This week begins #CrueltyFreeWeek – the Humane Society International’s campaign to bring attention to the unnecessary horrors of animal testing and the many alternatives to such barbaric practices. I was asked to be a part of the HSI’s #BlogForBunnies project by writing a blog post (I have at least 3 to post during the week) focusing in some fashion on cruelty free cosmetics. I thought, since I’ve never addressed it before, that I would begin by sharing my own cruelty free journey. It pains me to hear about animals of all kinds suffering in any way and, though I don’t choose to ignore it, I don’t like to investigate it too deeply. Having said that, I want to help acquaint all of you to this campaign and HSI’s daily efforts to end animal cruelty once and for all…everywhere in the world, so that’s what I’m going to attempt doing this week! Fear not, I won’t get into the nitty gritty details of horrific tests, but pleasebe aware that they are happening right now. If you’d like to learn more about animal testing and other aspects of animal cruelty, as well as efforts to stop unnecessary testing and sign the Be Cruelty Free Pledge, you can learn more about these things on HSI’s website, or check out their Facebook page here. While you’re there, please sign their “Be Cruelty Free” Pledge as well…it doesn’t cost anything and they don’t spit out countless unnecessary emails. I encourage you to share your own cruelty free journeys in the comments, on your own blogs, on social media (using the hashtags #BeCrueltyFree and #BlogForBunnies and tag @HSIGlobal and me @MakeUpGuineaPig), as well as anywhere else you choose.

As I said, I thought I would begin the week by sharing with you why I choose to be cruelty free. Don’t get me wrong, I do from time to time mistake things as being cruelty free that are not. We all do. It kind of comes with the territory. But if I have a choice and I am able to purchase a cruelty free option, I certainly do my best to act accordingly. My reasoning is really quite simple. I love animals. There are few things that I love more than animals and the thought of harming them for something optional like cosmetics just breaks my heart. As a child I often thought that I wanted to be a veterinarian in order to help animals, but at the same time I knew that I couldn’t bear the idea of dealing with mistreated, abandoned, incurably ill and just generally suffering animals. It hurt too much to even consider. I know that as a veterinarian I would actually be doing my best to help those animals, but the thought just hurt too much. So, alas, I did not become a vet, but I still do what I can to help prevent unnecessary animal suffering by being a cruelty free consumer and, in some small way, an activist.

I have had a deep held belief against animal testing of cosmetics pretty much since I was a teenager. Back then it was a lot more difficult to truly know which cosmetics companies did and did not test, and just shooting off an email was not nearly as effective as it is today. PETA’s list was really the only animal testing list that I was aware of at the time and I tried to only purchase products…at least cosmetics…that were made by manufacturers on the “Don’t Test” list. The choices were few, although I remember there being many ill fated “moratoriums” listed from most of the major cosmetics companies. As the years flew by, I kind of believed that most brands were cruelty free. I would check the “Don’t Test” list now and then and buy accordingly, but it wasn’t until maybe a year or two before starting this blog that I really began spending a lot of free time emailing companies and reading about cruelty free beauty.
Fear not, the wrap is faux!

Needless to say, my opinions and beliefs about cruelty free beauty evolved over time. Nowadays, I try to investigate everything the best I can before jumping on the bandwagon, though I do occasionally realize after purchasing an item that the brand either tests on animals or sells in China and is thus not bunny-friendly. It’s not easy to comb through the fancy and often misleading wording from PR companies, the lack of information relating to some companies and the flat out silence with which so many emails are met, but to me it is worth the extra effort to feel confident that my beauty products are not harming our furry friends unnecessarily. An excellent resource for a pretty comprehensive “Don’t Test” list for all kinds of cosmetics and home products throughout the world can be found through the Leaping Bunny’s website (check it out here). If that doesn’t answer your questions, don’t be afraid to contact companies directly, as well as check out well-established and reliable blogs like My Beauty Bunny and Logical Harmony (also Vegan!)…and I like to aim for this blog to be a good resource as well! J 
That leads us to this week and HSI’s #BeCrueltyFree campaign. The Humane Society International has been tirelessly campaigning against animal testing on cosmetics. They have succeeded in full test and sales bans in all of the European Union, Norway, Israel, India, the Brazilian state of San Paulo and, within the last week a plan to achieve testing free status by 2017 in South Korea!  HSI is also currently involved with draft legislation being considered in Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, Taiwan and the United States of America! Though China is not cruelty free yet, HSI has aided in removing mandatory testing on domestically produced “ordinary” cosmetics throughout the country! A dramatic step in right direction, indeed! J

Despite all these strides towards a cruelty free cosmetics world, animal testing for cosmetics remains legal in nearly 80% of countries. To help bring awareness to the Humane Society International’s efforts across the globe and the general plight of animal testing for cosmetics, I am taking part in HSI’s #BlogForBunnies project. Putting a stop to cosmetics testing on animals is obviously an issue that is near and dear to my heart. I hope you feel the same way and will check out the HSI’s #BeCrueltyFree campaign, as well as the other bloggers participating in the #BlogForBunnies project. If you are also committed to a cruelty free lifestyle or would like to take strides in that direction, please add your name to the Cruelty Free Pledge, which is linked here. And please join in the cruelty free discussion using #BeCrueltyFree and #BlogForBunnies and tagging @HSIGlobal and me @MakeUpGuineaPig on social media. If you write a blog, join in there as well! Every cosmetic purchase you make is another chance for your voice to be heard, so I hope you will join the Humane Society International, me and the rest of the #BlogForBunnies project in shouting our support for cruelty free companies…not just during #BeCrueltyFree Week, but every day until animal testing is something for the history books!!!
Stand Against Animal Testing!
Please check out hsi.org/becrueltyfree for more info
Check out the HSI #BeCrueltyFree Campaign on Facebook here
The #BeCrueltyFree Pledge can be found here


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