelty-free products are manufactured or developed by methods which do not involve harm to animals, otherwise called animal testing. In case you are wondering, yes, this means that products that are not cruelty-free might be tested on animals - yikes!
Now, you’re probably thinking - if these products are ok for human skin, they should be safe to test on animals right? A bunny wearing highlighter sounds pretty cute to us, tbh.
The act of testing products on animals is extremely cruel because:
- The animals are held captive in cramped cages, with little to no exposure to the outside world from a very young age. This causes severe anxiety and persistent fear amongst the animals - several of whom might not survive due to side effects caused by the by-products.
- It is unnecessary. Science and technology are advanced enough today for us to have alternative methods to conduct clinical tests of products, without the use of animals.
- It is “bad science” (straight from the metaphorical mouth of PETA). 92 out of 100 products that are tested on animals end up not working and not having the same effect on the human species. Makes sense right? How can we expect ourselves to react the same way to products as a cute little puppy?
Hopefully, by now we have appealed to your moral and emotional side to go cruelty-free. If we haven’t then there’s only one thing we can say to you at this point- PLS. JUST CARE. JUST A LITTLE BIT?!
Now that we’ve gotten through our mini-breakdown, let's bring it back to the motherland. Here’s an overview of what the cruelty-free situation is really like in India.
Despite having banned animal testing, India is pretty much the Wild, Wild West when it comes to laws and regulations of the “herbal, organic and cruelty-free” claims made by beauty companies. The absence of a regulatory board to certify brands as cruelty-free allows for imposters to claim to be proponents of principles that they might not even be abiding by.
Brands in India do seem to be making a conscious decision to move away from testing their products on animals, however, there is a limitation that consumers should be aware of here. International brands that have a retail presence in China are required by Chinese law to test their products on animals in order to be eligible to sell in the country. Unfortunately, this also means that any brand you see in India that also sells in stores in China might not be truly cruelty-free.
TLDR? here’s a quick recap on how to be cruelty-free with your make-up choices (aka CRUELTY-FREE 101):
- Look out for brands that don’t just label their products “cruelty-free” but also advocate strongly against animal testing. Its the 21st century, and we certainly don’t need to harm our furry friends to get our highlighter on fleeeek.
- Try to avoid brands that produce and/or sell in countries that require animal testing.
Note: We tried our best to make this article light and funny but given the nature of the said article, it was difficult to do so. However, we think it is still enjoyable to read.
Stay curious. Stay Freequal.